Do you think that you might be a victim of a covert passive aggressive narcissist? Do you even know what one is? I didn’t either until I came across one. By the end of this article you’ll have a much better idea of what a covert passive aggressive narcissist is and you’ll be able to spot them and hopefully run away before they can wreak too much havoc in your life.
I’d never even heard of such a thing until I actually became the, I would say victim, target, survivor. I prefer survivor actually, but initially you are their target and then you kind of become their victim and then hopefully you can escape and become a survivor and live to talk about it. It came as a surprise to me. I am a seasoned and successful attorney. I’ve been recognized by any valid credible source that recognizes accomplishments of attorneys. I’ve been a divorce attorney for 20 years or more and would describe myself as confident and even tough in some situations.
I wouldn’t have expected to have become the target, victim, survivor of a covert narcissist but I actually had not just one but TWO. Two of these beasts that I had to get rid of fairly recently in my life. So while I have programs on how to negotiate with a narcissist, I had to make sure that I incorporated in there how to deal with a covert passive aggressive narcissist, because these are the most stealth ones. These are the most toxic in a lot of ways because they don’t look like narcissists.
There’s really three types of narcissists. The first one would be your grandiose narcissist, that’s your run-of-the-mill narcissist. The one that we’re used to seeing. The kind that most people think of when they think of narcissists. The one that goes around telling everybody how great they are and has no problem boasting about their accomplishments or thinking that they’re the best one. They tell everybody and everybody knows that that’s what they think. That’s kind of your run-of-the-mill grandiose or overt narcissist.
Then there is what we call the malignant narcissist, which is kind of like the grandiose narcissist but on steroids. It’s kind of like the Darth Vader of narcissists. These have a propensity for stalking, or violence or threats of violence, things like that to intimidate people into doing what they want. I mean all narcissists have a zero sense of self. They’re like the Easter chocolate bunny that is totally hollow inside. That’s what’s going on with the narcissist, they have no inner sense of self. They have no inner self-esteem or self-worth, they actually are the most insecure of all people in the world.
So those of us who are empaths find ourselves attracted to narcissists and narcissists are attracted to us. It’s this crazy sort of symbiotic, very lethal attraction that both have for each other because empaths naturally want to help people and they see that narcissists have that sense of insecurity, that deep sense of insecurity; and narcissists naturally want to be with people that have qualities that they wish that they had or that they want other people to think that they have, or that they admire in some way. Thus, they gravitate toward each other.
With covert passive aggressive narcissists it’s even worse because covert passive aggressive narcissists are actually the ones that will straight out tell you that they have difficulty with depression or that they don’t feel good about themselves. They often appear to be victims of things, as they want to appear to be victims, which means that they often have illnesses or afflictions so that people feel sorry for them. The world just isn’t fair, and doesn’t give them what they want, but they also appear to be very charming. On the surface they can seem very nice, maybe even the nicest people in the world.
A really huge eye opening book for me was this book right here by Debbie Mirza, which you can find in the resources section on my website. It’s called The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist and if you haven’t had a chance to read it, I would definitely make sure to grab it. When I was reading it I was like, “Oh my God, these are people that are in my life who are making me miserable.” It seriously could have been a book written about them specifically. It described them to a T.
Here are the characteristics that Debbie Mirza says that covert passive aggressive narcissists have. “They do not have a strong sense of self. They have silent rage, lying, hoovering, constant criticism, jealousy. They project their own issues onto you, their words don’t match their actions. They are emotionally disconnected. They have flying monkeys (which are a triangulation move to try to get people in your world to line up against them or with them against you. And they get them to believe all their lies about how horrible you are. Or they might just get them on their side to think that they’re a wonderful person so therefore if you cross this person, then there definitely must be something wrong with you because they’re so nice.)
“They take credit for your ideas, they withhold praise and recognition. They sabotage birthdays, holidays, vacations and meaningful dates. They belittle you, teach you lessons, they’re self-focused, emotionally immature, always strings attached, use people. Are dizzying conversationalists, so easy to get sucked in. They create drama, they don’t make love they take it, they’re not protective. They create stories in their head. They have no desire to actually know you, they have no interest in making this a great relationship they use control and manipulation.”
Those are definitely all characteristics that I saw in the two covert passive aggressive narcissists that I had to deal with in my life. I’m sure that I have others, but those are the two that actually became fixated with me and engaged in active actions to hurt me. What’s interesting is that they have this kind of weird fixation. They absolutely idolize you in a lot of ways, and can be obsessed with you, but then they also lash out and plot against you and also engage in passive aggressive moves.
