If You Have No Enemies Find a Way to Make Them – Love and Friendship with a Narcissist

The title of this piece was inspired by a line in a chapter in Robert Greene’s – The 48 Laws of Power. It is a very interesting book, one which I enjoyed reading. I did not read this book because I was a wannabe Bond villain hoping to learn how to take over the world. I read it, along with many other books on power, because I have a fascination with the dynamics of power.

I am not the least bit interested in controlling others, my aim lies in the opposite direction. I grew up in a highly controlling and manipulative environment and it inspired within me a burning passion for freedom. Not just freedom for myself, although at first that was all I was focused upon, but also freedom for others. I wanted people to feel free around me, to be themselves, express whatever they wanted to express… to basically be able to do what I also wanted to do. Just be and enjoy discovering what being was all about.

I realised in my search for personal freedom that to be free you have to give to others that which you desire. They do not necessarily return the gift, but that is not the reason for giving it. In giving freedom freely, you free yourself. So you give to others to give to yourself.

If you want to be in a relationship of any kind which supports personal freedom, then you must support the personal freedom of the other person. If you don’t want to be controlled or manipulated, then you must not control and manipulate.

Which is easier said than done.

Even if you are someone who does not want power over others, people have a tendency to hand their power over to you before they even know you and whether it is a good idea to give you such a thing. And before you know it you’re holding someone’s heart or life in your hands and you’re not sure what to do with it because you never asked for it, or even accepted it, they just threw it at you and you caught it by reflex. Now what? You try to give it back, but they don’t want it, it was a gift and now they’re upset because you’re returning it. And suddenly you find they have power over you, your heart, your life, because they’ve given you something you can’t give back.

Sometimes the less a person knows you, the more likely they are to give you power over them, the more they get to know you, the more likely they are to try and have power over you. It’s an odd dynamic, but humans are odd.

So learning how the dynamics of power work helps to rebalance the power in relationships. When someone is trying to give you power over them and their life, you use the classic power games and flip them around to reverse the flow of power and give back to the other what they are trying to give to you. Basically you are rejecting their gift of power, but at the same time trying to show them that what they want to give to you is something of value to them and they should keep it and value it.

Blame is one of those power gifts. And if you have a relationship with a Narcissist, you’ll get to know this powerful gift very well.

If you are in a relationship with a Narcissist, you will experience all of the above except for the freedom bit. They demand infinite freedom for themselves, but you belong to them. They give you power over them from the moment they see you, and everything they do after that is an attempt to get power over you, get their power back, and take yours too. They are power junkies.

One of the things which struck me the most after reading the book was that were a person to take every piece of advice in it they would end up being very confused, perhaps more so than before they read it as many of the chapters contradict other ones. One minute he tells you to stand out from the crowd and the next minute he’s telling you to use the crowd as camouflage.

Giving contradictory information is a law of power. At least it is in the handbook of power that Narcissists use. Keep your opponent confused and you hold the winning hand in the game of manipulation.

If you are in a relationship with a Narcissist, there is one thing which you must remember, they will always view you as an opponent even if they tell you otherwise. And they will tell you otherwise. You will be their ‘special’ friend, their only ally, their knight in shining armor, their saviour or something equally heroic. You will be placed on a pedestal, idealised and worshipped… for a while. But at some point they will see you as an enemy disguised as a friend. The switch may be sudden. Or at least it seems that way.

Stay in the relationship for long enough and you will find yourself, your role in their life, swinging from extremes. One minute you’re their best friend in the entire universe and the next minute you are their worst enemy. One minute they adore you, the next they hate your guts. One minute you’re the cure for all their ailments, an angel sent to heal their wounds, and the next you’re a virus trying to kill them, the evil cause of all their pain and suffering. One minute you’re the only other human being on earth, the next minute you cease to exist.

These swings from minute to minute can actually occur in minutes, but more often they span a longer time, though not always that much longer. It can happen in a matter of hours. You go out to dinner and a movie. Dinner is full of charm, smiles, laughter and wonderful feelings of being on top of the world. Somewhere between the restaurant and the cinema a crack opens up in the pavement and you fall down into hell.

Chances are the Narcissist decided they didn’t want to see the movie, but they can’t tell you that as it would damage their self image, in their eyes and thus in yours and in the eyes of all those to whom they will relate this story. So instead they have to make a scene, one which will make you the reason why the night ends where it does in a bad way. You ruined a lovely evening. Hope you’re happy with yourself. They can’t be around such a toxic friend. Now they can go and do what they wanted to do instead of seeing the movie, and changing their plans is perfectly justified because it’s your fault. They can also ditch you, because they were bored of being with you, and that too is your fault, you made them do it.

When they tell their other friends, their audience and witnesses to their existence, about this incident, and they will with added drama, you will be the baddie and they will be the goodie. Their self image remains intact, and is in fact now even more saintly and perfect as, yet again, they triumphed over adversity. Having to put up with you, your moods, your behaviour, is something only a saint with superhuman superpowers could do.

Should you ever confront them about their telltale mouth, which likes to spin stories of overly dramatic proportions about their life and every little incident which happens to them, then relate them to others to attract attention and sympathy, they will saying something along the lines of – What does it matter what I tell other people about you, they will never meet you. This is Narcissistic logic. They do tend to keep their friends separate from each other, and since they control the world and all the people in it, it never occurs to them that you might meet some of their friends without them being a part of the meeting. Their friends belong to them, just like you do, none of you exist when they are not around, nor do you have social activities which do not include them.

