Dealing with toxic people’s behaviors is bad enough on its own, but when it comes to the passive-aggressive narcissist, you’re on another level.

On the scale of narcissism, you never want to be at the high end. Well, you wouldn’t want to be at the low end either. Anyway, narcissism is in us all, to a certain degree, but a balance is what we should all attain for.

Now, there is a certain type of narcissist that can be especially heinous. The passive-aggressive narcissist can be worse because they can appear to be kind, reserved and even seem perfect. Similar to the passive-aggressive personality, the narcissist operates in a covert manner.

The passive-aggressive personality traits of a narcissist

If you want to get deeper into what a passive-aggressive type of narcissist is, then you have to understand the “perfect mate”, “one of the best people you’ve ever met”, or “she’s just perfect”.

Yeah, if you haven’t met the “earth angel” yet, then you may not have encountered the passive-aggressive toxic personality. This personality type will have you thinking they are absolutely perfect in all ways.

Listen, I’ve met people who seemed too good to be true, and I will tell you, about 98% of them were. I’m sorry. I hate to be negative, but it’s just the way it is.

Our world, our genetics, and our parenting have created many wolves in sheep’s clothing. So, if you have encountered these people, how do you feel? I bet some of you feel pretty rotten.

Signs and behaviors of a passive-aggressive narcissist that destroy others

1. Too good to be true

If you thought the ordinary narcissist wore masks well, then you’re in for a surprise. The passive-aggressive sort of narcissistic personality can make everyone outside your household actually think they are perfect.

Now, here’s where they win heinous awards. The narcissist with passive-aggressive traits can even make household members, aside from their mate, also think they are perfect. Their poor mate is the only one who knows the truth, and hence, the one who suffers terribly.

A covert or introverted narcissist can also appear reserved, insecure, and sensitive at first. For example, they will be overly sensitive to any criticism, including the constructive one. They may say self-deprecating things and look sad and vulnerable, which has a certain degree of charm in it.

Guess what? This is all fake. In truth, the only thing they seek is your attention and empathy because they feed off others.

2. Gaslighting extraordinaire

I hate gaslighting. Oh, I hate it with a passion. A toxic person with passive-aggressive traits can make a nun feel guilty and crazy.

Remember when you caught your narcissistic girlfriend flirting with that other guy? Well, if you confronted her, I am sure you’re still apologizing by now. You’re probably saying you’re sorry about how you took things the wrong way, and how things aren’t always the way they look, huh…

I’m sorry, but you’re being gaslit. They are making you feel crazy, mean, and presumptuous. That’s because they’re closer to crazy than you are. Narcissists use gaslighting for many reasons.

It can be a way to avoid responsibility for their actions and to conceal something wrong they did, like in the example above. They also gaslight their victims to feel power and control over them and thus feed their sick ego.

3. They don’t really care about people but pretend that they do

The passive-aggressive personality of the narcissist has no room to care for others. But make no mistake, they will appear to most people as if they care deeply about everyone. They put on the persona that they wish to be kind, they wish to help people, and they want to make sure everyone is treated fairly.

Now, become their wives, step into the bedroom and try to communicate about how something they did hurt you. Oh, and, just a hunch, have you ever seen your passive-aggressive narcissist cry? No?

Well, until something hurts THEM or threatens THEM, they won’t cry. And if something hurts you, Oh, well, it just has to be your own fault. Let me offer a little scenario that will give you chills.

Let’s say this is you, the real victim: “You know, we haven’t spent any quality time together lately.”

The narcissist: “Well, you’re always complaining. You’re never satisfied. Why would I want to spend time with you when you do that constantly?”

A narcissist is almost incapable of caring for others. A passive-aggressive version is about the same.

Let that sink in.

4. They distort, change, or manipulate facts

If you suggest something, the narcissist will say they suggested it. If it makes sense to you, it will be a lie, and the narcissist will be the one who cleared up any problems. When facts are laid upon the table, the narcissist will find a way to change facts.

Did you hear me??? A narcissist will attempt to change the very fabric of reality with the twisting and turning of their words. Whatever serves their purpose will be the facts.

Whatever makes them look better will be changed to accommodate that. It will get to be so ridiculous that you will hardly be able to believe what you are hearing.

But in the end, all the psychological games they play serve one single purpose – feeding their ego. To make themselves feel good and powerful, they will try to convince you that black is actually white.

5. They don’t take responsibilities

Passive-aggressive narcissists do the strangest things, along with the negative things. They fail to take responsibility when they’ve done something bad, and they try to take responsibility for the good things they do not do.

They insist they are the ones who come up with all the good ideas and refuse to acknowledge the ideas that don’t work. It’s frustrating, to say the least.

If you call out a passive-aggressive narcissist, they will either twist the whole situation like in the examples above or just pretend that they didn’t hear or understand you.

Yes, I know, this sounds childish, but a narcissist would really prefer to behave in an immature way than to accept the truth and take responsibility.

Very often, a narcissist genuinely believes that they did nothing wrong. In other cases, they know it perfectly well but can’t stand the idea of being exposed. In the end, all they care about is to maintain a perfect image to others.

