Narcissists will conceal their intentions, their heart, and their actions to make sure things look good while still working toward their goal of self-exaltation and dominance. However, while they may hide their intentions for awhile, once they feel they are in a position to truly “go for it” they will discard their mask and fully show their true colors. They likely showed glimpses of their true nature before taking their mask off, but when given the opportunity they revealed themselves fully. This is true of many prominent megalomaniacs in the past, but you likely also see examples much closer to home:
- The “cooperative employee” that becomes a tyrant when he gets to be boss
- The girlfriend who makes joking digs at her boyfriend, but “becomes” a contentious wife after she ties the knot
- A congenial cooperative politician who becomes a dictator once in power
Proverbs hints at this phenomena of people showing their true colors when given the chance:
Under three things the earth quakes,
And under four, it cannot endure:
Under a slave when he becomes king,
And a fool when he is satisfied with food,
Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
And a female servant when she dispossesses her mistress.
Biblical examples might include
- Satan gave a seemingly little temptation to Eve in the Garden of Eden, but showed his full true intention – to usurp God – when he told Jesus in the wilderness
Again, the devil *took Him along to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
- The jealous Pharisees couched their opposition to Jesus in pious sounding questions, but when they saw the opportunity they orchestrated his death.
It IS a mask they wear, as narcissists are hypocrites. The very definition of the word “hypocrite” is wearing a mask to cover intentions and behavior.
Proverbs says that charm is deceitful (Proverbs 31:30), and that scoffers (narcissists) are flatterers. They will use those tactics to “win you over”, but after they have accomplished that the mask will come off and they will begin to reveal their true nature and agenda.
This underscores the importance of keen discernment in looking for the clues ahead of time, and avoiding the consequences
A prudent person sees evil and hides himself, But the naive proceed, and pay the penalty.Proverbs 22:3
Once N’s have their hooks in and feel they are in a position of power – whether personally or at a geopolitical level, they are much more difficult to deal with. It is better to recognize the clues early, and take action early (like steering clear), than to wait until their mask comes off.