Covert Or Overt Narcissist.

The difference between a covert and overt narcissist.

The narcissistic personality disorder is a disorder, and can only officially be diagnosed by a professional, those who have the disorder are difficult to spot as they can manipulate the best psychologist, some have even dated them. Personally, if you’re a survivor of abuse, physical, psychological or both, whatever they are, you have every right to judge someone you know as toxic, if they lack empathy, if they exploit others, if they’re self-entitled, if they harm others without remorse you don’t need a professional diagnosis. Learning about the disorder often gives us survives the answers we never got from our abuser, it provides us clarity and closure, as we just can not understand how, or why someone could be so cruel to another, why we didn’t see, or why it took us so long to leave, why we accepted their treatment of us as normal, which was far from normal. To have the disorder, they would need five of the nine Characteristics. However, someone with four can be equally as toxic to be around, and those on the disorder are individuals, it is on a spectrum.

Experts, psychologists, and survivors have discovered three main types and four subtypes, with more and more words being used for these.



We are now hearing, communal, neglectful, benign, stubborn, entitled, status, control freak, and those seeming to be all of the above.

If their main character trait is requires excessive attention. If they have the power and success to match you could be dealing with a classic grandiose; especially if they are big on their looks and sexual conquests, you could be dealing with a somatic grandiose narcissist. If they have the homes, cars, following to match, you could be dealing with a very arrogant overt, grandiose, somatic narcissist, as they can afford to be outrageous with their arrogant behaviour, as they have people around them in support of their alter ego.

If their main character trait is requires excessive attention, but they have a high IQ’s and never understood physical appearance. They could use their mind more to manipulate those around them. You could be dealing with a malignant as they have the intellect to manipulate people and find alternative ways of forging friendships, If they are shy, and haven’t achieved much in life a vulnerable, Covert Narcissist.

They can, and they do cross over—an overt narcissist. Overt meaning done or shown openly, can and will act in covert ways. Covert meaning not openly acknowledge or displayed. All narcissist will act covertly at some point or another, as narcissist lie, and lie and lie to cover up their lies.

Them not telling you something is just the same as lying.”

“They don’t lie to protect your feelings. They lie to save themselves.”

A covert and an overt can cross over in personality types, although they will lean more towards one, overt or covert are both narcissistic, and both manipulate for their own goals.

If someone lacks Empathy, if they continue to Break promises and let you down, if they seem extraordinarily Jealous and envious to the point they destroy others, whoever they are, you need to get out and stay out safely.

Putting a name to why they do what they do helps, also hearing about one type and that not matching what you were dealing with can be confusing, especially at the start when you’re trying to lose the brain fog and get clarity as to what you’ve been through. Learning the types helps. However, abuse is abuse, and there is no excuse, yes, they know their behaviour is wrong. Otherwise, they would act the hurtful ways they do around all; they wouldn’t try to hide it or play endless Mind games to control others. They wouldn’t Gaslight to confuse those around them, and they wouldn’t lie.

Narcissist personality disorder, is on a spectrum, we can all have a trait or two of narcissism, meaning someone can be confident and achieve success in life, yet they have not destroyed others to get there, they care for others and are not a narcissist, some people can have quite a few, but it doesn’t make them a narcissist, more a toxic person, fool, idiot or just a twit.

You can have people with BPD, that isn’t a narcissist or someone who’s suffered past trauma, most people have suffered from. A traumatic experience in their lives, but not all that have then go around destroying others, many heal and reach back to help others, and unfortunately some try to help narcissistic people, to their own detriment.

I was that busy helping you. I didn’t see you were destroying me.”


Coverts can seem ok, some well mannered, some polite.

Then as time goes by, something just doesn’t seem right, you just can not seem to communicate with them.

They are not loud, and in charge like you might think someone with the disorder would be.

In the beginning, they don’t tend to be argumentative, but over time, you notice they seem to have a sense of entitlement, and superiority, just not as in your face as you’d expect a narcissist to be. You feel like they are approachable after the Idealisation stage but not overly sure.

The more you get to know them, you notice, they hate feeling vulnerable, and hate any weaknesses been known to others, as you get to know more about them, when you see any humanity or flaws in them, they go on the attack with blame and shame towards you and your faults.

They shut down and withdraw, you just suddenly get the Silent treatment out of nowhere, often leaving you wondering what just happened, there’s a lack of empathy with them, they come across as cold and not interested in you, they just don’t care about you.

They 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,

Lots of Passive-aggressive behaviour, you’ll more often get the silent treatment, sulking off, cutting you mid-sentence, making promises and failing to deliver, often walking on Eggshells around them.

Everyone who manipulates tries to do it under the raider, so Overt narcissists are equally underhand with it, coverts are often the shy narcissists.

They have a lack of confidence and more self-doubt.

The covert narcissist can come across shy, empty, depressed, low energy, you’ve probably got people saying, they’re not quite right, something not all their with them, they have grandiosity on the inside, but the feel ashamed about it. If they get stressed, they might even have some anxiety.

They will be very vulnerable in front of you, gaining sympathy emotions, they will want you to feel sorry for them. 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 no empathy, think they are better than all around them, yet at the same time, believe they are not good enough.

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

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

Coverts will guilt trip others as much as they can.

