Tips for Spotting a “Covert” Narcissist

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The differences between a covert and overt narcissist are more obvious than you may realize. 

For example, an overt narcissist has a big and arrogant personality, is selfish, demanding, and entitled while being witty, confident, and charismatic. On the other hand, a covert narcissist is secretly superior, passive-aggressive, and arrogant, but usually, they are introverted and quiet. They may also seem shy. 

It’s easy to tell if you are dealing with an overt narcissist; however, covert ones will slip under the radar because they seem almost “normal” at first. 

While both types pose problems and both are abusive and damaging, the covert narcissist usually sneaks up with you with subtle anxious and depressive behaviors. It is important to know how to spot these people before they get too close to you. Some of the signs you are dealing with a covert narcissist can be found here. 

Not Interested in Attention

A covert narcissist will be found at the back of the room. They don’t usually want to be in the limelight. 

These individuals may seem introverted and shy, and they usually have the victim’s personality. These individuals don’t have much finesse or social skills, and they aren’t comfortable with large groups of people like overt narcissists. 

The Victim Personality 

When you begin engaging with a covert narcissist, you will discover they have a victim personality. They will talk about how other people have done the wrong thing by them and how they have had fewer opportunities than others. 

The “Cold Type” of Narcissist 

A covert narcissist doesn’t have a black and white personality as an overt narcissist may. Most people who fall into this category are more miserable, anxious, and depressed than others. Usually, these individuals are not happy. 

It can be very tiring and draining to be around a covert narcissist, as they are usually passive-aggressive in the comments they make. Instead of putting you down right to your face, they will make subtle comments or accusations about you. This is usually done in a passive-aggressive, non-direct, and hurtful manner. 

However, if you address this in any way, you will see the typical narcissist response, including denial, projections, and defenses. They will also use all the games that make you confused and even question your own sanity. While the “hot type” or overt narcissist will be vicious with these things, the covert one will be more passive-aggressive and condescending.

Seeking Help  

If you are dealing with a narcissist, there’s no question that interactions can be tiring, draining, and frustrating. However, there is help available. Seeking therapy together is an option if they consider it; however, this is unlikely for most. In that case, you can seek guidance, advice, and therapy to help you remove yourself from the situation and live a better, happier life. 

It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a covert or overt narcissist; they both cause many issues in your life. Walking away may be challenging, but it is often the only solution to these situations.  You are allowed to decide what boundaries work in your life. This may mean taking a no-contact approach. Breaking free from narcissistic abuse can feel overwhelming, but you deserve fulfillment, respect, and autonomy! 

If you’re ready to take control of your life, download the free Beginner’s Healing Roadmap. You’ll get a 14-day series of emails with emotional support and encouragement and a 13-pg PDF of healing prompts. Plus, you get complimentary seating to the masterclass, 7 Proven Steps to Break the Narcissistic Spell.

Recovering from narcissistic abuse is hard, and it’s okay to admit you need help. If you’re ready to go deeper now, check out the #1 therapist-approved online program for narcissistic abuse recovery. This program is so effective, counselors and therapists refer their clients to it and it’s also shared in shelters across the U.S.  You can see for yourself here.

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