Empaths & Narcissistic “Friends”

S. E. Wigget
4 min readAug 4, 2023

Yesterday I published “Empaths & Toxic Social Circles” and described a friend/frenemy whom I think is narcissistic rather than someone with full-blown narcissist personality disorder.

One of the galling things about this friend/frenemy was that, from what I could see, I was her only scapegoat. I didn’t observe her insulting, criticizing, or ridiculing others to their faces. I did observe her bad-mouthing them behind their backs. Indeed, she enjoyed being the bearer of bad news if a friend or acquaintance of hers insulted me behind my back.

When she introduced people to me, she typically informed them that I was a vegetarian. Usually, these friends of hers immediately verbally attacked me for this. Meanwhile, the frenemy stepped back with a smug little smile and observed the attack. Eventually I braced myself every time she introduced me to someone. It was no coincidence that most of the people who harassed me for being a vegetarian in St. Louis were people I met through her.

She accused me of being “too sensitive” instead of admitting that she was too insensitive. She accused me of being “prickly” instead of admitting that no, it’s not okay for her to verbally abuse me continually. (That was a pathetic attempt at gaslighting that didn’t fool me for a second.) Like any narcissist, she was arrogant and smug and seemed to think she was perfect and that it was magically my duty to be her verbal and psychological punching bag.

She didn’t believe in therapy. She claimed, “You’d have to be crazy to go to therapy.” I foolishly agreed, saying if you have friends, you confide in them. This was ignorant on my part, because I was equating “therapy” with Freudian “talk therapy” and nothing else. Years later, I had a great therapist in whom I confided in detail after dumping a narcissistic sociopath. This therapist taught me about things like boundaries and reciprocation. I guess the narcissistic frenemy wouldn’t have wanted to go to a therapist and hear what the therapist had to say about her.

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S. E. Wigget

Outside Medium, I mostly write fiction, especially paranormal and historical fantasy, under either S. E. Wigget or Susan E. Wigget. WhimsicalWords.Substack.com