So, you’ve gone through a dramatic change recently. You were a whopping 280 pounds and just recently dropped 100. You can’t be prouder of yourself, and you should be. You’ve never felt or looked better in your life. You’ve had to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Or perhaps you decided to do something extreme, like shave your shoulder length hair off. You are totally buzzed now, pretty much bald. You died your hair green, got piercings, tattoos or whatever.
Regardless of what it was, you decided that you were going to make a dramatic change in your life and you did it. So, you’re feeling fantastic and brand new and you decide to hang out with a good friend. The first thing that happens is that they begin talking. They talk and they talk and they talk. They hardly blink an eye or take a breath; hardly coming up for air and you dare not interrupt. They’ve monopolized the conversation yet again, as this is a regular occurrence. You do your best to remain polite, but there are things that are exciting in your life that you would love to share, if only you could get the opportunity to get a word in.
Not all of us have been unfortunate enough to have run into a “it’s all about me” type of personality. And if you have, you’ll be sure to never forget them. They are as self-centered, egotistical, arrogant and narcissistic as they come. They treat your friendship with them as if you ought to be lucky that they’ve given you permission to be their friend. When it’s time to meet up with them or hang out, nine times out of 10 you’ll be driving to their side of town. They of course are busier than you, have more going on in their lives than you do and have a host of other excuses. To them, what is happening in their lives is much more dire than anything going on in anyone else’s. So, you go to see them at their beck and call and when you do, they take the floor. You sit and nod, actively listen as they talk at you, an hour or so of filibustering until you’ve ordered and finished an entire of bottle wine just to endure their arrogance.
According to a Psychology Today article on the 4 Ways to Deal With Selfish People, selfishness has two specific characteristics:
- Being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself.
- Having no regard for the needs or feelings of others.
The article goes on to explain why this is a huge problem: “If someone is both totally self-involved and uncaring about anyone else, they are not likely to be very responsive to you in any way other than evaluating how you meet their needs.” So, if you are dealing with a self-centered friend, they’ll likely call you up, expect you to meet them on their turf and then proceed to talk your ear off. You’re expected to sit there and take it, as you are there to service their need for a sounding board, someone to listen to them talk about themselves. The article goes on to explain that one of the things you shouldn’t do is take it personally, as in some cases these individuals haven’t a clue as to how they’re coming across to those that have to suffer through their arrogance. They are so used to getting their way and to you and others enabling their behavior by allowing them to dictate the terms of friendship.
There is supposed to be symbiosis in any and all relationships. If there isn’t a mutual give and take, a meeting in the middle, then it isn’t a relationship or, at the very least, a healthy one. If you have a friend in your life that is like this, you know that they can be very toxic. Your purpose in life is to not be at someone’s beck and call, to service their every need and to feed their narcissistic egos. That’s not treating you like an equal; rather, the selfish friend is placing themselves and their life and needs above yours. It’s like they think they’re better than you or, worse yet, they do not value your time or feelings. Instead, you’re just another toy on their shelf that they can play with whenever they wish and then put you back when they grow tired of you.
Don’t let yourself be sucked into this type of one-sided friendship because it is in no way a true friendship. It’s too emotionally draining when one person gives and gives and the other person takes and takes. You need to immediately recognize the signs of a selfish person, they are quite visible. Marrying, dating, befriending a narcissist is a recipe for disaster and utter misery. Do not expect a self-centered, selfish narcissist to change because they will not. Don’t be their puppet and their “yes” man/woman. There are 7.046 billion people on this planet, in other words plenty who will respect you, meet you halfway, share and listen to you for a change.
You deserve to be treated as an equal, to be in a healthy relationship and mutual friendship. Do yourself a favor: Buy your selfish, narcissistic friend a mirror and tell them that you’ve bought them a new buddy to talk to. Then lose their number and erase them from your lives. You don’t need one-sided and selfish type of friendships. You deserve a whole lot better than that.