Narcissism and Friendships

  • Ulrike MaassEmail author
  • Caroline Wehner
  • Matthias Ziegler


Researchers have gained a lot of knowledge about the impact of narcissism in social relationships. Surprisingly however, there was little attention to its manifestations and correlations within friendships. Hence, we approach this topic within the current chapter. The first part summarizes the relatively sparse state of research that examined the impact of narcissism in friendships: On the one hand, research (e.g., on romantic relationships) supports that narcissism is beneficial for the formation of a relationship but detrimental for its maintenance. On the other hand, narcissists exhibit behaviors that might also be beneficial for friendship maintenance (e.g., through their approach motivation). However, it is still unclear to what extent current findings from research on relationships in general are generalizable to friendships in particular. Therefore, we propose ideas for the study of narcissism and friendships in the second part of this chapter. Here, we focus on the idea that long-term friends might change their evaluation of the narcissists’ behavior over time. For example, a friends’ judgment about narcissistic bragging might develop from being entertaining at first to being self-centered and, finally, to being indifferent. We end the chapter with suggestions for future research on narcissism within friendships that direct the attention to questions about how conflicts are solved and what goals or rewards both friends follow.


Friendship Friendship formation Friendship maintenance Friendship dissolution Contextual reinforcement model 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrike Maass
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Caroline Wehner
    • 1
  • Matthias Ziegler
    • 1
  1. 1.Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Medical School BerlinBerlinGermany

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