Covert V’s Overt Narcissist.

People with a narcissist personality disorder may be a mixture of the overt, covert types, and they can fit the descriptions of both types of narcissistic personality categories. The overt and covert can cross over. A Covert can act confident around certain people, and the Overt can play the victim if it meets a need of their own. Some people can have narcissistic personality traits but can just be an idiot or negative people. Or a different personality type.

The best thing to look out for is, do they seem entitled, even if they don’t act it? Do they seem to exploit others? Do they lack in empathy? Do they put others down? Do they seem jealous of others? Do you feel like you’re losing or you’ve lost who you are around them? Do they seem to put you down? Do you feel uncomfortable around them? Are your anxiety levels rising? Do you start things with “This might sound stupid?” Even if you’re not dealing with someone with the disorder, you’re dealing with a toxic person, and you have to decide for yourself to find a safe way to step away.

The typical classic grandiose narcissist can and will play the victim like a Covert narcissist if it gets them out of any form of consequences. Yet, it’s often done with calculating manipulative methods to get them out of trouble. Often they don’t believe they are a victim as, in their minds, they are better than all others. No one would get one over on them, they’ve made themselves victims to escape accountability, and in their mind, it will be your fault that they had to do this. An introverted covert will believe they are unique. Still, they’ll believing themselves to be the victim as those around them don’t seem to agree with the Covert theory that they are special. They’ll still exploit others in Covert. “If you hadn’t.” The overt is more of a “You deserved it.”

Covert v’s Overt.

Shy v’s Arrogant.

Introvert v’s Extrovert.

Impulsive v’s Calculated.

Overt narcissists these are usually the grandiose narcissist but not always. They are arrogant and boastful, and they can be exhibitionists, easily offended by criticism, and rage is close to the surface. They have grandiose behaviour, they are demanding of specialised treatment, and they want to be and will often be known as the best at everything. They really need to be recognised for their uniqueness, believing they are superior to others. Their personality is exploitative, and they are very ruthless in gaining power and control. They have the potential to be a public figures and often but not always have power and money, always at the expense of others. A lot will not secure success and will simply make up great stories and lie about their achievements in order to gain the recognition that has never been earned.

Overt and covert narcissists have deep feelings of unworthiness. The overt narcissist will diminish, slander and intimidate people just because of their own jealousy and insecurities. They have very high levels of distrust in others, probably because of how untrustworthy they are.

The covert narcissist is usually a victim narcissist but not always, as they are generally quieter but still as dangerous and painful to become involved with as the overt. Both overt and covert have intense feelings of shame and unworthiness. Coverts often lack the confidence to present a grand false self to the world, so they retreat to their inner world they do as all narcissists do happily lie.

A covert narcissist can show signs of depression and can be withdrawn and project these feelings onto those closest to them in withholding and passive-aggressive ways. The covert can explode, but it takes more provocation, often through a lack of confidence. Overts often believe themselves to be better than others, and they usually have an army of people who agree. Hence, they are more outrageous and obvious in their ways. Both overt and covert lack a conscience and will project their own fears, insecurities and damaged inner self onto others by lying, manipulating, withholding or abandoning. In fact, whatever tactic they can master to get any sort of reaction from you. Coverts are often anxious, pessimistic, unmotivated and blame his or her past for insecurities and inadequacies. They may be a great drain on a partner by being parasitical in using money, resources and energy that he or she is not self-producing. They are highly exploitative and believes he or she is entitled to take anything. Everything they want but can simply not be bothered contributing unless there is an ulterior motive attached.

Overts are calculated, cunning, sly, and the masters of manipulation. Coverts act more on impulse.

It’s more the Covert that will have multiple partners, not always. Yet, they move on quicker to avoid being exposed for their true selves. They don’t want others seeing their deeply hidden insecurities or vulnerabilities, Overts can cheat, but often they have enough people sucked into their lies or reliant upon them. Those around them make them feel special on a more continuous basis, so they feel less need to cheat. However, they are human, so they are as capable of being a serial cheater, just like the Covert, and both are capable of staying faithful, although this is rare.


One of the hardest things to do within ourselves to overcome narcissistic abuse is to stop dwelling in the pain of our past, to enjoy our present and move into a happier future.

When we’ve given all our love, hopes, dreams, money and homes into a relationship, for that person just to destroy it all, that devastating pain is a natural response.

Those who’ve been through a narcissistic abusive relationship are not only left in a state of confusion trying to reclaim reality and work out what’s indeed happened to them, as well as rebuild themselves back up from scratch, their homes, jobs, and friends, their entire lives. They are also left mentally and physical drained and utterly heartbroken.

We can also be left with the belief that they are our soul mates, they need our help, we love them, yet at the same time, they are cruel and heartless towards us. This is because the narcissist can play so nice and then be soul-destroying to us, causing our bodies to release chemicals that leave us trauma bonded to them. We are weaning ourselves off the drugs our bodies have released. With the many manipulation tactics from the narcissist they use, leaving us believing it’s our fault. The conflict within ourselves that no one can be that horrible for no reason. We must have done something.

