Have you ever seen a covert narcissist? Do you know how ridiculously strange they are? In this article, I’m going to go through the seven strange behaviors of covert narcissists and show you why they are the worst.
Covert narcissists are the absolute worst because everybody else thinks they are so nice, but when you’re alone with them, it’s death by a thousand cuts. They give you all these passive-aggressive things. I’ve personally experienced this at my firm. I used to have a covert narcissistic business partner; on the veneer, they are sweet, kind, and gentle. Everyone sees them as having an exemplary character, but behind the scenes, they do all these things that eat at you making you feel like you’re going crazy. And it makes it so hard to get out of these relationships because, in the back of our minds, we feel like there’s no one who is going to be on our side and there’s that fear that the whole world is going to vilify us.
Number one on this list is: Being the victim is everything to them. When we think of narcissists, most of us think of somebody who talks about how great they are, someone who shows and brags. This is what we think of as default when we talk about narcissistic behavior. Covert narcissists on the other hand are people who relish the idea that they’re victims and would constantly play this victim card to their advantage. There’s always someone to blame for their predicament and misfortunes and would present to whoever listens how someone did them wrong or how life is unfair or unkind to them. They do all of this to earn sympathy, favor, and leverage. Since covert narcissists have this victim mindset, they will refuse to apologize for anything. The only time I’ve seen them apologize is if they can turn the situation around and get even more sympathy from an audience. I’ve personally witnessed how a covert narcissist showed up at a funeral to spite everyone in attendance, and once confronted, started questioning everyone why they’re being so overly critical and how inappropriate it is for them to question his or her motives or intent at a time where everyone should be grieving. Instead of tearing each other, they should be consoling each other. This is the reason why they’re so dangerous. These are master manipulators.
Number two is: They stubbornly refuse to do things you ask them to do. They are quite passive-aggressive about this. When you ask them to do something, even if it’s not too much, they will refuse to do it. In their mind, they don’t really have to do anything for you and have this knee-jerk reaction of saying “No”. Even if it’s something that they want to do, they will refuse to do it simply because you asked them to. However, if there’s an audience, you’ll notice how they quickly shift and would volunteer and take initiative.
Coming in at number 3: Public and private persons are different. There’s that rage that hides just below the surface. The water looks calm on the surface but that undertow is itching to pull you in. Although they portray themselves as helpful, kind, sincere, or noble in front of other people, the truth is, behind closed doors, it can’t be further from the truth. When it’s just the two of you, when they take down the pristine veneer, you’ll see how vindictive, petty, and vile they truly can be.
Fourth on this list is: They hold grudges. One of the strangest behaviors that you’ll notice with covert narcissists is that they hold grudges. They harbor these grudges toward things that normal people would have forgotten or seen as mundane or trivial. They might not even tell you that they feel like you have slighted them, let alone that it might have happened years ago, but they have no problem using this against you when it’s convenient.
Number five: They spend lavishly on themselves and are super cheap when it comes to everyone else. They have no issues spending and buying name brands for themselves but are frugal when it benefits someone else. When it comes to things like gift giving or tips, they’ll typically just give enough…the minimum that they can get away with.
The next one on this list is: They are chameleons. Another strange thing about covert narcissists is that they change their personalities based on the crowd they are in. If they’re with a certain type of crowd, they’ll behave in a way that fits that crowd’s dynamics. They even dress the part. Covert narcissists have a tendency to stare at people so they can study and mirror them. I was once a target of a covert narcissist and she would stare at me which made me feel awkward. She would just be there staring at me and it felt weird and intrusive. Later on, I started to notice that she would dress like how I dress and talk like how I would talk. It really did appear like she was trying to take on my personality. They don’t intentionally do this to offend, rather, their goal is to make themselves appear like they are aligned with you so you will like them more. This tactic is actually a tool they use so they can love-bomb and manipulate you.
Finally: Subtle put-downs. This is something covert narcissists are great at. They’re able to weave their subtle put-down into casual conversations. They are great at giving compliments with hints of shade in them. They might compliment you about your weight loss and how good you look, then point out your stretch marks or loose skin in your arms or belly, and weave in again the idea that you look amazing. It can be confusing! Subtle put-downs. Covert narcissists are skilled at this.
Those are the seven strange behaviors of covert narcissists. They can drive you absolutely crazy because, unlike the overt or grandiose type of narcissists who are open about it, and make things known, they are masters when it comes to concealing themselves, playing with perceptions, and manipulation.
Remember, today is absolutely the best day to start negotiating your best life. They only win if you give in, and I’m telling you that you don’t have to give up ground. You can do this. I’ll see you in the next article.