13 Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do
Narcissism, which is not a prominent type of narcissistic personality disorder, is a psychological condition often not noticed initially. In contrast to its more obvious equivalent, the covert form of narcissism is characterized by subtle actions and techniques that can be difficult to detect.
Knowing these behavior patterns is essential in recognizing and defending yourself from manipulative or emotional injury. This article’ll examine 13 distinct behavior patterns exhibited by covert narcissists.
In shedding light on these behavior patterns, we intend to give insight into their intricate nature and provide readers with the skills to navigate relationships better.
What Is a Covert Narcissist?
A covert narcissist can be described as one with narcissistic characteristics; however, they display them subtly.
Contrary to the more explicit and outwardly focused behaviors often associated with narcissism, covert narcissists employ a variety of complex strategies that can make their self-centeredness and manipulative behavior harder to spot. Hidden selfishness is an element of the psychological within the narcissistic spectrum personality disorder.
Covert narcissists often portray themselves as gentle, compassionate, and introverted individuals who often win the admiration and trust of those around them. But, underneath this façade is a deep desire to be admired, controlled, and focused.
They thrive on the emotional and psychological manipulation of others, using tactics such as playing the victim, passive-aggressiveness, and subtle power plays to achieve their goals.
In contrast to their openly narcissistic counterparts who are sincerely seeking attention and external validation, hidden Narcissists work behind the scenes, manipulating their relationships and circumstances to ensure their wants are fulfilled.
Their ability to hide is a key factor in engaging others in their controlled and influenced network.
How Do Narcissists Trick You?
Narcissists have the ability to deceive and manipulate others of their target, leaving them confused and emotionally exhausted. Their methods are subtle yet extremely effective in gaining control and achieving their own selfish goals. Here’s how narcissists can trick you:
At the beginning of an affair, narcissists lavish their victims with a lot of affection, praise, and love. The “love-bombing” creates an intense emotional bond that makes the person feel appreciated and loved.
Narcissists mirror their victims’ desires as well as their values and preferences in order to give a false impression of intimacy and compatibility. Mirroring creates confidence and an impression of being loved.
They create a perfect image of themselves, highlighting their strengths while downplaying or hiding their weaknesses. This image draws the victims into believing they’ve met someone extraordinary.
Narcissists manipulate the reality of things by gaslighting and distorting of facts and events in order to make victims doubt their perception, memory, and even their sanity. This can alter the victim’s perception of reality and make them more vulnerable to the manipulation of the narcissist.
When the victim becomes emotionally invested, narcissists can shift from devaluation to idealization. They criticize, denigrate, and ridicule their victims, which can lower their self-esteem, becoming dependent on the narcissist’s acceptance.
6. Silent Treatment:
Narcissists utilize the silent treatment as a method of punishment or control. They suddenly stop paying attention and communicating, which leaves the victim agitated and eager to get their revenge.
Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do
Here are a few things that a covert narcissist can do
1. Charming Introversion
Covert narcissists usually have an introverted manner of speaking, which can be attractive and defiant. They may appear humble or soft-spoken and shy, making them seem likable and approachable.
However, this introversion hides their true need for praise and attention. For example, a devious narcissist may minimize their accomplishments in public and seek validation by subtle hints and praise from others for their achievements.
An example: Jane, a covert Narcissist, always portrays her personality as a shy introvert when in social situations with a modest and unassuming appearance.
However, she will strategically drop small hints of her accomplishments and wait for her friends to be able to appreciate and acknowledge her achievements, thereby feeding her desire for praise.
2. Victim Card Manipulation
Narcissists covertly play the victim’s hand to gain control and sympathy. They often tell personal stories in which they’ve suffered abuse while subtly seeking acceptance and encouragement.
This technique helps them maintain their moral stance and subtly manipulate others to conform to their beliefs.
Examples: Mark frequently paints himself as a victim and tells stories of how he’s been victimized by his colleagues. In doing this, it draws respect and affection from his close friends, making sure they’ll be with him when they are in conflict, strengthening his influence over social interactions.
3. Silent Superiority
They radiate a sense of quiet superiority. With subtle gestures such as low-key smirks or a dismissive look, they express their confidence in their uniqueness. This lets them remain in control of other people without displaying dominance.
An example: Sarah, a covert self-deprecating narcissist, slyly denigrates coworkers’ ideas in meetings, smirking. The non-verbal signals she uses to convey her message that her opinions are superior to others without the need to express them in a formal manner.
4. Passive-Aggressive Behavior
The hidden hallmark of narcissism is the use of passive-aggressive actions to show frustration or manipulate other people. They conceal their hostility by presenting a false image of innocence, which makes it difficult for people to speak up.
An example: David, a covert self-deprecating narcissist who is consistently at the wrong time for group projects, which causes problems for his colleagues. If confronted, he appears as if he’s hurt and claims that the actions he took could be causing problems while deflecting blame.