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 want a tone of sympathy. Often making those around them, feel guilty.

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

They pass all their, insecurities onto their main partner.

Coverts 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 at you, most often it’s underhand and extremely hurtful.


Overt narcissism these are usually the grandiose narcissist but not always. They are arrogant, boastful and they can be exhibitionist, easily offended to criticism and rage is close to the surface they have grandiose behaviour, they are demanding of specialised treatment, 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 very ruthless in gaining power and control. They have the potential to be a public figure 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 story’s and lie or exaggerate 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 believing, probably because of how untrustworthy they are.

Overts often believe themselves to be better than others, and they usually have an army of people who agree, so 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 on to others by lying, manipulating, withholding or abandoning. In fact, whatever tactic they can master to get any sort of reaction from you.

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.

Overts as most narcissistic people do, believe they have a right to everything, and they are self-entitled, they do believe they are special. They have no empathy, think they are better than all around them, and they believe they are good enough.

Overts are, extremely self-centred and extremely stubborn.

Overts are the more obvious narcissist, as most often have no self-awareness and are oblivious to the impact they have on those around them. They just rule through love or fear, so people don’t stand up to them.

They can come across as very confident and fun to be around, this is often us mistaking their arrogance as dominance, narcissistic people are rarely humble.

They will still play the victim when needed.

They are manipulative,

The tell countless lies,

They exaggerate their achievements,

They will manipulate anything, everything and everyone.

They feel superior to others.

They have a sense of entitlement.

They have a very inflated ego.

They dominate and exploit, lying and cheating their way to the top.

They see others as an extension of themselves.

They are extremely dominant and very charming, which draws people to them, they easily seduce, and when their needs are no longer being met, they move quickly onto the devaluation and discard phase.

When their attempts to exploit others aren’t successful, or their demands and self-entitlement are not being met. They have anger and rage. They will destroy others that don’t conform to their demands.

They can be prone to boredom.

They are extremely jealous of others and very egotistical.

Overt Narcissist is very grandiose very in-your-face and very assertive.

They are impulsive and big risk-takers.

They will exaggerate their achievements.

The first sign that something is wrong is as soon as you start googling someone’s behaviour, when there is something you don’t like about how someone is treating you, or treating those you love, so here you are looking for information of what’s just happened, or what has happened in the past. You’ve turned into a detective, not only if you’re still in the relationship, but if you’ve got out, trying to work it out.

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? Do they seem to put you down? Do you feel uncomfortable around them? Is your anxiety levels rising? Do you start things with “This might sound stupid?” Even if you’re not dealing with someone on the disorder, you’re dealing with a toxic person, and you have to decide for yourself to find a safe way to step away.

Rule one if you have doubt, there probably is no doubt, and they are a narcissist if you are doubting if you are because you’d react, and it takes two to tango, no because you have empathy, you loved hard, you hurt hard. Reactive abuse is not the same as abuse, no one deserves to be manipulated or hurt, you are a good caring person who likes to look for the good in others, and there’s no wrong in that, just learning behaviour you will and will not accept from others, From now on, so I People do things you don’t like, leave them to it and find people who love you for you.

Also, if you never used to think anything was wrong with you, and you never used to question if you were a narcissist, being around a narcissist, was what got you questioning yourself, almost everyone that has been around a narcissist, will at some point question themselves when they look for answers.


You might question “, 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, this is who they are.

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, and it takes time, work and effort from within yourself. If you’ve slipped up and reacted to them, had a knockback, or just 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 you; sometimes we miss the routine we had, starting new ones for yourself, realising you now only have to answer to yourself 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, then our subconscious starts to work against us. Get help, support groups, find and connect with others who’ve been their, best friends, family, reach out and find someone to help you. Journaling, talking with a trusted friend, support groups, coaches, psychologists, 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. Set Boundaries and stop all contact, Grey rock if you can not do no contact. At the start it’s going to be really hard, you will have withdrawals, keep going it gets easier. Do it now. You have to go through the withdrawals no other way, it’s far better to do it now, than in ten years time, after withdrawals you will reclaim your happiness.

7. 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.

8, Replace that void, that they leave behind, with new activities, new friends, anything, just get yourself busy, and keep going so you don’t go back. Sometimes it’s not the person you miss. It’s the routine you miss.

9. When you’re having down moments, put some uplifting music on, or call someone close to you, yoga, meditation or exercise, watch something funny that makes you laugh.

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

You are now more aware of yourself and educated on life itself, create new visions and dreams for you, 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.

Click on the links below to join, Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.

On Facebook. 

On YouTube.

On Twitter.

On Instagram. 

On Pinterest. 

On LinkedIn.

The online courses are available by Elizabeth Shaw.

For the full course.

Click here to sign up for the full, Break Free From Narcissistic Abuse, with a link in the course to a free, hidden online support group with fellow survivors. 

For the free course.

Click here to sign up for the free online starter course. 

To help with overcoming the trauma bond and anxiety course.

Click here for the online course to help you break the trauma bond, and those anxiety triggers. 

All about the narcissist Online course.

Click here to learn more about the narcissist personality disorder.

The narcissists counter-parenting.

Click here for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse, and information on co-parenting with a narcissist.

