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8 Best Books about Covert Narcissism

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Covert narcissism is one of the most damaging forms of NPD because the abuse is well hidden and so insidious. You might be in a long-term relationship with a covert narcissist for years without realizing that you're being mentally and emotionally abused. This type of violence leaves no physical wounds, and you are typically the only one who is affected by their destructive and mentally devastating conduct.

Living with a covert narcissist exhausts your mind and body and causes you to doubt your own perceptions. You’ve been lied to for years, and now it's time to see the truth about what you've gone through, who you really are, and how much love and happiness you truly deserve.

Below are the best books about covert narcissism. As control and manipulation are at the heart of covert narcissism, some of the books that are exclusively about manipulation and control tactics have also been added.

The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist: Recognizing the Traits and Finding Healing After Hidden Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Author: Debbie Mirza

Ave goodreads score:4.31/5

I have a lot of experience with covert narcissism, and I think this book is a good look at how this personality disorder manifests itself in relationships. Mirza states “the covert narcissist hides their dark attributes because they want people to like them.” However, overt narcissists already assume that others like, adore, or are jealous of them. In addition to explaining well who a covert narcissist is, the three phases of a relationship with a covert passive aggressive narcissist are thoroughly examined in the book, and the author offers several instances of how these relationships appear, sound, and feel like at each stage.

The tendency for the covert narcissist to project their own issues onto others rather than taking ownership and accountability for themselves, as well as the fact that they "have no interest in making this a great relationship," as evidenced by their inaction when conflict arises, were two key takeaways for me.

This book also delves into different manipulation and control tactics used by covert narcissist like gaslighting, hoovering, flying monkeys, intermittent reinforcement, triangulation, fake apologies, focus deflection, indirect insults or backhanded compliments, blame and minimization etc. With a covert passive-aggressive narcissist, it's all about control and manipulation.

In the last chapter, Debbie Mirza gives practical advice on how to recover from such a relationship, emphasizing the need for setting boundaries, seeking assistance, and listening to your own inner wisdom. Given that these interactions tend to generate a substantial degree of self-doubt and concern about one's ability to trust oneself, the healing process may take a lot of time.

30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics

Author: Adelyn Birch

Ave goodreads score:4/5

Emotional manipulation tactics are utilized by abusers to secretly gain control over you. With the passage of time, being the target of emotional manipulation erodes your self-esteem and confidence, as well as your faith in your own judgment. It has the ability to make you unconsciously compromise your own values and needs, leading to a loss of self-respect and a distorted view of yourself. When you are disarmed in this way and your defenses weakened, you are considerably more vulnerable to further manipulation.

Adelyn Birch is an emotional abuse survivor. In 30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics She offers insights gathered from her personal experiences as well as psychological research. The author delves into 30 covert tactics that manipulators employ to get what they want. Even if you don't understand the specific tactic being used, you'll learn to detect the internal warning signs that indicate covert manipulation is taking place. This book focuses on romantic relationships, especially those including a disordered partner. The tactics mentioned, however, are similar to those used by family members, employees, friends, and others.

I learnt a lot from reading 30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics. It helped me comprehend emotional abuse and power dynamics in relationships. I particularly like Birch's study of bonding through intensity and intermittent reinforcement, as well as her depiction of invalidation as an emotionally destructive habit. I strongly suggest this book to anyone who is concerned about being in an abusive relationship or who wants to understand more about psychology and relationships.


Author: H. G. Tudor

Ave goodreads score:4.34/5

H. G. Tudor goes into detail on how an abuser manipulates you. He lists 25 different manipulation tactics. Manipulated is an eye-opening and disturbing read. This book supplied me with a wealth of knowledge and the instances given were exactly what I went through while I was in relationship with a covert narcissist. I discovered plenty of answers to many of my vexing concerns and perplexities that I had for years.

This book is a must-read for anybody interacting with a covert narcissist since it covers a wide range of methods employed by covert narcissists, including guilt tripping, triangulation, eliciting pity, promised gains, denial, withdrawal, gaslighting, projection, and silent treatment etc. This book is the bible of emotional manipulation tactics. It not only explains emotional manipulation tactics, but also, how they are used, why they are used, and how they influence you. Even if you aren't aware that you are being manipulated, you'll be amazed at how effective and common these techniques are. This easy-to-understand book will teach you how to retain your sanity in the midst of toxic interaction and protect yourself against emotional abuse.

Covert Narcissist: Uncover the Covert Narcissist’s Manipulation Tactics, It’s Effects on the Brain, and the Road to Recovery

Author: Grace Lewis

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Ave goodreads score:4.17/5

This short book condenses a lot of the essential information and truths that a victim needs to know about a covert narcissist. It explains how a covert narcissist behaves and why the hidden abuse has such a devastating impact on the victim and how you can recover. This book provided me consolation that there is more to such individuals than meets the eye and that it is not the empath's fault that they have fallen into the toxic trap set up by the covert narcissist. The covert narcissist was bound to find you, treat you well, then discard you when they no longer had any need for you. The question of how to go from the discard phase to rebuilding your life is crucial, and it is on this that each victim must focus.

This is an excellent book not only for victims/survivors but also for the concerned relatives or friends when you don't know how to convey what you've gone through.

The devil’s tool kit

Author: H.G.Tudor

Ave goodreads score:4.19/5

This is an unflinching look at how a narcissist manipulates, control, and destroys people who fall into his or her clutches. H G outlines the various manipulative and wounding tools that a covert narcissist may employ to achieve his dark aims such as denial and blame shifting, intimidation, interruption, push and pull, disruption of your work, charm, gaslighting and so on. He not only describes each tool in depth, but he also goes into detail about how a narcissist uses it, when and why he/she uses it, and why it works. After reading The Devil's Toolkit, I was able to detect not only what tool was being used against me, but also spot immediately when it was being used. This understanding enabled me to no longer be harmed by manipulative tools and to disconnect and walk away before the tool was used in completion.

Awareness is key, and knowledge is power. This is another book by H G that provides insight into how to preserve and shield your soul and sanity while dealing with a narcissist.

In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People

Author: George Simon

Ave goodreads score:4/5

Covert narcissism is a toxic and hidden form of abuse which makes it very hard for the victim to become aware of mistreatment and confront the abuser.

In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People Dr. George Simon correctly defines "covert aggressives" and other character disordered people. He explains the manipulative tactics and offers effective solutions for dealing with them. Note that these individuals are typically egocentric and lacking in empathy.They have no motivation to improve. They rather believe that they are always correct and that everyone else should change and adapt to them since they are perfect. As a result, significant change on their part is unlikely.

The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life

Author: Robin Stern

Ave goodreads score: 3.9/5

This well-written book is an easy and interesting read. The term "gaslighting" is defined by Dr. Stern as "being forced to accept the unbelievable by someone else." she adds gaslighting is an "Insidious kind of emotional abuse and manipulation that is difficult to detect and break free from,". Gaslighters are categorized into three categories of emotional abusers, and there are three phases of gaslighting, according to Dr. Stern. She identifies the signs, sensations, and internal cues that a victim may experience when they are subjected to gaslighting.

This book is an essential read for anybody who has ever been in or is now in a toxic relationship. It confirms the nagging feelings we get when we know something is wrong with a relationship but can't pinpoint what it is.

Dr. Stern teaches us not only how to recognize these feelings as red flags, but also how to deal with them in a healthy and rational way. She teaches her readers how to spot even the smallest signs of emotional abuse and how to deal with it in such a manner that, if you are not in an intimate relationship with the gaslighter or abuser, your relationship may improve significantly.

Covert Narcissism: Signs of a Covert Narcissist, Ways to Protect Yourself from Their Manipulation and How to Deal with Their Narcissism

Author: Louisa Cox

Ave goodreads score:3.6/5

Covert narcissists are masters of subtle deception and manipulation. A major defining characteristic of covert abuse is that it makes you terribly confused.

You may finally end the confusion inside your brain by recognizing the characteristics of the covert narcissist, understanding the abuse cycle, and knowing the manipulative methods. The author goes through all of these things in this book, as well as why we're drawn to narcissists, why they're attracted to us, and, most importantly how to move on after being abused.

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