5. Withholding Information
Narcissists who covertly control relationships often do so through a lack of details. They give just enough information to keep other people interested but not enough to enable them to make informed choices. The control they have over the information they provide can give them a sense of control.
An example: Lisa, a covert Narcissist, shares only little details about her ideas with her spouse, keeping them interested but somewhat off-balance. She likes the feeling of being in control of the dynamics of relationships.
6. Backhanded Compliments
Narcissists who covertly are masters of the art of backhanded compliments. The seemingly positive comments can carry the sting of concealed criticism. They can make others feel weak and maintain a facade of respectability.
An example: Alex, a covert Narcissist, says to his acquaintance, “You’re so lucky to be naturally confident, unlike me, who has to work hard to come across as approachable.” The compliment to his confidence in his friend is undermined by the assumption that he’s more authentic because of his difficulties.
7. Gaslighting Tactics
Narcissists who covertly use gaslighting strategies to control and manipulate others their beliefs about reality. They manipulate facts in a subtle manner, any statements made in the past, or cause their victims to doubt their perception and judgment. The victim is left confused and vulnerable to the influence of their spies.
An example: Maria, a covert Narcissist, claims that she was never apprehensive about attending a social gathering even though she had previously discussed it. She makes her friend question their memory before settling on Maria’s account.
8. Martyr Complex
Narcissists who are covert often develop a martyr mentality to garner respect and admiration. They appear to be selfless, giving up their personal needs to help others, and subtly seek validation for the sacrifices they claim to have made.
Examples: Mike, a covert self-centered narcissist, complains that he’s always the one who has to tidy up the kitchen in the office by highlighting his selfless attitude. Actually, he cleverly manipulates his coworkers into recognizing his efforts and accommodating his personal preferences.
9. Triangulation Maneuvers
Triangulation is the art of creating conflict between two people to keep control. Narcissists in disguise may sway individuals against one another by divulging information in a selective manner so that they are the center of attention and power.
An example: Emily, a covert Narcissist, tells her friends various versions of the same story to cause tension. Every friend can then approach her to get their opinions validated, unaware of which reinforces her role as a mediator.
10. Love-bombing in Disguise
Although love bombing is usually linked to narcissism that is overt COVID-19, narcissists can be found in more subtle forms. They may show occasional passionate affection but disappear emotionally soon after they have their target in awe and wanting to be noticed.
An example: Jake, a covert narcissist, bathes his lover with love and affection for a couple of days, creating a feeling of love and affection. If their partner reciprocates or feels at ease, Jake withdraws emotionally, making them feel confused and seeking his approval.
11. Selective Listening
Narcissists who are covert use selective listening techniques to influence conversations and keep their sway. They concentrate on what is in their goals and avoid information that might challenge their view, making it difficult to communicate effectively.
An example: Chris, a covert persona, has an argument about a project with his colleagues. He doesn’t listen to suggestions that aren’t in line with his own preconceived notions and subtly steer the conversation in the direction he prefers.
12. Image Crafting
The art of creating a particular image is vital for people who are narcissists in covert ways. They carefully curate their appearance to look affable, humble, or self-sacrificing, seeking approval and respect from the people around them.
Examples: Laura, a covert Narcissist, frequently volunteers for community projects and makes sure that her actions are documented through social networks. Laura is often praised for her selflessness but secretly enjoys the praise.
13. Unpredictable Emotional Responses
Narcissists with covert identities exhibit unpredictable emotional reactions to maintain control of their interactions. They can be emotionally distant and overly loving, keeping their partners alert and seeking to please.
For example, Greg is a covert social narcissist who alternates lavishing his lover with love and then abruptly disappearing. This emotional rollercoaster leaves his lover anxious and attempting to win back his love.
The process of navigating relationships with narcissists could be emotionally draining. Narcissists have an extraordinary capability to manipulate and deceive their target, leaving them confused and hurt.
From gaslighting to love bombing, their tactics are designed to control, dominate, and satisfy their genuine desire for attention and admiration.
Recognizing the indications of narcissistic manipulation is crucial to safeguard your mental health. Understanding their strategies and tricks allows you to establish boundaries and safeguard yourself from their destructive influence.
When you recognize the subtle signals of mirroring, love-bombing, and idealization, you can navigate the first phases of an affair better.
In addition, being aware of gaslighting, devaluation, or isolation will prevent you from falling further into their web of influence. Recognizing manipulative tactics or false excuses for apologies and projections can help you remain clear about your own motives and feelings.
The process of breaking free of a narcissistic marriage requires a lot of self-awareness and determination. If you can recognize the pattern of smear or hoovering and smear campaigns, you can thwart their efforts to drag you back into their circle of influence. Also, seeking help from family members, friends, or a professional in mental health is vital to healing and regaining control over your life.