Eight characteristics of a covert narcissist.
Coverts on the outside don’t often seem that bad as not all narcissists are physically abusive; their covert manipulation means many don’t recognise the narcissist’s games until out of the situation, 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, like many narcissists their words never seem to match their actions; however they always seem to find the right words to justify their unjust actions, they might not directly put you down, or they might do it in a way that appears to be like they are helping you, those backhanded compliments, “You’d look good in that if you lost some weight.” they might not scream and shout or lash out, you can just feel unseen or unheard as they neglect you, however when you speak up it’s those remarks of. “Not everything is about you.” So you don’t question their neglect; you question if you’re asking too much. They leave you feeling belittled by them and confused around them, questioning what they meant by that last remark.
It helps to listen 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 narcissist personality disorder is on a spectrum. Most narcissists will use a weakness or strength within you to break you; they’ll exploit your weaknesses and get you doubting your strengths; 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, fragile, somatic, cerebral, overt and covert, the victim narcissist on the spectrum, some are far more dangerous than others. You need to stay well clear, others; 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, or negativity impacts your freedom and happiness.
Some once you see what they are and what they do, you can learn to observe their behaviour and recognise the games they play, so you no longer absorb their behaviour, giving them no reactions and leaving them to be wrong, 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 big enough job changing ourselves, plus they don’t want to recognise any faults within themselves to learn from mistakes and find strategies to cope with their disorder; they just prefer to pass the blame over to you and carry on their path of destruction.
Never call them out on their behaviour, those who lack 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. While you go and live yours, much wiser, much stronger, and so much happier.
1. Lack of empathy.
Most narcissists have a complete lack of compassion; they are self-absorbed and often just think about themselves and getting their needs 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? You did promise me.” It will always be about them getting their needs met; if you don’t, they will hold it against you forevermore and use it against you 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, to guilt trip you into doing something for them.
Some covert narcissists deal with conflict or situations in passive-aggressive ways, often acting indirectly aggressive, which most narcissists can do, coverts do so most of the time, the show resistance to requests from those around them in more subtle ways, than the obvious overt 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, say “of course.” “Yes.” Or “as you wish.” 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; they might claim they forgot, they’ll 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 “Why didn’t you remind me.” 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. Yes, good people do forget and will often try to make it up. Covert conveniently forget 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 a covert 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 to their coping mechanism of the passive-aggressive 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.”
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. Then the covert who can 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.”
A quiet ￼smugness, entitlement, superiority. Once we learn about the disorder overt’s can be easier to spot with their charismatic charm and arrogance, that ￼￼big act they put on 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 their point of view only.
Most narcissists do not pay attention or listen to others; with the overt, they will but in and 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. If not, their mind is out of there as they think about themselves.
7. Difficulty maintaining healthy 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, genuine people who’ve been hurt go around helping others through, which in turn often helps them feel better. Narcissists go around destroying all others, pulling others down, criticising and judging others to help themselves feel better; most narcissistic people tend to follow the cycle of idealisation, 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.”
The vulnerable narcissist.
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