7 Signs Of Covert Narcissism.

The term narcissist does derive from the Greek mythology narcissus, the Greek god narcissus who was in love with his own reflection. Therefore people can be led to believe that narcissistic people are in love with themselves. When it comes to dealing with narcissistic people, as they have that grandiose side and that charismatic charm where they put that facade on in front of those around them, people often believe they are in love with themselves, as we often mistake their arrogance as confidence, and we can be naturally drawn to confident people, not realising it’s all a mask to hide the fact that they are arrogant, insecure and fragile. However, they don’t want to be vulnerable in front of others, possibly because they themselves are more than willing to exploit other people’s vulnerabilities.

You can get different personality types under the umbrella term narcissist. You can have the somatic who is all about their looks and often talks badly of other people’s appearance, who matches narcissus more than the cerebral who is all about their intellect, and their arrogance will show in the way they shame anyone who that narcissist doesn’t believe to be as intelligent as them, rather than help and support people. For those who are as intelligent as them, the narcissist is envious of and seeks to pull them down a peg or two. You can have the overt narcissist who is loud and brash and in your face, the grandiose narcissist, and the vulnerable who is more underhand and calculated. The grandiose with their charismatic charm who seemingly gets away with their behaviour with ease who acts more overtly, and the vulnerable who can’t so has to act in more covert ways, the communal who is super helpful, the compassionate who fights for every cause, and the victim whose stories of woe leave even the hardest of genuine people feeling bad for them.

Most narcissists are capable of acting in covert ways, as they’re looking to hide their behaviour from society. So here are seven signs of covert narcissism.

1. They’re easily offended.

Most people don’t like criticism, narcissists hate criticism, therefore they are offended by the slightest little thing, yes we can all be a survivor of some form of trauma, so someone can offer us constructive feedback and we can question what they mean, this happens in day to day life, however when you’re dealing with a narcissist you’ll find yourself walking on eggshells around them, being careful of who you are around them, carful of what you do and don’t say, your tone of voice, for fear off upsetting them, for fear of offending them, there just doesn’t seem an appropriate time to discuss important issues with them, and the narcissist will do it in such a way they will play the victim whenever you offend them, to those around you, so that people take a dislike towards you, so they can start claiming you’re attacking them, you’re discriminating against them, accuse you of being selfish or awkward towards them, trying to humiliate them you’re trying to bring them down, as then they can get sympathetic attention from others, while getting others to dislike you, as narcissists are easily offended, when you offend them, they don’t look internally, they look externally and seek to punish those they believe have offended them. Narcissists are offended by the slightest bit of criticism. However, as the narcissist lacks empathy and is a self-entitled hypocrite, they’ll happily humiliate you, mock you, shame you, judge you, and bring you crashing down. If you call them out on this, they’ll disguise those insults as humour. They’ll accuse you of being too sensitive, overreacting, not being able to take a joke, being insecure, the very thing that they themselves are, yet don’t want to admit to, instead they’ll project out onto you. It’s never a two way street with a narcissist. A genuine victim might be easily offended by something, they also don’t want to offend another person, narcissists enjoy covertly taking someone else down to feel better about their own inadequacies.

2. Always the victim or the hero.

In the stories narcissists tell to those around them, they’ll either be the hero or the victim. As they don’t take responsibility, they’re never the villain. Hence a narcissist will go all out to help someone, perhaps a family member, with childcare. The narcissist isn’t doing this because they care for their family members, care for the children, or want to help another, the narcissist is doing it for the status so a narcissist will help one person, then tell another person how that family member constantly puts on them, expects too much from them, drains them, how the narcissist would do something for themselves however their family member needs them, would be lost without them, the narcissist has created the reality in their head, that their family member couldn’t live without them. A narcissist will do this in charities. They’ll help out in charities to look superior to those around them and gain praise and admiration because the narcissist is extracting something from that charity. They’re getting something from that charity. They’re getting free meals, clothing, trips, and money, so a narcissist will volunteer to help as genuine people do. Only honest people do it to help, not get something in return. Narcissists are never in it for others. They’re only in it for themselves. The narcissist will tell those around them different stories, they’ll collect things for the charity to keep for themselves, brag and boast about how much they help, claiming it’s nothing, or complain about how much the charity is putting on them, and people can tell the narcissist “Have a break, you volunteer, rest if it’s too much .” As the narcissist believes they’re superior, they’ll often claim. “Oh no, I couldn’t do that. They rely on me, and they’d be lost without me.” When it’s the narcissist, who would be lost without the free stuff and attention, hence a narcissist is the victim and the hero. They’re never the villain.

3. Narcissists only change to manipulate further, to sell people an illusion of who they could be based on who others would like them to be.

Narcissists change their persona depending on the people they are around, depending on the people that they’re trying to impress. Therefore a narcissist will be super helpful to a specific person or a particular group of people to gain that admiration to be that hero and swoop in and help everyone else out while simultaneously playing the victim to somebody else about how their family has no respect for them. Thus a narcissist gains sympathetic attention while smearing another’s name. To divide and conquer, to triangulate, the narcissist has formed a negative image in each individual mind or each individual group’s mind, of the other person, of the other group. Hence, people take a natural dislike to that other person, to that other group. Narcissistic people will do this with their exes. They’ll paint their exes in such a negative light while treating their new supply better than anyone ever has, so the new supply sees the good in the narcissist, which isn’t good. It’s the exploitation which is disguised as the good. When someone tries to speak the truth about the narcissist’s real character and call the narcissist out, the narcissist claims that others are envious of them, jealous of them, out to get them, and trying to sabotage them, so when people try to warn others of the narcissist, those who’ve seen through the narcissist’s disguise and recognise the narcissist’s lies, people believe the narcissist over those speaking the truth, as the narcissist has already sold them a negative image of that other person, even been told by the narcissist that the other person is bitter and will try to split them up, that the person is out to get the narcissist, which is actually a narcissist’s confession. The narcissist is often envious of others, out to destroy others. The narcissist is trying to sabotage their reputation. However, as a narcissist is treating some people so well, they don’t see this, until, at some point, the narcissist tries to destroy them. Narcissists play the victim and claim others are doing to them what the narcissist is doing to others.

