Classic N behaviour in friends

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eternallystuck

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Re: Classic N behaviour in friends
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2017, 09:23:08 AM »
Springlight; thanks for your response!

Its so true. When I'm telling a friend my M is on the verge of kicking me out I would expect a better response then 'oh, just ignore her'. After she knows full well, M is very capable of going there.....In future I will take that for what it is: THEY DON'T CARE, SO WHY SHOULD I!

I agree we have trained them to know that we will be there no matter what. I am far too accommodating to these types of people. No matter how small they make me feel I seem very cautious about making them feeling the same. Therein lies the unhealthy dynamic; we give & they take whilst we shun our own needs.

I began to realise I was being used by her after a very important special occasion of hers. She pretty much ignored me the whole day & I didn't really know anyone there. I felt very awkward & humiliated. Despite the fact she only had one other friend who begrudgingly showed up, this N friend always made me feel she had angst against me.

Honestly the lightbulb shone bright. She had just been using me to make it seem like she had friends...special occasions in particular.Any big event, a christening etc I was always there like a good friend.

Often I was the only 'friend' there for her but she would spend most of her time shunning me & throwing shady looks to her BF. She capitalised on this as I didn't have many friends from my hometown left & so I was a bit reluctant to lose ties. I was also aware she had difficulties with her permanently ill child, so everyone would cut her slack feeling sorry for her......however this just led to her getting increasingly N, condescending & snapping at people who had done her a lot of favours.

At one point she snapped at someone being an ungrateful brat & they confronted her saying she didn't need need to talk to them like that. I was so glad as many of us at the afterparty were in awe of her nasty narc behaviour also fuelled by a certain substance she had started making a habit of. I didn't speak to her for months as she started to resemble my NPD M.

In retrospect, any time I had a serious issue going on she couldn't make it less obvious she didn't want to hear about it. After a while of feeling used, the ball dropped & I realised she had no friends as she was a miserable person. I felt depleted after being around her & that's not how friendship is meant to feel. I have been NC for a while now. Very glad as it took a while to get out of that mess.

She was trapped in a dead end job in my hometown & I really felt this 'angst' against me was because I was working towards a much brighter future. She wanted me to be a young M like her & was always trying to convince me to come back home & get a job at her 'place'. She never accepted the fact I had found happiness miles away from there. As smoulderingdragon described she was an emotional vampire who definitely wanted to swipe the wind out of my sails.

Springlight, from what you described in your scenario you sound very similar to me & I 100% think the issue lies with your friend being an N . Like you, I have emotional intelligence & know that despite long term issues with FOO it can be overbearing to only want to delve in emotionally heavy topics with someone. It gets people down. I get it. So I would ask her about her life, I would make jokes about something unrelated, talk about other things as you said to 're-balance' the conversation.

However I've found some people take advantage of this. God some long term friends I couldn't feel comfortable sharing anything serious with so it would brew inside of me. I realised that they are selfish & can't be that great of a friend if I am hiding my true self all the time to please them.

I feel like it is their inability to handle the full spectrum of emotions though- its a form of neglect & immaturity. In life we go through births, deaths, happiness, sadness, stress. How can you have a friendship where the other side doesn't care about difficulties you are facing?  :stars: :stars: again I think I was mimicking relations with my NPD M.

At what age did you feel you started making non-npd friends? I'm fairly young ish in my twenties but so far in life I've met N after N.

Jollyjazz, subtle putdowns are a huge red flag to me. They are also a favourable trait of N females in particular. If you keep internally interrupting yourself to question someones intentions...ask yourself why. No one who is happy within themselves feels the need to constantly snipe at people. No matter how rich, how attractive or seemingly better than us. If they truly think they are better why would they need to prove it? Glad you escaped & were able to recognise it.

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SpringLight

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Re: Classic N behaviour in friends
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2017, 08:00:35 PM »
After that friendship ended, I realized that the inability to let me get off the phone--especially after a MARATHON CONVERSATION--well, that's a huge red flag.  Never again! Life is too short to accommodate those BPD-esque moods, self-pity and unreasonable relationship demands.

Like you, when I visited my BPD friend's home (at her invitation) she tended to be moody, demanding, and unpredictable.

Emotionally drained was exactly how I felt.

For me, there were so many red flags that it might as well have been a battalion of troops doing semaphore,
:D
but being raised by a uNPD mother I was completely blind to it. 

Smoldering Dragon:

I reread your response here a second time before  responding.  And with the second reading, my attention was drawn to a word choice in your post.

At the risk of sounding pedantic about one little word, can we really say that you or I or anyone affected by BPD traits...were really "blind to it?"  If I'm pedantic, it's for a reason. Bear with me, as I try to think and write at the same time!. ;)

Here's my take, based on personal experience. Naturally, I'd like to hear yours.

I've had three BPD close relationships in my life.  The original BPD  is also the remaining one (and the last , God willing! :-\) BPD in my life-- i.e., my older BPDsis.

 I admit I STILL can be completely clueless in some situations about not perceiving negative qualities until much later.  Throughout my life,  lots of N people have been able to charm their way into my intimate circle.

But, unlike Ns, (particularly those covert NPDs).... I think it's impossible to be "blind" to --or oblivious of--  BPD-- when you experience the behavior. 

As we are all aware, BPD people, much like most PD people, tend to suck you in because they  show you their pleasant side FIRST.  And the pleasant side is, well...pleasant.  It can even be amazing, wonderful, attractive...All three BPDs in my life were/are high-achieving, very accomplished and talented people. So I didn't think "mental illness" right away.

The ("untherapized") BPD can't hide/control their very distinctive BPD behavior for long in any close relationship. And then, when you are the one to experience the BPD behavior, well it's like witnessing an atomic bomb detonating.  :blowup:  There is nothing subtle or invisible about BPD behavior.  You see it, I see it.  IT REALLY STANDS OUT.

It's dramatic, unusual, explosive, wild, destructive, upsetting and (seemingly) extremely irrational.  :stars: So, I don't think it's a case of us not observing, not seeing it.  I think we nons DO see it, but we discount its impact or we perceive it as "familiar" (It's so reminiscent of our FOO member).  And so, because of the familiarity of the behavior, we don't do the sensible thing. i.e. RUN! :rundog:

Many people here (like me, for instance) have (naively) viewed the BPD as  a fundamentally "good" person who simply was a victim of  prior loss and trauma. I don't know whether it's my sensitivity or my stupidity (LOL!  ;D)  that made me feel that I had to love and give and  unconditionally forgive all the bad behavior of these wounded souls. But this was my life-- with each of the three BPDs. For decades,  I believed if I continued to show unconditional support and love to my BPDsis, to my friend, to my husband....well, if I LOVED and GAVE and SACRIFICED enough I could fix the damage that OTHER people in the BPD's life had wrought.  :roll:

I can definitely understand how broken you must have felt after being dumped by your "friend." As a BPD, I suspect your "friend" went NC with you to insure YOU didn't dump her first. (Since, as I understand it, BPDs fear abandonment more than just about anything.)  Does THAT sound about right?

When you say you were "messed up", do you mean heartbroken, depressed, and/or depleted or shocked, disoriented?  Or a combination of feelings?
Wasn't there any bit of relief mixed in?  I mean relief at being far away from the exhausting, unfixable never-improving BPD drama?

I actually had a lot in common with my BPD friend--in terms of shared interests, shared views about many things, similar goals, marital status, etc.  She had been in therapy for anxiety and her T eventually gave her the dx of BPD. She vehemently disagreed with the T and eventually even stopped paying him.  The T made allowances for her not paying him for a certain number of months,  but at a certain point,  her therapy was eventually terminated when she wouldn't agree to pay what she owed.  A POLICY WHICH WAS SO "UNFAIR" of the T to INSIST on being paid!  Unfair....according to my BPD friend.  :upsidedown:

When my friend shared the T's dx of BPD with me, I stupidly automatically agreed with HER and supported her wrongheaded belief...that the T had no basis for making such an "insulting and inaccurate diagnosis"   :doh: 

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leapsand bounds

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Re: Classic N behaviour in friends
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2017, 12:40:02 AM »
I could have written so much of what has been written on this thread.  I come back to read this site regularly in order to stay Out of the FOG.  When I read others with similar problems and FOOs, I often think "how dare that person assume they can treat you like that".  I need to remember the same is true of me.

