Most of us are familiar with the word narcissist and might even have allocated it to a few people in our lives because we didn't like them or found their behaviour selfish, manipulative or harmful. We might have been right or we might just have been dealing with a standard a-hole.
However, much harder is it to spot the communal, or kind, narcissist.
Like other narcissists, they're charming and fun and they make you feel good about yourself - initially - something that will fade with the demand of 'everyday life' getting in the way and they no longer need to impress you. If they're attracted to you the likelihood is that you're quite an empathic person. The rougher your past the better as they will shine through as the hero of your story - the good saviour.
The kind narcissist is generous. They give a lot to others - like money. They are less likely to give generously if it demands effort.
They get a kick out of being liked. They'll be known as 'the good guy'.
Their reputation is important to them and they might even come across as people pleasers.
They value warmth, agreeableness and relatableness, sociable and outgoing.
They see themselves and want others to see them as kind, friendly, supportive and trustworthy. They're the friend encouraging you to open up to them (and who won't keep your secrets). Often, they're the guy with lots of female friends because 'it's so nice to know a guy who isn't a creep'.
They'll know all the right things to say, be the ally and feminist. They'll be righteous around their goodness - being vegan, a socialist, outspoken about injustice, hate the rich.
Their kick doesn't come from being the smartest or most powerful person in the room (though that's not to say they don't think that they are) but they value being seen as the most giving and helpful.
Their 'selflessness' is in fact a way to stroke their egos and is based on a deep-rooted selfish need as their kindness is only surface deep.
They are not motivated by actually being helpful but by how others' positive view of them makes them feel.
If you want to see their true colours, point out their hypocrisy, selfishness or how they aren't really kind where or when it matters - like behind closed doors in a long-term relationship. They may react with coldness or anger but it may also come out as wounded eyes and 'no matter what I do, I can't make you happy' comments, making you the problem.
They will know all the right things to say and do - all master manipulators do - but if you don't see actions align with the words, you have your first sign.
If you worry about being yourself in case it rocks the boat, you have your second sign.
If they hold on to years-old resentment when you've apologised, there's another sign that their wounded ego cannot let go.
If they blame you for things going wrong and take no responsibility, you shouldn't need more signs.
This is a daily, micro-blog, taking less than 2 minutes to read, offering you insights into how presumptions, beliefs and stories shape our lives and worldview, for better or worse.