A narcissist is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance." Narcissists are not good people to date, befriend, or trust. Unfortunately, it is extremely common for narcissists to abuse your kindness, so let's discuss ten ways a narcissist might be sneakily taking advantage of your good heart:
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1. Takes Advantage of Your Resources
One way a narcissist abuses your kindness is when they take advantage of your resources. Narcissists tend to prey on specific types of people, such as those who are kind and caring towards others—but they particularly target kind people with plenty of resources. Perhaps you have a car and they don't; next thing you know, they are convincing you that if you are a true friend, you will carpool them anywhere, anytime—and how dare you ask them to help pay for gas!
If you have been a victim of narcissists abusing your resources, it is not your fault. Narcissists are cunning and use your good nature to their advantage in any way they can. They will abuse your kindness as a license to engage in their narcissistic behaviors.
As Christians, it is important for us to be kind to all people at all times, but we should never let someone take advantage of our kindness. If you have noticed that a narcissist has taken advantage of you because of your kindness, it is a good idea to cut ties with this individual to preserve your wellbeing. You can pray for them, but you should not stay in close contact with them.
2. Manipulates Your Past Wounds
A second way a narcissist abuses your kindness is if they manipulate your past wounds. Individuals who have been cheated on, lied to, or abandoned are prime candidates for a narcissist to use. They are an easy target for narcissistic abuse because the narcissist can promise to never cheat on them, lie to them, or leave them, so long as they do x, y, and z. There are always subtle stipulations with narcissists.
Maybe you have had a similar experience.
Due to the vulnerability we extend, narcissists tend to manipulate us into believing or doing things they want us to do. If you have suffered being manipulated for your wounds by a narcissist, it is okay to step away from the relationship and the situation altogether. God doesn’t want you to be in this type of relationship or in a situation of narcissistic abuse.
A third way a narcissist abuses your kindness is by gaslighting you. Gaslighting is “the intentional act of making you distrust your views of reality or believe that you’re mentally unstable.” Narcissists will abuse your kindness in the form of gaslighting to make you question yourself and to cause you to distrust your own views of reality.
Kind, good-hearted people intentionally choose to be kind, but what if a narcissist can gaslight you over and over, convincing you that you aren't those things? Thus, you must owe that person more of your time, resources, love, etc. Because of extending kindness, narcissists can easily gaslight us into believing lies about ourselves, others, and the world.
As Christians, we do not need to let narcissists abuse our kindness. While it is important to be kind to all people, we must remember God never called us to be in abusive relationships.
4. Lacks Empathy
A fourth way a narcissist abuses your kindness is by their lack of empathy. In your kindness, you most likely have shown care, compassion, and love to the individual only for the narcissist to return your kindness with a lack of empathy. Narcissists do not give in relationships—they would rather take what they want from the relationship for their own personal means. If you have been there for them on a bad day, sacrificing your own routine and needs, don't expect the favor to be reciprocated when it's your turn to have a bad day.
A lack of empathy is not a good trait for anyone to have in their life nor is it a good trait in a friend. Narcissists tend to have a lack of empathy in their lives, which causes the non-narcissistic individual to feel more isolated and alone.
5. Plays the Silent Treatment
A fifth way a narcissist abuses your kindness is by implementing the silent treatment. As most of us know, the silent treatment is the worst. Having the silent treatment placed over your head is worse than having an argument. In exchange for your kindness, it can be common for a narcissist to give you the silent treatment if they didn’t get exactly what they wanted from you.
When someone gives you the silent treatment even though you were kind to them, it can be quite confusing. Why? Because narcissists don't operate within healthy communication strategies. If you have been given the silent treatment by a narcissist even though you were kind, don’t take it personally. You have done nothing wrong. The problem is the narcissist who is abusing you and your kindness wants you to continuously reach out to them, making them your top priority.
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6. Sabotages You
Another way a narcissist abuses your kindness is by sabotage. You may have extended kindness to them in a way, such as connecting them with a mutual friend or helping them get connected to a church group, but instead of being thankful, the narcissist sabotages you in exchange for your kindness. They might agree to attend your church's small group only to mention in prayer requests that you need prayer for not being a faithful friend.
Narcissists often cause disruption or interference with your other relationships and in your life endeavors. Instead of being supportive of you, narcissists tear you down and plot out ways to sabotage you so they are your sole focus.
7. Invades Your Privacy
Invading your privacy is a seventh way narcissists abuse your kindness. In exchange for your kindness, instead of repaying with equal kindness, narcissists tend to invade your privacy. Rather than accepting limits, narcissists overstep their boundaries and invade your personal time.
As an example, maybe you allowed a narcissist to use your phone to make a phone call, but instead of just using your phone to make a phone call, they look through your text messages, photos, etc. Narcissists know how to get under your skin in personal ways, and it is best to step away from their presence in your life.
8. Slanders You
Slandering you is an eight way a narcissist abuses your kindness. In your kind dealings with the narcissist, they abuse your good nature by slandering you either to your face or behind your back. In short, narcissists employ verbal abuse whenever they can to get their way.
If you have extended kindness to any individual, it is only right for them to extend kindness back. If someone slanders you, it is not on you. You are not the lies they are telling. Rather than letting their lies take up all of your emotions and make you retaliate in anger, just know that you have no obligation to remain in that relationship.
Narcissists will slander you despite your kindness—no matter what you say or do—because it's all about them. If you have found that slandering takes place a great deal in your relationship with a narcissist, you can pray for them, but perhaps it's time to step away from that relationship.
9. Ignores Your Accomplishments
A ninth way a narcissist takes advantage of your generosity and loyalty is by ignoring your accomplishments. If you share your accomplishments with a narcissist, they will immediately feel threatened and it will trigger their own insecurities. This causes them to abuse your kindness and focus on turning others’ attention toward themselves.
Rather than celebrating your achievements, narcissists often take your accomplishments upon themselves, celebrating how you only reached a certain milestone because of them. They want to be the pinnacle of success—and they will manipulate your achievements so they can have all the spotlight. (And all along, they offered no help as you made strides towards dreams and goals. Unfortunately, you can never expect a narcissist to aid in anything that doesn't guarantee a direct benefit for themselves.)
A tenth way a narcissist abuses your kindness is by exploitation. Narcissists do not see people as individual people, but rather as “objects to meet” their needs and wants. Due to this habit of exploitation, narcissists will abuse your kindness and twist your goodness and hard work in order to exploit others. In other words, narcissists will take advantage of others without a second thought of how it could affect someone else.
Remember, narcissists view kindness as a weakness, and they will use kind people for their own means and their own twisted desires.
If you are in a friendship or a relationship with a narcissist, it is best to stay away from them so they don't abuse your kindness or you. You can pray for the narcissists in your life and ask God to help them in their problems; however, it is best not to surround yourself with narcissists. Narcissists will use and manipulate others without a second thought about the other person’s well-being.
God doesn’t want you to be involved with these types of people because they will make you feel bad about yourself. Instead, grow in your education of narcissistic behavior and learn how to identify narcissists in your life in order for you not to be manipulated, used, or gaslit by them.
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Originally published Friday, 27 May 2022.