Sometimes it’s common to fall for a narcissist again, and that might have made you wonder how could you make the same mistake again. The short answer to that is this – covert narcissists and altruistic narcissists. This article explains in great detail how they function, and why you might fall for a narcissist again, despite knowing what it entails.
The thought of falling prey to another narcissist after having lived through a first horrific experience may be keeping you up at night.
I know exactly how this feels because I fell for a second narcissist that was the total opposite of the first and it really caught me off guard.
I’ll be honest, I failed to recognize their underlying toxic traits because they weren’t obvious and were well hidden – at least initially. Then, when the cracks and demons appeared, this person was as abusive and heartless as the first one.
In today’s Thriver TV episode, I share with you the details of my own story, going from two deeply damaging narcissistic relationships to my healthy and happy current relationship and how I finally secured the loving partner I deserve.
I want you to know how to pick a partner that is NOT a narcissist. Please watch to find out how.
Let me start off by saying, many people in this community have fallen for more than one narcissist. This could be in any aspect of life like a narcissistic boss or a friend, but for today’s episode, let’s talk about romantic relationships.
I was one of those people. So please don’t be in dismay as a result of you doing this as well. Because I know many of you have.
How Easy It Is To Get Involved With The Second Narcissist
It is so easy to get involved with a second narcissist, and this is how this formula often goes. People usually initially fall into a relationship with a big shiny overt narcissist, somebody who’s exciting, who appears confident, passionate, personable, and charismatic. We all know how that went. Horribly.
Then after discovering that we had been hit by the freight train known as a narcissist, we researched them and we tried to be very aware and wary of people with whom we’re going to connect in the future. So, we may be looking for someone kind of less obvious, more responsible, and somebody who doesn’t need to hold the center of attention.
Also, we may be drawn to someone who is nowhere near as selfish or arrogant. Somebody who gives to others, who cares for others, as well as us. Maybe somebody who’s even connected to charity or humanitarian deeds or has a really benevolent standing in society.
Little did we know that somebody who is less assuming and more giving can also be a malicious and dangerous narcissist. That’s what I want to talk to you about today, who these people are, and what we can do to be safe and free from them in the future.
The Covert Narcissist Trap
First of all, let’s have a look at the covert narcissist. Which is often people’s second choice of a narcissist. Not always, but often it is.
This person seems quieter and more humble. They’re definitely not obviously arrogant. This is the person who might be sitting at the back of the room, observing others rather than taking the limelight. Yet this person is still really in hubris. They’re still arrogant, but they do it in a more covert and victimized way, rather than a brash way.
Rather than tell you how wonderful they are, these people will tell you that they’re unrecognized for their brilliance. Rather than a brash overt narcissist who’s out there seeming incredibly confident and successful, these people will make excuses for why they haven’t been successful and why they haven’t been seen.
Things like pathological lies, nasty acts, cruel indifference, blaming you and everybody else, and refusing to take personal responsibility for their behavior.
They don’t take a good long look at why they behave the way they do. They are not humble at all. As you know, evolving self-responsible people are and have to be.
You will discover that like the overt narcissist, this person can smear you, throw you under the bus, discard you as if don’t exist, be incredibly cruel and unkind, and even set authorities and minions onto you and try to destroy your life. They can do all of that and you think it isn’t a narcissist and it turns out to be incredibly cruel and horrible and narcissistic.
The Altruistic Narcissist Trap
Then there’s the altruistic narcissist, which is also often people’s second choice of narcissist. Again, not always, but often it is.
This is the really benevolent narcissist who puts themselves out for others, is kind, considerate, and incredibly attentive. This is the person who jumps up to help others, who donates their time to causes, and may be revered in the community for their good deeds.
This person is going to be so kind to you, they’ll rub your feet, they’ll cook you dinner, they’ll run you a bath. They’ll be so kind and caring. You say to yourself, “How on earth could this person be a narcissist?”
Yet further into the relationship, you’ll discover that if you challenge this person, if you rock the boat of their perfect image of themselves, being a wonderful person, that this person can explode, be horrible, and just as cruel and nasty as any narcissist. They do the things that only narcissistic people can do.
Yet, if you pull away from them, they can cry, they can be so sorry. They’ll tell you that they’ll never do this to you again, and they’ll make it all up to you. They will go out of their way to look after you and be generous to you. Quite frankly, they seem to be so delightful for a large portion of the time.
Yet, when they crack and the demon appears, they can throw the entire relationship out the window with the most disgusting abuse, aloof, heartless discards. Also the altruistic narcissist, I’ve found with so many people in this community and from my personal experience, as well, can be very prone to adultery.
Altruistic narcissists often turn out to be having affairs on the side, as well as triangulating people against each other. So, telling the lover that you’re the crazy one and telling you that that person is the crazy person. Keeping you separate while toggling both of you or even more people.
