Signs of a covert narcissist.
The narcissistic personality disorder is on a spectrum, so some are mentally and emotionally abusive, which in itself is soul-destroying to those who’ve lived it. Some are also physically abusive. Yet, through hope of change and fear of reactions, many people stay, as it’s on a spectrum, there are those who you can learn to handle, now I know a few say why me, I’m a caring person. ( once over all the self-blame and Self-doubt toxic spell they put us under.) The thing is, they have a disorder; it’s who they are; they do not see themselves as a problem; they do not reflect on their actions, they are never accountable. Therefore they see no need to change, and they change their partners, they change their lies, all to meet a need of their own. They never change themselves. Now those without empathy can be extremely dangerous. You know what you’ve been through and how far they take things, so always get out safely and always put your safety first. There are those you will need to move miles away from, usually the narcissist sociopath or narcissist psychopath. I’ll add the video link at the end. Others, however, if you have to co-parent, cut off a good parent if you cut off the toxic one, work colleague and other than them your jobs great, you can learn to handle yourself around them, yet there are so many types on the disorder so how do you know what you’re truly dealing with, to know if you need to disarm them. First things first, Abuse is Abuse, mental, physical or both, no one deserves this, and no one should put up with this, whether the people you are dealing with are narcissistic or not.
When people think of narcissism, they often think of the outward grandiose, attention-seeking, superior, confident, outgoing, charming, ( superficial charm.) lack of responsibility, exploiting others, manipulative, and the rest. Yet not all are the overt, grandiose or extraverted, and some are introverted, shy, vulnerable, closet, the covert narcissist. Yes, they have the same destructive behaviours as the grandiose or overt narcissists. They can both cross over between the two at times, depending on who they are with and what manipulation they are doing, so most narcissists can play the woe is my victim if needed, most can play the hero if needed, and most will never play the villain, only ever offering a false apology if they have something to gain by doing so.
Many introverts and extroverts are not actually narcissistic if they don’t go around exploiting people. If they don’t feel entitled, and if they have the ability to care for others, empathy, they are not a narcissist.
Although no type of narcissist is actually obvious at first, as we often don’t even know about the disorder, yet when we do, we listen more to our own instincts when the signals go off, even when we are unsure as to what they are telling us, as narcissistic people do have a way of making others feel off-balance, they have a way of influencing others, and the more we know, the more we notice, as hard as it can be to listen to those instincts as most will have raised you high at some point, so we want to believe they are good genuine people, with their blame-shifting, gaslight and other manipulative behaviours, we are often led to believe the problem is us, yet once we’ve been sucked in before, learned about the disorder and learned about ourselves, we learn to listen to those instincts and walk away from people we meet that just something doesn’t feel right, words not matching actions, the way they treat others etc.
An overt narcissist will say things in move obvious ways ” I am more educated than you.” “You look awful in that.” “You’re not qualified.” “You’re not capable.” “You’re crazy.” You can not do that.” And all the rest.
A covert does the same yet is a lot more subtle. ” I don’t think you can do that.” “I don’t think you should wear that.” ” are you really going to do that?” “I wouldn’t do that if I was you.” “Are you losing your mind?” And all the rest.
Still, when you love and care for someone, it’s hard to pay close attention to these comments. Instead, our brains take them into our subconscious thinking, and we begin to question ourselves instead of questioning the very person that’s telling them to us, leaving us full of self-doubt and going to the very person that’s giving us self-doubt for support only for them to sink us further.
Eight characteristics of a covert narcissist.
1. Lack of empathy. Now most narcissists have a complete lack of compassion. They are self-absorbed and often just think about themselves and getting their need met. They will rarely to never be there for you when you need them the most. Some people, when sick, will keep going. Therefore they might act, say or do things in a way you wouldn’t if someone else is sick. So, for example, if someone with empathy is sick yet will carry on, when you’re sick they might ask how you are, yet expect you to carry on, yet not judge you if you don’t, a covert narcissist will want, need and demand attention help and support when they are sick, yet when you are it’ll be things like. “You said you’d do this for me today.” Or “are you still going to take me here?” It will always be about them getting their needs met, and if you don’t, they will hold it against you forevermore when they need to bring it up. They’ll forget the part where you were so sick you couldn’t and remind you about the fact you didn’t do something for them.
2. Passive-aggressive. Some covert narcissists deal with conflict or situations in passive-aggressive ways, often acting indirectly aggressive, which most narcissists can do. Covert does so most of the time. They show resistance to requests from those around them in more subtle ways than the obvious covert who will tell you straight out, “I’m not doing that.” Or “I do things my way.” A covert might actually agree with a shrug of the shoulders, saying, “of course.” “Yes.” Or “as you like.” When You ask them if they could help you out, then sit and do nothing, they might be sullen, sit and procrastinate or be stubborn about it, yet not actually do it. When you ask why they didn’t, they might make up excuses or say things like. “I thought you meant this.” Or “I forgot.” And still not bother even though they agreed. They will conveniently forget. So if you ask them to grab something and they don’t, it’ll be. ” I forgot.” You feel let down as you thought they would, yet you can not really say anything as it could be a mistake. Now genuine people do forget and will often try to make it up. Covert conveniently forgets on a regular basis, gaslight by saying, “I forgot.” They shrug their shoulders and never do anything about it.
