How does it feel 'from the other side'? - Dumping Emotions on me
By being a newly realized empath, your energy signals are going to be on high for a while. When I found out a few years ago that I was an empath, my signal strength jumped up quite a bit. And while it was cool getting more validation of my gift, it was also painful (major anxiety in certain places and trouble sleeping, depression etc...). Along the way I found protection stones and they have made a huge difference. That along with other stones have balanced out my chakras and calmed me down so that my empath signal strength has been manageable. It used to be that intense emotional people were near impossible to be around. But with my stones I can now talk and function with them. And this is great at work where you can't control who you have to work with. So long story short, good for you for finding the stones. Keep them on you when out in the world (close to your body in a pocket or skin contact like with a bracelet seem to work best). That will help you immensely while out in the world and with people who you feel a bit heavy, anxious, or sick around.
As for your friend, if you don't feel he is a narc then it may be his drug use. I have done some research on this and drugs and alcohol abuse are said by many to lower a person's energy vibration. While intoxicated it takes one's internal spirit to a lower level where bad things and bad behavior follow. It is said that people who overuse drugs and alcohol lose some of their angelic protections since they are dropping to an energetic level where angels and spirit guides cannot function. And when this happens to a person they lose their way in life while being tempted and directed by things that are not good for them. It's kind of like the old cartoon where the devil is on one shoulder while the angel is on another. Except during heavy drug or alcohol use, the angel goes away and the devil has larger influence because the spirit/soul is closer to that energetic plain (using devil vs angel example as a metaphor). These are of course theories that I have received from other psychics and spiritual teachers. But it really makes sense to me. Especially if you have ever witnessed a person's personality slip away and a darker person emerge from drug or alcohol dependency (or any addiction for that matter). This makes me wonder if you are picking up on your friend's lowered energy and changing personality.
The thing to remember as an empath is that it is all about energy for us. As an empath your energy is unusually high relative to other non-empath humans. A lot of empaths are healers and use some of their higher energy to help people by literally lifting their spirits and in some cases healing physical problems. But as you give and take away someone's low energy/spiritual pain, you lower your own energy in the exchange. That's when you start to feel sick, depressed, weak etc... And a lot of the time this energy transfer happens without your own intent. Just being in the room with someone can create that spiritual energy transfer. That's why being around certain people will bring you down and not make you feel so great. Just remember to practice grounding at least daily so that you can rid yourself of that low energy and bring your high energy self back to balance.