Another very painful aspect of the altruistic narcissist is that their kindness and generosity come at a price. They want the payoff. They love creating financial dependencies with you. So you start feeling dependent on their generosity and them taking control and paying for things.
Then when the cracks appear, they are very capable of attacking you with financial abuse, citing you deserve to be punished after everything they gave you, when the relationship ends.
So, this saying that I want to share with you is very apt for any narcissist and especially the altruistic one, “If you’re getting a free lunch, you are the one who may get eaten alive.”
The Confusion Of Being With Another Type Of Narcissist
So understandably, it’s really confusing being with a narcissist. You’re going to wonder whether or not you’re actually with a narcissist because they don’t fit the usual character of a narcissist – which as we know is conceited, they have delusions of grandeur, are larger than life, and all the usual behavior. They don’t fit into that category neatly, so it is confusing.
Additionally, you could feel really sorry for the covert, victimized narcissist because it’s always about what happened to them and how people are bad to them and what they went through in their childhood and all of this stuff.
You may see their potential, especially if you’ve got a tendency to try and fix and heal people so that they’ll love you which is a pattern that you might have played out in childhood with a parent.
Also, with the altruistic narcissist, it can be really hard to identify and get clear about what they are because they are so apparently loving and giving. They’re the perfect partner, except when they pop.
The Deeper Reasons Why You Repeat A Narcissistic Relationship
Now, I want to give you the real reasons why we repeat relationships with a narcissist again. Just like I did.
It’s not because you haven’t researched narcissists enough and you recognize these types logically, and you know what to look out for in these types. In fact, if that’s the only path you take or the path that you think you need to take, it is not going to protect you at all. I promise you.
No narcissist comes into your life wearing a t-shirt that says, “Hi, I’m a narcissist.” So that fun, big center of attention person, absolutely, they could be a narcissist if you know anything about narcissism, but with the other types, there’s no way you’re just going to pick it up.
Here’s the thing, there are much quieter intellectual types, like the covert narcissists, that are not narcissists. There are giving, romantic, benevolent, caring people who are not narcissists. A hundred percent. So how do you know the difference?
There’s only one way you can know the difference. By having done enough inner work on yourself that you have cleaned up those often unconscious parts of you that were feeling needy and empty.
I need to explain this, and I don’t want you to get upset by this. I’m not blaming any of us for getting involved with narcissists. I’m just helping you understand at the deeper levels, how it happens just as it did for me the second time around.
The reason I’m helping you understand this is so that you can take your power back and understand what it takes to get to know somebody’s character for real.
When you take your time to get to know who somebody is, you will realize it’s important to say no if they’re moving a relationship too fast, which narcissists do. You will be able to speak up if something feels off rather than think, “Oh, I’m just going to keep the peace,” or “No, I’m imagining it,” or “Everybody has a bad day,” or “I don’t agree, but I don’t want to disagree with them.”
Then, by speaking up if something feels off, you are asserting your truth and your values and you can do it nicely, calmly, and directly. You’re going to discover what this person is like in a conflict situation. Are they going to be humble and have a mature conversation with you? Or are they triggered easily into a narcissistic injury?
If you’ve done the inner work, you’re going to be able to retain the life that you’ve established, rather than making this person immediately into an instant relationship in the center of your universe – which is what any narcissist wants you to do.
So, date this person platonically at a healthy pace before letting them into your heart, your body, your Soul, and your life. Narcissists are like a Trojan horse – they want to get in the gate really quickly and then explode out of the horse and take you over. That can’t happen if you take your time.
Now I know that so many of us were really programmed to believe that this isn’t romantic and this is maybe because we’re scared or we’re paranoid. Especially after being with a narcissist, I want you to know that this approach isn’t because you are scared that this could be a narcissist.
You take your time because it’s just a healthy, sensible, mature thing to do. When you buy a new car or a house, you do your due diligence. You don’t just go, “Oh, that looks awesome. Where do I sign?”
Taking your time and doing your due diligence is even more important to do when you’re choosing a potential life partner because you stand to lose so much more than a dodgy deal on a car and a house if you’ve made a mistake.
I didn’t know this as I do now regarding dating people. When I got hooked up with narcissist number two I still had many aspects of myself that were unhealed. I still had abandonment and financial inner fears. I thought I’d worked on them enough, but I hadn’t.
I also thought because he was so different from narcissist number one, narcissist number one being the overt, narcissist number two being the altruistic, because he was so kind, I really thought, “I’m going to be incredibly safe with him.”
Again, I fell into a relationship far too quickly. I got swept up with the romance, the kindness, the acts of service, and the generosity that, of course, was the exact opposite of what I’d experienced with the overt. I really believed that he couldn’t be a narcissist.
But here’s the thing, there were warning signs that I overlooked at the start of our connection. He texted often, he wanted to bond too quickly. To be honest, I let this happen and I even encouraged it.