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.


Abuse By Proxy.

How narcissistic people abuse others by using others to do their dirty work, flying monkeys, enablers, and their smear campaigns.

”No one throws a bigger tantrum than a narcissist whose losing control of someone else’s mind.”

When a narcissist feels they are or have lost control of someone, even before they’ve lost control. To keep control over another, they can enlist Flying Monkeys. They can Triangulate, and they can embark of their mass Smear Campaign Against You.

If they can a narcissist will gather an army of Enablers to unwitting help the narcissist’s abuse of you. Abuse by proxy, where the narcissist will create situations where abuse is inflicted on another not done directly via the narcissist.

They can gather their friends and yours, their family and yours, authorities, neighbours, work colleagues, they can manipulate anyone, their new partners, even your children’s teachers to unwitting help with the narcissists’ abuse of you.

The narcissist will often control these people how they once controlled you, through many manipulative tactics, often they will Idealise just like they do in a relationship, they will Twist the story to play the victim. They will Intimidate those around them to gather an army of supporters, through love, fear or hope. Often using Future Faking. With those around them to get new partners, new members of staff with the workplace, sibling to help with their abuse of you.

The narcissist will use Coercive Control. They will Stalk. They will threaten. They will harass. They will Provoke. They will even use a simple Conversation. They will use any manipulative means possible to keep control over another person life.

Abuse by proxy often starts within the relationship with a narcissist, whether that narcissist is a friend, boss, parent, partner, whoever they are in your life, and will continue long after the relationship is over.

Some examples of abuse by proxy.


Not only isolating people from friends and family, through smear campaigns, or getting their target to walk on Eggshells around the narcissist, so they dare not go out and often end up isolating themselves.


Financial Abuse is often used by an abuser, so their target becomes dependent on the abuser, then once out this abuse can continue, through family courts, through not supporting any children, through sabotaging jobs, calling employers, ex-bosses, smearing your name so no one will employ you, or so no one goes to you for business.


They don’t co-parent, they counter-parent, they don’t care for the damage caused to a child’s mind, so long as they are getting at you.

A narcissist will use their Children. To further control and abuse their target, and they end up abusing their children too.

Creating negative situations.

They will call bosses, smear your name to as many as they can, take you in and out of the court system, anything they can to create toxic, negative shituations, for you to overcome.


Through triangulation, they get others to doubt each other, to fight each other over the narcissist, they gaslighting people into doubting themselves and shattering people’s self-worth. When they triangulate, people often don’t even know what’s happening, and most of the time, neither party knows the truth.


When we’re happily discussing something, then we either don’t agree with their point of view, or they feel criticised, or we’ve asked them about something they didn’t want us to know about. So to gain control and win as that’s what narcissists want to win and be in control. They’ll suddenly switch the conversation onto something else. Usually, something we’ve done wrong in their eyes, or something we haven’t done for them, or they will chip away at one of our insecurities. They project out loads of word salad to provoke us, confuse us, hurt and upset us. Suddenly we’re in defensive mode, and the original conversation had disappeared, then we get blamed for everything for defending ourself. Or we are reduced to tears, and they’ll sit back almost looking pleased and watch you cry, while still blaming it all on you.


To help with their smear campaigns, they will use peoples, insecurities, weakness, and even strengths to push people to their limits. We all have our limitations, they will push people’s buttons until they React, they will often do this, so others don’t see how they provoked, yet, they all have an audience for your reactions, they’ll deny or downplay any of their behaviour and exaggerate all yours.

They are recruiting reinforcement.

They will lie and smear other people the Smear Campaigns they will pity play, so you feel bad for the narcissist and want to help them and protect them, unwittingly taking on the narcissists opinions become an enabler and helping the narcissist bully and destroy others believing the narcissist is innocent and the third party is at fault.

Flying monkeys.

The term flying monkeys comes from the movie. “ the wizard of oz.” when the witch sent out her flying monkeys to do her dirty work.

Flying monkeys are people who act as a third party on behalf of the narcissist, to further abuse the narcissists’ targets.

Flying monkeys can be anyone, the narcissist’s parent, child, partner, friend yours or theirs, any family members.

The narcissist wants others to carry out orders. Flying monkeys will spread gossip, lie, threaten you, stalk you, often with the narcissist seemingly looking like they have nothing to do with it.


Enablers are people who will help the narcissist achieve their aim, they will most often unwittingly, defend the narcissist, support the narcissist, help the narcissist, an enabler is a person the narcissist recruits to their side. They might not always agree with or defend the narcissist, yet they put up with their behaviour or stick up for them and even bail them out. People usually unwittingly become enablers to the narcissist and often don’t typically have a malicious motive, they can genuinely think they are doing the right thing by the narcissist or that they are trying to keeping the peace, some can become enablers out of fear the narcissist has instilled into them if they don’t conform to the narcissist’s demands, so they have turned to the survival mechanism Fawn, meaning they will go along with what the narcissist says, for fear of what would happen to them if they didn’t. Others often believe the narcissists lies and think they’re helping the narcissist when, in reality, they are enabling the narcissist to do their worst. Then we have the narcissists family members who will do anything to protect their family, they either believe the narcissist to be innocent, or they are narcissistic themselves and running in a pack in order to protect the family name.