6. They rage

Even though the passive-aggressive narcissist doesn’t seem to have any anger problems on the surface, they have hidden fury.

When you confront a passive-aggressive personality about something bad they’ve done, they will throw a tantrum much like a child. If you’re not used to this sort of behavior, you will be surprised when it happens.

And of course, you will not know how to respond to this kind of childish behavior. Solution? Ignore them. Don’t give them any attention at all. It will starve their hungry ego. This is known as the gray rock method and you can try it if you are unfortunate to have a narcissistic person in your life.

How do a passive-aggressive narcissist’s behaviors affect you?

I guess you can see how these traits can make you feel guilty if you aren’t familiar with narcissistic behavior. You can also begin to feel worthless when the narcissist blames everything on you and never seems to take responsibility for anything.

The thing is, you have to remember, these traits are characteristics of someone who is sick. You should never take things that people with personality disorders say too seriously, especially when it’s obviously ludicrous.

If you know someone who exhibits the traits of a passive-aggressive narcissist, then the first thing you must understand is that it’s not your fault for the way they act.

If you choose to remain close to someone like this, it’s your choice, but when it starts to deplete your self-esteem, you may have to cut ties.

I do wish you the best when the time comes to make difficult decisions in this area.



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This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Fon

    Wow, u just described my on again off again girlfriend to a tee. Wen I first met her, I thought she was an earth Angel! So perfect that I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Too good to be true. My perfect woman in every way…but after several months of this, she turned into the woman described above, EXACTLY. a psychopath as well who uses sex and her beauty as a weapon of mass destruction. Still, I miss her very much since she moved out!

    1. Sherrie Hurd

      The word “narcissist” is being used quite a bit nowadays. We all have some level within all of us. If we didn’t we would be people with no sense of self. The important thing to remember, however, is a healthy balance of narcissism is okay. It sounds like you dealt with someone wearing a mask to catch a lover, then when she felt comfortable, she took it off. That happens. Sometimes this happens gradually, and sometimes it happens all at once and can be devastating. And yes, despite the way they treated you, you still miss them. That was part of the plan actually. They instill this need for them so deep inside you that when they leave, you have to work really hard to heal and find the person you were before. The good news is, you can pull that stinger out, and move onward. I do wish you well.

      1. TDH

        While every person in modern society is indeed a narcissist to some degree, there is no such thing as healthy narcissism. Self-worth, self-esteem, and self-respect are healthy. Narcissism is the root of all mental illness.

  2. Samantha Caplan


    I would like to say thank you very much for your articles.

    I have read a few lately and they are spot on and interesting to read for external confirmation when I know this.

    Thank you for your efforts

    1. Sherrie Hurd

      You are welcome.

      I am happy you get something out of what I write. It makes me feel like I might be helping someone. I am a rather introverted person or something like that, so I don’t do many outside things. To help someone in some way is good. Thank you for your kind words.

  3. maya

    thank you please always write articles

    1. Sherrie Hurd

      You are welcome and thank you for reading. 🙂

  4. Patti

    I was with a narcissist for almost 4 years and still trying to stay away. But he calls me or texts me and somehow makes me believe I am the reason for him giving me the silent treatment for days, the reason we fight and so on. But I go back to my journal which I started keeping one because of the gaslighting. I had to know I wasn’t crazy. I finally caught on to his blame game and his starting fights so he can go cheat and give me silent treatments. It really hurt so much inside when I did not know what I was doing wrong and how he could treat me this way. I still cry thinking of all the pain he caused me for no reason at all. I know it will be a long recovery but thanks to articles and information like this that saved me in the first place else I would still be there taking all the blame and going crazy. Keep up the good work. I’m sure you will be saving another person that had no idea that there were people like this! Thank you!

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      Patti, I am so happy for you. You don’t know how many times I have read such similar testimonies about mental and emotional abuse. This also mirrors two of the decades of my life. If I have helped anyone, then it had to be because of my young adulthood and the abuse I endured. Back then, in the 90s, I had no idea what was happening to me. I thought I was to blame for every single argument I had with my ex-husband. It actually took twenty years to realize that the insults were not really about me. They were reflections of how they feel about themselves. This “elevated self-esteem” they seem to have is a cover for the emptiness they have inside. Leave them alone with themselves and they would go insane.

      Truly, If I’ve only helped someone for one moment of my life, I am happy for the pain I endured to be able to do so. Be blessed.

  5. Chris

    thank you for this article by the way!

  6. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

    You are welcome, Chris 🙂

  7. Laura

    A very helpful article! Thank you!

  8. Linda K Coffin

    This article described my first marriage. I had my own problems and was slow to detect the gaslighting and the avoidance of responsibility. This took a life-long emotional toll on me. Although I am hurt and angry even after decades of having lived with this (I had a lot of reactive outbursts), I know the emotional history of my partner and it is horrible. There was every reason for him to behave the way he did. The sticking point is that he was NEVER going to take responsibility for his behavior. He had to protect himself at the expense of everyone else, especially his wife and family. My life will be continually dealing with the fallout from living with this. Thank you for depressing this dilemma so clearly.

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