A narcissist can be easy to recognize, as this person will always do whatever he or she can to get all the attention of the audience. Narcissists believe that they are the best version of a human being, so they deserve the best this life can offer. Thus, they will be arrogant, talk mostly about their own person, and act like they own everything. But this is the overt narcissist, the one that is not afraid to manifest in public. What about the covert narcissist? How much you know about this type of narcissists?
Covert narcissism, then, is just another way of describing introverted, vulnerable, or hypersensitive narcissists. To add to the confusion, neither “narcissism” nor “narcissist” are diagnoses or disorders. Narcissism is a trait, and narcissists are people who score well above average on measures of that trait.
Here are 8 main characteristics of covert narcissists, so you’ll know who you’re dealing with.
1. Superiority manifested in a non-verbal manner
If an overt narcissist will act in a disrespectful manner and tell you that he or she is not interested in whatever you have to say, a covert narcissist will do it more discreetly. For example, when engaged in a conversation, a covert narcissist may check the mobile phone, roll his or her eyes, or give signs of utter boredom.
2. They will always seem more interested in their own person
So, a covert narcissist will not admit that the discussion is boring but will change the subject as soon as the opportunity arrives. It can happen when you pop a question in your conversation, after talking about something in particular. Instead of answering your question, the covert narcissist will change the subject or start questioning you. Mostly, everything they’ll say will be about their own person, even if they are small things. This type of communication is the so-called “ gas-lighting “. Your own sanity will go through a challenge.
3. They show no signs of empathy
This is a general characteristic of narcissists. They simply don’t care about how other people feel. They don’t even invest any effort or time to think about such things. So, such a person will remain indifferent to other’s hardships or difficult times. One day they can say “I love you“ and the other day treat you like trash or handle you as they’ve never met you before.
4. They won’t argue, but more disregard what other’s say or think
Because they are the opposite of overt narcissists, they won’t argue with you over anything. But, they will ignore whatever you said or asked them to do. Once you will request such a person to tell you why he or she failed to appear at a meeting, for instance, you’ll receive meaningless reasons. The truth is that nothing is more important for them than their own time and person.
5. Criticism will make them react in a highly sensitive manner
Narcissists can’t stand criticism, whether they are overt or covert. They simply cannot accept that someone can’t see just how perfect they are. Just try not to put overly sensitive people in the same bucket with narcissists. They do share several traits, but the difference is that narcissists actually believe that they are perfect and therefore deserve all the recognition they can get.
6. They will see themselves as very special, yet misunderstood
Covert narcissists are rather vulnerable, insecure, and fearful individuals. They crave a glorious life but don’t have the courage to do something about it. Thus, in order to feel better, they think that they are exceptional beings. At the same time, they are misunderstood, as they see others as incapable of recognizing their true value. This particular role will reassure them and provide the comfort they need.
7. They will have trouble forming relationships with other people
It is an incredible challenge, if not even impossible, to have any kind of relationships with a covert narcissist. Because they are fearful and insecure, they will turn into arrogant and smug persons out of the desire to keep others away. They don’t want to be seen as vulnerable or weak. At the same time, they don’t think that others deserve their time and attention. They are much too captured by their own persons, thoughts, ideas, and desires, so they won’t be capable to invest any kind of effort into a relationship.
8. They are projecting on you
They will take any opportunity to blame you for everything that goes wrong. This will happen in particular when they feel that you’re not treating them as they think they should be treated (and this is a very unhealthy way).
They do what they want to do when they want to do it. And then they make themselves look like the victim.