The smear campaign.

The narcissist uses the smear campaign so that they can keep their toxic behaviours hidden from society, so we look like we’re jealous and either wanting the narcissist back, or wanting to seek revenge on the narcissist, they use the smear campaign to make us look like we’re crazy or obsessed with them, they will either play the hero that tried so hard to help us, and we are often left looking and acting depressed a shell of our former selves, or they’ll be playing the victim of how we’ll no longer allow them to see their children or that we abused them, they’ll exploit others by using their empathy against them. They’ll be telling all those who’ll listen, everything that they did to us, only they’ll be making out to others that we did to them. So they shift the blame and walk free, from any responsibility.


Stalking is when the narcissist is trying to intimidate you and restrict your freedom to keep control over you. Stalking often causes emotional and psychological harm in the target. You usually end up living in some state of fear.

Stalking is the willful harassment of another person, from repeatedly turning up at your home, bombarding you with messages or calls, getting friends and family to do so, turning up unexpectedly where you are, frequently driving past you, even moving across the road and sending you messages of what you are dressed in—approaching you, harming pets, stalking your children, calling your boss to make false accusations, sending threatening or sexual letters, any letters or messages, emails or gifts. They can guilt-trip you with I’m sick messages to play on our empathy, they can threaten to tell our insecurities to make us feel shame, and they can and will make up blatant lies to say to friends, family and work colleagues etc.

What can you do?


We can not change or control someone else’s toxic, harmful, destructive, cruel behaviour towards us, or their opinions of us, their views of us are not for us, only we define who we are, we can control how we walk away from those people and how we react. It’s hard to start when they push all our buttons, yet it is so worth it for our inner peace and happiness.

Emotions are telling you to either, change your perceptions, change your procedure, change your communication, change your expectations, change your circumstances. Change your situation. You need to change your state of mind. Your mind controls your Emotions. You control your mind.

1. Give no reactions and no responses, if people come asking you, they want to gossip, just let them know. “They’re my past. The truth always comes out eventually.” And leave it be.

2. If your friends ask, not the narcissists friends or their flying monkeys, your friends, tell the truth to them. People who say things like. “It takes two to tango.” Etc they are naive to teach them if they don’t want to be informed they are not the people you want to associate yourself with.

3. Block the narcissist, and their friends and family on everything, go no contact with all. If you have children, set up a new email or use Facebook messenger, its got a great ignore button, so you still get messages and can communicate about children, but you are not getting constant messages from them, you can look when you’re calm and know what they say you will only respond to if needed, only communicate about the children.


Self-care is a deliberate act within ourselves to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health first, so we can be at our personal best to take care of others, without being taken down by toxic people. We often overlook self-care to help others out, when others are not interested in helping us, our own inner needs get more and more neglected as we try to help those who are unable to help themselves.

To start, you need to stick to the basics, creating new routines and habits for you, just start simple and basic then keep adding more. You need to actively plan using your conscious thoughts in the beginning until your subconscious has been programmed to do it naturally.

1. Categorise lists and do it in priority order.

Relationships (friends family etc.)

Physical health.

Emotional health.


Be authentic with yourself, note things that might stand in your way and take action to see what you can do.

An essential checklist to get yourself started.

  • Start with a list of things you don’t like, something you don’t want to do and behaviours you’ll no longer accept from yourself and from others. Things like, I’m no longer checking their social media, people who can not accept no are not the people for my life. I need to stop people-pleasing. I need to stop putting myself last, and I want to get up at time set. Learn my boundaries around others.
  • Saying no to others can be challenging to start. However, it’s a must when you really don’t want to do something or don’t have the time.
  • Create a list of your own beliefs and standards you don’t need to do them all at once you can keep adding, and only ever change them for you.
  • A healthy diet, start slow if you’ve not done it before, keep a diary of your eating habits, to keep you accountable.
  • Start a simple exercise routine, listen to motivational videos, meditation, yoga, find things that pick you up on low moments and help you keep focus. This can help your mental and physical health-boosting your mood and lowering your stress.
  • Try to get enough sleep, and if you stop up way too late and feel tired in a morning just go to bed 5 minutes early each night until you get to the time you’d like to go to bed, same in a morning if you get up way too late and end up rushing get up 5 minutes early, try to prepare things you can the evening before if you always find yourself rushing around in a morning. Sleep can have negative effects if you’re not getting enough and positive impact on your emotional and physical health when you are.
  • Spend time around positive quality people, it rubs off on you, go to new places to meet new people this can be hard to start if you’ve been isolated, try getting in touch with old friends and family who you know are good people, smile at others and pay them compliments.
  • Keep a reflection journal, one if you still miss the ex, write the negatives about the relationship and look at them when you’re having doubts. Then a positive journal, each day try to add at least three things you’ve achieved in that day, also put something down you’d like to accomplish the next day, to keep yourself accountable.
  • Get organised, keep notes of appointments and where you’re supposed to be when
  • Try to get some time to relax, doing what you’d like to do for you.
  • Talk moments through with good understanding people. Any time you’re feeling down or low, chat to the right people.
  • Look for an opportunity to laugh. Laughing really is the best medicine.

Click on the links below to join, Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.

On Facebook. 