Depending on how long you’ve been in a relationship with a Narcissist, and how many Narcissists you’ve known and know, you may or may not be familiar with this type of scenario. It is very typical of Narcissists, but it is also something which happens in relationships with non-Narcissists. The difference lies within the aftermath. With a non-Narcissist both members of the relationship will probably try to sort things out and make amends, especially if the fight was random and caused by a misunderstanding. Blame will be divided equally, apologies will be shared, and the relationship will move on. With a Narcissist nothing will be sorted out, no moving on will occur, they can now use this against you forever and ever, you will continue to be blamed wholly for it, and your apologies will never be enough. However you can make amends, and keep making them, but they will never get over how much you hurt them and will remind you regularly, every time you hurt them again.

Whether you are familiar with the scenario or not, you will probably be left reeling from the incident, confused, swirling in a whirlpool of emotions, wondering what happened. You will wonder what it was that you did which upset them, even if you know that they started the drama, your logic will be swayed by your feelings. You care about them. Even though you may be very angry, your anger will soften. You want the relationship to continue. You will want to discuss the incident and work things out. This may make things worse, especially if you expect the Narcissist to admit to any fault. This is anathema to them, and they will see you as an enemy, not as a friend who wants to make things better, figure things out, make peace by understanding and sharing responsibility.

To a Narcissist all people are enemies. Opponents. They live in a reality where they are alone against the rest of the world. This is partly why they perceive themselves as being special and superior. They are isolated from human connection even when surrounded by other people, even when others try to connect. Other people are always ‘others’. Even in their most intimate relationships, even if they include you in an ‘us’ versus ‘them’. And they will. Within the ‘us’ versus ‘them’ they will see you as a ‘them’ too.

They yearn desperately for a soul mate with whom to share their isolation, they have so much amazing love to give they just need to find that special someone worthy of such an otherwordly love… Narcissistic love is as grand as they can idealise it to be. But no one is ever good enough to receive it. They are and will always be alone. They are terrified of their solitude but they don’t know how to get out of it, they are stuck there and suck people into their world to keep them company and make them feel less alone, which is one of the reasons why they will slowly isolate you from your other friends and your family. It is deliberate, but not as consciously done as it seems in retrospect when you do a postmortem of the relationship.

Part of the reason Narcissists are so hard to understand is that most of what they do is done subconsciously. Hidden from you, but also hidden from them. It is imperative to their survival that they never see their own behaviour. They are for the most part completely oblivious to it. They are innocent. Others are the culprits, the manipulators, the enemy. Others are the Narcissists. Sure they think they are very clever, know how to manipulate others and are great strategists, they may even claim to have psychic powers which allow them to read people’s minds, and they will brag, usually in a falsely humble manner about how manipulative and controlling they are, but their awareness is superficial. They are very devious, aware of it yet at the same time completely unaware. This paradox is one of many which exist within them, it fuels who they are and how they do what they do.

Confront them and they will never admit a thing. They will deny everything. They believe their own denial and that is how they convince others of their version of events, because they never doubt their version of events. You, on other hand, do doubt your version of events, and that’s how they can convince you that they are right and you are wrong. What you accuse them of being is what you are. What you accuse them of doing is what you did and do. You may wonder if this is true, perhaps… maybe… They will rarely if ever wonder or doubt themselves because if they do their entire world will crumble. So they don’t. They can’t.

If however you were to compliment them for being so manipulative, they’ll admit it and be rather pleased that you noticed their special gift. They only know they are bad when being bad is a good thing, they don’t know it when it is a bad thing, make it a good thing and they will grab it and make it theirs, make it a bad thing and they will throw it back at you, reject it and make you keep it as yours.

So what do you do if you want to, or have to, continue having a relationship with a Narcissist?

Narcissists are creatures of habit. They do the same thing over and over and over again ad nauseum. They appear to change, they often announce loudly that they have changed, but it is superficial and falls away once they get bored of keeping it up, which is usually fairly quickly. They repeat the same behaviour patterns with everyone. Watch them. Observe. Learn their patterns. Don’t try and break their pattern it will cause a massive defensive reaction. Just take a few steps out of it. Detach. It’s not about you, even when they make you feel that it is. It is about them. Everything is about them. They are caught in a trap. You do not need to be in there with them.

Remember you are always their enemy even when you are their ally. This view tells you how much they need you more than you need them. That is your ultimate power over them. Learn to see yourself through their eyes, their real eyes, the ones that see you as an all powerful being. It may change how you see yourself in a way which could alter your life… positively. Perhaps that is why life has given you the opportunity to be in a relationship with a Narcissist. To see how powerful you are.

Think about it, and let me know what you think.


  1. “IF YOU HAVE NO ENEMIES FIND A WAY TO MAKE THEM” I was the manager (more like a babysitter with a wallet) to a celebrity who is a narcissist. He was more interested in getting people to hate him and was proud of it. He hates everyone and thinks people are all evil and should be used and raped. His Facebook pages are a facade of lies. I know the real him and the way he portrays himself in public is a complete lie. I was his fourth manager and could not understand how I lucked into such a great guy so full of talent. It was too good to be true; literally. This is a very long story that would take pages to complete. One day he would want a helicopter, the next day he would hate flying. One day he would want to have sex with all the hot teenagers in Hollywood. The next he would swear he never said anything like it. He told me I was the best manger he ever had and then would call me names so horrible I can not write them on this blog. He was all over the place and unstable. I finally got out of the relationship after he had almost emptied my bank accounts. If I would have stayed with him, he would have taken my cars, house and ever other asset I had. He wanted me to move into his house and cleaned up a room for me. All he wanted to do was eliminate who I was and replace it with him. He wanted me to look at his pictures and videos all day. When I would come into a room he would make me watch old videos of him and tell me I was so lucky to be his friend and to see his special videos. And I should be honored to tell him how great he is. This would go on day after day. When I would get sick of his “Sea of Me”, and tell him he was arrogant, he would say I was just a jealous hater and he loved haters. He had a clothing line dedicated to people hating people that did not make it. He is the most disturbed person I have ever worked with. And I am sure he would say the same about me. He is now broke, no job, with no credit, living in his mothers house, driving his mothers car and has his wife working for him while he flirts with girls online. Being in a relationship with a narcissist is a no-win situation. You can’t win. Ever. Because there are no rules. And if there are rules, the rules are theirs, and they change constantly. The only consistent is inconsistency.