3. Highly sensitive. Most narcissists are sensitive to most forms of criticism, even constructive helpful criticism, where an overt might twist it onto you, provoke an argument so they can blame-shift an overt will most likely, defend themselves with snugness, seem to dismiss what you’ve said to them completely, or completely withdraw from the conversation, and go on a silent treatment. Most do not let on that they have been offended and will continue to scheme to get people back if you’ve offered advice. They might just shut the conversation down. They might pity play, so you feel sorry for them and make excuses up for them. Things like. “It’s ok for you, and you got help from x. I have to do things for myself. No one ever helped me out.”
4. Misunderstood. While most narcissists believe they are better than all others, unique and special. It’s ok to feel special. The difference is narcissistic people feel specially entitled, and above all others, they do not see people as individuals that are equal, and everyone is worthy. They only see themselves as righteous. A covert can feel like the world is against them, as most narcissists do. There are the overt that put the grand superiority act on, and then the covert act and speak more venerable and tell tails of how all others let them down and hurt them, overt will often say. “They can read people.” Coverts will say. “Nobody gets me.”
5. A smugness, entitlement, superior. Once we learn about the disorder, overt scams can be easier to spot with their big act in grand ways of how much better they are than others and their exaggeration of achievements, coverts are a little trickier, they tend to listen half-heartedly and observe what’s happening around them, they might not express negativity straight out like the overt who’d criticise what others say or do and put people down, coverts most often, eye roll, groan, eye glare, start yawing, dismissive gestures or get bored. Any comments made will be extremely judgemental and only from one point of view, which is as all narcissists have their point of view only.
6. Self-absorbed. Most narcissists do not pay attention or listen to others, with the overt they will but in a take over conversations, not to be helpful, to make it all about them, coverts can be quieter. Therefore they might just look like they are listening and paying attention to you. They just zone out and block what you are saying. Reasonable people can do this if they are busy or stressed over a situation. Coverts do this most of the time, they make a quick judgement on whether the conversation will serve them, and if not, their mind is out of there as they think about themselves.
7. Difficulty maintaining relationships. Most narcissistic people find this difficult, as deep down, most are insecure individuals that run around telling so many lies, they don’t know who to trust. Some have actually had some form of trauma and been deeply hurt in their past. However, this is no excuse to go around hurting others, good people who’ve been hurt go around helping others through, which does help them feel better. Narcissists go around destroying all others to help them feel better. Most narcissistic people do the idolisation, devalue, discard and hoover. Some can stay in a relationship for years, others only months. Still, all have problems maintaining a healthy relationship with anyone close to them due to their lack of ability to compromise, their need for control, and the fact they never think anything is their fault, as they flip the script within their own minds, change the reality and end up believing their own lies while getting enables and flying monkeys to believe them also.
8. Patronising and condescending, most narcissists patronise people around them, all take people down, so those around them are left feeling not good enough, with an overt it’s more “you can not do that.” Or “you’re crazy. With a covert, they’ll say things more like. “I wouldn’t if I was you.” Or “I’m concerned for your mental health.”
Coverts on the outside don’t often seem that bad and are not often physically abusive, all narcissists are confusing when we don’t understand what they do, yet coverts are so much more subtle in the way they go around things. Often their words never match their actions, and you just feel off around them, they might not directly put you down, or they might do it in a way that seems to be like they are helping you. They might not scream and shout or lash out. Yet you feel belittled by them and confused around them, questioning what they meant by that last remark. Listening to your body and your instincts, if something feels off, even if you don’t know what, those instincts are trying to protect you.
The narcissistic personality disorder is on a spectrum, and they will use a weakness or strength of the individual they are targeting. They will use their manipulation tactics to suit their needs and depending on the person they are trying to manipulate. As we have the malignant, grandiose, somatic, cerebral, overt and covert the victim narcissist on the spectrum, some are far more dangerous than others. You need to stay well clear. If you can manage your own state of mind and limit contact, you don’t have to cut them off completely. Just be careful they don’t infect your mind.
Some once you see what they are and what they do, you can learn to observe and not absorb their toxic nature. I shall add the video link at the end. Some you can limit time around and avoid certain topics of conversation. Some you need to stay well clear.
Those who have the disorder have a disorder. You can not change them. It’s a hard enough job changing ourselves. Plus, they don’t want to recognise and faults within themselves to learn from mistakes and find strategies to cope with their disorder. They’d just prefer to carry on their path of destruction while blaming all others.
Never call them out on their behaviour. Those without empathy, you never know how they will act. If you don’t like how someone treats you, you are more than entitled to leave them to it and go live your life with them no longer in it. It’s not cruel. It’s not mean to let someone who continuously lets you down and hurts you to go live their life. In contrast, you go and live yours, much wiser, much stronger, and so much happier.
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One thought on “Eight Characteristics Of A Covert Narcissist.”
Thank you for getting the word out. I was married to a covert and I dated two of them. I think my upbringing conditioned me to drawing them in somehow as my father has NPD. The lovebombing (idealisation) I kept mistaking for the nurturing I did not get as a child.