Some narcissists are over the top. They are grandiose. They are blowhards. Their disordered behavior is easy to spot, so most people don't take them seriously.
Then there are covert narcissists. They are the most dangerous, because they appear so nice. They are fun to be with. They are witty. They are charming. They are also very cunning.
If they worked above board, and others could see the destruction they cause, they'd be stopped. Instead, they literally get away with murder because they kill with words. Gossip and slander are their knives and bullets. So adept at destroying others, it doesn't always appear as if they're particularly malicious. Nonetheless, they sow much discord.
At church, if you find yourself targeted by a covert narcissist, start looking for a new spiritual home. Your pastor probably won't help at this point. That's because this type of bully wouldn't strike unless a victory was guaranteed. Angering the pastor, and having him take your side, is not their desired outcome. But they've already taken care of that. By the time you sense trouble, they've filled the pastor's ear with false witness against you.
Underneath the saintly exterior, a covert narcissist is seething with rage and envy. He is playing to win, and he won't stop until the battle ends. Lying and deception come naturally to a narcissist. So it's not going to be a level playing field. There's little to nothing you can gain by staying. God will be right by your side as He leads you to a better parish.
Flickr photo by jans canon