On YouTube.

On Twitter.

On Instagram. 

On Pinterest. 

On LinkedIn.

The online courses are available by Elizabeth Shaw.

For the full course.

Click here to sign up for the full, Break Free From Narcissistic Abuse, with a link in the course to a free, hidden online support group with fellow survivors. 

For the free course.

Click here to sign up for the free online starter course. 

To help with overcoming the trauma bond and anxiety course.

Click here for the online course to help you break the trauma bond, and those anxiety triggers. 

All about the narcissist Online course.

Click here to learn more about the narcissist personality disorder.

The narcissists counter-parenting.

Click here for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse, and information on co-parenting with a narcissist.

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.

Reactive abuse.

The Narcissist And Empathy.

Did the narcissist ever honestly care for me?

Having the ability to empathise is having the ability to care, and sometimes a narcissist can lead us into believing they care while making us doubt and blame ourselves when they show us they don’t care for us through all their twisted gaslighting words of ”If only you hadn’t. You’ll never find someone like me.” and many more they have us believing under their spell.

For the most part, we are lead to believe that narcissists are totally lacking in any empathetic skills. We often are attracted to people with empathy, which they are as they can guilt-trip those with empathy, so the narcissist has more control over them, which is what most narcissistic people are after, control. Through Love or fear, they want to control. There are different types of empathy, why some narcissists might have a negative form of empathy. Now when it comes to a narcissist psychopath, they have zero healthy, positive, good empathy according to research. These are the most dangerous, as it’s no longer a case of they are single-minded. It’s all about them. It’s a case of they simply don’t have the ability to care for other humans wants, needs or feelings in any way, shape or form, these are not only negative, toxic people, but they are also dangerous.

Empathy is what humans have that makes them able to connect and relate to another human, to understand and accept other people’s hopes, feelings, dreams, wishes, sadness and joy. Whatever another could be feelings, to be able to sympathise with them, or feel joy with them. To feel how someone else could feel within that moment, however long that moment is. People without empathy can not truly connect with others, communicate on a deeper level with others, can not genuinely love and care for others as they can not relate to how others feel. Those without healthy empathy only care about their own needs.

The three types of empathy that humans can have are.

Cognitive empathy, having an intuition, a rather accurate perspective on how another person might be feeling, it’s thinking within our minds how another person might be feeling ( although all humans make errors in judgment, even narcissists who will never admit it.) So even with cognitive empathy we might occasionally get it wrong, especially around narcissistic people who put on a grand act with their admiration face so we feel connected with them on a deeper level, help them, praise them and reciprocate those actions and feelings we believe they have for us, as their words and actions at that time are strong and positive towards us, we believe they love and care, although once out of that toxic relationship, we often realise all those times our instincts were literally screaming out at us, yet as we didn’t know what our instincts were telling us, just something they said or did, that didn’t add up, didn’t match out values or beliefs made us question, yet might not at that time truly be aware of ourselves, our beliefs were programmed to see the best in everyone, know that no one is perfect, we all make mistakes, we all have history, as we couldn’t see proof for what our instincts were telling us, our empathetic mind overrides them for the reality that we are actually living when the narcissist is treating us so well.

The narcissist hasn’t got positive cognitive empathy. They can be tuned in instinctively that if they act a certain way towards us, they get their needs met. They just like how we are making them feel in that moment. The same goes for when they have the envious face when they are jealous or insecure, not getting their own way, losing control of someone else’s mind and are treating us so wrong, our minds are lead to believe, from when they treat us so right and all their toxic word salad, provoking, blame-shifting and gaslighting that we are the ones at fault, so again our minds override our instincts, believing that we have hurt their feelings and it’s something we did wrong. Leading us to accept behaviours from them we should have never accepted, we want to help them as we care for them and perceive that how they are feeling and acting towards us is because of something we did wrong, we then want to make it up to them, make them feel better. When we give in and do exactly what they want, they offer intermittent reinforcement of the admiration face. They play nice. We feel better as they are happier. They are treating us right, our cognitive empathy feels happier, and we believe it was our fault, it is never your fault. Cognitive empathy is our thoughts to understand how someone else is feeling in that moment, it helps us to try and negotiate with those around us as we can think about how they might be feeling in that moment, understanding their view point, even if it doesn’t match our own view point, so we try to compromise so as not to hurt another’s feelings, sometimes we then put another’s person’s needs before our own, however, narcissistic people tend to have negative cognitive empathy or extremely low levels of negative cognitive empathy, they can not relate to how you are feeling in that moment, they can not see your point of view, they feel no need within them self’s to help or motivate you to feel better, so feel no need to find a compromise, you can be sat crying inconsolably in front of them, because of something they did, and they will sit with a glint in their eye, starring straight at us sometimes you might catch a moments smirk on their face, as they ponder about how we’ve made ourselves so upset just because we didn’t do exactly as they said so they had to punish us in some way to make us, make it up-to them, and yet still we stay and try to make it up, because of all their manipulative ways, and our empathy we just do not see they are destroying who we are, they simply at that moment can not think about us, or how we might be feeling, even when sat deeply hurt in front of them, their minds haven’t the abilities to see how we feel or how they might have caused it.

