16 Assertive Ways To Deal With A Narcissistic Friend

16 Assertive Ways To Deal With A Narcissistic Friend

Dealing with a narcissistic friend can be a draining experience, but it’s not impossible to navigate the relationship with a little assertiveness and self-awareness. Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect and consideration, even if your friend struggles with empathy and self-centeredness. Here are some tips to help you handle interactions with your narcissistic friend in a way that protects your well-being and sets healthy boundaries.

1. Set clear boundaries and stick to them.

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Narcissistic friends often push boundaries and disregard your needs, Choosing Therapy notes. Clearly communicate your limits and what you won’t tolerate. Whether it’s their constant need for attention, their tendency to belittle you, or their lack of consideration for your time, establish clear boundaries and enforce them consistently. Don’t be afraid to say no and walk away if they refuse to respect your boundaries.

2. Don’t engage in their drama or attention-seeking behavior.

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Narcissistic friends thrive on drama and attention. Resist the urge to get drawn into their games or fuel their ego. Instead, remain calm, neutral, and disengaged. Don’t feed their need for validation, and avoid reacting to their provocations. This will eventually discourage their attention-seeking behavior.

3. Avoid taking their comments or criticisms personally.

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Narcissistic friends often project their insecurities onto others and may criticize or belittle you to make themselves feel superior. Remember, their comments reflect more on their own insecurities than on your worth. Don’t internalize their negativity, and don’t let their words define you.

4. Don’t try to change them or fix their problems.

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It’s tempting to try to help a narcissistic friend see the error of their ways, but it’s rarely successful. Narcissistic individuals often lack self-awareness and resist change. Focus onprotecting yourself and your own well-being, rather than trying to fix them. It’s not your responsibility to change them.

5. Don’t get into arguments or power struggles with them.

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Narcissistic friends can be skilled manipulators and will often try to draw you into arguments or power struggles. Avoid engaging in these battles, as they are unlikely to be productive and will only drain your energy. Instead, walk away and disengage from the conflict. Choose your battles wisely.

6. Focus on your own needs and well-being.

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When dealing with a narcissistic friend, it’s easy to get caught up in their drama and neglect your own needs. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Prioritize self-care activities, spend time with supportive friends, and seek professional help if needed. Remember, your well-being is just as important as anyone else’s.

7. Don’t expect apologies or acknowledgements of wrongdoing.

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Narcissistic friends rarely apologize or take responsibility for their actions. They may blame others, deflect, or simply deny any wrongdoing. Don’t waste your time and energy waiting for an apology that may never come. Instead, focus on setting boundaries, protecting yourself, and moving forward.

8. Don’t isolate yourself or feel ashamed.

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It’s easy to feel isolated and ashamed when dealing with a narcissistic friend. You might blame yourself for their behavior or feel like you’re the only one experiencing this. Remember, you’re not alone. Many people have had similar experiences. Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or a therapist for support and validation. Don’t let their behavior define you or your worth.

9. Set clear consequences for their behavior.

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If your narcissistic friend consistently disregards your boundaries or treats you poorly, it’s important to set clear consequences for their behavior. This could involve limiting your interactions, spending less time with them, or even ending the friendship altogether. Let them know that you won’t tolerate their behavior and that there will be consequences if it continues.

10. Focus on facts, not emotions, when communicating.

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When communicating with a narcissistic friend, try to stick to facts and avoid getting drawn into emotional arguments. Narcissistic individuals often try to manipulate and gaslight their friends, per Psych Central, so it’s important to remain grounded in reality and focus on objective information. This will help you stay calm and avoid getting caught up in their drama.

11. Don’t try to compete with them or one-up them.

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Narcissistic friends often have a competitive streak and a need to feel superior. Trying to compete with them or one-up them will only fuel their ego and create unnecessary conflict. Instead, focus on your own accomplishments and celebrate your own successes without comparing yourself to them.

12. Don’t give in to their demands or manipulations.

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Narcissistic friends may try to manipulate you to get what they want. They might use guilt trips, emotional blackmail, or even threats to get you to comply with their demands. Don’t give in to their manipulations. Stand firm in your boundaries and don’t let them control you.

13. Offer genuine compliments and support when appropriate.

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While it’s important to set boundaries and not feed their ego, it’s also important to acknowledge their positive qualities and achievements when they genuinely deserve it. Offering sincere compliments and support can help to build a more positive relationship dynamic and encourage them to reciprocate.

14. Seek support from other friends and family members.

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Dealing with a narcissistic friend can be emotionally draining. Make sure you have a strong support system of friends and family members who you can confide in and rely on for support. They can offer a listening ear, validation, and advice on how to navigate the challenges of the relationship.

15. Consider seeking professional help.

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If you’re struggling to cope with your narcissistic friend’s behavior, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor. They can provide guidance, support, and strategies for managing the relationship and protecting your well-being.

16. Ultimately, be willing to walk away if the friendship is toxic.

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If your narcissistic friend consistently disregards your boundaries, belittles you, or makes you feel bad about yourself, it might be time to reconsider the friendship. You deserve to be surrounded by people who uplift you, respect you, and make you feel good about yourself. Sometimes, the healthiest option is to walk away from a toxic relationship, even if it’s with a friend.

Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.
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