Think you know someone inside and out? Think again. Covert narcissists are masters of disguise, hiding their true colors behind a mask of charm and charisma. But don’t be fooled. We’ve uncovered the top 15 traits of a covert narcissist , so you can spot these elusive predators and protect yourself from their toxic influence
Narcissism is a personality disorder that is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, an excessive need for attention and admiration, and a lack of empathy towards others.
While most people are familiar with the classic overt narcissist who exhibits grandiose behaviors and seeks constant attention, the covert narcissist is often overlooked because they are much better at hiding their true colors.
What is a Covert Narcissist?
A covert narcissist is a person who has narcissistic personality disorder but displays their traits in a more subtle and hidden way compared to an overt narcissist. They tend to have an inflated sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy towards others, but they are skilled at concealing their true nature and manipulating people and situations to suit their needs.
Unlike overt narcissists who openly seek attention and admiration, covert narcissists may appear modest and unassuming on the surface, but their behavior often reveals an underlying sense of entitlement and self-centeredness. They can be extremely charming, yet ultimately self-absorbed, and their behavior can have a detrimental impact on the people around them.
In this blog post, we will explore 15 traits of a covert narcissist who conceals their true colors. By learning about these covert narcissist traits, you will be better equipped to recognize the signs of a covert narcissist and protect yourself from their manipulative behaviors. So, let’s dive in to know the 15 traits of a covert Narcissist.
Covert narcissists are preoccupied with themselves and their own needs. They have little interest in other people’s perspectives or feelings and are often unable to see things from other people’s points of view. They may dominate conversations, interrupt others, or disregard other people’s input.
2. Need for Validation
Covert narcissists have an intense need for validation and crave attention and affirmation from others. They may fish for compliments, exaggerate their accomplishments, or even lie to make themselves seem more impressive. T
hey may also become upset or angry when they don’t receive the recognition or attention they feel they deserve.
3. Sense of Entitlement
Covert narcissists believe that they are entitled to special treatment and privileges. They expect others to cater to their needs and desires and may become angry or resentful when they don’t get what they want.
They may also feel that rules and norms don’t apply to them and that they are above the law.
4. Lack of Empathy
One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with a covert narcissist is their lack of empathy. They struggle to understand or appreciate other people’s feelings and often prioritize their own needs and desires over the needs of others. They may dismiss others’ concerns or dismiss their emotions as irrational or unimportant.
5. Difficulty with Criticism
Covert narcissists struggle with criticism and may become defensive or hostile when someone points out their flaws or mistakes. They may also be quick to blame others for their shortcomings and may not take responsibility for their actions.
Covert narcissists are skilled manipulators and may use flattery, guilt-tripping, or other tactics to get what they want. They may also play the victim to gain sympathy and support from others. They may also use gaslighting, a technique where they deny or twist reality to make others question their own perceptions and memory.
7. Lack of Boundaries
Covert narcissists often have poor boundaries and may invade other people’s personal space or expect others to do things for them that they should do for themselves.
They may also share personal information or secrets without considering the consequences. They may also try to control others by demanding constant attention and time.
While not as outwardly grandiose as other forms of narcissism, covert narcissists still have a sense of grandiosity. They may believe that they are smarter, more talented, or more special than other people and may act accordingly. They may also feel that they deserve the best of everything and may not settle for less.
Covert narcissists often have a strong need for perfection and may obsess over details, be extremely critical of themselves and others, and set impossibly high standards for themselves and those around them. They may also be unforgiving of themselves and others when they fall short of their expectations.
10. Emotional Volatility
Covert narcissists may experience emotional volatility and may be prone to mood swings, outbursts of anger, or bouts of depression. They may also struggle to regulate their emotions and may lash out at others when they feel upset or frustrated. They may also withdraw from others and sulk when they don’t get their way.
Despite their outward confidence, covert narcissists often struggle with deep-seated feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. They may be overly sensitive to criticism or rejection and may seek constant validation and reassurance from others to feel good about themselves. However, even positive feedback may not be enough to ease their feelings of insecurity.
12. Lack of Genuine Connection
Covert narcissists often struggle to form genuine connections with others. They may be charismatic and charming on the surface, but their lack of empathy and self-absorption can make it difficult for them to truly connect with others on a deep level.
They may also struggle to maintain close relationships and may become bored or disinterested once the initial excitement of a new relationship fades.
Covert narcissists often struggle to take responsibility for their actions and may shift blame onto others instead. They may deny their mistakes or shortcomings and may try to make others feel guilty for bringing up their flaws or mistakes. They may also deflect criticism by attacking the character or motives of those who criticize them.
14. Difficulty with Intimacy
Covert narcissists often struggle with intimacy, both emotional and physical. They may fear vulnerability and may avoid opening up to others or showing their true selves.
They may also struggle to connect with others on an emotional level and may focus more on physical intimacy or sexual conquests rather than emotional connection.
15. Lack of Self-Awareness
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with a covert narcissist is their lack of self-awareness. They may not recognize their own behavior as problematic and may dismiss others’ concerns or criticisms as unwarranted. They may also believe that they are always in the right and may refuse to consider other perspectives or admit when they are wrong.
In conclusion, dealing with a covert narcissist can be challenging, as they often exhibit many of the same traits as overt narcissists but in more subtle ways. It’s important to recognize these traits and set healthy boundaries to protect yourself from their manipulative and self-absorbed behavior.
However, it’s also important to remember that covert narcissists may be struggling with deep-seated feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, and they may benefit from seeking professional help to address these issues.