Their negative cognitive empathy just means they are thinking of how they can use things against us, pull on our empathy and caring side to get their own needs met, Even good people can at times ignore others deep emotions, or not put ourselves in another’s shoes, as it depends on what we have going off in our own lives and minds at any given moment, if we have so much going off, we can miss meeting a need of another unintentionally hurting someones feeling, yet often afterwards or if that person asks we will then feel remorse or guilt, blame ourselves, learn from our errors in judgment. Whereas the narcissistic person mindset when they can sit watching you cry when they hurt others intentionally or unintentionally, they are so wrapped up in getting their own needs met, they can not think about how they have made you feel. They can not reflect or look back to see what they did, as they believe what they did was right. It’s somehow our fault. They can not feel that level of guilt or remorse to see the consequences of their own behaviour towards others.

Cognitive empathy is more about thinking empathetically rather than feeling empathetic, so the narcissists might understand that we are sad or happy. Yet, they can not put themselves in our shoes to think about how we might be feeling or how they could help, only ever about themselves.

If they are not getting their own way, if they have pushed us too far, to the point, we say no more, this is when they can recognise they need to say sorry. Yet, they don’t have the empathy to mean the sorry, they don’t have the remorse for feeling for us and giving a genuine apology for something they have done, they just see at that moment that they haven’t finished with us yet, they can still use us to meet their needs, or they haven’t got another person lined up, this is when you’ll get the false apology, the “if you hadn’t I wouldn’t.” Or they’ll pull on your empathy. “I know I need to change. I need you to help me.” Then as soon as you accept their apology, they are back true to form of being themselves. Then if you have enough and go no contact, some will up their games, using your empathy against you, knowing exactly which vulnerabilities to hit to cause you inner pain and turmoil, as they have lost control. They feel anger and resentment towards you, as they can not empathise, they don’t care for how bad they make you think, which is why it comes so naturally to most and why some of their games are hideous.

It is possible for people that have cognitive empathy actually to show compassion towards others to meet their own needs, yet lack the emotional empathy to sympathises when they are hurting someone.

Emotional empathy, this is when one person can physically feel in that moment just how another is feeling. If someone around you is happy you actually feel their happiness, if someone is sad you feel their sadness if someone is hurting you feel hurt, Like when someone smiles at you and it becomes contagious and your smile back, someone else’s emotions can become contagious and have a direct impact on your own emotional state, how you physically feel matches them, like when you’re around a negative narcissist, you feel emotionally negative, when your around a love bombing narcissist you feel emotionally high and happy, narcissistic people on some level have this again in a negative way, while those around them are meeting their needs, they fill up on their positive emotions and reflect them back out, when someone isn’t meeting their needs they feel negative and reflect them back out, they do not have the ability to feel how others are feeling. Only how they are and the needs of their own that need to be met. So when they are angry, you might connect on an emotional level and want to help them out. Yet, when you are angry they can not relate and have no intentions of helping you out if you are sad, they can not relate, they just see it as attention slipping away from them and want to do what they can to pull attention back onto them.

Having emotional empathy helps people to connect with others on a much deeper level, to connect and communicate with others and compromise on meeting each other’s needs, as many narcissists are missing emotional empathy or have cut themselves off completely from these feelings due to overwhelming childhood traumas. That was their coping mechanism, and they never learned to pull back out of it, when people feel overwhelmed with emotions, it can be extremely draining and can lead to psychological burnout. Often then making even the smallest of tasks incredibly hard to manage, and interacting with other extremely daunting, often when around negative, hurtful narcissistic people, we end up tired, drained and irrational, cutting ourselves off from the outside world, confused and full of anxiety and sometimes leading to depression.

Compassionate empathy, when we can think and feel how another is feeling, then we become extremely moved to help them any way we can, this is the empathetic ability narcissists are completely lacking in, and what can keep us trapped in a narcissistic relationship no matter who that narcissist is within your life, friend, family, members, boss or partner. We can think how they feel, feel how they feel and are moved to helping them, why even the grandiose narcissist might pull out the victim card to pull on all your empathy and get their own needs met. Also why they can hurt you so badly and just walk away, they can not think and feel about how you might be feeling, they have detached their emotions and simply do not care, especially if their own needs are being met elsewhere, they just see no more need for you within their life. Yet if you’re not giving them what they want, they feel anger towards you, and as they can have cognitive empathy, they know exactly what your weaknesses and vulnerabilities are, they will use them against you, to hurt you, as they are throwing a massive tantrum to get their own way.

Narcissists potentially have negative empathy. They might actually have empathy just different from those who actually care about others. Where they can see the empathy in others, then use others empathy to manipulate, to take people down, to find the empathy in another towards them and use it against them to meet their own needs, once those needs are no longer getting met they seek to destroy, they use people’s caring, the empathetic side against them, just like their negative emotions, so they might have the cognitive empathy yet they can only use it to see another’s empathy as to what they can gain, what vulnerabilities they can use against someone to manipulate, yet they don’t have the emotional empathy to actually care about the other might feel. People with empathy can still feel anger and rage when others provoke them on the things they care about the most, narcissistic people can pick up on others empathy, on what others genuinely care about, then instead of using positive empathy to connect in a positive way, to help others out to lift others up, they use what people care about the most, to hurt other people the most, so they can manipulate to meet needs of their own.