4. Humble brag.

Narcissistic people will humble brag, just like the victim hero story and change their persona, a narcissist will do something for someone, and they often resent having to do it, often why they will at some point use what they did for you against you, towards you or to others. A narcissist will do something for one person and then claim to another. “I’d love to go there and do this. However, I’ve got to help these people out.” So the narcissist gains the sympathetic attention, praise and admiration for helping others out, and the sympathetic attention for not being able to do what they wanted, for seemingly selflessly putting others before themselves. At the same time, the narcissist then accuses others of being selfish when the narcissist promised to do something then lets someone down at the last minute, claiming others ask too much when you’re not asking too much from someone who promised to do something for you, then accused you of being selfish when you asked them to make good of their promises, you’re asking the wrong person. Narcissists humble brag to gain attention from others and validation that they’re not the problem. The person they keep letting down is the problem. Narcissists also do it in a way that when they get called out on their behaviour when someone confronts them, the narcissist will turn around with their victim plays and say, “Oh, I knew it would be my fault. Everything is always my fault. I just can’t get anything right, can I? I forgot you were perfect. I wish I could be a better person.” So you find yourself explaining why you’re not perfect and trying to lift them, as you don’t want to see someone you care for so down. A narcissist is playing you. They’re exploiting you. They’re getting their needs met by you.

5. Dry begging.

A vulnerable, fragile narcissist often lacks the grandiosity and charismatic charm to ask for something directly. Therefore they might dry beg, which is emotional, psychological manipulation where a narcissist will use covert means to get something from you without directly asking for it. A narcissist will imply they’d like something. They’ll drop subtle hints, “Oh, I wish I could have a T.V like that, I’d love a new bike helmet like that, I’d love that new dress. Oh, I’d like to go there, but I don’t have enough money. How much money do you have?” Then when you purchase it for them or offer to take them, the narcissist turns around and claims, “I never asked you to.” Narcissists accuse you of being ungrateful when they themselves are some of the most ungrateful people you could ever meet. The narcissist’s projection. Such as, when a narcissist talks badly about one person to another to give that person a negative image of the other, so when one person stands up for the narcissist against the other, then they go back to the narcissist and a narcissist claims. “I never asked you to. Oh, I knew it would be my fault.” the narcissist’s abuse by proxy, which leaves the narcissist flying monkeys and enablers feeling bad.

6. Secretive.

We can all be secretive, things that are either no one else’s business, don’t negatively impact another, or something we’ve done that we’re not proud of, that we wouldn’t like others to know. However, they don’t negatively impact others. A narcissistic person will avoid answering a question where you need the information. They’ll be incredibly obsessive over their phone, not because they have data on them that others shouldn’t see, but because they’ve got people in there that they don’t want you to know anything about. They will be highly defensive. They’ll lie and shift the blame. They’ll lie about the small stuff, they’ll cause intrigue within you, so they can accuse you of having trust issues, they’re incredibly secretive people, there’s a quite smugness with their secretiveness, they like knowing something you don’t, so a narcissist will create a scenario where they know something that you don’t.

7. Impress strangers.

A narcissist will go all out to impress strangers over caring for their family. Strangers are a new blank canvas for narcissists to sell whatever story they wish to sell to those strangers. This is usually when a narcissist believes that no one is giving them the attention they think they are entitled to from their family. They’re looking to gain the admiration and support of strangers to help validate their opinions of their family and attack their family. This is usually when the narcissist’s friends and family have either figured them out or just had enough of the narcissist’s behaviour, their broken promises, letdowns, and mistreatment. For example, when the narcissist’s friends and family are doing something and a narcissist doesn’t want to pay their way. Hence, they find a way to avoid going. The narcissist will go all out and find a stranger to impress and claim that their family is just too busy for them and doesn’t have the time for them, “My family don’t have the time for me, my family don’t appreciate me, my family don’t respect me.” to gain sympathetic attention, and some narcissists will be telling their family what strangers do for them to provoke jealousy within their families, to create a competition between people. Hence, the narcissist feels special and believes others want them and are envious of them. The things strangers are doing for the narcissist are often the very things the narcissist’s family once did, yet the narcissist belittled, criticised and didn’t appreciate. Then when their families have enough, the narcissist gets offended.

That humble bragging whether they go on about everything they’ve done for their family, playing the hero while playing the victim, claiming how their family doesn’t appreciate them. Even though what you’ll often find is. The family have done as much as they possibly can for the narcissist, and the narcissist has used absolutely everything they ever did for their family against their family. With those. “After all I’ve done for you, I put a roof over your head.” Narcissistic parents are very good at this when they will use those parental duties against their children. that’s the parental duties, but they don’t see this as caring because they lack the empathy to care for their children. They see this as their children now owe them something.

Narcissists don’t give for giving sake, they give so they can take.

Whatever a narcissist does for another, they believe that the other person now owes them. It’s never out of the goodness of their own heart. It’s all for exploitation purposes.

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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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