9 Hidden Traits of a Covert Narcissist

9 Hidden Traits of a Covert Narcissist

Narcissists present many challenges in relationships and the workplace. The individuals are known to become abusive and harm others. The effects of these connections have a damaging effect on the other person and often require therapy. By reviewing nine hidden traits of a covert narcissist, others can stir clear of these individuals effectively.  

1. Dismissive to Criticism

The person takes on a god-like persona where the individual believes they cannot do anything wrong. Essentially, a friend or loved one tries to explain a different way of doing something, and the person behaves as if their way is the only way even if the new approach is more beneficial to themselves and others. Individuals who learn about these traits have a better chance of identifying narcissistic abuse and removing themselves from the relationship. 

2. Passive Aggressive Behavior

The manipulation tactic is often used to punish individuals who don’t treat the person as though they are superior. The individuals have a false sense of entitlement and use this approach in positions of power. In the workplace, the person finds ways to sabotage the success of others. The covert narcissist will also use silent treatment to punish others and ignore them. 

3. Severe Introversion and Insecurities

The person shies away from attention as this could expose what the person actually is. Others may point out the individual’s shortcomings and shatter the illusion that the person is superior to everyone else. 

4. Grandiose Fantasies of Sabotage

A covert narcissist adapts the “I’ll show you” attitude in their approaches with others. In relationships, the person won’t listen to a different perspective and solve a problem. In the workplace, the person removes opportunities for others to thrive or advance beyond the person’s role.

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The person fantasizes about hurting anyone who has exposed their flaws or insecurities to others. For some, these fantasies lead to abuse of power and purposely blocking co-workers from getting recognition or promotions. 

5. Holding Grudges Against Others

Instead of verbalizing feelings of being treated unfairly, the person remains silent and plots revenge against the other person. An example is starting a rumor about someone at work that gets to upper management and makes the other person look bad. Another is a complete lack of empathy about the outcome of these lies and how the statements damage the other party’s life. 

6. Envy and Jealousy

The person is envious of what others have and makes statements derived from bitterness or resentment. The resentment stems from the person’s inability to achieve a certain status or gain the wealth and privilege the individual believes they should have. 

7. Exaggerated or Unachievable Standards for Themselves and Others

The person has unrealistic standards that the individual lives by and believes everyone else should. If the individual doesn’t live up to these standards, the person may exhibit anger or shame. The individual projects these standards onto others who are close to them, and the person is quick to anger when other people don’t achieve these impossible standards. 

8. Self-Serving Empathy

An example of self-serving empathy is giving to the poor just to be acknowledged on social media. People who do acts of kindness just for the attention the acts provide are self-serving and feeding their own egos. Thus, the person is a covert narcissist in that the individual’s intentions aren’t to help but to get recognition. 

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9. An Inability to Build Meaningful Relationships

The person cannot build relationships with others, including friendships because their need for superiority damages these relationships. Everything has to be about the person or present a new way to get attention or praise.  

A narcissist won’t listen to reason, and in a relationship, the person is highly abusive and harmful. By learning about the traits of these individuals, more people can avoid unwanted circumstances by not allowing these narcissists into their lives. 

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