    • I read an interview with Mike Nichols many years ago where he discussed the side of celebrity which you describe. He said that a celebrity who has got caught up in their media image tends to lose sight of their talent (of why they became a celebrated individual) and live only to feed and create the image of themselves and get attention for it. Their need for attention for their image might start off with wanting it to be a good image but if they find that a bad image gets them more headlines, they will go with being bad. They will take any kind of attention, good or bad, as long as they can have lots of it focused on them. So, basically a Narcissist.

      Not all celebrities are Narcissists, but celebrity is one of their favourite habitats. And that world does encourage Narcissism, and feed it. I reckon it would be very difficult to not become a Narcissist in that world.

      So why do you think you were attracted to this relationship, and why did you put up with his behaviour for so long? Is it due to your experience with your mother? Your training?

      Feel free to ignore the personal questions. I ask those of myself a lot, which is why I asked it. And because you’re very wise and insightful. As much as I attract Narcissists, I also find myself being able to find one in a crowd, and I usually figure out I’ve found one after I’ve initiated the interaction. Oops!

      There is a way to win… it requires knowing what you know, and then using it to not engage in their games. Once you’re in their game, then no, there is no way to win because they set the ever changing rules.


      • I love what you said about winning…don’t engage in their game. And I did engage and I am now paying for it. I took a chance and lost. I’m over it and back to my great life. I have a lot of friends I love and spend time with. The celebrity has none. Not even himself. He tried to destroy all my relationships with my friends and family by telling them I was a child kidnapper and molester. All he wanted to do was destroy. Not just my life, but everyones life and relationships he knew. I was not special. All my friends and family wanted him out of my life and told me I was stupid for staying with him. The problem with my friends and family is they have never dealt with a true narcissist before. Neither had I so I did not know how to deal with him. After research I figured him out and got out.

        Your question is “Why was I attracted to this relationship?” Number one reason was I wanted to believe he was as successful as he stated. But he wasn’t. He lied. I though he had self-esteem and was secure. He was not. Everything he said he owned was his mothers. He is a con artist and manipulator. I had everything he thought he wanted (money, power and assets) and he was going to do everything he could to take them from me and leave me bleeding and broke so then he would be powerful, just like I was. But he did not realize my power did not come from my money, status or assets, it came from within myself. I was centered, stable and at peace with myself and the world.

        The reason I stayed in the relationship was because he is not stable. I could not just say “Bye” without repercussions. He also had a lot of my stuff that I loaned him and I wanted it back. He does not give back anything once it is in his possission without a fight. If I said I wanted all my stuff back, he would have probably gotten a moving van, loaded it up and sold it and then blamed me for hurting him and making him mad enough that he had no choice but to sell the stuff. I also found out there is a lot of blame and guilt in his family. Just like my parents. After I analyzed our relationship I realized his relationship with his wife was just like my parents relationship. My parents had a social face of perfection just like him and his wife. But when they came home it was chaos. Just like being in the relationship with this guy; chaos.

        In all of his nuttiness he once told me “You are the most real person I have ever met.” That is because I do not have a hidden agenda. I honestly just want to help people be successful. And so I get used by some people and hailed as a hero by others. It’s just life.

        This story is very complex, long, and hard to explain in just a couple of paragraphs. I have the entire relationship written in a log I made. I read it to a person one time and they said I had to make my story into a book. It’s pretty crazy.


        • Sounds like a wonderful example of the gift in the curse of having a relationship with a Narcissist. A good investment became a bad investment which became a good investment, and you can, should you choose to do so, turn it into a very profitable investment with high interest.

          Narcissistic Personality Disorder is trending, and by that I mean more and more people are interested in it and want to know more about it. Not just from a psychological perspective, as that is quite boring as it is lists of traits which really have no human flesh to them, but from a personal experience perspective, as that is interesting because that is life in living colour. And since society is still obsessed with the cult of celebrity, you have a powerful formula in your story. And it is your story, not his. What you do with it is up to you. You have all the power now in the relationship.


  2. I’m still struggling with whether the person I’m seeing is a Narcissist or just a jerk or just a divorcing guy who is all over the place. Truly I’m so confused – in a way I never have been before. I’m successful, smart, educated, attractive with a very full life – in most ways fit the profile of the person you say is a “magnet” for narcissists.