It is not your fault, and no one deserves to be treated this way.

You might question. ”The disorder is rare. they don’t have all nine characteristics?” truth is they only need five to be on the spectrum of the disorder.” But they can be so nice.” Those on the cluster B personality disorder Narcissists, borderlines and histrionics have a Disorder. They are not healthy people who switch it on when they feel criticism, anger or stress. They have a disorder. This is who they are.

Suppose they have a disorder or not. Abuse is abuse mental, physical or both, and there is no excuse. Them having a disorder is only a reason behind their behaviour; it is not to excuse their behaviour.

Coming out of any form of relationship with a narcissist often leaves us in a state of disbelief, usually because of our own perceptions, values, beliefs, kindness, trust in others, making allowances for mistakes, with the help of their gaslighting, blame-shifting, the silent treatment and projecting their faults onto us. We rationalise, make excuses, blame ourselves and give them the benefit of the doubt over and over again, or through fear of reactions, fear no one will understand, help or believe us, and if you’ve been isolated, fear of being alone can also keep us trapped in the cycle of abuse.

When we finally awaken from the trance they put us under and finally break free for good, it can seem like a never-ending mountain to climb, and we are drained emotionally, physically and financially. Often with, the narcissist still playing games.

Here are some top tips for practising daily. Even when you take a step or two back, get up and go again, you will find your inner happiness, freedom and a new life for you.

1. Be patient and kind to yourself; it takes time, work and effort from within yourself. If you’ve slipped up and reacted to them, had a knockback, or just had a bad day, it’s ok these things happen. Deal with the emotions, then move on from that moment as it is now in your past.

2. Create new routines for yourself; sometimes we miss the routine we had, starting new ones for ourselves, realising you now only have to answer to ourselves and do what’s right for you.

3. Release the toxicity out of your mind, and when we’ve been around these people, they poison our minds, and then our subconscious starts to work against us. Journaling, talking with a trusted friend, support groups, coaches, psychologists, and EMDR treatment to release it all from your mind, then work on building your mind to think how you want to, look for the positive, no matter how big or how small and keep going, keep achieving more.

4. Accept and acknowledge the truth, then forgive yourself. You have to realise you were manipulated and duped by an extremely toxic person who just wanted to use you for your good qualities. They do not care for you. They just want to hurt you. Your forgiving, kind and generous traits were used against you. Being a good person is nothing to be ashamed of. Learning to say no will become a deal-breaker with these kinds of people in the future.

5. Boundaries, no contact or grey rock with negative people, practice the art of saying no to things you don’t want to do, don’t accept something you don’t like as normal behaviour and say yes. Stick to your no.

6. Accept that part of you knew; that part was most likely your instincts. Now is the time to tune into these and use them wisely. ( this is not to blame yourself, no one deserves to be abused.) this is to take responsibility for the choices you made, so you can take action not to make these choices again. Perhaps at the beginning, you thought something was off but didn’t know what, or something just didn’t add up. This is your instinct trying to warn you. Now when you feel them, don’t look for answers or excuses. Go with them and never against them.

7. Heal any old wounds or insecurities for you, as narcissists are predictors who choose a target they know they’ll be able to take down. Accept yourself for who you are. We all make mistakes, we all have insecurities, and what others think of us or our past is not for us. Only you define yourself. Get to know yourself so well. Others will no longer be able to use you against you.

8. Shift your focus, and you will go through a period of time where you are drawn into your past. They will be running through your mind, the pull of the trauma bond. You might still need to work out some of your past. Set aside time to do so, don’t let it steal your present day.

You are now more aware of yourself and educated on life itself. Create new visions and dreams for yourself, and take those steps to make these happen, the possibilities are endless, and you never know how far you can go. When you feel down, focus on how far you’ve come, even if that’s just getting out, changing one thing can change everything for you.

10. Keep working on and listening to your inner voice. Throw out any negative self-talk, words like “no one will love me.” And ” I’m not good enough.” This makes you pray to more manipulative people. Learn to create and love yourself for who you are, learn to believe in yourself, learn those instincts so you can now trust in yourself, and ask yourself and give yourself truthful answers, ” who am I? ” if you don’t know. “Who do I want to be.” And keep going.

If you have a choice, ask yourself. “How do I feel about saying yes?” ” How do I feel about saying no?” It’s about putting yourself first, and getting answers from yourself. So long as your intentions are good, there is no wrong way or right way to live your life, so live it for yourself.

Listen to those instincts; if things don’t add up about someone, don’t make excuses, those people are not for you.

Signs you’re dealing with a grandiose narcissist.

Signs you’re dealing with a vulnerable narcissist.

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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.

Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.


Pattern interrupt.

Trauma bond.

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