The Characteristics of a Bad Friend – Narcissism and Toxic Traits

Our friends play a major role in shaping our personalities and influencing the kinds of values and beliefs we hold. However, not all friendships are created equal. Some friends can help us grow and thrive, while others can be toxic and hold us back. And the worst bad friend of all is the narcissist.

Narcissism is a personality disorder that usually manifests as a belief in one’s own superiority, a craving for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.

Narcissists are often charming and magnetic, so they can lure you in, and initially you will think that they are the best thing since sliced bread.

But you will soon discover that they can also be manipulative, selfish, and destructive.

Top Traits of a Bad Friend

A narcissist can be a bad friend for a variety of reasons.

Narcissistic behaviour is associated with a number of negative traits that can make it difficult for them to form close and meaningful relationships with others.

Some of the key reasons a narcissist is likely to be a bad friend include:

toxic narcissist

A Bad Friend is Self-Absorbed

A narcissistic friend is often focused on themselves, their needs, and their desires.

Because they always put themselves first, they are usually not be interested in truly getting to know their friends, supporting them in their struggles, or celebrating their successes. This can make it difficult to build a deep and meaningful friendship.

Their excessive self-absorption means leads to them loving to talk about themselves.

In fact, they always seems to steer the conversation back to themselves, no matter what the topic is.

This behaviour can be frustrating and exhausting for those around them, as it shows that they are not interested in listening to others or building meaningful connections.

bad friend

A Bad Friend Lacks Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. A lack of empathy is a hallmark of narcissistic behaviour.

Narcissistic friends may seem cold or indifferent to the struggles of others, and may even take pleasure in others’ misfortunes.

This lack of compassion can be harmful to your own emotional well-being, as it can make you feel unsupported and alone in your own struggles.

Toxic Things a Narcissist Will Say

Bad Friends Are Always Seeking Attention

Narcissistic friends crave attention and validation from others.

They may go to great lengths to be the centre of attention, whether it’s by telling exaggerated stories, being overly dramatic, or seeking constant praise and admiration.

This behaviour can be exhausting for those around them, as they may feel like they are always walking on eggshells around their friend.


A Bad Friend is Manipulative

Another hallmark of narcissistic behaviour is manipulation.

Narcissists may use their charisma and charm to manipulate others into doing what they want, even if it’s not in the best interest of their friends.

can be incredibly damaging to a friendship, as it erodes trust and can create power imbalances in the relationship.

Narcissistic friends will not hesitate to lie, cheat, use guilt trips, or play mind games in order to control others.

This behaviour can be incredibly damaging to your own sense of autonomy and self-worth.

If you feel like your friend is constantly trying to control or manipulate you, it may be time to re-evaluate the friendship.


Bad Friends Will Never Apologize

Apologizing is an important part of any healthy relationship.

It shows that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions and make things right with the people you care about.

Narcissistic friends, however, are often unwilling to apologize or admit fault.

They may believe that they are always right, or that apologizing is a sign of weakness.

This can make it difficult to resolve conflicts and move forward in the friendship.

bad friend

A Bad Friend Only Cares About Status and Material Possessions

Narcissistic friends may place a high value on status and material possessions.

They may judge others based on their wealth or social standing, rather than their character or personality.

This can be incredibly shallow and hurtful, as it can make those around them feel like they are not valued for who they are as people.

narcissistic envy

A Bad Friend is Prone to Envy and Jealousy

Narcissistic friends tend be prone to envy and jealousy. They may become angry or resentful if others receive praise or attention while they do not.

This can lead to a toxic, competitive dynamic in the friendship, where one person is always trying to outdo the other.

This can be exhausting and unfulfilling for their friends, who may feel like they’re constantly in a one-sided battle for attention and validation.

bad friend

Bad Friends are Judgemental

Narcissistic friends may be quick to judge others based on superficial factors like appearance, wealth, or status.

This can make it difficult for them to form connections with people who don’t fit their narrow definition of “success” or “value.

Is It Time To Reconsider Your Friendship?

When you have a friend who displays some or all of the negative characteristics associated with narcissistic behaviour, it’s essential to step back and evaluate the friendship.

Sometimes, this can be a challenging and emotional process, particularly if you’ve been friends for a long time.

However, it’s crucial to prioritize your well-being over the friendship, especially if it’s become unhealthy or toxic.

bad friend

Steps to Safeguard Your Well-Being

The first step is to recognize the patterns of behaviours that indicate you’re dealing with a narcissistic friend.

Once you’ve identified these traits, you need to evaluate the effect that this friendship has on your life.

Have you noticed that your self-esteem has taken a hit or that you’re always feeling drained and depleted after spending time with your friend?

If so, it’s a clear indication that the friendship is not benefiting you in any way, and it’s probably time to let it go.

It’s understandable to feel a sense of loyalty and attachment to a long-term friend, even if they display negative traits.

However, it’s crucial to remember that your own emotional and mental health should always be your number one priority.

mental health

If a friendship is causing more harm than good, it’s crucial to make the tough decision to walk away.

Another crucial step in the process is to surround yourself with supportive and positive individuals that can uplift and empower you.

Cultivating healthy and fulfilling relationships with people that share similar values, interests, and goals as you can be a source of motivation, inspiration, and happiness.

In the end, it’s all about creating boundaries in your friendships, being mindful of red flags, and prioritizing your own well-being.

By doing this, you can avoid spending time in unhealthy or negative relationships and cultivate friendships that enhance your quality of life.

Remember: it’s okay to put yourself first, and to make choices that will positively impact your life in the long run.

bad friend

Final Thoughts About Bad Friends

Having a bad friend in your life can be a draining and stressful experience.

Whether you’re dealing with a narcissistic friend or someone who displays toxic behaviour, it’s important to recognize the warning signs and take action to protect your own well-being.

While it can be difficult to let go of a long-standing friendship, walking away from a negative or toxic relationship is sometimes the best choice for your own growth and happiness.

Remember that true friends should be supportive, empathetic, and encouraging, and should help you grow and develop as a person.

Stay true to your own values, beliefs, and goals, and don’t be afraid to say no or to stand up for yourself when necessary.

By doing so, you can set the tone for the kind of relationships you want in your life and cultivate friendships that will bring you joy, love, and support for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions about Narcissism

Frequently Asked Questions About The Characteristics of a Bad Friend

What are some characteristics of a bad friend?

A bad friend is unreliable, selfish, disrespectful, manipulative, jealous, and lacking empathy or support. They may also engage in gossiping, betraying your trust, or consistently putting their own needs above yours.

What should I do if I realize I have a bad friend?

If you realize you have a bad friend, it is important to consider your own well-being and whether the relationship is healthy for you. You can choose to communicate your concerns, set boundaries, and see if they are willing to change. However, if the behavior continues or the friendship is toxic, it may be necessary to distance yourself or end the friendship altogether.

How can I confront a bad friend about their behavior?

When confronting a bad friend about their behavior, it is important to approach the conversation calmly and assertively. Use “I” statements to express how their actions or words have affected you and set clear boundaries for what you expect in the friendship. Be prepared for different reactions and outcomes

Is it normal to have disagreements or conflicts with friends?

Yes, disagreements and conflicts are a normal part of any relationship, including friendships. However, it is how these conflicts are handled and resolved that determines the health of the friendship. Healthy friendships involve open communication, mutual respect, and a willingness to work through differences.

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