    I’ve been reading a lot about Narcissists…and some of it rings true, but other stuff really doesn’t. He’s not ever emotionally violent or aggressive (and certainly not physically). And he certainly isn’t trying to use me financially or to get ahead in his career – he’s very successful. His general persona is cool, calm & rational. He’s coming out of a long-term marriage with 2 kids. I met him when he was really just starting the process (hadn’t even moved out of the house yet – but I refused to date him until he was no longer living in the same house). So – I truly thought he was just “wounded” and hurting from breaking up his family (he says he’s the one that wants the divorce, of course there’s no way for me to know that for sure). Me, being the empathetic, care-giving, “solver” that I am and being completely won over by his charm, his pedigree, the way he seemed just PERFECT for me in so many ways (truly the ideal of what I’m looking for in a mate)….fell head over heels and wanted to “be there for him” as he worked through the process. Honestly, I tried to keep it very casual at first (telling myself that he’d need time to get over the marriage) and keep a distance (I’ve got those wonderful walls, barricades and trenches), but when he started laying it on so thick (I’ve never met anyone like you, I can’t believe I’ve met someone like you, you’re amazing, you’re awesome, you’re so sexy/smart/intelligent, I don’t see my life without you in it in some way) and telling me that I needed to open up to him, I needed to share….well, slowly but surely I started becoming more vulnerable and allowing myself to dream about a future with this guy. Then there was the yo-yo rollercoaster – one minute he’s contacting me & we’re seeing each other, the next he’s saying “I can’t feel like this, I can’t commit to you, I need to work things out and I’m not ready for anything so intense” but “I care for you, I’m possessive of you, I don’t want to think of you with anyone else, you’re mine, I know you love me”. He’s said things to me like “I know you love me, so why would you want to mess this up? Why won’t you just listen to me and do as I say?” “You just need to be patient, I’m telling you – you don’t want to mess up what we have”. And if I ever had an issue with something – if I voiced my needs or called attention to something that he had or hadn’t done that I was unhappy with – I got the “I can’t have you giving me grief. You are my support, you are my happy place amidst all the crap that I’m dealing with getting out of this marriage & with my kids – if there are problems here too then I can’t be here, I can’t deal with feeling like I’m disappointing you too.” And he would just not call me for days (that was during the whole relationship – he would just tune out for days – I wouldn’t hear from him – that was always my punishment).

    Then he broke up with me ON A TEXT MESSAGE (this was about 9 mos in)…saying that he needed space to deal with things on his own and that he didn’t want to see me hurt in the process. However, we kept running in to each other (even in an airport across the world randomly)…and the communication would start/stop – every couple of weeks, a text or a phone call “I need you in my life, I miss you, I wish you had just listened to me – I just needed you to listen & be patient & do what I said”. Now…11 mos later, he IS actually divorced (I had my doubts that it was really happening) and he says he wants to just date casually (no sex – though I think he just means intercourse because we have been intimate in other ways and he doesn’t seem concerned about that!) and see if we can get to know each other again without all the drama of him going through a divorce. He says he just wants to “date” – go on dates – movies, dinner, etc and not get so caught up emotionally. But literally HOURS before saying this…he was telling me ” don’t you know that I loved you? didn’t you realize that I loved you? and you messed it up by not listening and giving me my space and by me seeing you with another guy (which is NOT true – a guy friend grabbed me in a bar and even though I pushed him away quickly, my ex said that I didn’t seem that bothered by it and that I seemed as if I wanted him to see it so that he could be jealous)…seeing that guy touch you made me feel just awful…..don’t you know that I loved you though & it hurt me to also to break up with you and for us to not be together?”. And while holding me and kissing me “isn’t this better than 3 weeks ago when you thought you were never seeing me again? I just want you to take care of me, cook me dinner and cuddle on the couch, travel with me. I want you in my life, I want us to be like we were before”. And so I said – it can’t just be about you – I have needs too and what about my needs? what about feeling treasured and respected…and he said “don’t you feel like I was doing that? don’t you know that I would take care of you? I care for you – you mean so much to me.” I really am just CONFUSED!!! He comes off on one hand as this guy that has it all together – high level career, good-looking, communicative…but I can’t tell if he just knows the right things to say (and then he obviously says some really WRONG things – all the stuff about just listening to him & doing what he says)…if he’s been well-trained during therapy with the ex and with HR for managers and so it enables him to not seem as Narcissistic as he really is (to put on a good show)? Or if he’s just a jerk who’s selfish & controlling. Either way, I know that I have to be protective of MY needs and my own self-respect…but it has been SO challenging for me to write him out of my life. And because I do feel such a connection to him…I don’t want to just give up on it – I want to be strong enough to stand up to him and see if he truly needs me more than I need him & if I can make this work.

    You seem to have such a good handle on narcissists and how to identify/handle them…what am I dealing with here????


    • Here’s the thing, whether he is a Narcissist or not, I don’t know, I don’t know him, I only know what you’ve told me about him. AND one of the things which you have told me about him is that you think he may be a Narcissist. The important part is the fact that you suspect he might be a Narcissist. Once you suspect something about someone, that suspicion will always be there. You will always wonder. Even if you brush the suspicion away, hide it under a rug, it’s still there you just can’t see it.

      So, what you need to understand is why you have this suspicion and what you are trying to tell yourself with it. Not about him, but about you.

      Take a moment to pause and breathe and think. Not think just with your head, but with your whole body and everything in it. Now, ask yourself this question – Why do I think he is or might be a Narcissist? Now wait. Don’t answer it with your mind. You’ve been reading up on Narcissists so you have facts and traits and lists in your head. Forget those for a minute. Something is setting off alarm bells inside of you. What is that something?

      Something within you, a feeling, an intuition, an instinct, something which you’ve noticed subconsciously is nagging at you. Because you are intelligent, you are hampered by intellectualising what you are feeling and experiencing. You need to take it out of the realm of intellect and into the realm of feeling and being. Reason and logic are obscuring things rather than clarifying them.

      I’m going to say something now which may verbally strike you. I don’t think you love him. I think you think you love him. I think you fell madly in love and now you’ve fallen out of love, but you’re trying to convince yourself you’re still in love. Because love is wonderful and euphoric and addictive. And because you feel an obligation to live up to the contract of love you made with him. If you admit you don’t love him, that might make you feel bad about yourself. Like you lied to him in some way and gave him the wrong impression. But you didn’t. You were in love and now you are not, you’re just going through the motions. Mimicking love.

