The word ‘narcissist’ is used to describe a person who is vain and egoistic, with a heightened sense of self admiration and image. This person is borderline arrogant and self-serving. And, while the word has been thrown around for a while now, the term ‘covert narcissist’ is fairly new. That is because a lot of people — including the covert narcissist — do not understand what is means. If you are wondering if you are in the company of one, here is what you need to know.
A covert narcissist displays fewer signs in comparison to someone who is believed to be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). But, they still meet the criteria, and show additional signs such as shyness, sensitivity to what others think about them and humility. Besides, there are some other signs, too, which can tell if a person is a covert narcissist. These are:
* Passive aggression: Sometimes, people with covert narcissism may display some passive aggressive traits to vent out their frustration and make themselves feel superior. This behaviour can stem from a feeling of entitlement: that they are most special.
* Putting themselves down: A covert narcissist will put themselves down, because they enjoy the praise and validation that follows. So, they might undermine themselves and their contributions just so others can compliment them.
* Withdrawn nature: A narcissistic person is afraid to expose themselves and their flaws to others. So, they may have an introverted personality. A covert narcissist may also avoid social situations because of this very reason. Additionally, they also sometimes think of themselves as superior, and have trouble trusting others.
* Fantasies: All of us have fantasies. But a covert narcissist may withdraw into a fantasy that is grand in nature, and not even remotely close to reality. Fantasies may include being admired by everyone for their attractiveness, being promoted for doing exceptionally well at work, saving people and receiving people. While there is nothing wrong with fantasizing a little, a covert narcissist does not do much to make these fantasies come true.
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* Anxiety, emptiness: While anxiety has become commonplace, a covert narcissist — more than a regular person — goes through periods of immense anxiety, because they have a fear of failure. And their expectations not matching up to their real life may leave them feeling empty.
Remember that only a medical professional can correctly deduce what is going on with a person. If you or a loved one is displaying the aforementioned traits, seek help and support.