Narcissus and the 'Ekho Doesn't Want Me to Have Friends' Tactic

Narcissus and the 'Ekho Doesn't Want Me to Have Friends' Tactic

Narcissus and Mommy - The Mother-Created Narcissist Reading Narcissus and the 'Ekho Doesn't Want Me to Have Friends' Tactic 9 minutes Next Narcissus and ‘Recording Videos’

Narcissists are much like bratty teenagers who respond to their parents' limits with ‘you must not want me to have friends.’

I remember when I was 14 years old wanting to go to a keg party in the woods. Knowing my parents would not let me, I pulled the old ‘I am spending the night at Lindsey’s house’ move. Being on to my teenage wiley ways, my mom said that I could not spend the night and my response was ‘You hate me and don’t want me to have friends,’ which was promptly responded to with an eye roll - mom wasn’t falling for that one. While it might be common for a teenager to try this old strawman argument, most adults would be socially adept enough to know not to try it past high school – my narcissist never reached that developmental milestone.

My narcissist’s go-to method when he wanted to do something dangerous and illegal and I gave him pushback was to scream ‘You don’t want me to have friends.’

It was an especially odd thing to say given the fact that his friends were over our house 3-4 times a week, minimum, and mine came increasingly less frequently as our relationship progressed.

His entire ‘friend group’ was very strange and worthy of a post unto itself. There were three families, and they each had two kids – with their oldest kids being the same age and their youngest kids being the same age. The parents were best friends and colleagues at the local college, the oldest kids were best friends, and the youngest kids were best friends – and that was it. There were no other friends for any of them. My narcissist’s two kids never made a friend outside of this tight mother-and-father-approved circle. I watched as the older kid tried desperately to make other friends, always to be slapped down by one or both of his parents, particularly Prissy, his mom. These three families did everything together. When Prissy remarried an emotionally immature, self-absorbed, baby-child, they were accepted into the fold. I was not accepted – in hindsight because I had friends outside of this group and didn’t want my socialization to revolve exclusively around alcohol. I was the weird one. 

While I was never really ‘in’ the group, the group had no qualms about coming to my house multiple times a week to hang out at my pool, and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy sending their kids over constantly (like every day) often to sleep over. I guess they figured I could pay for the food, drinks (they were all heavy drinkers), and watch the kids. I didn’t mind much. I wanted my stepson to have a solid social circle because he was limited to just those few friends and was already experiencing pretty dramatic mental health issues and social isolation at school. It warmed my heart to see the kids enjoying time with their friends in a safe place where they wouldn’t be judged or isolated or bullied or helicoptered.

Anyways, this group was all very heavy drinkers. Prior to my narcissist and I moving in together, nearly all of their socialization took place at a bar or brewery. I never once in almost 6 years with my narcissist saw this group hanging out that they didn’t have a beer in their hands. Every Friday night, they would meet at a local bar that sold terrible food, and the adults would sit at one table, and the kids at another. They would drink copious amounts of alcohol. Sometimes another friend Allison, also a professor, would join them. She put all of them to shame with her drinking. She would bring her six-year-old daughter and the joke was that she would ‘come drunk and leave drunker.’ Not one of them thought to maybe take her car keys and not let her drive intoxicated with her child.

Once my narcissist and I moved in together, after several years of dating, I realized how prevalent alcohol was in his life and social circle.

Like everything centered on alcohol – everything. He always chalked it up to being the ‘Peace Corps culture.’  I should have realized it previously, but I had my own friends and social circle and would often be doing my own things with my kids. But there were blatant signs that I ignored. For example, looking back, all of our vacations centered on where the next brewery was located. So many times the kids and I sat there eating gross fried food while my narcissist guzzled down beer happy as a lark. 

Within a month of us living together, my narcissist was arrested for the first time for assaulting me, resulting in a major head injury. He does not even remember the incident (his bar receipts indicated that he chugged 7-8 craft beers in 2 hours).  After that, he promised to stop drinking if I would drop the charges and not leave him – a promise he had zero intentions of keeping.

Despite the fact that he was attending AA meetings and we were in counseling for his alcoholism and abuse, he would still want to go out drinking from time to time. And every time I would try to stop him, his go-to response would be (much like mine in junior high) ‘You don’t want me to have friends.’ While this tactic was about as effective on me as it was on my mom when I tried to use it three decades prior, he still tried it almost every week. 

A couple of particularly ridiculous examples stand out in my mind.

TAKING THE KIDS SWIMMING

One time, he told me that he was taking his children swimming. I thought this was wonderful - he was spending time with his kids in a healthy, alcohol-free environment. In our counseling sessions, the therapist encouraged my narcissist to find activities that did not involve alcohol, so swimming seemed wonderful.

He met two of his friends and their kids at the swimming pool each Wednesday. One week I said that I would tag along, and he got really upset and refused to let me come. He told me that it was ‘his special time.’ I thought this was odd, but decided to give him some space. As the evening lagged on, I thought that something was off, so I went to the local pool. He was nowhere to be found. I knew he was going swimming because the kids were coming home wet. Long story short, I came to find out that there was a local hotel with a bar and pool. If you bought so many drinks, you could use the pool. That is where he was taking the kids each Wednesday. When I called him out on lying to me about drinking, his response was ‘You just don’t want me to have any friends.’

AFTER WORK SOCIAL

On Tuesday nights, it was his custom to go out with a fellow professor to a local bar and drink. In fact, this is where he was the night that he assaulted me for the first time. Wanting him to maintain that relationship with his colleague, we made a plan for him to hang out with his friend and only drink non-alcoholic beverages. He managed to do that zero weeks. Our counselor told us that, if he could not handle being in that environment without drinking, then he would have to not be in that environment until he had his drinking under control. He turned this, too, into an ‘Ekho doesn’t want me to have friends’ argument. 

I asked on online community if they had similar experiences. It turns out, most of their narcissists did not even bother to make up an excuse.

One person shared "No, there was no discussion about him doing stuff like that because he did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted without regard."

Another person said "She completely lied about it [her whereabouts]. She didn’t go to the gym for zumba, and she didn’t go to the library to play with our daughter. I knew that she was lying to me and I had proof."

A third response was incredibly similar to my own experience  -- "All the time. Now the narcissist has a criminal jury trial in a few months for a felony crime."

Ultimately, my narcissist never was able to get his drinking under control. During our last week together, he was intoxicated most of it, which I believe was the main contributing factor to his assaulting me and landing in jail for the second time.

Needless to say, these ‘friends’ of his knew about his drinking issues and never did anything to help him or us. I think they resented me in part because I was taking away their drinking buddy and it made them have to take a good hard look at their own lives and the example they were setting for their children.

In the end, my narcissist lost his wife, step-kids, house, reputation, and the respect of his children, but I guess he gained the admiration of his handful of drinking buddy friends. Sounds like a win to me (not). 

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