An important question to ask, is: why are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

What is the cost and benefit that you are receiving? What early experience with mom or dad makes this kind of relationship comfortable and familiar and, therefore, do-able? What makes you believe that you are not entitled to your feelings, and therefore, makes you willing to sacrifice those feelings?

The most important person to be in a relationship with is yourself.

Ask yourself these questions: Who are you? Who do you want to be? Where are you going? What do you really want out of life?

By maintaining a relationship with a narcissist, you are discounting your very nature, the you that you were meant to be. Your sense of self becomes bruised, and though you are completely aware that you do not count to the narcissist, you still cannot let go, disengage, or untangle yourself from this relationship. That is because it feels so right, as it feeds into your early childhood patterns that you are now projecting out, into your adult life.

So what can you do about it?

First, and foremost, you should journal, writing down the pluses and minuses of your relationship with your narcissist friend. Then, step back and objectively view yourself – the good, the bad, and the ugly – writing down those things that you respect and like about yourself, as well as, those you don’t. Write about your interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes, including choices that you would like to make for your future, whatever that may be. Then, create boundaries that honor and value the real you.

Finally, consider all of the time and energy that you evoke in pleasing someone else, by making your narcissistic friend happy, and make the conscious choice to use that energy, towards making yourself happy.

Consider that the person you are constantly trying to please, can never and will never, be happy. And, that no matter how much you invest in your relationship, it will always be about her and never about you.

The competitive yet insecure side of narcissists

In addition, if you are happy about some event or experience in your life, your narcissistic buddy will neither be supportive, nor be happy for you. There’s only so much love and attention to go around and the narcissist competes heavily.

If you buy a gift for yourself, a dress, a coat, a car, a house, she feels that you are taking something away from her. And, by chance, if you make plans with others, independent of your time with her, your narcissist friend will feel both excluded and jealous, of the time you spend away from her. It is as if, by getting something for yourself, you are taking something away from her.

Thus, though the narcissist may appear at times, to be self-involved, confident, and exceptionally secure, she usually has a fragile central core. Additionally, your narcissistic friend uses you, to fill up or feed her narcissistic holes or injuries, which is why, deep down in the center of narcissism, is sociopathy.

So, even though your narcissist friend appears to have great self-esteem, she doesn’t. And, even though she seems, to you and the outside world, as confident and competent, her wants and needs are actually being supported by her social network…at all costs. And, for this to occur, the narcissist must have the approval of others, to satisfy her insatiable need to fill up her narcissistic holes and injuries.

Now, you can see, that your narcissistic friend must gather her feelings of self-worth, by taking them away from you and others. This is in direct contrast to the way, in which a healthy person interacts in relationships, modulating throughout the day, between moments of success and alienation. Whereas, the narcissist must constantly generate feelings, of well-being and self-worth, from those in her milieu.

An unhappy, unequal relationship

You will never have a happy relationship with a narcissistic friend. She will never see you, meet any of your needs, or be there in a crises.

Not only that, but there is no confluence, or mutually established rules, to your friendship. Though she resents being excluded from any social outing with you, including a movie, a show, a lunch or a dinner, she can easily exclude you, without conscience, even with your knowledge. In fact, she has her eye on you, which is why, she takes everything you do personally.

Furthermore, a true narcissist has a very low threshold for empathy and, therefore, love. Hence, when in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s important to get real, and not hang your hat on the high moments – when she can be seductive, charming, adorable, entertaining and even loving. But rather, to recognize the person she really is, who is indifferent to your feelings and will always be.

Because she is competitive with you, your narcissistic friend does not want to see you succeed, as she believes your success, impacts hers, and that makes her feel unsettled and off-balance. For after all, for the narcissist, there is only room at the top, for one.

All healthy relationships are based on mutuality, therefore, a friendship with a narcissist is not a relationship. A relationship with a narcissist is like holding hands: if you let go, she’ll be gone.

Moreover, to maintain a friendship with a narcissist, requires you to focus all of your attention on her, by meeting her needs and dancing for her approval. Therefore, finding your authentic self and living the life you are meant to live, is counter-intuitive to a friendship with a narcissist.

When you interact with a narcissist, boundaries are everything. This is because, it is essential to protect the integrity of your own personality. This requires you to acknowledge, recognize and integrate your own feelings and sense of self, first and foremost. This is how you take back your power and find the you, you are meant to be…your destiny.


  • Dr. Gail Gross

    Author and Parenting, Relationships, and Human Behavior Expert

    Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed., a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and member of APA Division 39, is a nationally recognized family, child development, and human behavior expert, author, and educator. Her positive and integrative approach to difficult issues helps families navigate today’s complex problems. Dr. Gross is frequently called upon by national and regional media to offer her insight on topics involving family relationships, education, behavior, and development issues. A dependable authority, Dr. Gross has contributed to broadcast, print and online media including CNN, the Today Show, CNBC's The Doctors, Hollywood Reporter, FOX radio, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Times of India, People magazine, Parents magazine, Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine, USA Today, Univision, ABC, CBS, and KHOU's Great Day Houston Show. She is a veteran radio talk show host as well as the host of the nationally syndicated PBS program, “Let’s Talk.” Also, Dr. Gross has written a semi-weekly blog for The Huffington Post and has blogged at since 2013. Recently, Houston Women's Magazine named her One of Houston's Most Influential Women of 2016. Dr. Gross is a longtime leader in finding solutions to the nation’s toughest education challenges. She co-founded the first-of-its kind Cuney Home School with her husband Jenard, in partnership with Texas Southern University. The school serves as a national model for improving the academic performance of students from housing projects by engaging the parents. Dr. Gross also has a public school elementary and secondary campus in Texas that has been named for her. Additionally, she recently completed leading a landmark, year-long study in the Houston Independent School District to examine how stress-reduction affects academics, attendance, and bullying in elementary school students, and a second study on stress and its effects on learning. Such work has earned her accolades from distinguished leaders such as the Dalai Lama, who presented her with the first Spirit of Freedom award in 1998. More recently, she was honored in 2013 with the Jung Institute award. She also received the Good Heart Humanitarian Award from Jewish Women International, Perth Amboy High School Hall of Fame Award, the Great Texan of the Year Award, the Houston Best Dressed Hall of Fame Award, Trailblazer Award, Get Real New York City Convention's 2014 Blogging Award, and Woman of Influence Award. Dr. Gross’ book, The Only Way Out Is Through, is available on Amazon now and offers strategies for life’s transitions including coping with loss, drawing from dealing with the death of her own daughter. Her next book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, is also available on Amazon now and teaches parents how to enhance their child’s learning potential by understanding and recognizing their various development stages. And her first research book was published by Random House in 1987 on health and skin care titled Beautiful Skin. Dr. Gross has created 8 audio tapes on relaxation and stress reduction that can be purchased on Most recently, Dr. Gross’s book, The Only Way Out is Through, was named a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Silver Medal finalist in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the categories of Death & Dying as well as Grief. Her latest book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, was the National Parenting Product Awards winner in 2019, the Nautilus Book Awards winner in 2019, ranked the No. 1 Best New Parenting Book in 2019 and listed among the Top 10 Parenting Books to Read in 2020 by BookAuthority, as well as the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Gold Medal winner in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the category of How-To. Dr. Gross received a BS in Education and an Ed.D. (Doctorate of Education) with a specialty in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. She earned her Master’s degree in Secondary Education with a focus on Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dr. Gross received her second PhD in Psychology, with a concentration in Jungian studies. Dr. Gross was the recipient of Kappa Delta Pi An International Honor Society in Education. Dr. Gross was elected member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta.