Recognizing a covert narcissist isn’t hard when you know what covert narcissism traits to be on the lookout for. I know how frustrating it can be trying to cope with covert narcissists, whether the person with covert narcissism is your covert narcissist mother, your covert narcissist father, your covert narcissist husband, or your covert narcissist wife.
Covert narcissism in relationships is beyond draining and depleting and can be tricky to spot simply because people with a covert narcissist personality disorder are truly master manipulators.
In this article, we give you 11 definitive covert narcissist signs that will help you determine if the manipulative, energy-depleting, emotional toddler you’re dealing with is actually a true-blue, died-in-the-wool covert narcissist.
So, let’s talk about 11 ways to recognize a covert narcissist.
Number 1: The Perpetual Victim.
Every time you see them you have literally held hostage to their long-winded story about all the ways they have most recently been hurt, harmed, abandoned, betrayed, let down, you guessed it, victimized. The family, the relationship, the work environment, and the friend that they absolutely refuse to cut ties or contact with, continue to serve their never-ending victim story. And they continue to put their hand up for and volunteer for more, why? Because they are so deeply identified with being a victim.
It’s literally their favorite source of narcissistic supply. Oh, woe is me. Can’t you see how hard I’ve had it? Can’t you see how hard done by I am? Can’t you see how badly I’ve been treated? How badly I am being treated? While doing absolutely zero, nothing, nada, to affect real or lasting change in their life. Why? Because they like it, they like it a lot.
Number 2: The Good Guy or Girl Performance.
They work double time to convince you and everyone else just how good, kind, generous, and altruistic they are. For example, posting regularly about all their good deeds and philanthropic endeavors and all the good things that they’ve done for this one and that one and everyone else, including feeding the hungry and the homeless.
Now, here’s the thing about this, Healthy people don’t need to do this. They can actually do a good thing and leave it at that without feeling compelled to broadcast it across the interwebs or every time they open their mouth, looking for applause and accolades, right? Covert narcissists, however, cannot help themselves. They literally need the hit or fix of narcissistic supply that the applause gives them.
Number 3: Blameless, Shameless & Irresponsible.
You’ll notice that they are never ever to blame or responsible for any of their misfortune. In spite of the fact that it’s crystal clear that they’re actually the authors of their own misery, so-called bad luck, and ongoing misfortune.
Number 4: Frustrating Circular Conversations.
Conversations with them tend to be circular and frustrating in nature, leaving you feeling completely drained, depleted, and confused. Like, mind-bending crazy-making conversations. In addition, you’ll walk away from these mind-bending crazy-making conversations somehow being to blame, feeling shame, and being made responsible for just how to let down and hard done they are. No matter how appallingly they’ve behaved.
Number 5: Hyper Sensitive to Any Perceived Criticism.
They are hypersensitive. I mean, hyper-hypersensitive to any perceived criticism. And any perceived criticism will result in your having, accidentally or otherwise, inflicted narcissistic injury and thus inciting narcissistic rage. Now, with a covert narcissist, you’ll know that this is going on because you’ll find yourself dealing with a very passive-aggressive sulk who is seething with bitterness and resentment.
Number 6: Three words: Entitled, childish, ingrate.
Read More: 8 Questions a Narcissist Can’t Answer.
Number 7: Paranoid about What Others Think & Say.
They are highly concerned with the opinions of others, to the point of paranoia. They care much more about appearances than they do reality. In other words, they’re obsessively concerned with what others think and might be saying about them. So much so that they’ll actually try to manipulate and control you with fear, guilt, and shame by telling you all the things that they’ve heard about you, even if it’s all bullshit and they’re just making it all up. It’s a way of trying to control and manipulate you. It’s hilarious if you’re anything like me.
If you’re anything like me and you’re not actually obsessively concerned and all wrapped up in the opinions of others. In other words, couldn’t give a flying bleep mate, and like, you know, good luck with your sorry self. When that is your state of being, that state of being is an entirely foreign concept to a covert narcissist and really messes with their head. They don’t know what to do with that like it just does not compute.
Number 8: They Project blame & Shame.
They project all their own shameful behavior onto you and others. If they’ve cheated, they claim to have been cheated on. If they abandoned their children, their children abandoned them. If they’re a bully, they claim to have been bullied. If they lie, then you’re a liar. If they’re convicted felons, then you’re a thief. If they’re a pedophile or are married to one and are thus invested in protecting one, you guessed it. And on and on and on it goes.
Number 9: Envy & Jealousy.
They are green with envy and carry on a lot of jealousy. And they’ll project that jealousy onto you and others. For example, they’ll assume that you must have the same envious spirit that they do. And they’ll speak to you and about you as if that’s a fact, Baffling, laughable even, but true.
Number 10: Rageful.
They carry a lot of rages. Right under that meek, demure, timid, shy, reserved, gentle, insecure, self-effacing facade is a rageaholic. And that rageaholic can be triggered in a nanosecond. Now, assuming you’re safe, it’s actually kind of fascinating to observe.
Recommended: Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse.
Number 11: Masters of The Dupe.
These master manipulators are highly adept at convincing everyone what good, kind, decent, and upstanding human beings they are. When, in fact, the opposite is true. In other words, they may have a lot of people fooled. Perhaps even everyone except you. And if you find yourself in this situation, please remember what Gandhi was famous for saying. And I quote, “Even if you are in a minority of one, the truth is still truth. So stand in your truth. Own it. You’ll be just fine. I promise.
Read More: 15 Gaslighting Phrases Manipulators Use.
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