The blindness for me is now mostly more a difficulty in seeing and responding at the time.  One thing I realise is how awful being on the receiving end of this kind of behaviour made me feel for a long time afterwards.  It was a blight on my self-respect, mood and whole life.

I've been thinking lately, that it is a bit of a disadvantage that I have bring such behaviour into conscious awareness after it becomes a problem for me, rather than detecting and responding to it at the lowest level, the way those raised to have and respect their own boundaries seem to do.  Self-respect and deeply ingrained boundaries seem to allow their owners to have a much sunnier view of humanity, partly because issues are often able to be dealt to before they become problems, even to the point of distancing without any particular idea of the why, just apparently respecting ill-defined feelings of discomfort.

Anyway, something that happened to me recently:

I met someone in a professional capacity and there were red flags I only foggily recognised at the time:  1) too good to be true, 2) boundary busting 3) going too fast too soon 4) turning a professional relationship into a friend kind of relationship without talking about it, or consulting me about what that meant for me, 5) seeming to have more in common than now seems realistic (or true) 6) her confiding private info about other clients to the extent that I could easily have recognised who they were by the detail she was divulging, if I'd known the people concerned, 7) racing ahead of my comfort zone  8)  being way too personal in a professional context 9) asking me very personal questions beyond what was relevant  10) my being triggered by parts of our conversations.

It wont be any surprise to readers of this thread, that I recently discovered that this person divulged my personal info to someone else I knew, and also that there was a personal agenda in regard to things I was able to tell her -mostly related to those uncomfortable questions that weren't relevant.  I have no doubt that the information was going to be used in pursuit of her agenda, to my detriment, and may still be, in a modified form.

I felt awful after the intitial conversations but the halo of her 'wonderfulness' made me doubt myself, so I couldn't entirely recognise how wrong it was.   But my unease did mean I didn't go to a social thing she invited me to, or take along some documentation that she'd  "innocently" asked to have a look at.

I phoned her to talk about the privacy of my information after learning of her treachery.  I was very polite and didn't say what I knew, just that I wanted to allay my own anxieties in regard to what I'd said to her in a professional capacity. Her response?  All I can say is WOW.  It was like an emotional abuse festival.  I came away reeling with shock.  Ms Wonderful was completely gone.  The hostility, aggression, (every possible flavour), gaslighting, sickly-sweet patronising, almost unbelievable rudeness and nastiness, alternate lying and self-justifying making my head spin ...... etc.

Despite how illogical it was, I still felt guilty and afraid.  I hadn't done anything wrong to anyone but myself.  I said too much but in a 'private' supposedly professional setting, mostly in response to inappropriate questioning. 

 I've removed people who behave like this from my life so I was unprepared.  I'm now not used to crazy-making tantrums, thank goodness.

I used to get trapped when my fear, obligation and guilt were manipulated. In this case, it still caused me to spiral into shame and self-doubt, but I'm glad and grateful that now I'm able to recognise and name toxic behaviours that seemed to have no name, and to have the ability to see and overcome the FOG in the face of someone ill-treating me but with a manner that says "I'm completely in the right".   That ability to show undoubting self-righteousness while behaving badly has always thrown me off-balance.

I'm disappointed in myself for being so stupid, but one thing I'm wondering is - can naivety be triggered?






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SmolderingDragon

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Re: Classic N behaviour in friends
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2017, 12:47:11 AM »
SpringLight, I'm used to the pedantic stuff, one of my best internet pals is slightly Aspie, I suspect, and calls me out on my verbiage from time to time. :)

Anyway, I really never intended to ever talk about that friendship here because there are things specific to it and I value my anonymity.  But I think I can generalise things enough for y'all to understand the dynamics.

First I'll have to give a little back story of myself: I was raised by a uNPD M who was extremely controlling, and I was sent to a very strict parochial school (more extreme control).  I was hardly ever allowed to hang out with friends outside of school, so I'd say that I was very naive when it came to people/friendships outside of a religious community setting. I only had a few friends in high school, and was only allowed limited time with them outside of school, usually when it was convenient to my M like using them as a free chauffeur/babysitter whenever she had to work or couldn't pick me up from school. 