      You’re intellectualising the relationship, analysing it, and giving yourself reasons to stay in it, when the overall feeling I get is that you’re looking for an excuse to get out of it. That’s why you’re confused. He’s not confusing you, you are confusing yourself because you’re not being totally open with yourself about what you really want now, based on what you wanted then.

      I could be completely wrong. I’m just offering you another way of looking at things. Your feelings, your reaction to my words, they’ll tell you everything you need to know, if you listen to yourself. You know.

      I’ve only ever fallen in love once. There was no confusion. No intellectual anything about it. I knew I was in love and acted upon it. But maybe that’s just my experience of love.

      I have however spent many hours upon hours trying to convince myself that I was in love with people whom I did not love. That was full of confusion, and the feeling was intellectual. I felt duty bound to love them. That was unfair to myself and to them.

      Is this man really the love of your life or do you just wish he was but know he isn’t? I think your needs may be telling you that they don’t need what he is offering. And from what you have said that he has said, he may know that this is true. I think you both met when you needed to meet, and both played an important part in each others lives, and I think you both feel somehow that it is over, but you are afraid of letting go because it was a wonderful union. There’s just something in your words which hints at a bird wanting to free itself from a gilded cage.


      • Thank you for this. I don’t know why I’m just seeing it – it never popped up for me before as a reply. You raise very interesting points. You’re right – once you perceive something, it’s very hard to forget about it entirely – even if you have no factual basis. It will be there niggling in the back of your mind. I think the bigger issue truly is a lack of trust – because he lied (by omission) to me originally about being married and then even after coming clean on that (we were not dating, just friends) and telling me that he WAS divorcing, he still made it seem as if he was further in the process than he was. I hope that if I had known how much work he really needed to do that I would have backed off and let him DO that and then come find me when he was done. But who knows – shoulda, woulda, coulda – I’m trying to live more in the present rather than the past or the future. For some reason a VERY difficult thing for me!

        I don’t know the answer right now – I’m sure I’m over-analyzing and over-intellectualizing the relationship. I don’t know if I’m in love with the IDEA of him & what he represents or if I’m really in love. In reality, the relationship was NOT a wonderful union. It was an emotional rollercoaster and certainly was not about me and my needs. I know that I have strong feelings for him – I feel connected in some deep, inner way that I’ve not felt before. Three separate people – an astrologist/intuitive; an intuitive/life coach and another intuitive/astrologer have all told me that it’s because we’re connected across lifetimes. That in other lifetimes we’ve been lovers, husband/wife, mother/child, brother/sister – there is a deep bond. But that in some of those other lifetimes he was more fully realized and in this lifetime he has gone down a selfish/controlling path. And so my soul recognizes what he COULD be…but in this lifetime that is not who he is. So – yes, I think there could be some truth to the idea that we came in to each other’s life for a purpose. To move each of us to some other understanding or place within our journey. My challenge is accepting that & letting him and the relationship go. I think I’m a packrat in more ways than one (smile).

        We’ve recently started “dating” – starting fresh. He feels like he was in such a different headspace ending a 17 year marriage and that he doesn’t want to give me up from his life without trying now that he’s actually divorced. He’s committed to calling and asking me out, going on more simple dates and actually learning more about each other in a slow way. My worry is that I’m still just a crutch for him – someone that takes care of him emotionally and fills the void. I think the only way to avoid that trap is to speak my mind & focus on my needs and wants within the relationship as well so that I don’t get overpowered. It’s simply not a natural state for me – but I’m working on it.


        • Just read your post, and thank you for the mention 😀 , it’s very good, you have a lovely writing style, very personable, and you show a great talent for self awareness and sharing it.

          You are also very aware of others, which is where you can end up talking yourself out of doing what you need to do for yourself and talking yourself into doing what the other person needs from you.

          All strengths come with weaknesses to balance them. By working with the weakness the strength gets stronger. They work together, and are one and the same.

          You’re spot on and you need to make sure you know and acknowledge how spot on you are. Self trust builds and strengthens as you say yes to yourself more and more, which often means saying no to others when their needs mean that you have to put your needs aside. If saying yes to them means saying no to yourself… well maybe they need a no and you need a yes. They are responsible for their own needs, and you are responsible for yours. Beware of people seeking someone to be responsible for their needs, they’re not looking for an equal partner, they’re looking for the parent they never had.

          All relationships require a bit of compromise, a give and take, your needs and the needs of the other need to be met, sharing that responsibility is part of the joy of a relationship, their strengths help your weaknesses become stronger and vice versa, it’s a delicate dance, but compromise is not a sacrifice, if it feels that way, then you are giving more than you are getting and there is an imbalance of power. You’re aware of this, aware of how you deal with it, in the past, and now. And I think you’re idea of starting afresh is a good one.

          This relationship has meant a lot to you, and still means a lot to you. So, giving it another chance to blossom and grow, and see where it goes is good. Keeping in mind everything that has passed, but not letting that overshadow what comes but not letting it be forgotten either. Aware, yet open. You need to do this for yourself and as long as you do it because you need to do it you are being true to yourself. If you decide it is no longer for you, then your needs will shift and so you can shift with them. Don’t stay in the relationship only for him, that’s not good for him and it is not good for you. Put yourself first, because your first relationship will always be the one you have with yourself and that affects your relationships with others.

          It’s a pity you can’t get to know his ex-wife, that might give you information which would answer some of your questions about him, but that kind of interaction is rare. Women especially don’t tend to do that, the ex making friends with the new love is rare because of the competition factor women seem to have. Men sometimes use that to their advantage.

