The Covert Narcissist.

When it comes to narcissist personality disorder, they are all covert to some degree, as they all try to hide their motives or the intent behind their behaviour. Most are difficult to spot, however, be it the overt, loud, arrogant, cocky, all about me look how amazing I am narcissist to the fragile, quiet, shy, reserved, everyone feel sorry for me narcissist, the somatic to the cerebral, malignant to communal, grandiose to the fragile, they all share the same traits, and even these can vary from narcissist to narcissist, as they would only need to show five characteristics to be classed as on the spectrum of the disorder.

  1. A belief they are special.
  2. Exploitative.
  3. Grandiose.
  4. Envy.
  5. Lack of empathy.
  6. Entitlement.
  7. Requires excessive admiration.
  8. Arrogance.
  9. Preoccupation with unlimited success.

Narcissistic people are hard to spot, especially when we don’t even know people like this exist. Coverts can be harder to identify. They are very fragile, very ashamed people, extremely sensitive to setbacks and criticism. They are very woe is me. They’ve suffered more than anybody else, extraordinarily envious and jealous, not understanding why others get stuff they do not. They can be passive-aggressive, and they can be very antisocial. They will continually nag if they work, they often change jobs fast, they get bored very quickly, they are extremely lazy.

Introverted or Covert. 

  • Introverted.
  • Shy.
  • Sly.
  • Plays victim.
  • Hidden passive-aggressive manipulation. 
  • Impatient. 
  • Extremely envious of others. 
  • Self-entitlement. 
  • Passive self-importance.
  • Procrastination.
  • Neglectful.
  • Self-serving empathy
  • Blames others.

On the surface, as with most narcissists, coverts can seem ok. Some can be very well mannered and polite.

It’s not until you get to know them, like most narcissists, that something just doesn’t seem to feel right. You just can not seem to communicate with them.

Covert are not usually loud and in charge like many think someone with the disorder would be.

In the beginning, they don’t tend to be argumentative. They do have a sense of entitlement and superiority, just not as in your face. It can seem like they are approachable after the Idealisation stage.

Covert narcissists hate feeling vulnerable and hate any weaknesses been known to others. When they feel threatened, real or not, when people see any humanity, weakness, mistakes or flaws in them, they go on the attack with blame and shame towards others and their faults.

Often it’s the covert method to use passive-aggressive behaviour, to shut down and withdraw, they suddenly fall Silent treatment out of nowhere, often leaving you wondering what just happened, there’s that lack of empathy with them, they come across as cold and not interested in you, oblivious to your feelings, they just don’t care about you.

They are very arrogant and will not apologise, only if it’s twisted around onto you. ”I’m sorry you.”

Coverts seem almost smug. It’s their way or no way, they come across as a very misunderstood, special person, who knows what others think or feel, and you just don’t understand them. That smirk can come out as they are deceiving those around them.

Everyone who manipulates tries to do it in a way that they can get away with exploiting people, those with more overt methods are as equally underhand with it. Coverts are often the shy narcissists or the fragile. They can be the communal narcissist personality type.

The covert narcissist can come across as shy, empty, depressed, low energy, they have grandiosity on the inside, but they feel ashamed about it. If they get stressed, they might even have some anxiety.

They will be very vulnerable in front of select people. To gain sympathy, they will want you to feel sorry for them. Coverts will guilt trip others as much as they can. They might look very dramatic when they are looking for sympathy.

They believe they have a right to everything, and they are self-entitled. They do believe they are special. They have a lack of empathy, think they are better than all around them, yet at the same time, think they’re not good enough.

They are people who try to come across as perfect, who are morally superior.

Things like. “ I’ve got no money, but I really, really need to get this, that or other.” They might not directly ask. If they are ill, they’ll require a lot of sympathetic attention. Often making those around them feel sorry for them, even obligated to look after them.

They will always play the victim. Even if there is evidence, they will Twist, so they are the victim.

Through many forms of projection, they will pass all their insecurities onto their main partner.

Coverts will do what they need to remain in control and feel superior. They are more neglectful of others in a non-verbal fashion, letting people down, ghosting people, sulking and those silent treatments. They are less likely to flatter people and more likely to gain attention by playing the woe is me. Lots of Passive-aggressive behaviour, cutting you mid-sentence, making promises and failing to deliver.

If a covert does give out some form of flattery, it’s because they want something in return, and they will guilt trip in order to meet their own needs.

Coverts will get others to question their perception, rather than directly shaming or blaming, are the ones who will say. “Are you really going to wear that?” or “I wouldn’t bother doing that if I was you.” They rarely directly Invalidate you. Most often, it’s underhand and extremely hurtful.

They are 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, sort of way. Coverts can be quieter. Therefore they might just look like they are listening and paying attention to you. They actually just zone out and block out 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.

They might sit quietly and pretend to listen to others, yet they often are in deep thought about themselves, looking for opportunities to interrupt and talk about themselves.

Anything negative that’s happened to you, they will have experienced far worse. These are usually negative people.

They are self-entitled, and they believe their needs come first. Without caring for who they hurt, they will often hold a grudge against others for a very long time, so listen carefully to how they talk about those they believe in having crossed them. They often seek revenge on those they believe in having mistreated them. Usually, they’ll wait for the perfect opportunity to take someone else down.

Remember to stay in your reality, learn your values and stick with your beliefs and values. Never again allow people to guilt trip you into doing something that goes against your values, don’t feel obligated into helping those who are never around to help you, unless they’re going to use how they helped you against you when people use their help to make you feel obligated they’re not helping out of their kindness for you, they’re helping to exploit you.

Covert manipulation tactics.


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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

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