Why You Need to Be Suspicious of a Narcissist’s Kisses

A kiss isn’t just a kiss

Christine Schoenwald
3 min readJun 18, 2022


Photo by Taisiia Shestopal on Unsplash

When I was nine years old, I vowed never to kiss my mother again. I thought this was a good way to punish her.

At first glance, it may seem like I was the manipulator in this situation. However, I was only a kid trying to get her mother’s attention.

It turned out that I wasn’t punishing her; I was playing into her hands.

Since my mother is a narcissist, my plan backfired.

My mother wasn’t one of those mothers who smothered her child with attention and affection, quite the opposite.

And by my withholding, I took the pressure off of her to pretend to be a loving parent. Narcissists tend to kiss only when it helps them get something they want.

I kept my promise for a year, and my mother rejected me when I tried kissing her again.

Now, decades later, my mother insists on shaking hands with everyone, including her blood relatives, which is both awkward and strange.

Shaking hands is what you do with a business associate, not a parent.

I only recently learned that narcissists dislike kissing, but once I did, something clicked. Past behaviors started to make sense, especially my mother’s aversion to showing or receiving affection.

Why do narcissists have an aversion to kissing anyway?

For narcissists, kissing should be used to manipulate someone, not as a means to grow closer and create strong emotional bonds — that’s way too scary.

The last thing a narcissist wants is to feel vulnerable or as if their true selves can be seen. Kissing is too intimate for narcissists.

Kissing can cause the release of oxytocin, also called the love hormone, which can generate feelings of attachment and contentment. Narcissists don’t want to feel dependent on anyone — that would make them feel…



Christine Schoenwald

Writer for The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Next Avenue, Business Insider, and Your Tango Christineschoenwaldwriter.com