For every one narcissist you find in your life, there are dozens more you just haven't seen yet. Well, maybe not that many, but if you have one, you usually find another or so. Having been raised them, we seem to attract them to us in other areas of our lives. They are drawn to us, and we are drawn to them until we learn better. Although it was probably just bad luck that landed me a narcissistic neighbor, but I digress.
I write this because I have now realized my best friend, who I mentioned bailing on plans with me in my last post, has significant narcissistic traits. I wouldn't go so far as to say she has a full blown personality disorder (yet), but she is definitely a very selfish and opinionated person. These negative traits are being magnified by her current unhealthy fad diet, which is adversely affecting her serotonin levels. Serotonin being that wonderful neurotransmitter that not only helps regulate mood, but also appetite, sleep, and even bone mass. Basically she has lost the ability to regulate her negative traits, which were only a minor nuisance to me previously. Then again, perhaps they were only minor back then because I lacked insight into myself and my NM?
But it isn't just me seeing this. Her behavior has been irritating all our other mutual friends, and more so than usual in those who I have learned tolerated her only for my sake all along. They provided a fascinating and enlightening third party perspective on my relationship with my best friend. I am a much stronger person today than I ever was in the past, so I can face and accept the truth. My best friend has always taken more than she has given, and I let her get away with it. I just couldn't see it until now. Although it was much milder and more subtle before she started her crazy diet; there would be eye-rolling, will-she-ever-shut-up moments, but none of this severe stuff that made me dislike her and actively not want to see her or be friends anymore.
I'm not going to just cut her out of my life though, we have a long shared history that can't be replaced, and I know her better than anyone else. I know just how insecure she is, just how much she hates herself. I know that each and every put down, every piece of snide, irritating, or opinionated bullshit that has comes out of her mouth is just a pathetic attempt to make her feel better about herself, to fill that emptiness she feels inside. But I also remember the past year or so she was doing really well, growing up and managing her faults better. I hope maybe someday she will be that person again. So I will simply change how I engage her, lower how valuable her friendship is to me and the esteem I hold her in. How she behaves is up to her, but ultimately I expect a gradual growing apart that will be cemented by her if she ever moves out of state like she wants to do.
Too bad I realized all this shit before I agreed to be bridesmaid in her wedding next year. I sense an impending bridezilla.