Refuse to engage with your friend when she is throwing a narcissistic tantrum.

How to Deal With a Narcissist Friend Who Constantly Threatens to Terminate the Relationship

by Elise Wile

It never fails -- as soon as your narcissist friend sees you stealing the show or realizes that you don't intend to go along with an ill-advised plan, she threatens to end your relationship. She may even accuse you of being selfish or not caring about her, even though these things are ingrained in her own personality, not yours. Dealing with such a person is often unpleasant, but ignoring her behavior gives tacit approval for it to continue.

1. Educate Yourself

When you realize what you are dealing with when you have interactions with a narcissistic friend, it can make it easier to make a tough decision. Narcissists easily rationalize selfish decisions, use people as objects, are self-obsessed and lack real empathy. If such a person is part of your life, it's important to protect yourself. This may mean limiting the time you spend with your friend or even calling off the friendship altogether.

2. Set Boundaries

Having healthy boundaries means you are aware of your limits, notes psychologist Dana Gionta. Figure out where you stand, and then communicate that to your narcissist friend. For example, as you are worthy of being treated with respect, let your friend know that the next time she threatens you, you will discontinue the conversation, even if it means leaving when the two of you are at an event. She'll either get the message that you will no longer tolerate her bad behavior, or finally make good on her threat. Either way, you'll come out ahead.

3. Be Calm

When your friend is ranting and raving, accept that this behavior is part of her personality and let it pass if you're so inclined. Ignoring her behavior may be desirable if you're able to let her threats bounce off of you and you are getting something beneficial out of the relationship, such as access to her large network of art-biz acquaintances, for example. Avoid participating in your friend's tantrum by saying equally hurtful things or trying to placate her. Simply wait until she's done and change the subject. Realize that if you choose this approach, her bad behavior will almost certainly continue.

4. Terminate the Friendship

Rather than allowing yourself to be at the whim of your narcissistic friend's ego, consider ending the friendship on your own terms. It'll be a better experience if you simply decline her invitations to get together and let the friendship die a natural death than if it ends with her screaming, "I hate you!" because you got more attention from the men at the party you both attended than she did. If you're having a difficult time letting go of this unhealthy relationship, consider consulting a counselor or other mental health professional for the support you need.

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.

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