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Covert Narcissism Awareness

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A victim of a covert narcissist who is ready to begin their healing journey

What is a Covert Narcissist?

When people generally talk about narcissists you normally hear the same key words being repeated; charming, extroverted, over-confident, but what if I tell you that not all people with narcissistic tendencies and NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) are like that. In fact there are three major branches of NPD. The first is overt narcissism which is the one you hear about the most. Those suffering from overt or grandiose narcissism appear as overly-confident, charismatic extroverts and are the sort of people you would associate with the word "narcissist". There are two other types of narcissists however, the exhibitionist, and the covert narcissist. Due to my own personal experiences I will be focusing on the latter in this article.

So what is a covert narcissist? A covert narcissist is a seemingly empathic, humble person who is so loving and nice to everyone. They could never do anything wrong, it would go against their whole personality...... Or the image they project to the world that is. You see, the covert narcissist loves to tell everyone how good of person they are, maybe they'd even try to prove it to you. "Oh, that charity? Yeah, just the other day I donated to it. I was hungry and had no food myself as I didn't get paid yet and had to skip lunch but out of the kindness of my heart, I donated to it. Other people wouldn't do that. But I did. Oh, hi, Jessica! Did I tell that I donated to that charity yesterday. Yeah, and I hadn't even eaten anything myself yet.."

Can you spot the problem? First of all, I donated to that charity. Yes that's a great thing to do but for a covert narcissist, it's not about the act itself, it's about the recognition they get for it. They aren't particularly interested in being a good person but more so interested in being perceived as one. Of course, if you did a good deed you might want to tell someone, and that's fine, especially if you're proud of it, but the thing is, good people don't necessarily feel the need to talk about their good deeds or moreso brag about them. They don't need someone to validate them and say "Wow, you did that? You're such a good person!". No, for good people, the focus is put on the deed itself.

Then the next line you have is I didn't have any food myself. Now they're trying to make you feel sorry for them. What covert narcissists do best is trying to earn your sympathy and play the victim. "Look at poor, innocent me who could do no wrong. Shower me with praise and sympathy." Again, they can do no wrong.

Other people wouldn't do that. Covert narcissists are the best, most kind people in the world. They do kind deeds that nobody else would ever think of.... Covert narcissists think that they are one of a kind and the ultimate good. They believe that nobody is as capable as them when it comes to good deeds and nobody would ever think about doing such nice things as they do. This is obviously untrue. There are many good people in this world who do many a good thing, but the covert narcissist doesn't care about this. They are convinced they are the highest good. Nobody can rival them at anything. They crave recognition for everything they do and wishes to be put on a pedestal of sorts.

And then to finish it off, once again, did I tell you about.... Everyone must know of their good deed. Even if it happened years ago and everybody already knows the story, it'll keep being brought back up over and over. You must not forget how nice and caring they are. Give them recognition. Who cares about the deed itself and who it may have benefited. The focus is on the covert narcissist. Aren't they lovely for doing such a thing?

So as you can see, covert narcissists are all about their image. They thrive of of people's compliments and wish to be held above everyone else. No matter if they do good deeds or not, they are not good people. They only care about how they are perceived as opposed to simply helping others. Do not fall for their tricks.


Covert Narcissistic Tendencies

So we talked a little about what the covert narcissist is but now it's time to go over some of the signs and tendencies of the covert narcissist. We covered a couple already but here are the major signs of a covert narcissist.

Lack of empathy -> This tends to be the main telltale sign of all types of narcissists but when it comes to the covert type, it's a little more complicated. That's because covert narcissists can often come of as being empathic, as posing as an empath is one of the favourite things to do. However, unlike actual empaths, you can tell that something is off about their supposed empathy. That's because their words are completely empty. They'll pretend they care when they really don't just so you can praise and give thanks to them. They'll even try to convince you that they are the only ones who care!

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Playing the victim -> There isn't a single covert narcissist that doesn't do this. It's practically their favourite hobby. No matter what the context or situation, the covert narcissist is always the victim. They told you to "k*ll yourself"? Well, it's your fault for "making them say that". They didn't want to say that but you made them. You should apologize. I'm sure everyone can see that this is extremely unhealthy and horrible behavior! But this is the sort of thing that covert narcissists do, unfortunately. You should never have to apologize after something so serious like that was said to you. You are the victim. Not them. You are not to blame.