Long story short, when I graduated high school the few friends I had got the hell out of this town as fast as they could.  My uPD F decided to divorce my M after I turned 18 so he wouldn't have to pay child support or be responsible for me any more (because with his sort of magical thinking once a kid attains 18 years they are suddenly equipped to make it on their own).  So because he was the main breadwinner up until then, now I was expected to work for my mother and pick up the slack in paying the bills.  I was fresh out of high school and suddenly working 60 hour weeks to make ends meet, with my mother.  It was complete enmeshment.  It's like someone else said in another thread, it felt like she wanted to still have an umbilical cord attached, or somehow wanted me to be physically attached to her at all times.  I never got a freaking break away from my M and this continued for a couple years into my 20's.

By then, the only way I was able to communicate with people my age or with people with similar interests was online.  That's where I met this ex-friend I'm talking about.  So when I said I was blind to what she was, I kinda was.  Anyone can present themselves as anything they want on the Internet and way back then there wasn't Skype or anything like that, so hiding how she really was was pretty easy.

I IM'd and emailed with her for months before I ever met her in person.  And from what I read about Borderlines and the idealisation/discard cycle, that was definitely when the idealisation was happening.  And for me, finally having a friend was so wonderful.  And with this new friend it seemed like we had so much in common, she seemed so great and all.  It was all bs, of course.

When I first met her in person I immediately got a sick feeling. Firstly, she didn't look anything like what she led people to believe.  Secondly, she spent the first 10 or 15 minutes showing me all the stuff in her flat that she had conned her ex-boyfriend into buying her and was literally giddy while bragging about it and tearing him down. The third thing that happened was we went out for a bite to eat that evening.  I thought it odd that someone who claimed to be unemployed and having such a hard time making ends meet would be going out and spending money unnecessarily at a restaurant.  Also while at the restaurant, she got pissy with me because she thought the waitress was being friendlier to me than her. :roll:

After that first meeting, I truly intended to distance myself from her because there were so many things that were not right. But the next day she called me up and managed to hoover me back.  And at that point in my life I thought  (wrongly) that having one friend, even as imperfect as her, was better than having none.  So I totally get where y'all are coming from when you say you want to go NC with a narc friend but find it difficult.
"Some people bring joy wherever they go, and some people bring joy whenever they go." -- Mark Twain

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SmolderingDragon

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Re: Classic N behaviour in friends
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2017, 01:18:37 AM »
Oops! Posted before I was quite finished. It's been a long day. ;)

When you say you were "messed up", do you mean heartbroken, depressed, and/or depleted or shocked, disoriented?  Or a combination of feelings?
Wasn't there any bit of relief mixed in?  I mean relief at being far away from the exhausting, unfixable never-improving BPD drama?

All of the above.  I couldn't eat a thing for the first week, like literally.  I'd never been dumped like that by anyone.  It was all so sudden and shocking.  I felt sick and depressed for months afterward.  It was the roughest patch in my life.  I don't regret any of it though, because I vowed to be a different person.  I had had terrible social anxiety since childhood and poor self esteem and blamed that in part for making me susceptible to that person.

It's been many years since then and I'm a totally different person. No anxiety, I'm sooo much more outgoing, and I can now spot a PD a mile away.

As to the question of whether I was relieved, back then I wasn't relieved to be away from her.  I wanted that wonderful person back who I had been IM-ing, emailing, and talking to on the phone, not the one who was surly, moody, ill tempered, and unpredictable in person.  I didn't know about BPD back then and I thought it was in some way my fault that she acted the way she did.  After all, I was well trained by uNPD M to beat myself up since everything was always my fault even when it wasn't.

