How to Deal with a “Kind” Narcissist


how to deal with a kind narcissist

There are various types of narcissists that exists, but did you know about the “kind” narcissist? Here’s how to deal with a kind narcissist and avoid them at all costs.

At first, the kind narcissist seems like a generous, attentive person. Trouble arises once more is asked of them than they want to give. It’s the same insidious selfishness and entitlement as regular narcissism, tucked inside a nice guy façade.


At first, the kind narcissist seems like a generous, attentive person.
Trouble arises once more is asked of them than they want to give.
It’s the same insidious selfishness and entitlement as regular narcissism, tucked inside a nice guy façade.

The kind narcissist sees themselves as good person. Often, they appear steady and good-natured. They are popular and well thought of. The trouble arises once more is asked of them than they want to give.

This instinct to preserve their time, autonomy, or affections is not based on what’s fair or necessary but instead on their feelings of entitlement about how much (or little) should be asked of them. This sense of entitlement differs from healthy boundaries and self-esteem because they both refuse to take anyone else into account and believe they are entitled to love, respect, and goodwill, no matter the pain and frustration caused to those around them. It’s the same insidious selfishness and entitlement as regular narcissism, tucked inside a nice guy façade.

What Is A “Kind Narcissist”?

Kind narcissistic behavior often looks like the following: not doing one’s share of housework, insisting that their work responsibilities always take precedence over yours, resistance to spending time with people or activities that are more important to you than to them, and reluctance to spend money on things important to you while insisting on big-ticket items that they value.

One glaring example of this was a friend of mine, who before her divorce had a kitchen with no working appliances and cabinet doors falling off their hinges. Her husband insisted there was no money for repairs and then spent over $100,000 on a new truck just because he wanted to.

How To Deal With A Kind Narcissist

In a work environment, this might be someone who never steps up their output or productivity, no matter how dire the need to do so, and happily allows their colleagues to take up the slack. They might be the sibling who acts concerned about the welfare of an elderly parent while resisting any real contribution to that parent’s care. If you push back on this behavior, you’ll be met with wounded eyes, defensiveness, and an accusation that “No matter what I do, you’re never happy.”

But where a kind narcissist is really exposed, unsurprisingly, is during long-term romantic partnerships. Especially after children. It’s hard to imagine a life experience better designed to put pressure on the system than having a baby. While the kind narcissist’s self-centeredness can often be masked in the beginning phases of a relationship or before there are any heavy responsibilities or tough times, eventually, the wheels come off.

Related: 7 Subtle Signs You Are Dealing With A Dangerous Person

Kind Narcissists In Relationships

How to Deal with a Kind Narcissist

Consider Jack and Meredith, who came to me after Meredith told Jack she wanted to divorce. When they came to my office, Jack looked shaken and fearful—like he’d just emerged from a car wreck. Meredith was calm and poised and radiated a cool detachment. They’d been together for eight years and had two young children.

They’d met in graduate school, and Meredith had immediately been taken by Jack’s sunny, generous demeanor. “He always seemed like the first guy to jump in and help out. I thought he’d be an amazing partner. All everyone says about Jack is how nice he is, what a great dad, that I’m so lucky to have him. But it’s for show. He does exactly what he wants to do and doesn’t lift a finger otherwise. I’m exhausted, and I’m done.”

Two weeks earlier, Jack came home after spending the day playing baseball with friends. Meredith was in the kitchen making dinner, both kids at her feet. She asked Jack to take the kids while she finished up. Jack agreed but said he wanted to change his clothes first. Fifteen minutes later, he still hadn’t emerged.

Related: 40 Red Flags That Point Towards A Toxic Relationship

In the kitchen, Meredith was draining pasta, holding their toddlers out of the way of the boiling water, putting her body between the kids and the sink. When she turned back around, both kids were covered in marinara sauce. “I cleaned up the kids, and I knew that Jack was just in the bedroom, laying on the bed, looking at his phone, ignoring the chaos in the kitchen. And suddenly, I knew that this was never going to change. I don’t want to be in this marriage anymore.”

Jack admitted he had been lying on the bed, scrolling through his phone. “I needed a minute to unwind from my day.” He also admitted that this was a pattern. “I know I leave most everything to Meredith, and I don’t really know why. It just seems like she’s fine.” He felt it was deeply unfair how quickly Meredith turned cold: “It’s like a light switch was flipped.” He knew she’d been upset, knew she wanted him to be a better partner. And yet, now that she was prepared to leave, he was genuinely shocked.

In the many, many earlier iterations of conversations, discussions, arguments, and finally fights where Meredith would state her unhappiness and ask for change, Jack wasn’t listening—he was “turtling.” Turtling is a term that video gamers use to describe players who defend themselves by going into a fixed position to avoid conflict.

In their relationship, when Meredith was upset, Jack would “turtle,” retracting into his shell until the storm had passed. Then he’d stick his head back out and resume operating as usual. In truth, Jack didn’t really understand how upset Meredith was. Because he hadn’t been paying much attention to her at all. Jack focused on Jack.

Now that he was paying attention, he was panicking at the thought of Meredith leaving him. He turned to her and said, “I love you. I want to stay together. I’ll do anything not to lose you.”

We started to talk about how Jack could regain her trust. Meredith began to lay out what she needed to see from him. Jack started to bristle almost immediately. “I’ll do that, but what do I get in return?” he asked. “I can’t feel like you’re judging me all the time and like you get to call all the shots.” He turned to me, “A good marriage is supposed to be 50/50, right?”

