Friendship with other women

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Honey_B

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Friendship with other women
« on: July 15, 2021, 06:10:33 PM »
I am a 44 years old woman’s and I have grown up as the scapegoat with a covert narcissistic mother. It’s a long story, last year my mother discarded me and my son (her only grandchild). It was a painful time but I now know that it was for the best. I am VLC with my GC sister (we only communicate via messenger).
As a single mother, I have some good mom friends but I could use a few more.

About 4 years ago I met a new single mom friend via a Facebook group. Having grown up with narcissism all around me, I am VERY careful about choosing friends and who I let into my life. I know that I am a magnet for narcissists so I take a long time to get to know people.

This mom friend was great, we had many things in common. Great conversations, we helped each other out with our kids, went for drinks without the kids, went to movies, etc. We are very different people, have different opinions politically, but we always managed to respect and listen to the other person.

Fast forward four (4) years. My mom friend has over the last 8 months lost a lot of weight, 80-100 lbs. I am really happy for her, genuinely happy and throughout the weight loss I have supported her and listened to everything about her weight loss progress. And this is where things started to go bad…

With this weight loss, she has completely changed personality! Political opinions are now completely different, all she can talk about is her weight loss, diet and training program. She never asks about me and my thoughts anymore, now it’s like listening to a monologue when I talk to her. In a very short time, the friendship has turned very one sided and I am not comfortable anymore. Stories she told me years ago about her childhood or youth, she can no longer remember and if I bring them up she says “I don’t remember ever saying that” (Yes, gaslighting).

So… now I am thinking: Did I attract another narcissists? She plays nice friend for FOUR years and then suddenly the narc is revealed? Or could it be something else? E.g. triggered by the weight loss perhaps?

I am really baffled. Ok, the friendship doesn’t work out for me anymore, I have accepted that, although I am really sad to loose her.

I just don’t understand: Is this a “normal” part of life and friendship? How does one spot a narc if they can play nice for 4 (!)  years before they reveal themselves? If that’s the case, what chance do I ever have of finding an authentic friend?  :unsure:

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Andeza

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Re: Friendship with other women
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2021, 08:39:04 PM »
This one is hard, because there are a lot of legit medical possibilities when you couple that much dramatic weight loss with a major shift in personality. She could actually be very sick and not know it, but then as a person on the outside looking in you have no way to know that.  I can only give you the my shoes perspective. I would limit time together for a while, see if she normalizes so to speak, or if this IS the new normal. There are so many possible answers here, and the change is so new, so sudden... protect yourself, first and foremost.

I'm not the right person for advice on the rest, so I'll bow out now. (Hardcore introvert)
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Friendship with other women
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2021, 04:33:40 AM »
Of course you know the old saying -  There are friends for a reason, friends for a season, friends for life.  Remembering that always helps me when things go awry.
So this friend was a friend for a season. And that season is now over. She was a good friend and you will always remember her fondly.  That her weight loss has changed her has nothing to do with you.  Realistically, you cannot turn anybody into a self centred narcissist, not even if you wanted to.  You might be more tolerant than others for such behaviour, but you have worked very hard on yourself and trained yourself to recognize red flags and you do! And you draw consequences from such oberservations.
I have lost a very good friend when she joined a pyramid selling company.  From then on it was all about trying to sell me something or trying to recruit me into their scheme.  Every encounter was so unsatisfactory that I avoided her as much as possible.  Before joining we were really close and it was a loss for me.
Also, I knew a woman who had been rather round all her married life.  Then she lost a lot of weight, dressed nicely, wore make up, beautiful haircut, jewellery - looked stunning.  She also started an affair,  became real cruel to her husband (in my opinion, he deserved it a little, he had been quite a macho in the marriage) - and when the affair ended,  developed depression.  An astonishing development for someone who had appeared so stable,  a normal wife and mother.
Maybe loosing all that weight and keeping it off requires all the energy that your friend has. So she has nothing left to give. Who knows? People keep surprising us!  You on the other hand,  have dealt with the situation in a healthy way. That is all that counts.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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clara

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Re: Friendship with other women
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2021, 11:00:48 AM »
I agree that something has happened to this woman that has nothing to do with you, Honey.  Your instincts about spotting narcs is intact and functioning, which is why I don't think this woman is really a narc.  I think four years into a relationship is an awfully long time for a person to wait to reveal who they really are.  Narcs don't think there's anything wrong with their behavior, so why hide it?!

However, I have known friends who rather abruptly changed personality-wise when they either came under the influence of another person, or when they've suffered some serious personal issue.  Possibly the weight loss was a serious enough issue for her that when she achieved a new physical image of herself decided to adopt a new personality to go along with that image.  Body image issues are complex and rampant in our culture and you will likely never know what's really going on with this woman as she's gone into some kind of denial about her past.  Sounds like she wants to be someone new.

It's always difficult to lose someone you thought was a good friend, and for a few years it sounded like she was.  But her personal issues have come in the way of the friendship, and you cannot help her.  You made the healthy decision that you deserve better than a one-way relationship.

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Friendship with other women
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2021, 03:25:20 PM »
I very much recommend the Crappy Friends podcast. It has given me so much perspective on healthy female friendships, and helped me realize that so many women 30+ deal with the same feelings and problems of connecting with new people who are healthy and supportive. A lot more women are lonely and lacking friendships in life than I ever thought.