Anyway, I better wrap it up here. I'm tired and I think I'm probably rambling. This is such a great thread. Hope to pick it back up tomorrow.  :)
"Some people bring joy wherever they go, and some people bring joy whenever they go." -- Mark Twain

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SpringLight

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Re: Classic N behaviour in friends
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2017, 02:10:41 AM »
Hi, EternallyStuck: :wave:

Great example you cited there of the "dulled response" --the one given by your shallow, empathy-deficient "friend." Not exactly what you'd call a deep thinker, is she?! :roll:

Let's see if I have this--you tell her that your M is on the verge of kicking you out...and you're told by your friend to "just ignore her." Wow, how much time did she reflect before coming up with such a wise, well-reasoned and compassionate, response!   
Gee...with friends like that....  :-\

EternallyStuck...I now know your relative youth (I thought you were a lot older, actually)and I have to say you're too young to have that monicker! Maybe we should switch names you and me?...you're "younger than springtime"and you are really in the springtime of your life and  Me? I'm in my early 60's...sadly seemingly still stuck and a certainly a slow learner when it comes to managing old patterns with my FOO and their PD issues! So maybe it's more fitting for ME to be EternallyStuck?  LOL--I just mistakenly typed "Externally Stuck." Erhm...Not sure what THAT would entail exactly... ;D

"Feeling awkward and humiliated in the presence of a "friend" is an absolutely miserable thing. What could be a worse feeling?

I wouldn't wish that on anyone.  Anyone who chronically provokes those kinds of feelings is not worth having as a friend.  So you are completely justified in going N/C. Good for you for spotting the unhealthy dynamic. You are young, but are very emotionally intelligent and insightful. You have realized a resemblance of this friend to your M. Which is half the battle.

Sounds like this "friend" has some anger management issues, control issues.  Substance abuse issues, too? And what's worse, put simply, SHE DOESN'T VALUE YOU. And being valued for who you are ---that's the whole point of real friendship!  Specifically, genuine mutual interest, support, and appreciation. If you're not getting that from your friends, you gotta find some better friends.

But her not valuing you is HER problem. It doesn't reflect on YOUR VALUE one bit.  It's her loss, or her inability to go beyond superficial and petty. And as we all eventually realize.. We  need to ask ourselves: How does this friend make me feel? "Depleted" is the word you used, and I would have to say that for PD friends and family, if I wasn't regularly depleted by them, I was chronically tense and guarded.  THESE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FRIENDS--They can be and ideally are meant to be a source of enduring joy.

And when problems/friction/misunderstandings arise, in a nonPD friendship, you are free (and encouraged) to address the matter, learn from it, and then and move on. Thus, not letting old resentments simmer. The friendship bond becomes stronger, having the confidence that we don't sweep issues under the rug. Which is what was done in our FOOs.

I've had conversations with non-N friends in person that lasted hours and hours. And afterwards, sure I may be tired (hey, it's 2 AM and we're closing down the joint!) but instead of either of us being depleted, we're energized, and often even intellectually stimulated. Well, I mean our bodies are tired, but our spirits are quite energized.  It's mutually uplifting just to spend time together.   

You made me think back about WHEN I  started meeting and keeping non-PD friends. I was just a few months shy of 30 when, in the process of changing jobs, I met two people who became probably the best friends of my life.   Both of them were a bit older than I was. But interestingly, I NEVER felt any disparity in age.  A few years later, I met a younger friend who is also Non and who I would say as a friend, is a gem. One in a million.  Then, my last great non-PD friend I met about 15 years ago.  Each different, but they have the right stuff.  And once you have that, you don't settle as you do when you were younger.

So you may think of looking for a few friends who are somewhat older? Definitely try to find friends who have some self-awareness. 

These Non friends of mine aren't saintly, nor am I--but you are right, I would say all of us have that very wide emotional range. And no topic really off limits. I have wept with these friends. My stuff and their stuff. Shared some life and death critical matters with them. And then we chat about the must mundane matters. Politics. Pop culture.  But these are the same friends with whom I have ALSO howled with laughed until tears have poured down our faces.  Just as silly as I was in my 20's! :D

So, yes, you are absolutely correct--a great friend  (for me) is someone with whom I am comfortable expressing the "full spectrum of emotions." Great point! I think that's got to be one of the best, if not the best things about getting older.  You may have fewer friends than you did when younger, but the quality is so much higher, and there is much greater depth when in your twenties.

Eternal, I also think what helped me  attract better friends as I've grown older is becoming completely happy with my own company.

