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If you work in an environment and have ever interacted with people, chances are you’ve encountered a covert narcissist without even knowing it. Covert narcissists are cunning manipulators who often use subtle phrases or expressions to try and get what they want out of you without your knowledge or agreement. But if you know what to look for, you can recognize them faster and learn how to protect yourself from their influence. In this blog post, we’ll explore seven of the most commonly used narcissistic phrases that contradict their behavior – helping you spot the covert narcs before they do any more damage.

#1. Everybody thinks that they are wonderful. Initially, everyone is enamored with their charm and charisma. These individuals work their way into your life and create a sense of trust and loyalty that’s seemingly unmatched. However, it’s not long before you find that something is amiss. They have the uncanny ability to be everywhere and be involved with everyone’s business. While initially, this may seem like you have met a social butterfly, take a closer look and you’ll see the true motivation behind their behavior. Narcissists are skilled at finding opportunities to attach themselves to the most influential people and organizations. They’re ideal at the beginning of a project, when everyone is ideating, and looking for synergies. Once the project is off the ground, they begin to take control, leaving no room for others to shine.

#2. Recognizing a narcissist in the workplace can be difficult, but passive aggressiveness is often a tell-tale sign. They may manipulate work assignments, either assigning themselves or you, leaving you unsure and confused. At first, they seem like they could be an excellent partner or colleague, but soon it becomes apparent that they are simply using you for their own gain. Their excuses for underperforming or not meeting expectations can be both frustrating and endless, leaving you feeling like you can never win with them.

#3. Feeling like you’re in a constant state of competition. Over time, you may notice that they start treating you as if they’re better than you – like you’re inferior. This can leave you feeling belittled and powerless. However, by recognizing these behaviors for what they are, you can begin to take back control and set boundaries to protect yourself. No one deserves to be treated this way, and you shouldn’t have to put up with it.

#4. They would try to position themselves as the go-to authority figure. They may establish a relationship with you in which you become secondary, so that they can strengthen their own position. When you don’t comply with their expectations, they would actively paint you in a negative light to others in the workplace. It is important to identify such behavior to maintain a healthy work environment.

#5. They gradually start treating you as a subordinate. Initially, they might even assign you tasks, which can make you feel like you are doing things for their benefit. This may escalate to the point where they demean you in public or in front of others. These actions can unfortunately give the impression that you are their subordinate. This behavior can be quite disheartening.

#6. They often make it seem like they don’t know your schedule, intentionally planning things to get in your way. Sometimes they even tell clients or colleagues that they don’t know your whereabouts, making it appear as though you failed to perform your responsibilities. This can be frustrating and disheartening, often making it difficult to work collaboratively with that individual.

#7. Lastly, they will often fail to show genuine happiness for you. Their response may sound insincere, perhaps a forced “oh great for you” or “congratulations”. Over time, their true colors will become more evident, making it clear that their lack of enthusiasm is due to jealousy and a desire to be the center of attention. Keep an eye out for these signs to avoid getting caught up in their toxic behavior.

Spotting covert narcissists in your business and at work can be difficult, but there are ways to help identify them. Pay attention to how they present themselves, and look out for signs of jealousy or an urge to make themselves seem superior. It is important to become familiar with these typical personality traits that come with covert narcissism so you can protect yourself from potential conflicts. Covert narcissists pose a unique challenge, but it’s possible to identify and deal with them in the appropriate way. With the right understanding and keen observations, you can anticipate any potential negative behavior and proactively take steps to prevent it.

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