# What type of friends do narcissists have?

For some time now, I have been looking up information on narcissism; however, I have never found information on the type of friends narcissists have.

Research tends to show results about narcissistic friends which is not what I am trying to figure out.

So what is known about the types of friends narcissists have? I know that there tend to be different types of narcissists and they will probably have different types of friends, but there must be some kind of generalizations and specializations about friends.

• I'm not sure why someone voted to close this. The question seems reasonable, even if research for answering it may be hard to come by. Some popsci pages that aren't terribly grounded in research are easy to find: a PT blog, businessinsider, or the Guardian. – Fizz Dec 19 '17 at 10:06
• Add HuffPo to the list. And more tangentially a psychcentral post. – Fizz Dec 19 '17 at 10:12
• Finally Pacific Standard which does point to a bit of research, alhtough perhpas not quite what you ask for. – Fizz Dec 19 '17 at 10:20
• @Fizz I am reading some of them now. It appears that BusinessInsider and The Guardian are more dating / relationship then just friends. I think I know someone that seems to be narcissistic however their friends appear very different. I have read one article since posting this that narcissists tend to have narcissist friends. Maybe that is a generalization but does not apply to all narcissists – Christopher Rucinski Dec 19 '17 at 10:26
• Side-note: embedded in your question is an assumption about the [sub-]typology of narcissists, which is in itself not entirely settled, but at least it's better researched. I'm partial to this paper on this matter. – Fizz Dec 19 '17 at 11:48

Since I don't think this question should be closed with no answers, here's a brief summary: most of the research (never mind the popsci articles, which far outnumber actual research on this) seem to focus on the profile/personality of intimate partners who "fall" for narcissists.

Haslam and Montrose (2015) after surveying a British sample of young females (18-28 years old) say that

Females value different traits in short-term and long-term partners. [...] Females with greater mating experience and those desiring marriage were more attracted to the narcissistic male personality. The narcissistic personality, whilst having many negative qualities, possesses qualities associated with status and resource provision. These traits are desirable in short and long-term mating contexts. Despite future long-term mating desires which are unlikely to be achieved with a narcissistic male and possession of substantial mate sampling experience, females view the narcissistic male as a suitable partner: a testament to the success of the narcissistic personality in facilitating short-term mating.

While this doesn't say much about the personality of the narcissists' potential mates, it does say something about their goals (aspriging for status and resource provision).

A study on speed dating by Jauk et al. (2016) found that

Across both sexes, narcissism was positively associated with mate appeal for short- and long-term relationships. Further analyses indicated that these associations were due to the shared variance among narcissism and extraversion in men and narcissism and physical attractiveness in women, respectively. In women, psychopathy was also positively associated with mate appeal for short-term relationships. Regarding mating preferences, narcissism was found to involve greater choosiness in the rating of others' mate appeal (but not actual choices) in men, while psychopathy was associated with greater openness towards short-term relationships in women.

Again not much is said directly about the personality of the partner, but something is said about what they saw valuable in narcissists (extraversion, looks).

On non-intimate but long-term relationships, the OP himself found Maaß et al. (2016):

Results showed that the friends' similarity in narcissism significantly predicted similarity in all Big Five domains. For the general Big Five similarity as well as extraversion, the effect of narcissism similarity was stronger for male than female or mixed friends. Similarity in psychopathy and Machiavellianism significantly predicted all domains except for openness and extraversion, respectively.

And that's basically summarized in the paper's title "Narcissists of a Feather Flock Together".

• I made this community wiki as an invitation to further editing/expansion with additional research, should it be found. – Fizz Dec 21 '17 at 8:00
• I wasn't sure I was up to creating an answer to this question with the material that you and I found. This seems to be a good summary of what is known now. Hope it can be expanded on in the future – Christopher Rucinski Dec 21 '17 at 11:39
• @ChristopherRucinski: you probably can't see it, but there are presently 3 close votes cast on your question, which is why I decided to write this, not to "scoop" you. – Fizz Dec 21 '17 at 11:41
• No worries, I was not thinking like that at all. I am really glad you did. It kind of summarized everything I read from you in a nice way – Christopher Rucinski Dec 21 '17 at 11:44