Covert Narcissist Traits: Signs And Tips


It’s not easy to spot a covert narcissist at first glance. They’re usually very charming, friendly, and good at hiding their true persona. But don’t worry–we’ve got you covered with this blog post! We’ll be discussing the traits of covert narcissism (covert narcissist traits), how it differs from overt narcissism, and what you can do if you think that person in your life is a covert narcissistic personality disorder.

What Is Covert Narcissism?

covert narcissist

Covert narcissists are often very charming, but they rely on this charm to manipulate others into getting what they want. They’re usually highly intelligent and do not have the grandiose behaviors that overt narcissists display. Instead of using their personality traits to feel superior or confident in themselves, covert narcissistic personality disorder sufferers use them for personal gain. They tend to be very manipulative in their interactions with other people, and they will easily break rules or laws if it means getting what they want.

Traits Of Covert Narcissism

types covert narcissism

Covert narcissists share some common traits, but they can also vary greatly from one individual to the next. Some of the most common covert narcissistic personality disorder traits include:

Charm and charisma

Covert narcissists are often very charming and know how to work a room. They use their charm to get what they want, whether it’s attention, sex, or money.


Covert narcissists are very manipulative and often use guilt trips or threats to get what they want. They’re also experts at playing the victim role to get attention or sympathy from others.

Lack of empathy

Covert narcissists typically do not have any empathy for others and can be very cruel and hurtful. They often use people for their gain and don’t care about the consequences of their actions.

Grandiose fantasies

Covert narcissists often have grandiose fantasies about themselves, but they keep them hidden from others. They may see themselves as being superior to others or believe that they are special in some way.

Other Traits

  • Extremely good at acting and pretending.
  • Can be sweet, engaging, charming–even people-pleasing in public or with strangers.
  • Only have a working relationship with the real person they want you to see–the rest of their personality is hidden from view behind this mask.
  • Can be highly successful because they often have an inflated sense of self-confidence and believe that they can do anything.

Relationships With Covert Narcissists


Covert narcissists share some traits with overt narcissism, but they are very different in other ways. They can be hard to spot because of their charm and cunning nature, but that doesn’t mean you’re helpless if someone around you displays covert narcissistic personality disorder traits. Here’s what you can do if you think that person in your life is a covert narcissist.

Look for the warning signs

If someone in your life displays covert narcissistic personality disorder traits, then lookout for these red flags:

  • They often try to steal other people’s ideas and claim them as their own
  • They don’t like it when they aren’t getting enough attention from others
  • Their feelings are easily hurt, but they never admit to being wrong
  • They constantly put other people down and make them feel stupid or useless

Avoid getting into arguments or debates

If someone around you displays the traits of narcissistic personality disorder, then stay away from an argument at all costs! Covert narcissists are very good at arguing and debating because they enjoy winning–at any cost. You’ll never be able to win an argument with them, so it’s best to just avoid them altogether.

Set boundaries

If you have a covert narcissist in your life, then you need to set boundaries. Make sure that they know what is and isn’t acceptable behavior, and don’t be afraid to stand up for themselves. Don’t let them walk all over you or take advantage of you.

Covert Narcissism In The Workplace

input covert narcissist

While overt narcissists often have no qualms about drawing attention to themselves, covert narcissistic personality disorder sufferers will do everything they can to fly under the radar. They may be highly successful in their work, but they’re usually not the people who take center stage. Instead, they prefer to stay in the background and work behind the scenes to get what they want.

People with narcissistic personality disorder are skilled manipulators, which means that you’ll probably need all your wits about yourself if there’s someone like this trying to push their way into your professional sphere. If you’ve noticed any of these signs or symptoms at work then it might be time to start thinking about how to deal with a covert narcissist.

Don’t share any personal information

If you’re dealing with a covert narcissist at work, then don’t trust them. They’ll do whatever it takes to get what they want and will easily use your secrets against you if given the chance. Don’t let down your guard around someone like this!

