Do narcissists keep friends for very long? The message I have gotten is that, no matter what the "friend" might provide for the narcissist, they still get bored and move on. Do they ever confide in these friends? Do they protect these friends (as in never talk bad about them)? Are they loyal?
The main thing to understand is that Narcissists do not bond with other people the way that we do. So instead of forming an emotional bond, the Narcissist views other people as existing for his pleasure. You will be worth to the Narcissist what you bring to the table in terms of making him happy. This is true of all the Narcissist's relationships, not just friends. A Narcissist will be romantically inclined towards the latest attractive girl to bat her eyelashes at him, and the unaware Narcissist will be convinced himself that she is The One for him and his soulmate. He will lavish her with attention and gifts and she will think she's found the perfect guy. Then he will devalue her over time as he gets bored with her, as she turns out to be less than perfect, or as the thrill of newness wears off. The unaware Narc simply tells himself that he was wrong about her, or even worse, that she deceived him into thinking she was perfect when she wasn't! He will dump her in a huff, as if she is the one who was at fault.
The same goes for friends. A Narc likes friends that are shiny and new. That are entertaining or amusing. That are reliable, even though he won't be reliable when they call for him, or if he is, it's because he is trying to keep them staying loyal to him, not because he cares about them, but because of the benefits they bring to his life. Also, the Narcissist will immediately size up his friends as either capable or incapable of dominating. The Narc is always aware of whether he is in the dominant or submissive role in his relationships and friendships. This is instinct to the Narcissist, who understands only power, not love or empathy.
Typically narcissists will accept or tolerate certain people as opposed to truly having friends as long as they do not step out too far out of line of what the narcissist believes. The narcissist usually gives very little in a friendship, but they usually hide the fact so they won't be discovered. A number of narcissists use giving as a manipulation tool to gain favours with others.
Im my work with those who are dealing with narcissist, I have found that people with traits of NPD generally have relationships with those who will easily slot into one or more of certain roles.
Flying Monkeys; this person knows less or has less of something than the narcissist, This person is choses because they make the narcissist feel much better about him or herself by comparison. Flying monkeys are less intelligent, poorer, less attractive or somehow otherwise 'less than' in someway in the narcissists mind.
The Power Supply;
These are people who have some kind of advantage or access to something else the narcissist wants. The narcissist will charm and flatter these individuals to gain secondary supply to their prestige, power, benefits and influence. People in this role may hold a powerful position at work, community, they may simply be someone the narcissist wants to sleep with at that moment or they have the power to deny the narcissist something that he or she wants.
Either way, which ever category you are put in, being friends with a narcissist only goes to serve one purpose and that is THEM. It is all about them and what they can get from the friendship, its all about take and no give. Just be aware that this dynamic does not change so be cautious about the friends you choose!
Let me know your comments; have you ever had a narcissistic friend?