Some people can have two or three narcissistic traits, yet not be on the disorder as they do have the empathy to care for others on a genuine level, even if it’s limited, those you can manage yourself around, others with five or more traits are on the narcissistic personality disorder spectrum. No contact is the best method for recovery.

Narcissist psychopaths are usually born without empathy, narcissists and narcissist sociopaths tend to have had some early childhood trauma, so they cut off the empathy towards others to save themselves.

The best way to handle those around that is lower scale. You can not cut them out of your life, don’t give them anything they can cut you with, don’t tell about you, don’t ask about them, be monotonously boring as you possibly can, don’t make eye contact when face to face, just look over the top of their ear, keep things on a need to know basis, if they are provoking your emotions to create anger, retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so, remember you can not change who they are or how they treat people, you can change how you respond and how you let them make you feel, it takes time, it takes patience, it’s a learning curve, it might feel uncomfortable, you might slip up when you do slip up. That dark cloud hits, it’s just a reminder to go again, try a new approach, so you feel happy, it’s not mean treating those who like to hurt you this way, it’s for your mental health. You can, and you will recover from this.

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The two faces.

The Malignant narcissist.

What is a malignant narcissist?

The meaning of Malignant according to the dictionary -:

  • Evil in nature or effect.
  • Tending to produce death or deterioration.
  • Passionately and relentlessly aggressive.

Which sums up a malignant narcissist very well.

As far as I’m aware, The malignant Narcissist isn’t an official diagnosis. The term was coined by psychologist Erich Fromm, who was a German Jew and fled the Nazi regime and settled in the USA he describes the malignant as.

“The most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity”.

The term malignant narcissist thus far does not appear in any medical diagnostic manuals. There is only one form of official diagnosis, which is Narcissist. ( or other disorders.) However, for narcissists professionals talk about different types, as they are individuals who have a disorder, they are not a disorder. There are also different levels. All are toxic. All will drain you. All are self-centred, some you can limit your time around, others it needs to be No contact. Those with a lack of empathy are those not to be trusted, as they simply do not care.

We do all have narcissism within us, and there is positive as well and negative, narcissism is different from having a narcissist personality disorder. Although those with negative narcissism, that keep going along the negative path will often get worse with Age, those with self-awareness will recognise and emotions like empathy, regret, remorse and guilt, will kick in. Which most often stops people hurting others in the first place, or if they do, they are self-aware enough not to do it again and learn from mistakes, toxic people look for others to blame to escape accountability, they have little to no self-awareness and hit the repeat button, often getting worse as they blame all others for their behaviour.

The malignant narcissist, Possibly the most dangerous and harmful narcissist there is, experts see very little difference between a psychopath and a malignant narcissist, some say a malignant narcissist is a psychopath will full awareness as to what they are doing. These are the ones, you need to be exceptionally cautious and safely get far, far away from and make sure they can never find you or get hold of you.

All narcissist can be dangerous, yet malignant ones take it to the next level.

They are a true psychopath if not worse, like most narcissists they have a lack In empathy, they will commit, multiple crimes without care, including violent and sexual offences with no remorse.

Psychologists suggest malignant narcissism is an extreme mix of the narcissistic personality disorder, and other disorders such as antisocial personality disorder, sadism, aggression and paranoia. The difference between the narcissist personality disorder and the malignant narcissist is the malignant will most often have a mixture of combined personality disorders, They have the narcissistic personality disorder, narcissistic people can have traits of other disorders, like paranoia, yet a malignant narcissist has a paranoid personality disorder, they have the psychopath personality disorder. They also have an antisocial personality disorder. Most narcissists have traits of antisocial behaviour. The malignant have the full disorder.


1. Sadism will deliberately cause, harm, suffering, pain and distress to others, often showing hatred. They enjoy seeing people, animal, anything suffers. They will knowingly inflict pain and suffering on those around, to gain control of others, or to just feel powerful. This can be psychological pain or physical pain.

2. Antisocial behaviour, these are pathological liars, they have an unprovoked hostility and aggression. They can look for trouble, even pre-planning it. They have volatile mood swings, they cheat, steal and lie, they believe they are above the law and are extremely dangerous and toxic.

3. Manipulation, these don’t wait to see an opportunity to manipulate others, although they will use an opportunity. They actively create opportunities, they genuinely go around looking for those they can take advantage of, they plan, and they plot to win at any and all costs to those around them.

4. Paranoias, it’s not that they don’t trust those around them, because of how they think, they are extremely suspicious of all those around them, and believe all others are out to get them.

5. No empathy, none, nothing, zero, they get pleasure out of harming others, a complete lack of genuine compassion, they can act empathetically, if they have Cognitive Empathy.

6. No responsibility, although some of the malignant narcissists can actually admit wrongdoing, yet they will openly admit to other what they have done, by telling others that the person they harmed deserved it, at other times they will deny all knowledge, to what they’ve done to others.

7. Entitled, malignant narcissists have that sense of entitlement like most narcissists, they believe they are superior to others and expect to be treated that way. They believe they are entitled to do what they want, whenever they want, with whoever they want and whatever they want, as they believe they are above all others.

