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Covert Narcissist: Who is he and How to recognize him?

Covert Narcissist

The Covert Narcissist is a person much more shy than the Overt Narcissist, seeming almost a shy individual, usually very closed and impenetrable. At the end of the games, however, he has the same objectives as an Overt Narcissist. Let’s find out how they differ.

Covert Narcissist: Characteristics

The Covert Narcissist is a closed individual, he never acts with striking attitudes and does not seek the attention of people through the grandeur of his words. His attitude developed during childhood, so much so that very often the narcissist hates his mother or father because they did not make him feel loved as they should. From here he developed a way of doing things that led him to do things quietly, trying to capture prey with victimized attitudes.

Here are its main features:

  • Minimizes his successes: The Covert does not boast exaggeratedly of his past, but on the contrary appears very humble. He tries to show his triumphs as if they were altruistic and all for good, not that they are not, but he certainly puts them in view to feel praised.
  • Most Overt narcissists tend to tell you, without too many twists and turns, that you’re not as good as them. The Covert version instead plays more on guilt, manages to make you weigh a wrong attitude, the ultimate aim is to receive reassurances and put you in a position not to repeat the “misdeed”.
  • Question your feelings: The Covert Narcissist is able to triple your doubts with exceptional mastery. For example, once the victim is properly cooked, he will begin to instill the first uncertainties about the solidity of the relationship. This creates strong states of confusion in the victim, who tries to give as much as possible to make it work, but in the end it is never enough.
  • They only look for caring people: People with a heart that overflows with love and altruism, are the favorite victims for the Covert Narcissist. His fear of abandonment and low self-esteem constantly afflict him. That’s why they want people to reassure him and always give him attention.
  • Compliments: They are not used to huge declarations of love or poignant words! Their compliments are few and targeted, they can say the right word at the right time, without exaggeration. It is easy to understand how their victims to like them more try to increase the attitudes that correspond to their compliments.

Covert Narcissist in Love: How does he act?

The attitude in this case is no different than the Overt Narcissist, here the Covert acts through the usual three stages: love bombing, devaluation and discard. But with a subtle difference, he does so quietly so it’s harder to recognize them at first. Very often in fact, coverts are discovered much later and this can be detrimental to the victim.

In addition, the covert also speaks of “hypervigilant narcissism” referring to individuals shy and highly sensitive to criticism that could be attributed to him. During childhood and adolescence he developed a great sense of inferiority that he tries to cover up by hiding behind closed attitudes. Although he doesn’t tell too much about himself to the people around him, he tends to convey a hidden sense of superiority to others.

Love Bombing

Like we said, he’s not the kind of guy to make grand love statements. They’re usually very good listeners, they try to first understand the victim’s weaknesses, what she misses and what she wants.

Then with excellent mastery they manage to satisfy his demands. Everything also depends on the type of person in front of you, there is no fixed pattern at this stage, the ultimate goal is always to make you lose your head to the unfortunate prey.


The Covert Narcissist struggles to be paired for very long periods and usually when they realize that the person in question no longer gives them the nourishment they need, they start to disappear in a very quiet way. They use punitive silence very well, they know how much indifference can hurt, and they show themselves as impenetrable. The victim will increasingly try to make contact with them but will be increasingly removed.

This happens especially when in the life of the Covert Narcissist there is a new person to whom sucking nourishment and attention. They appear to be untraceable but do not hide at all, only in extreme cases they cut bridges and block contacts. Of course the motivation is not because they want to be left alone to live in serenity their love, on the contrary they do it to afflict even more pain to the victim and to exercise even more power.


The discard happens in the same way as the Overt Narcissist, that is, they disappear and do not make themselves felt for long periods. What they most want is an extreme demand for their attention, and that is where the victim must not fall.

Throwing away your self-esteem and dignity gives Narcissus extreme power. “Do what you want with me” isn’t about getting their attention back. They’re very good at turning things around and turning from predators to prey. They want to be searched for, to feel wanted and desired and just like a hunted by its predator they will run further and further away.