By the time I saw his chinks, which were the mind games that were quite cruel, that he was playing with his ex-wife. And the bragging to me about how he did things for others so that he could cash in on the payout from them, and some really off views about how all men think about women … it was too late, I was already in a relationship with him.
Again, I found myself waking up in bed next to a man who I was bonded to, in a relationship with, who didn’t share many of my values and truths about how I saw the world and the way I wanted to live and the way I wanted to treat others.
But I was enjoying the spoiling and his ability to care for me and how he drove the bus financially in our relationship. Again, after it was all said and done at the end of this two-year relationship, I again ended up in horrific trauma after being abandoned several times for other women and also financially devastated and smashed again.
This time I was 46 years of age. I was shell-shocked. I was traumatized and I was in despair when I discovered that I had again, fallen for a narcissist.
Thank goodness after that – because I was spiraling down and went into a big black hole – I remembered and I replicated the Quanta Freedom Healing path, which is the NARP work that I’d discovered with narcissist number one.
I used it to break free from the psychic hooks, the Soul infiltration, that horrible Soul disease of narcissistic abuse, where we feel like our Life Force is sucked out and we’re helpless, powerless, and everything that goes with it. You know exactly what those symptoms are because you’ve experienced them, as well.
Once I did get clear, I was able to quickly recover from my addiction to him. I was able to purge myself of the trauma symptoms that had all flared up again. Then I got very determined to work out and clean up what had gone wrong and what my tendency was to be in narcissistic relationships. I made that my greatest mission to go to that next step.
These were, as it always is, the traumas that were triggered, that he’d hit. Those were my unhealed parts, that’s what was up and huge for me. It was about being discarded for other women, it was about abandonment, it was about losing financial security. So I had to really heal those things up properly.
Then I started working on looking at my boundaries, speaking up, taking my time, and really having a full cemented life that I would love and I would retain. Rather than, I need a man to have a life, and being prepared to lose it all to get it all, to back my values and my truth and, “If you’re not a match for that, well then we’re not going to be together … it doesn’t matter at what stage we’re at, it’s not going to work.” I got very clear on what my values and my truth were.
So, what happened with my partner now, whom I’ve had for three years, is when he showed up in my life, he was very generous, romantic, caring, and kind.
I remember a girlfriend said to me, “Well, how do you know he’s not an altruistic narcissist?” Because he sent poetry and he picked me up for dinner with flowers and lovely, beautiful things that most women love. I adore those things.
I said to her, “You know how I know he’s not an altruistic narcissist? Because I kept it platonic. We had a nonphysical relationship for three months and he wouldn’t text me 20 times a day. If I was busy in my life, whether it be work or whatever it was, and if I didn’t respond to him in four hours, I wouldn’t get a message asking where I was or some kind of weird hook to make me feel guilty. It was all calm because he was solid within. I did my own thing and I even traveled overseas.”
What I discovered in the three months is that he had a great character. He was a kind person, he was healthy, and he was sane. I spoke up and I disagreed with things. If I had a different opinion, I wasn’t being the yes girl. We were able to have healthy, sane debates about things and I saw he wasn’t triggered.
He had a strong inner identity. He had great relationships with people around him that were genuine. I discovered within these three months that we dated platonically, getting to know each other, that he really did share my values and my truths about life. This is why our relationship works and it’s happy.
I am so grateful that I took those steps and that healing and that orientation of realizing what was going to be necessary to walk healthily into a healthy relationship. I had to take my time and be whole enough to show up authentically and question things and be myself.
And stay aligned with my values and my truth, regardless of who somebody else was or wasn’t being – to see if they were healthy and they were mature and we could have a healthy, mature relationship.
I’ve loved, in this progression of my own evolution to be able to help other people in this Community thoroughly clean up this pattern of repeat narcissistic relationships for themselves.
It actually ended up being so perfect that I went down the path of that second narcissistic relationship. Otherwise, I would never have understood the dynamic of how we can fall for it again with a different narcissist, whether it be covert to an overt, or an overt over to a covert, or an altruistic. It happens to so many people.
I also completely understood that this is not about trying to research or work them out. This is about deeply healing our own solidness and maturity and our evolution to be able to choose healthily, take our time, and have boundaries.
I hope that this makes sense to you because I know a lot of you out there have had more than one narcissistic relationship and understandably have a big fear about walking into another one again.
I can’t recommend it enough, if you haven’t already done so, please come to my free webinar. So that you can understand more deeply the subconscious things that you may not have cleaned up that can lead you to narcissist relationships.
Also, so that you can learn about the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program. And how you can be a part of our incredible community that supports your evolution into narcissistic abuse-free relationships in the most powerful, fast, straight line that’s possible. Because we all deserve real true, genuine love.
I really hope that this helps.
Want to know more about the signs of a covert narcissist? Check this video out below!
Written By Melanie Tonia Evans Originally Appeared On Melanie Tonia Evans