8. Extraordinarily arrogant and self-centred. They have a very fragile, super-sensitive ego. They need to convince all others just how special they are.

9. Envy. They hate seeing others with something they haven’t got, or something they want, most often assuming it’s down to pure luck that others have achieved.

10.. Charm, or ( superficial charm.) most narcissistic people can be charming, especially at first, as they put on that admiration face to draw people in.

11. Moods swings, unprovoked they can be extremely volatile and aggressive.

12. Exploit, they will exploit all others to get their needs met, with no thoughts or feelings to how it affects those around them.

13. Take over conversations. They can monopolies a conversation even with a large audience, often with flying monkeys and enablers in full support, and those who don’t agree with them are often too afraid to speak against them.

Things a malignant narcissist could do.

They will retaliate and humiliate.

They have the potential to destroy families, workplaces, communities, and entire nations.

They make a strong statement in how they dress whichever that is to them, some might be smart in suits high powered jobs with the homes and cars to match, some will be the gym bod in the gym gear and muscles, some will be the tough, hard, don’t mess with me look. ( people can look this way and not be narcissistic.) some can be the tattoos, the reputation, whatever it is to that individual narcissist. Malignants are big on appearance whatever that appearance is to them.

They will go to extreme means, to be the top and get the worlds attention as they believe they are entitled to the world.

They will go to great lengths to protect themselves. All narcissists are manipulative. Even people who don’t have the narcissist personality disorder can be manipulative, the malignant narcissist, however, takes manipulation to the next level, they take it to the extreme, they as most narcissists see in black and white they gain enablers or enemies along the way, they have a complete disregard for others, and simply do not care for the pain they cause to those around them, researchers say Adolf Hitler was a malignant narcissist. Look at the following he achieved, what he got others to do for him, and how many he destroyed.

They will show fake empathy to follows to protect themselves, to get followers to protect them. People either love and respect them or genuinely fear them both will carry out their demands.

They need power and control and achieve this by coming across as a great saviour to others in the beginning. They will go all out to protect their followers as this protects themselves.

They will hurt, and some will murder anyone who gets in their way.

They will tell you not to believe others, and they are just trying to split you up. They’ll manipulate you so well, you’ll believe them.

They will do things to others that are informing you to leave to maintain power over you. They are terrifying, and they will find any means possible to end your friendship with those trying to help you.

They will stop at nothing to protect what is important to them if you escape one of these, you will most often need to move miles away.

They are the least likely to attempt therapy, due to the disorder like other narcissists they do not see any fault in their actions blaming those around them for what they perceive as turning against them, or the fact they don’t see others as people having feelings as they don’t feel like others do, they see people as objects to use and abuse ad they feel, how they want and when they want, we are all individuals with different pain thresholds so what a narcissist on the low end might do could hurt someone in lesser ways. Yet, they feel the same pain as how a malignant narcissist would use sadistic means to destroy those who they perceive to go against them.

In a relationship like all narcissist they represent themselves as important, worthy of admiration and love, they might talk about those that hurt them in a way to gain sympathy. They might come across as an unfortunate individual who has been hurt.

As they present themselves as a loving, caring victim and your saviour, you will feel sorry for them. Partners will want to support them. They lie, manipulate and cheat like all other narcissists. They set it up, so you want to fight their corner and protect them. Once you are hooked, if you cross them there, psychopathy comes out, and they will do anything to protect themselves, and they will hurt you, to get their needs met. They may also get others to do this. Some will do anything to maintain their relationship with you.

Otto Krenberg, a psychoanalyst, In studies in the 1960s described a malignant narcissist was more aware of their wrongdoing than a psychopath is.

How to deal with a malignant narcissist, don’t, gather as much help and support as you can, and not from mutual friends, get to safety, no one knows what lengths any narcissist will go to if they feel criticism or wronged by anyone, so always be careful, with a malignant never let them know you know, or you’re leaving, just get out safely.

1. Seek help and support in leaving if you suspect you are dealing with a malignant narcissist.

2. Remember they will not change; they do not have the self-awareness to change; it’s who they are. Don’t try to change them for who you want them to be, or who they said they’ed be. Accepting who they are, and understanding you deserve better.

3. Have a healthy fear of them, so respect what they are capable of, and keep yourself safe, yes these people need bringing to justice, but you must be careful around them.

4. They see in extreme Black and white, and you will not win an argument or disagreement with these people, they genuinely believe they are right, and not only are you wrong, you are an enemy if you go against them, with their paranoia they will see this as you going against them and they do seek to destroy. Let them think they are right and leave them be.

5. Get support, do not be embarrassed about what you have been through you are far from alone, seeking support and talking to those who understand, helps you piece reality back together, know all those doubts, feelings, thoughts were real, that the reality you lived was real, validation that how you feel is normal, others do and have felt the same way, even those not dealing with malignant narcissists. Getting emotional support is a must also.

6. Do not isolate yourself, yes most of us like to go into hermit mode now and again, and that’s ok, but don’t stay stuck in hermit mode and don’t stay isolated.

7. Do not confront them. I’m all for justice. However, your safety comes first.

Don’t ever give up on yourself, and there is always hope. When good people come together, great things start to happen.

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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.


The Covert Narcissist.