This applies to male narcissists, too, as well as Borderlines, Histrionics and Sociopaths of both genders. This is undoubtedly no surprise to many of you reading this. I just didn’t want anyone to feel excluded. You know how touchy they get about these kinds of things.
Oftentimes at the end of a relationship with this kind of individual, after she or he has emotionally, psychologically or physically bludgeoned you in spectacular fashion, they’ll tell you with a straight face and all sincerity that they would like to stay friends.
Friends. Do I really need to say it?
With friends like that you don’t need enemies.
Narcissists (and other Unidentified Flying Crazies) are incapable of being your friend. Heck, they’re typically their own worst enemy in addition to being your worst enemy. They are remorseless emotional vampires, predators, conmen and conwomen, liars, cheats and, generally speaking, scumbags.
Don’t fall for her or his tales of victimhood. Even if some of their victim stories are true. It explains their behaviors it doesn’t excuse them. Plus, when a Narcissist or a Borderline is caterwauling about how they’re being “victimized” it probably just means someone or something is holding them accountable for his or her douchey behavior.
Don’t believe the crocodile tears as she attempts to feign remorse either. (*Some of them do manage to squeeze out a few saline secretions when all else fails). As Rhett Butler said to Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, “You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.” Narcissists, Borderlines, Histrionics, Sociopaths and Psychopaths are sorry when they experience consequences for their hurtful behavior, they’re not sorry they hurt you. There’s a difference. Actually, it’s more like a hybrid of outrage, shock, self-pity and rage rather than true regret or remorse.
Given all of the above and much, much more (please see entire Shrink4Men website, forum and original blog), how can you possibly believe one of these individuals when she or he tells you they want to be your friend or some variation on that?
Whatever you think the Narcissist or Borderline might mean is not what they mean. It doesn’t mean he or she still cares about you or has some new found emotional maturity and integrity. No, no, no.
What Crazy means by “friends” is that she or he wants you to agree to let them reserve the right to feed off of you (a narcissistic supply source) in the future. Right now, she or he has places to go and fresh supply to feed upon, but somewhere down the road, at her or his convenience and leisure, they might want to double, triple or quadruple dip back into your supply.
Think about it. She or he already knows you and your hopes and fears (i.e., how to manipulate you), which makes you excellent back-up supply should they want attention or to triangulate you with their most recent target or exploit you in some way — financially, business-wise, networking, childcare and so on and so forth. It’s less work to exploit you rather than seek out and groom fresh supply. Plus there’s the added bonus of duping delight!
What a Narcissist, Borderline, Sociopath or other High-Conflict Personality means when she or he wants to be friends or is trying to Hoover you back into a relationship is that they think you’re that gullible, stupid or desperate to be with them that you’ll allow them to use and abuse you again and again.
One gentlemen on the Shrink4Men Forum received an email from his ex-Crazy with the subject line, “Friends?” No text in the email, just a one-word query in the subject header. For those of you who might be thinking, “What’s wrong with that? Maybe she feels bad about how they parted ways, maybe she really does want to be friends” you are wrong. Dead wrong.
This is a highly streamlined and efficient fishing expedition — designed by German engineers efficient and streamlined. It’s the BMW of bait. And that’s what it is. It’s chum in the water, so don’t be a chump and bite on it.
It’s vague enough for the interpretation to mean anything — maybe she wants to get back together, maybe she wants to be friends, maybe she’s just seeing if you’re still mad at her or if you’ll still take the bait. Whatever you think it means doesn’t matter. If you respond, she can tell you that’s not what she meant and feel superior to you. It also has plausible deniability with a dollop of “If he doesn’t reply I can tell all my friends and family what an unforgiving, immature, hateful jerk he is.”
Twisted, but cunning.
Don’t be fooled, flattered, hopeful or touched by your abuser’s feeble and lame offer to be friends or to do you some favor. And just stop for a moment and think about that! Why would you even consider being friends with someone you believe abused you horribly, blames you for it and has very little chance of ever changing? It’s like inviting an unrepentant arsonist into your home after rebuilding from the last fire they set and handing them a book of matches and a can of gasoline. They’ll just burn your house down again.
This person is not your friend, never was your friend and is not capable of being a friend. Ever. Therefore, don’t expend time and energy wondering what she or he means when they call, email or text about being friends, meeting to have closure, etc. Ignore their entreaties. Whatever it is they want it isn’t in your best interests. You’ll be much better off spending your time and energy with people who are actually capable of being friends.
Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.
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Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides confidential, fee-for-service, counseling, consultation and coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.