          As for past lives… memories are past lives too. There is a great song – The Mess Inside by The Mountain Goats – where this guy wishes his lover loved him the way they used to when they were first in love, but instead the relationship has changed them and the way they love each other and he doesn’t realise that his love for her has changed as much as her love for him, and that the very fact that he wishes that she loved him the way she used to shows that he doesn’t love her the way he used to. It’s very clever and insightful. So whether the past life bond spans many past lives or just past selves we have been in this one life, the result is the same, we are only ever truly living our life here and now… but the past obscures the here and now like a fine mist and sometimes a thick fog.

          This relationship has changed you, it’s deepened the relationship you have with yourself, and enriched it. Everything you say about yourself shows someone who is aware of what they want, knows they should stand up for it, and is hesitant, because changes always do that to us, but you know it’s right to do what you need to do for yourself. You trust yourself, you just want to prove that to yourself and see it in motion.


  3. So thankful that I got the chance to discover your blog. Every word you write rings true and I think you do exactly what I strive to do for myself all the time–reflecting on experiences and picking out the positive. Except you share these reflections for others to takeaway from it as well, which is admiringly selfless of you. So I just have to say, thank you.

    I ended up being attracted to this guy on campus and he ended up being interested in me too so we pursued dating for a while. As a backstory his dating history is short, he’s only ever had one 3 month long relationship and that it was a “social experiment” for himself to see if he was even capable of “feeling” (red flag). But I think I was just too giving because it just was the way I was (because every relationship I had was a long term one so I thought I knew what I was doing) and I almost let this guy start to walk all over me. I am confident enough to say that I am a very logical person and I believe I do have a high sense of intuition. So every week it was me realizing something was wrong, stopping, and trying to talk to him about it. But for some odd frustrating reason whenever I was with him or around him I felt this weird intimidation and I just couldn’t be myself around him. This lead to me enabling him to take from me whatever he wanted emotionally and also say very indirectly disrespectful things to me. But I was just so intimidated at the time that I couldn’t talk back. I thought it was because I was a slow processor and needed time to think about the situation before I was able to come up with something to say. And every time, after every “fight” I would realize that every point that I brought up that he shot down were valid, but because of my insecurities I was not able to back them up. I guess I felt this intimidation because he seemed like he was more confident and he sounded right…at the time. But all my friends AND I know that I’m a very logical person so it made no sense to me whatsoever to see myself feeling this way.

    But it made me open my eyes and realize that I was having self-esteem issues and being with and around him was just revealing how much of an issue it was for me. So now it’s something that I’ve been happily working on.

    So we decided to end the dating and just be friends. He basically did say that I didn’t exactly “teach” him or help him grow him much but he sees that he helped me (which is very true) and he’s happy about it. But the reason why we decided to stay friends was because I feel like we have this weird bond because he says I know things about him that he’s never told other people and I want to believe that. He opened up to me in ways that I didn’t imagine him to. For example, HE initially told me that he can be manipulative if he wants to be and knows how to read people and acts accordingly. Just things like that, the fact he shared the way he actually functions are what seems to me as what his “real” side might be. So I feel I’m on some kind of “realer” level with him. He told me one of the things he liked about me was that I was smart. I think he meant my intuition. But just the stuff he says and the things he did (trying to subtly manipulate me for small things) just all started to become really annoying because it would happen and I wouldn’t realize it until later. Sometimes I would bring it up but I don’t want to keep doing that because I feel like that’ll make me seem just paranoid all the time and I could be wrong. I don’t know why he wants to manipulate me, I sense it’s because he still doesn’t trust me. But his openness during our dating phase and just the overall way I see him treat other people and me I concluded that he’s a definite Narcissist. I read your post about being a Narcissist “magnet” and I am definitely one. That’s why it’s even more important that I try to make myself Narcissist-proof while working on myself. Here’s my dilemma–I don’t know why but I just really want to help him somehow. I want him to trust me. I can’t bring myself to just walk away just because he’s “poisonous”. I know he is…but I feel like the reason I came to know that is because he revealed himself to me. I could be that someone that he can be “real” with and reflect on himself. I’m not saying I’m going to change him, I know I can’t, the only person that can “fix” him is himself. But I’m willing to be a friend and support him and if it comes down to it set myself as an example. I thought I could do this by gently stopping his efforts to control me and my life and by sending the message that I’m more than willing to connect with him as a friend and invite him into a version of intimacy where he can be loved and admired, warts and all if he only allowed the experience to happen. I don’t know, does this sound crazy? Should I just walk away? I don’t see where I can really “lose”, if I just keep the right mindset. But is it possible?

    I guess there are other factors that I didn’t include, like where he is in life right now. Is there ever a right time? Shouldn’t narcissism be stopped before it just keeps developing itself?


    • Thank You 😀

      It is possible to have a relationship with a Narcissist which isn’t unhealthy for you. The relationship, like you pointed out, may also be beneficial to you because it will show you a lot about yourself and how you relate to others. However you do have to be aware in the way which you mentioned, by having the right mindset.

      Narcissists are stuck in a pattern of behaviour which they consistently repeat. If you observe them for long enough you will know exactly what they will do in any given situation. They never change, they can’t, they don’t know how, although they are often obsessed with the idea of changing, but their version of changing themselves is different from that of someone who isn’t a Narcissist. They change the people around them, and that makes them believe that they have changed. They try to change who others are to suit them. If that doesn’t work, they get rid of those people and get new ones. That is why he manipulates you.

      Narcissists don’t know how to not manipulate others. In some ways being manipulative is like breathing for them. It is not always deliberate because it is not always conscious, although they do know that they do it, they don’t always know how much they do it.

      Narcissists never trust anyone. They can’t. Because they don’t trust themselves. They think everyone is like them, wearing a mask to hide what is underneath. Playing pretend. They know that a lot of what they say is a lie, so they assume that a lot of what others say is a lie too. They don’t really know what ‘real’ and ‘being real’ is. It’s connected to the wound which turned them into a Narcissist.

