I Now Avoid Narcissistic Friends. Here’s How.

I’ve spent most of my life living in the shadow—especially in my close friendships.

Throughout my young adult life, I gravitated toward close friends who were charming, magnetic and lots of fun to be with. And they were certainly happy to have me in their lives: I was a great listener—the kind of person everyone would go to for advice, to complain, or to talk about themselves. I would always listen patiently. I was a warm and loving shoulder to cry on, a dependable problem solver, a loyal, available, and agreeable companion. I had a good sense of style that my friends admired and often even copied. Who wouldn’t want to be my friend?

Of course, I had never learned to be a friend to myself.