top of page

Kind Narcissists, Camouflaged Selfishness

Written by: Dr. Sydney Ceruto, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Narcissists usually employ kindness and generosity when you first meet them. They trick you into gaining your trust. However, eventually, they reveal their true identity.

Man with overly confident attitude in casual business wear.

Kind narcissists are hard to identify. That’s because you don’t see them coming. Furthermore, you might well take it for granted that the person you just met is the most caring, thoughtful, and considerate person in the world. However, little by little, they reveal their other face. That dark side, where the most devious selfishness and darkest personality dwell.

In recent years the term “narcissist” has become extremely popular. However, we should be careful not to use this label in an arbitrary way. For example, a narcissist isn’t someone who simply takes a lot of selfies or permanently seeks attention.

As a matter of fact, narcissistic personality disorder defines an emotionally abusive profile that guides the behavior of the individual towards manipulation. Lack of empathy, grandiosity, inability to establish deep social ties, and an obsessive search for validation of others are the traits that define them. Furthermore, each narcissist uses their own techniques to get what they want.

For instance, some exhibit openly malicious behavior. On the other hand, others are more devious and use kindness to profit. Let’s take a look.

Kind narcissists

Kind narcissists are in disguise. They’ll appear to be, for example, a nice guy or a charming and attentive woman. In addition, they often seem to be extremely trustworthy and usually enjoy social success. However, behind this facade hides the classic narcissist. It’s only their manners and techniques that are different. This is what proves to be so contradictory when you first meet them. Because you simply don’t notice that they’re a narcissist, as they don’t raise any suspicions in you at all.

Bearing this in mind, you probably think that the narcissistic typology is rather broad and that’s why it’s so difficult to recognize them. However, this isn’t entirely true. As a matter of fact, the University of Pittsburgh (USA) conducted research that suggested we shouldn’t think about types or subtypes of narcissists, but rather about a disorder that falls within a spectrum.

Therefore, some personalities are problematic, while others manage to integrate well. In addition, each one uses their own strategies, and both kindness and altruistic behavior may be included in their repertoire.

Defining characteristics

Kind narcissists are the kinds of people who, at the beginning, of a relationship, will move heaven and earth to please their partners. They’re always attentive and considerate. However, over time, the situation takes a complete turn for the worse.

In fact, eventually, they don’t move a muscle for their partner. Furthermore, it’s only their own immediate needs that matter. However, the most complex thing is that outsiders will continue to see the narcissist as an outstanding person who’s admired by everyone.

This personality profile also arises in people who take care of relatives whenever there’s a clear benefit for them, like an inheritance. It’s also commonly seen in work environments. It defines the kinds of colleagues who are always willing to help, yet who, at any given time, can work against you in multiple ways. They do it to get noticed or achieve some particular benefit to their advantage.

Kindness as a decoy

Narcissists don’t only appear to be nice. They assume they really are. Furthermore, you won’t see the narcissistic personality as hostile or threatening when they first appear on the horizon. Indeed, it’s not easy to identify them at the beginning. That’s because they’re generally so charming.

Narcissists are viewed in this way because they need to create a good internal narrative about themselves. In fact, if there’s one trait, they all share, it’s low self-esteem. This makes them build an artificial image of themselves with which to support and validate themselves. Likewise, the kind narcissist knows that by acting in a prosocial and altruistic manner, he earns everyone’s trust.

Kind narcissists deceive with their discreet behavior. They don’t seek to be the center of attention. In fact, they earn the trust of others little by little, which they then later use to their advantage.

The discreet and generous narcissist is just as dangerous as any other

There are narcissists who are wolves in wolf’s clothing and narcissists who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. The former is loud, impressive, and attention-seeking. They’re also outgoing, charismatic, and attractive and they manage to be the center of attention in any circumstance. The second kind demonstrates other types of behavior. Kind narcissists fall into this category. They’re discreet and less conspicuous.

As a matter of fact, this is their great asset. It allows them to skillfully make emotional conquests and climb the career ladder at work.

Authentic kindness starts from a genuine sense of empathy and altruism. Nothing is sought in return. The mere fact of acting out of goodness already acts as a benefit. However, this is something that narcissists can neither understand nor feel.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info! Read more from Dr. Sydney!


Dr. Sydney Ceruto, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Sydney Ceruto has completed her doctoral education in the field of Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience & is a leading specialist in using your brains natural ability to change neuroplasticity to ensure you reach your desired goals. Her specialty is in helping clients recognize their faulty thinking patterns, change undesirable behaviors, developmental & emotional resiliency, & gain mental clarity.

When Dr. Ceruto was a teenager, she tragically lost both parents. As an only child, the loss of family completely broke her. She became profoundly depressed & began suffering from chronic anxiety. Sydney felt lost, & any form of happiness, confidence, or clarity seemed a long way off. Soon after, she began to pursue her education in medicine at Yale & obtained three masters in psychology & two Ph.D.’s in both cognitive & behavioral neuroscience at NYU. Studying the mind-brain connection was indeed the paradigm for her healing & growth. Dr. Sydney Ceruto created MindLAB Neuroscience over two decades ago. She pioneered an integrative approach based on hard science that has genuinely changed the way people make positive &, more importantly, permanent changes in all areas of their lives. Her program is highly venerated & has debunked all the myths regarding the efficacy of “traditional therapy” & the sad misnomer that you need to be on a counselor’s couch for years or even decades. Several publications have Dr. Sydney Ceruto on staff as a senior writer. She is a proud member of the Forbes Executive Council, Positive Performance Alliance, Wharton Executive Education Program, and Executive Writer for Alternatives Watch and Brainz Magazine. She has an avid intellect, a keen understanding of human nature, & an uncanny ability to connect deeply with clients. Dr. Ceruto is hands-on, accessible, highly intuitive, compassionate & is told … pretty funny!

One of her passions is traveling, which she has done extensively. Dr. Ceruto is an avid sports enthusiast and watches everything from football to Formula 1 racing. She plays golf whenever she can and enjoys exploring other cultures. Dr. Ceruto has one son who graduated from Princeton University and is studying to become a corporate attorney. She also has an affinity for animals and is an adoring mom to her 1.5-pound Micro Cuban Chihuahua, Lolita.



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page