Negative self-image -> On the surface, this sounds pretty sad but the covert narcissist does not deserve your sympathy. After all, that is exactly what they feed off of. They will constantly put themselves down due to their low self-esteem and negative image of themselves but what they really are after is compliments. Compliments, praise, you to tell them that they are better than everyone else. They want you to be their narcissistic supply and constantly shower them with praise. Will you ever get one back? Of course not! At least a genuine one anyway.

Superiority and god complex -> So how might this work, you may ask. Well, as I mentioned before, covert narcissists do have a tendency to hate themselves and have low self-esteem, but at the same time, they are convinced that they are so much better than everyone else. One minute they are all like "I hate myself so much" and the next minute they're like "I'm so much nicer than everybody else in the world". Some even get it into their head that they are some sort of god or goddess. Many of them tend to be atheists and non-believers in that regard as they cannot accept that anything could possibly be higher than themselves. Covert narcissists hate themselves, and that's certainly true, but if anyone were to suggest they were anything but the most important person in the world, they'd make your life hell! They feed of of your praise and compliments (and energy, they're energy vampires), making you feel sorry for them and their low self-esteem, so that you then largen their god complex by telling them how much better they are then everyone else. They are extremely manipulative in getting what they want, and taking advantage of empaths who feel sorry for them. It really sucks.

Sensitive to criticism -> Most people don't like criticism, I know I don't, as many times it just feels like an excuse to put people down. However, covert narcissists take it to the next level with their extreme sensitivity to criticism. They even perceive things and insights that are not even remotely criticism as an attack against them. You could say something such as "I think I'll have a sandwich", and they'll respond with something like "I hate sandwiches! You know I do. I keep telling you this but you never listen. I'm not even hungry right now. Sometimes I think I'm the only one who thinks around here. Everybody else seems to have no braincells. I won't talk to you until you apologize!"........ You see how nothing became a huge deal? And the situation had nothing to really do with them? When it comes to covert narcissists everything is in extremes and everything is about them. Even when it has no correlation to them whatsoever. You might not even be talking to them! Which would be considered another offence in itself. When dealing with a covert narcissist, you will always be walking on eggshells. You say something. How dare you. You remain quiet. How dare you. You look at them. How dare you. You don't. How dare you. You'll never win when dealing with a covert narcissist. If you know anyone like this, please, reach out to someone!

There are obviously many, many more signs and tendencies of covert narcissists but if I were to go through them all, the list would go on forever! So let's move on!


How to Get Help

Finally, the most important part, how to get help. This is crucial. Noone deserves to be trapped with a covert narcissist the rest of their life. Don't ever be fooled by their occasional nice moments. Those only exist to strengthen their grasp on you. Once a narcissist, always a narcissist. They can't change, only pretend. You'll repeat the same cycle over and over. You deserve better!

When it comes to covert narcissists or any narcissists, your privacy is non-existent. You might not be allowed access on your phone or to go on it without permission. They might also keep you from seeing your friends and family. Only they are important in your life. Nothing else.

If you have access to a phone, awesome! That can often be the hardest step. Find websites and groups that offer help and support in dealing with narcissistic abuse. Such groups include the National Domestic Violence Hotline, I Believe Your Abuse, and Help Within Reach. If you have a phone but no internet access, text a person you are or used to be close with about the abuse you are suffering. The narcissist may want to know what you are saying so adopt a code or poem like format to hide the evidence so to speak, if they are reading over your shoulder. If they go through your phone after messages, write what ever you need to but delete the conversation after. The other person should still have a copy and be able to use that to get you help. If you use a monitored social media account, give people signs. If they ask a certain thing off of you if you need help, do it

When you don't have a phone, things may be more complicated. If you have access to the outside you should also give many signs. If you are alone, great! Find somewhere safe and let someone you trust or an Abuse Help group know what's going on. It made be scary, and you might fear for your life if the narcissist finds out, but it'll be okay. There will always be someone willing to protect you, to help you. You don't deserve to be abused. You deserve to be safe and eventually you can get happy too!

If you are with the narcissist, still give subtle signs. This could include writing in a bathroom your details (although this could come with new risks), you could stare someone down too. Everyone will take notice if someone is consistently staring at them and they may be unnerved but it could lead them to help you get help! If you are at restaurant and the narcissist isn't paying attention or you are leaving a tip, you could leave a note on the receipt asking for help.

There are many things you can do to try and alert someone of your predicament, just remember to never give up! You got this! You don't deserve the abuse, no matter what the narcissist says. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be safe. Please, reach out to someone if you need to!


© 2022 EmoWitch

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