This is classic kind narcissist behavior. He says all the right things and seems contrite and ready to make a change. But he can’t stop thinking about his end of the deal. Meredith realized that to get Jack to step up, she’d basically have to constantly be threatening to leave, and that’s not the partnership she wanted. She had to accept that Jack looked great from a distance but not up close.

Did you find this interesting? Share your thoughts and experiences on how to deal with a kind narcissist in the comments below.

Written by: Tonya Lester
Originally appeared on: Psychology Today
Republished with permission
Want more? Check out Tonya's Instagram: @tonyalesterpsychotherapy 
how to deal with a kind narcissist pinex
how to deal with a kind narcissist pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Up Next

7 Red Flags Of A Future Faking Narcissist: Beyond The Façade

Red Flags Of A Future Faking Narcissist: Beyond The Façade

Have you interacted with someone who promises you the world, but when the time comes to do good on their promise, they leave you high and dry? Chances are you might be dealing with a future faking narcissist.

Future faking narcissists are charming and diabolical at the same time, and are experts at lying through their teeth. They will paint a picture-perfect image of themselves in front of you and will promise you a beautiful future. However, it’s all smokes and mirrors.

In this article, we are going to talk about the signs of future faking narcissists, so that it’s easier for you to understand when someone is genuinely interested in building a future with you and when someone is simply playing you.

Up Next

The “False Self” Of A Narcissist: Look Beyond The Facade!

Hidden Narcissist False Self: Make Believe Traits in Them

The narcissist false self is charming and confident, masking underlying insecurities and emptiness beneath. Let’s find out other secrets they hide!

Narcissists have a false self. They’re master illusionists. They behave like a little king or queen — whether bragging or sulking. Their whole personality is a charade crafted to deceive you into believing they are confident, superior, self-sufficient, likable, and caring.

In studies, groups of people met with and liked a narcissist, but after 6 more interviews, they discerned the narcissist’s true nature and changed thei

Up Next

How To Deal With Your Partner’s Obsessive Ex? 4 Tips For Successfully Handling One

Deal With Your Partner's Obsessive Ex: Tips And Tricks

Have you ever had to deal with an obsessive ex? Moreover, have you ever had to deal with your partner’s obsessive and toxic ex? If you have, you already know how disturbing it is to go through this. This article is going to talk about some of the best ways to deal with a toxic ex or deal with your partner’s toxic ex.

My friend is happily married to a man who has a child. He is a devoted and loving father who sought full custody of the children; the court denied his petition.

His two children are living with their narcissistic mother who actively alienates the children from their father. His ex was obsessed with him during their short and turbulent relationship. She was deceitful, abusive, controlling, and highly destructive. They hooked up while drunk.

Up Next

Dog Whistling Narcissist: 8 Ways Narcissists Use This Covert Manipulation Tactic

Dog Whistling Narcissist: Covert Ways They Manipulate You

Have you ever had the feeling that when you are talking to someone, there’s a hidden message they’re trying to get across to you? A message that feels insulting, condescending and hurtful? If you answered yes, then you are dealing with a dog whistling narcissist, my friend.

These people are experts at sending subtle messages that are extremely hurtful and humiliating, but only you understand it, not anyone else. When a narcissist uses dog whistling, their main motive is to manipulate you and keep you under their control. They’ll use it to dominate you, and put you down, while pretending to be harmless.

But what is dog whistling, and how narcissists use dog whistling? Let’s find out, shall we?

Up Next

What Is A Superiority Complex And How To Deal With Someone Who Thinks They Are Better Than You

What Is A Superiority Complex And How To Deal With It

Have you ever met someone who believes they are inherently better than others? Do they constantly exude an air of superiority, belittle others, or dismiss others’ accomplishments? This is a superiority complex in action. What is a superiority complex?

People who exhibit traits of condescension and arrogance are believed to have a superiority complex, a psychological phenomenon that drives such behavior. Let’s explore the superiority complex in psychology, its signs, causes, and most importantly, how to deal with someone with a superiority complex.

What is a Superiority Complex?

A superiority co

Up Next

What Is A Devouring Mother? Overcoming A Narcissistic Mother’s Toxic Grip

What Is A Devouring Mother? Ways To Overcome Toxicity

Do you feel overwhelmed, smothered, or suffocated by all the love and attention your mother gives you? Perhaps you know people who feel trapped in situations where their mother’s love becomes an all-encompassing affair? This phenomenon is referred to as “The Devouring Mother Archetype.” Let’s explore what is a devouring mother and how to deal with the devouring mother archetype.

What is a Devouring Mother?

The Freudian devouring mother describes a controlling, overbearing motherly figure hampering a child’s development and independence. It is marked by possessiveness and narcissism.

As the term is not a literal description, a devouring Mother does not mean a mother who consumes her children ph

Up Next

Is It Love Or A Trap? 10 Ominous And Warning Signs Of Love Bombing

Ominous And Warning Signs Of Love Bombing: Love Or Trap?

Have you ever experienced the turbulent side of love, that comes from falling head over heels for someone? The butterflies in your stomach, the passion you feel, and the feeling of being swept off your feet – feels amazing, doesn’t it? But what if I told you that behind this seemingly perfect façade lies something dark and sinister? What if I told you these are warning signs of love bombing?

Welcome to the dark world of love bombing; a psychological tactic used by manipulative people to gain control over your mind and heart. In this article, we will talk about what does love bombing mean, and the signs you are being love bombed.

Let’s get started first with what does love bombing mean, shal