      One thing stood out very sharply in your words – “He basically did say that I didn’t exactly “teach” him or help him grow him much but he sees that he helped me (which is very true) and he’s happy about it.” – all the relationships we have change us, teach us things, and create growth, even the briefest encounter can do that. He’s either lying to you about the effect you had on him to protect his pride or if he believes it to be true, then it shows that he is unable to form intimate connections with other people. It is also a statement which shows a superiority complex which is a hallmark of Narcissists. They think and need to believe that they are better than others, that they are special and extraordinary. That they are important to you, and are blessing you with their presence in your life. The superiority complex is what made you feel intimidated, that is one of the things it is designed to do, to keep you at a distance, beneath him and make him feel bigger than you.

      Feeling as though you are being illogical around someone who is a Narcissist is normal, especially for those who have logical minds. They use contradictions to confuse people. Creating confusion in others is one of their manipulation tools. If you’re confused, you can’t think straight, if you can’t think straight you can’t see what they are up to and who they are. It’s a smoke screen.

      From what you said, he seems to think that ‘reading’ people and being able to manipulate them is a special skill he has. Everyone can ‘read’ other people and everyone can ‘act accordingly’ and manipulate others. They are basic human interactive skills. They are survival skills. You actually ‘read’ him better than he ‘reads’ you, you know him better than he knows you, and you are ‘acting accordingly’, using what you ‘read’ to stop him from manipulating you. You are more in control of the relationship you have with him than he is. He needs you more than you need him. He knows that which is why he has given you the impression that you can ‘help’ him somehow. He will always need ‘helping’ as long as it keeps you with him.

      To answer your question about whether to stay in the relationship or move on… the answer is in your own words. You know what you want to do, you’re just not sure if what you want is what you should want and do. You’re doubting yourself even though you know that you are right.

      Narcissists do not experience doubt the way non-Narcissists do, but they do know how to make others doubt themselves. It’s how they keep people in relationships.

      I have a few questions for you – You seem to be giving him a lot. You have received some gifts from the relationship, but they are gifts you found in it for yourself, not ones which he gave you. You’ve described how you are a friend to him, but how exactly is he a friend to you? Does he support you? Does he help you? Does he make you feel loved and admired, accept you, warts and all? Does he make any effort or are you the one who makes all the effort and he just lets you do all the work in the relationship? Do you feel as though you are serving him, and he allows you to serve him (but the service is never good enough)? Does the relationship feel more like a heroic quest where you are the hero trying to save a person in distress, but you can never quite reach them?


      • Thank you so much for your reply!

        Is that the way I have to think about it? Just think about it as that it’s going to be beneficial to me, and also be firm about my decisions and not let him sway me? I know I have to keep the right mindset but I guess I haven’t figured out just what kind of mindset yet hahah.

        Wow…so if I don’t end up doing what he says, if I keep myself from being manipulated he’s going to just find a way to throw me away? That sounds a little hurtful to be honest but I guess we’re talking about Narcissists here…

        Is there any way I can teach him about loving himself? Isn’t that what all Narcissists need, learning how to love themselves and accept themselves for who they are? Can I get him to follow the same journey I’m going through myself right now? After I found out about my self-esteem, and reading about it and just trying to become a better person I felt so good about myself that I wanted all my other friends to feel this way too because some of them just weren’t. I help them to realize self-love because I want them to feel good about themselves too. So naturally, I want to help this particular friend to be able to find love in himself as well. But is this impossible?

        So even if I were to show that I don’t hide behind a mask, and he’ll be able to see that, wouldn’t he feel more comfortable about it?

        Yeah. I debated whether or not I should have wrote that because to be honest it made me feel shameful to. I felt like I failed as a person because I don’t know if you can tell by now but I love helping people be better and grow. Maybe that’s why I still want to help him as a friend, I can’t bring myself to give into the fact that he said that, whether or not if it was the truth or a lie. Maybe I didn’t but that’s why I want to try until I did. After I realized he was a Narcissist I made that his excuse…I probably tried but again was too intimidated by him and wasn’t able to be myself. And on top of that is his Narcissism. Unable to form intimate connections…I’m not going to lie this is probably the answer. Which makes me so sad, I can see all the great qualities he really has and I want to form that connection with him because I guess that’s the kind of person I am. Yes, he definitely has a superiority complex…I wonder, if there’s a way to combat something like that. Or is it all in the mindset?

        So you say Narcissists need you more than you need them, but at the same time they can just throw you away? When do they end up wanting to throw you away?

        Yes, I do know what I want to do, I guess I’m scared if it’s worth it or not. Because I’ll be constantly having to think that all he’s doing is just using me…I know that I am someone that can potentially be walked all over so I try not to be in those situations. For example, I’m a pretty gullible person, and I’m not a fan because people use that to joke around with me sometimes. It’s one of the things I want to accept about myself but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Hahah

        Him to me? Yes, I can honestly say that he has helped me. We both are the same major and when we started dating he rekindled my love for my major again because he is so passionate about it. He is in love with his major. He’s really good at what he’s doing and is always wanting to help other people in our major. That’s a genuine quality that I can tell he has, he does always want to help people in our major. He did tell me one time though that helping people helps himself come up with ideas that he can use himself, so I guess that’s where the Narcissism comes in. 😛 and probably in other ways too. And he supports me too (I think) especially when it comes to our major. He helps me with homework when I want it but again, I have that self-efficiency quality that you mentioned in your blog post–I’m that kind of person that no matter how much I know he’s willing to help I’m always trying not to burden him by asking for too much help even though I want or need it sometimes. But I might not even worry too much about that anymore, I think I’ll ask him for help when I need it. He’s going to use me, so why not use him for myself? Hahah but that’s not the mindset I want to have, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

        You know, I’m wondering if I want to teach him self-love or help him, if I should use his brother as an example. He has an older brother who according to him has even more problems (now I highly suspect with Narcissism). But the older brother (who is also in our major) is one of the best right now at our school and my friend looks up to him so much because he’s so good at what he does. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say his goal in life is to be better than him. He had confided in me that he has always lived in his brother’s shadow and hates it…at the same time embraces it. But my friend has told me that he knows they’re exactly the same when it comes to thinking and processing, but wants to be different as a person from his cold-hearted brother. At this rate, he can think what he wants about being trying to be different but to me it seems like he’s going in the same direction, just with a different personality. I don’t know…it might be a strategy I might use.

