Discerning the Christian Covert Narcissist’s Contradictory Characteristics

There is a specific kind of narcissist who is especially dangerous – the Christian covert narcissist. This is the type of person that Jesus warned about when he cautioned his followers to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15).

This narcissist sneaks in undetected and infects your life in ways you couldn’t even imagine.

When we think of the grandaddy of all narcissists, we usually think of the highly abusive, malignant narcissist. But it doesn’t take a discerning eye to spot this narcissist from a mile away.

The narcissist I’m talking about today, flies under the radar and even comes across to many as sweet, caring, easy going, and nice. But beneath that erroneous exterior, you’re dealing with a self-centered, egotistical, self-righteous, entitled brat.

You may be saying, Kris that sounds a lot like the covert narcissist. And you’d be right, but there’s a tiny element that you’re missing.

This isn’t just the covert narcissist, this is the ‘Christian’ covert narcissist.

This is the narcissist that knows all the right words to say. They’ve learned the lingo—maybe they even learned it from you—but they are anything but true followers of Jesus. In fact, many of them are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

So in today’s video I want to give you insight into their behavior and help you to follow the biblical mandate found in Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”

So let’s talk about 8 contradicting characteristics of the Christian covert narcissist.

Contradiction #1: Sweet on the outside, shallow on this inside

Two opposing flavors may work well for candy bars, but not for healthy relationships.

The Christian covert comes across like she/he cares, but it’s a facade, and an overly exaggerated one at that. They have to ‘sell’ you because they know that if you lift up the hood, you’ll see there’s no depth. A few minutes of genuine conversation and you’ll see you can’t swim in those shallow waters. But if you are the type to hang out on the shoreline, you may not spot this person easily.

Contradiction #2: Uses vulnerability to manipulate

Have you ever had compassion for someone, only to later to feel bamboozled? You can’t quite put your finger on it, but something about your care for them made you feel uneasy. Maybe they cried the financial blues when it came time to pay the bill, but you found out later that they really didn’t need you to take them out to dinner.

Or maybe they convince you do something for them that you later learn they could have and should have done for themselves. Covert Christian narcissists love to play the victim in need.

Contradiction #3: Nice, but not kind

‘Nice’ by definition means pleasant and agreeable—two characteristics that can easily be faked. Nice is shallow, while kind is self sacrificing.

The Christian covert narcissist is not genuine. That’s why they erect a ‘nice’ image. Because they care more about how they appear than how they really are.

Contradiction #4: Quotes scripture, but is biblically illiterate

Christian covert narcissists know enough scripture to be dangerous. If they lie and twist their words and yours, why wouldn’t they do it to God’s Word?

Be sure to know God’s truth for yourself, as one of the enemy’s favorite tactics is to confuse you with lies that are founded and grounded in SOME truth. That’s what makes this narcissist so dangerous, they know enough of God’s truth to twist it.

Contradiction #5: Says one thing, but does another

The Christian covert narcissist takes hypocrisy to new heights. I hate to imagine how many people they’ve turned off to Christ with their two-sided tongues.

They’ll tell you how much they want a healthy relationship with you, but then do nothing to contribute to it.

They’ll make up rules for you to follow, but not follow them themselves. And if you call them out, they will offer every excuse until one of them sticks or you’re sufficiently exhausted.

They’re not about growing real relationships, they’re about surrounding themselves with people who please them.

Contradiction #6. They’ve got the words, but they ain’t got the music

Have you ever heard someone sing off key? They’re singing all the right words at the top of their lungs but they’re completely tone deaf—it’s painful. That’s the Christian covert narcissist.

Even if you’re not vocally gifted, you know when you hear bad singing. It’s not as clear with the covert Christian narcissist—they may be saying positive words but there’s an undercurrent of victimhood.

They may be saying encouraging words, but you can almost feel the envy within them.

I’ve heard a woman say, “I feel like I have to put myself down to help them.” They’ve got the words, but they expect YOU to provide the music.

Contradiction #7: Appears grateful, but is secretly abusive

These wolves in sheep’s clothing will not hesitate to take advantage of you when the opportunity arises.

They’ll pretend to be grateful with words like, ‘Oh, I’m so blessed’ and ‘thank you so much.’ But once that opportunity is opened up, they truly believe they are entitled to whatever they are taking from you. That’s why they are always on the hunt for ‘nice’ people.

Contradiction #8: Acts like a giver, but lives as a taker

The Christian covert narcissist will put on the performance of a lifetime convincing you that they are selfless and giving. Many even migrate toward helping professions in an effort to bolster their fragile ego.

The truth is, they don’t actually care about people. Professions like nurses, social workers, caretakers, and even administrative supporters often make these insecure people feel powerful and important.

Spend enough time with this person and you’ll definitely begin to see the selfish side emerge as it’s always simmering beneath the surface.

Life is all about them. They may call themselves Christians, but the life of a Christian is one of submission and servitude.

Challenge this narcissist and you’ll only give them ammunition to improve their game for the next unsuspecting soul.

Covert Christian narcissists are like chameleons and they fool a lot of people. Don’t let that be you. While you may have some adjustments to make in how you deal with this person, I want to encourage you to stop allowing others to label YOU as the problem.

Stay close to God and be patient. The truth always reveals itself, so remember Matthew 7:16 when you find yourself confused by the contradicting characteristics of the Christian covert narcissist: “You’ll know them by their fruits.”


If you’ve ever wondered what the narcissist says about you? Check out this episode here.

Watch, Listen & Subscribe

More goodies for you!

Toxic People Survival Guide

As you become more confident in setting boundaries with difficult people, you will begin to see your life filled with more peace, regardless of the situations or people that you encounter.
It’s like a cheat sheet to detoxify your life!

Biblical Boundaries

In the Biblical Boundaries with Toxic Family Course, Kris’ will teach you the why and the HOW and equip you with everything you need to set appropriate, lasting biblical boundaries with toxic family.

Toxic Thought Assessment

Your thoughts impact so much of your life – learn how toxic your thoughts are and how you can overcome the toxic thoughts holding you back from living the life God most wants for you. Take this assessment to determine how toxic your thoughts are and begin on your journey to renewal.