It’s a very strange world of insanity that you’ve just got to get yourself out of as fast as possible if you can, and if you can’t you definitely want to create boundaries that are really, really strict. Because these people are actually narcissists, and all narcissists don’t respect boundaries. You’re supposed to respect theirs; they don’t have to respect yours; that’s how that goes.
There are three phases to a relationship with a covert passive aggressive narcissist or any narcissist, and that is the love bombing phase where they start off with, how great you are, you’re so beautiful, everything is amazing. They line themselves up to look like they’re so perfect for you. They want you to think that they’re incredible in the beginning, that everything about them is just perfect. You’re thinking, “Wow, is this person even real? This is amazing.” And then the next phase is where they start to devalue you. With a passive aggressive narcissist, this is where you start to see these little things, and they’re just small enough. They’re so good at doing these little things that you know are not right and you know are meant to do something to you. But the rest of the world if you tell them about it they would go, “Well, that doesn’t seem so bad. I don’t know, maybe it was a mistake.” Or, “That seems inadvertent because they’re so nice so it has to be an error.”
Or they gaslight you. But it’s in very, very subtle ways where they’ll say… they’ll do something completely contrary to what you agreed on, or to what you would think that they should do or whatever. And when you call them out on it they go, “Oh, we had that conversation, you agreed to that.” And you know you never had that conversation. Or they say something like, “Oh, I thought you said that that was okay?” And and you know that that just never happened and so they try to make you think that you’re crazy. But when you tell other people about it, they go, “Oh, that must’ve been inadvertent.”
One of the things that I’ve seen with covert passive aggressive narcissists is with money, where money will end up being deposited into the wrong account and they go, “Oh, I didn’t realize I did that, I’ll correct it.” Then they never do, so you end up having to go back to ask them about it. But then when you tell people about it they go, “Well, it seems inadvertent because the person is so nice and they’re such a good person, they would never do anything like take money,” then it goes on and on.
During the devalue phase, you’re getting this little drip, drip, drip on your head of things that are starting to make you think you’re crazy because the whole rest of the world does think that this person is so nice. One of the examples that Debbie Mirza gives in her book is about a husband who would go into a Starbucks or something and get himself a coffee and he would ask the wife if she wanted anything and she would always say yes and she would tell him what she wanted. And he would always come back out and say, “Oh, I forgot to get yours,” when she would bring it up. And then he wouldn’t even go back in to get it. He would just drive away.
The little things are often so subtle that you are left thinking that perhaps maybe you are the one that’s insane. This especially happens if you’re an empath, which remember I said they gravitate toward. You’re going to want to be as giving as possible and narcissists just want to take as much as possible. Remember to a narcissist your only value is whatever value you bring to them, because they need an endless amount of what we call narcissist supply. Supply is whatever thing of value you can bring to them. It might be compliments. It might be making them look good. It might be helping them with all of their problems. It may be a financial gain. It may be that just being associated with you gives them a higher boost in status. But if you take away that value from the narcissist then your value is gone as well.
In fact, when you try to end a relationship with a narcissist who, whether it’s a romantic relationship, a business relationship or a friend, neighbor, employer, whatever, they are going to want to get you first. Especially because you may know things about them that actually would make the vulnerable. They’re going to make a lot of noise and go absolutely berserk. So you got to be ready for that because they are going to want to make everybody else think that you’re the bad one for leaving. Even if they leave you, to be honest they don’t want to be seen as, “Oh, I left them because I’m a bad person, or I wanted to be with somebody else,” they’ve got to make it about you. You’ve got to still yourself. You’ve got to be ready that whatever you say, do, is going to be manipulated. They’re going to lie and cheat.
In my program, S.L.A.Y. Your Negotiation With a Narcissist, I explain that you’ve got to find that point and create enough strategy and leverage to get them to the point where they will be willing to back down and run away and just find somebody else because it’s not worth their trouble to be in your space anymore, and you’re not giving them any value. Plus if you’re going to make them look bad then it’s time to move on as far as they’re concerned.
If you are dealing with a narcissist and you want to know more about how to communicate with them, come join me at my FREE Webinar, the 3 MUST HAVE Secrets for Communicating with a Narcissist. You can sign up for that RIGHT HERE.