        But thank you so much for answering my questions, especially so throughly…I have to ask if you don’t mind, are you a Narcissist yourself? I’ve read only a few of your blog posts so far but I read that your parents are. And how in the world do two Narcissists function with each other?


        • I think it’s wonderful that you feel good about yourself and are sharing that with your friends, helping them to feel good about themselves, it’s a noble cause, and there is no reason not to share it with the Narcissist in your life too. As long as what you are sharing is what you want to share, and you are being yourself and expressing who you are and what you love. He shares his love for his major with you, and you should definitely ask for his help with your major when you need it. A friendship should flow both ways, so let him help you. Let him give too.

          Be yourself and you’ll be fine. You don’t need strategies other than just being yourself. The only thing you need worry about is censoring yourself and changing who you are to suit the Narcissist. Remember that he is a Narcissist, and so the friendship will be different because of it. Don’t take his behaviour personally, it’s just a Narcissist being a Narcissist. He does not sound like he is a malignant Narcissist, and he may be genuinely trying to be a good person. Many Narcissists do try to be good people. The disorder just causes a lot of what they do when they’re trying to be good to end up being harmful to others.

          The mindset to have when dealing with a Narcissist is to accept them exactly as they are and don’t expect them to ever change. They are stuck in a repetitive pattern of being and behaving, and they like it even when they complain about it. You can’t cure Narcissist Personality Disorder in another person. Even with huge amounts of love. There is not enough love in this world to cure NPD. Many people who have relationships with Narcissists get sucked into the heroic quest of saving the Narcissist from all the dragons in their life, including the deep inner wound which caused their NPD. You can’t save him, or heal his wound, only he can do that and he probably won’t do it because the cure is too painful, more painful than living with the pain of the wound.

          You obviously enjoy being friends with him, and there is no reason to stop being friends with him unless it is hurting you. But you have to accept him as he is. Enjoy the relationship as it is.

          You haven’t failed, on the contrary, you have succeeded in seeing what a beautiful soul you are with a generous heart and spirit. Just be yourself, you being yourself is what he likes about you. He chose you as a friend because of the light inside of you shining out and illuminating the world around you. Your embracing your own beauty and letting it shine brightly is all you need to do to help others. Accepting yourself as you are, helps others accept themselves too.

          Accept him as he is, and stop trying to make him feel what you want him to feel, understand what you want him to understand, and be who you want him to be. I know you think it would help him, but what really helps him is just being around you being as you are. Don’t change yourself for him, and don’t try and change him for you.

          If you can accept him just as he is, Narcissistic warts and all, then you can have a healthy and beneficial relationship with him. If you try to cure his NPD, the relationship will become unhealthy and harmful for you.

          To answer your question about me – No, I’m not a Narcissist, but because both my parents were, I absorbed a lot of the behaviour, the attitudes, as children do, however I did not develop the disorder. I also witnessed it from behind the scenes, behind the masks, and I experienced the best and the worst of it on a constant basis throughout my life. What I witnessed and experienced inspired an aversion to being that way.

          As to how two Narcissists function with each other – It’s not pretty. It’s a bit like a cult which has two egomaniacal cult leaders fighting for power and for the leadership of the cult.

          Thank you for reading my posts, and for sharing your story with me. I saw that you created a blog, I hope you’re going to use it to share your beautiful spirit with others, you have a lot to give, just be careful you don’t give too much and forget to receive too 😀 Shine brightly, and enjoy your own sunshine!


          • Thank you for your kind words! Yes, that makes sense. 🙂

            It’s hard but yes, I suppose I must just be myself. 🙂 So difficult to hear, that I can’t do anything about it, but I do believe he does try to be a good person. I actually was talking to him this week and it sounds as if there was a person in his life that he actually let in and trusts completely…he speaks so highly of him! I just wonder how that happened.

            But thank you, you’re right!! It makes me happy then that there’s hope 🙂

            Wow, it must have been hard…but honestly you’re amazing for being able to take all that and flip it to make it work for you. Definitely admirable!

            Haha, that’s an interesting way to look at it…but yet they were still attracted to each other at one point. Do you happen to know why or how? Totally personal I know, but it’s puzzling. Probably because I don’t know everything haha! It’s okay with me if you don’t want to share! I understand. 🙂

            I did, but I’m not much of a blogger! But yes, maybe one day I’ll be inspired to write a little something. Thank YOU for being so awesomely genuine.


            • Thank you 😀

              Narcissists are often powerfully drawn to other Narcissists. In many ways it is the ideal relationship for them. Two immortals joining forces.

              A blog doesn’t just have to be about writing, consider it a canvas on which to paint your passion, a scrapbook to keep all your interests, a place to inspire others, but also yourself, where you collect things which you love, like images and quotes and all sorts. You might enjoy tumblr.

              Enjoy your friendships and remember, your friends love you because you are you, no one else can be you, be yourself, discover and explore yourself, and just keep shining exactly as you already do!


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