Cut off contact as much as possible

If you can’t get them out of your professional life, then at least cut-off contact with them as much as possible. Don’t respond to their emails or phone calls and don’t go near their office if you can help it. If they’re the type who enjoys seeing people squirm, then this will drive them crazy!

Watch out for them sabotaging your work

Covert narcissists often resort to sabotage as a way of getting what they want. They may start spreading rumors about you, try to get you fired, or even refuse to cooperate with you on projects. If this starts happening, then it’s time to document everything and report them to HR.

Covert Narcissism In Parenting


While all parents have their moments of narcissism, it’s when this becomes a regular occurrence that it can become a problem. If you’re worried that your parenting style might be too narcissistic, then take a look at these signs:

  • You often put your own needs above those of your child
  • You’re quick to blame your child for things that aren’t their fault
  • You don’t think about how your behavior might affect them
  • You only want the best of everything for your kid, even if it’s bad for them in the long run.

NOTE: If you’ve noticed these signs in yourself then it’s time to take a step back and reassess your parenting style. Seek out help from a therapist or parenting coach if you need to, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. However, you might try out these tips for dealing with covert narcissism in parenting.

Make sure that your child feels like they can express themselves freely

If you’re a parent who has a narcissistic personality disorder, then you need to work on building trust and connection with your kids. Create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable talking about what matters most to them without fear of judgment.

Ensure that you’re not always the one in control

It’s also important for you to let your child take the lead sometimes. Giving them a sense of control will help them feel more empowered and respected, which is something all children need.

Don’t put your own needs above those of your child

It’s very important to have a healthy balance when it comes to parenting. You should never put your own needs above those of your child, even if you’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. This will only do more damage in the long run.

Give them space and time to think

If your child is being constantly pushed to be the center of attention, then they might need some time and space away from you. Let them know that this isn’t a punishment, but rather it’s allowing them to relax for a bit. This will make both of you feel better in the long run!

Seek professional help

If the narcissistic behavior in your parenting is becoming too much to handle, then it’s time to seek professional help. Many therapists specialize in this type of disorder, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Covert Narcissism vs. Overt Narcissism

cover covert narc

The main difference between covert and overt narcissists is that people who display overt narcissistic behavior are more obvious about their need for admiration and attention. Covert narcissists, on the other hand, are less obvious and often go to great lengths to cover up their true motives.

Covert narcissists are different from overt (or classic) narcissists because of the way that they act out their narcissistic tendencies—they tend to be much more covert. Overt narcissism is the “classic” form of this disorder that has been studied and researched before, but few studies have focused on the traits of covert narcissistic personality disorder sufferers—until now!

Covert Narcissism And Mental Health

One of the most dangerous things about covert narcissists is that they often fly under the radar when it comes to mental health. They may not even realize that they have a problem, and this can make them very difficult to treat.

While it’s not uncommon for people with a narcissistic personality disorder to also suffer from other mental health conditions, it’s important to get proper treatment if you’re dealing with both. If you’re not sure where to start, then reach out to your doctor or therapist for advice.

NOTE: Covert narcissistic personality disorder traits are often mistaken for shyness or social anxiety, which means that it can take a long time to get the help they need.

Tackling Covert Narcissism

tackling narcissist

If you think someone in your life is a covert narcissist, don’t worry—you aren’t alone. Many people across the world deal with this personality disorder daily and they manage to avoid detection by most of those around them!

The key here is not to confront someone you suspect might be a covert narcissistic personality disorder sufferer. Instead, simply distance yourself from that person. This can be difficult, but it is the best way to protect yourself from their manipulative behavior.

Experts On Covert Narcissism

The DSM-V outlines the diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder, which is what covert narcissism falls under. Only a trained mental health professional can officially diagnose someone with this condition—talk to your doctor if you think that someone in your life might be suffering from NPD!


cover covert

Covert narcissists can be very difficult to deal with because they are so good at hiding their true nature. However, by being aware of the warning signs and setting boundaries, you can protect yourself from them. If you think that you or someone you know is a covert narcissist, then look for these signs and take action.

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