Narcissists: Insidious Ways They Plot To Steal Your Friends

They want to turn your friends against you and leave you with nothing.

Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.
11 min readOct 4, 2020
the narcissist’s mask
Image by abi s from Pixabay

Today I want to take the topic of narcissistic abuse in a focused direction. Much has been written about the relationship between a narcissist and their victim. I want to expound on the relationship between a narcissist and the victim’s friends.

I will introduce you to what goes on with friends in each of the three phases of the relationship: love-bombing, devaluing, and discard. I will also discuss the groundwork the narcissist puts in place beforehand.

Then I will discuss what to do when you find that a narcissist is attempting to tear you apart from the people and places you love. I will also offer ways to avoid getting trapped in such a situation in the first place.

Phase 0 of the relationship: The narcissist watches you from afar, learns your network of friends

In her book The Gaslighting Effect: A Revealing Look at Psychological Manipulation and Narcissistic Abuse, author Reva Steenbergen notes that narcissists watch their victims from afar for months, if not years, before making the first contact. They want to learn their victim’s



Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.

I write about writing, ideas, creativity, homelessness, intuition, spirituality, life lessons. Ex-college teacher Twitter: @paulryburn