Covert Narcissist and Sexuality

A separate paragraph should be devoted to the sexuality of the Covert Narcissist. Let’s start by saying that sex is an important weapon of manipulation for any kind of narcissist and usually they are always good lovers. In the case of Overts it will be easy to see them with different partners and have more relationships together.

Coverts, on the other hand, only point to one victim at a time, generally speaking, there are few that maintain relationships with many more victims at the same time. During the first intercourse it seems that everything is going well but after a short time they tend to belittle their partners making them feel inadequate under the covers. Relationships begin to diminish, becoming almost null, this is a very strong signal of the beginning of a triangulation with another victim.

Narcissist Hyperivigile possible return?

Of course I do! Indeed it is practically safe, they are impatient beings and want all the attention on them in the shortest time possible. Usually the returns of narcissists occur only after a period of effective No Contact. Their gestures can be striking or attitudes more muted. It depends on which victim they have under their hands. Here are some examples:

  • Show up at a place where the victim hangs out: whether it’s at friends’ houses, at work, or at the neighborhood bar. At some point, you may notice the narcissist orbiting around there. Obviously, what you’re looking for is any form of contact.
  • They make themselves heard during the festivities or important dates: They know that a birthday wish can correspond to an answer, a simple “thank you” can give the Narcissus the feeling that the victim has finally lowered his guard.
  • Continuous excuses: They will try to apologize constantly, justifying themselves for their bad deeds and ensuring that they have changed. This is a very dangerous action, if the prey accepts the apology it shows again vulnerable and ready to become his toy again.
  • Victimhood: Phrases like “I can’t live without you…” or the like are another excuses-like triggering signal to play with the victim’s feelings and put her in a position to return.
  • Unexpected gifts: After carefully studying their prey during the love bombing phase, they know exactly what they like and what they don’t, and they will use gifts to soften the situation.
  • Recall: Traveling the mind of the person who wants to drop into their network is another very used tactic. Bringing her to remember the “happy” moments we have together will be a good way to regain control.

Covert Narcissism in Women

In fairer sex, covert narcissism is much more prevalent than overt. This is because women are raised and educated to look like gentle, non-aggressive beings. On the contrary, males are educated not to show their most sensitive sides. So women with a wounded ego tend to develop a more “hidden” form of narcissism. But what are their most common attitudes?

  • She is able to pollute the mood of other people: Usually she appears as a strong, sensual woman with great transport. Too bad that when her mood collapses manages to break down even that of the people who are next to her, is uncontrollable and this is a form of demand for attention very strong. Tantrums are a plea to be at the center of the victim’s world.
  • She doesn’t tell you what he thinks, you have to imagine: Another weapon in their favor, even if the victim tries to behave in the best way possible in the end is never good! And not knowing what she thinks and why she thinks, it becomes impossible to make her happy. In addition, it may happen that the victim acts in the best possible way but with the excuse of hiding his thoughts, the narcissist, will tend to belittle the actions of his prey.
  • Proud: She may have made the biggest mistake of her life, it doesn’t matter, it’s never her fault. She’s able to turn the tables and lay the blame on the others.
  • Boundless lies: She can lie without equal and can confuse people without even noticing. The most frustrating thing is that she lies so well that she seems to be telling the truth.
  • She loves the appearance: Woe to appear in the wrong dress! She is the perfect woman and she must stay, whether in front of people she knows or on social media. What it conveys must be the “best part” of herself.

Of course, these traits are predominant in a narcissistic woman, but that doesn’t mean that a narcissistic man doesn’t have one or all of them.

How to get revenge on a Covert Narcissist?

Playing with a narcissist is a lost game at the start, they are people who do not feel any kind of empathy and hurting him is very difficult. At least it’s hard to hurt him empathetically, you can’t hurt the feelings of a narcissist because he just doesn’t have any!

What can really cause him some damage is total indifference! Ignoring a Covert Narcissist and staggering him in silence is torture. They seek the approval and support of people to feed on them, if they are taken away they start to suffer.

Of course, the suffering will not last long, they will surely find another victim who, hopefully, realizes the situation and applies the same identical technique. Let’s say that the No Contact technique does serve to make the Narcissus suffer, but more than anything to pull the victim out of the abyss.

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