But for now, a way of VALUING YOURSELF, valuing your LIFE is to pull the plug on the chronically unsatisfying friendships. Which will free up time and energy for to meet higher quality friends, more compatible with you. So be of good cheer, things are likely to get better with time and by being aware of what and who makes you happy and fulfilled.

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eternallystuck

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Re: Classic N behaviour in friends
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2017, 08:18:43 AM »
SmolderingDragon, totally agree with you that its unreasonable to put that responsibility on an 18year old, especially when many of us grow up with abusive PD's. There's this attitude the minute you hit your 18th 'well that's IT my motherhood has expired, toodledoo you're on your own now!' & you're thinking.......WHAT motherhood. You have left me with depression, anxiety & crippling self doubt.

So sorry about your upbringing, sounds like you were so overwhelmed with responsibility they didn't allow you much time to make friends. Also get the feeling she was one of those M's who didn't consider what she was getting herself into. Like many NPD M's, they are not up to the job. They often offload us onto someone else, in your case, this prison like school.

As I type mommie dearest just went in the bathroom near me saying "Shes such a stupid ****ing b****!" & doing her usual constant aggressive sigh. I smell a rage by the end of today :aaauuugh:.

 I must have not folded a towel back properly or something. I just wonder why I can't adore her? Can't put my finger on it. :whistling:

M has been stepping up the indirect abuse & covert passive aggressive tactics of late as I've been MCing her. The joys! To add to it her & bf actually find it amusing to **** with me. I cannot believe these people are grown adults, trying to bait me in what ever traceless way they can.

Springlight - regarding my user name, lmaoooo you are probably right ;). I think it was inspired by part sarcasm & part self loathing over the amount of time I've dealt with these crazeballs!! Perhaps its a little theatrical ;)

Thanks for sharing your story, hopefully I'm not too far away from meeting my Non-PD gems :). A lot of older women I meet also said they met their better friends in their 30s so I guess hope is not lost yet. Its funny you mention age, I find I really get on better with people at least a few years older. I think its cos I get tired of 'parenting' people on basic manners, respect etc. There's some grown people walking around this earth with the maturity of a 6yr old brat being told off. ughh :upsidedown:

 I also crave more depth -not all the time as I can't stand 24/7 serious people- but a lot of females my age still seem obsessed with socially ranking people according to status & what they can do for them, being fickle (OH everythings GREAT over here NO issues) & excluding/ gossiping about one another: Did you hear about x? I wouldn't do that. Not to mention I have a strong feeling there's whole groups of enemies posing as friends to prop up their social media ego. Its an odd time to be alive .....LOL

"If I wasn't regularly depleted by them, I was chronically tense and guarded". - You summed it up perfectlythere. Describes my relationship with M. Even when she wasn't raging, I was in a frantic tense state awaiting her next one.

But with CHOSEN relationships I just think why the hell was I putting up with it! I think sometimes these awful friendships can reveal a great deal about myself- do I have the greatest esteem to have repeatedly met up with them after them showing they don't care? Probably not & its something I'm working on.

Like leapsand bounds mentioned "it is a bit of a disadvantage that I have bring such behaviour into conscious awareness after it becomes a problem for me, rather than detecting and responding to it at the lowest level, the way those raised to have and respect their own boundaries seem to do."

I am also guilty of acting too late. It frustrates the hell out me. I saw the signals....and its like I waited for this big blow to give me enough justification to leave. I want to AVOID these people, not invest time to find out they are not my friend but indeed a raging N! I do not want to be in feuds with N's, I want enduring relatively peaceful friendships where there is mutual respect.

I guess this lack of self-regulation is because abuse, boundary stepping & deceptive foul play has been normalised in my FOO. I wouldn't be surprised if my body just doesn't take it as seriously as its supposed to as its used to M sending it into fight or flight over anything. Not to mention my upbringing was chaotic & miserable, hardly makes you a magnet for happy stable people!

I can trace a lot of my low standards for friends back to NPD M. All my immediate FOO members are unhealthy- either full blown NPD or serious fleas. So I just wanted someone to talk to & have as a safety net as I felt like a stray cat!