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7 signs of covert natcissists
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First, let’s look at what are the traits of a Covert Narcissist.

A covert or introverted narcissist lacks empathy and is hypersensitive to criticism but does not display the outward sense of self-importance found in overt narcissists. Covert narcissists lack confidence and often feel entitled, envious, anxious, depressed, and bitter. This can lead them to manipulate others and display passive-aggressive attitudes.

Often caused by childhood trauma, low emotional intelligence, or abusive past relationships. Covert narcissism is a maladaptive personality type that may include symptoms or traits of the clinically-defined Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
From the Science of People.

So what are the seven signs that you may be dealing with a covert narcissist?

  1. Victims.
    They play the victim mentality. They portray themselves as the nice guy but they are telling you stories of how they have been cheated on or the wife who was frigid. They also very often use DARVO which is a term that describes how they can deny everything they have done, attack the target of their abuse, and reverse victim and offender.
  2. Critical but cowardly.
    Covert narcissists are sly, and very critical, and they can rage, but they are unable to have a reasonable face-to-face conversation with you if you call them out or challenge them on their bad behaviour. 
  3. Very lazy. 
    They want success in life but they will make excuses. Master manipulators, they manipulate you to do things for them they will take advantage of you. 
  4.  Passive Aggressive.  
    They can make comments that cut you down.  They are vengeful, envious, self-centred people.  they don’t want you to succeed.  They will sabotage your attempts at financial Independence.  If you call out their comments or humiliation or anger they will respond with more rage.  They will lash out at you if you try to have any form of meaningful discussion.

On the Defensive

5. Defensive.
Challenge a covert narcissist and watch them come out of their face and it’s like watching an evil monster materialize before your eyes.  Everything revolves around them.  They are in control, you do as they want and do as they say, or else.  If they have hurt you deeply be careful if you try to express how their behaviour hurt you they will react with an angry outburst and verbal rage they will not look inward or reflect on their own behaviour.

6. Sensitive. 

Covert narcissists can dish it out, but they are can’t take it, types of people.  They are very vulnerable they can take delight in the failure of others they have a fragile self ego, and they may complain.  You might see toxic positivity while they play the victim.  They are very sensitive if you do not validate them you are going to be the problem.  You might be the one who wants to resolve problems.

On issues or divorce conflicts.  Men will usually jump in with a solution but will not stop to validate what their spouse or partner is going through. Then they are upset when their solution does not make her happy. Then they think, she is miserable, or ungrateful, nothing makes her happy. They are unable to acknowledge the hurt that they have caused.   If you pose a solution for a covert narcissist when they are unable to take responsibility for their own behaviour they don’t want the solution, it’s not going to happen.  

If you propose a solution they will lash out “It’s a terribly, terribly, terribly bad idea and it’s not going to happen.”  They will reject all attempts at a win-win resolution. You will be blamed they will deflect, write long rambling emails or word salad that contains fabrications. They omit the truth, if you bruise their fragile ego beware of repercussions. 

7. Controlling.

A covert narcissist will want all of your time, all of your attention, all of your resources, all of your affection. Their selfish nature will show up if you give any of your attention to outside interests. That could be political interests, learning a new skill, expanding a business, or any new pastime that you want to have.  They will express disappointment in you if you are not meeting their needs how they want.  I even heard an ex-partner express verbally “You should be anticipating my needs.“

With a controlling personality, things have to go their way. They expect you to respond how they want you to respond. For example, they tell you how you should behave. Like, “Respect me, respect my property” despite the fact that they have been completely disrespectful towards you.  They want everything within their control and you end up being like a puppet.  You have to give them what they want and if you do not respond to their requests you will become the enemy.  They may have groomed you, used you, manipulated you.

I heard things like “If you really love me.” They will say these things in order to manipulate you into doing things for them.   With constant criticism, humiliation, manipulation, cheating lying, anger and verbal abuse over a period of years, the target will be confused.  During a relationship it’s not all bad behaviour there will be kind gestures the holidays, the gifts, the text messages with DFILY don’t forget I love you, while all the time they have lied and cheated on you.  Controlling narcissists want to win at all costs. They use manipulation and gaslighting. They say one thing one minute and the next minute turn on you move the goalposts and shift the blame.


You may have started out with firm boundaries and over time these boundaries have been eroded. You need to keep track of incidents. It is your decision to either remain or leave the relationship if things are not going well.

 You could try using this method.

Write down three things he or she does and set a solid rigid boundary that you will not tolerate anymore.  When all of those boundaries are crossed three times you should end the relationship.

 You must also do this, give a warning and express care to the other person and the boundary crossed. The second time repeat number one the third time as number two then give up.

Be very careful this is only for those spouses or partners who have anger, verbal rage, and immature behaviours. Never ever stay in a relationship where there has been any form of physical or serious sexual assault. Seek immediate protection as soon as possible.

When you have had nine attempts at a solution or resolution. 9 times that your boundaries have been crossed then that is the time to end your relationship. 

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