Is A Covert Narcissist Dangerous? Yes, Here Are 10 Reasons Why

The concept of covert narcissism, or as it’s also known, ‘vulnerable narcissism’ is a fairly recent one. Now, these adjectives may seem pretty harmless, but the reality of these significations couldn’t be any more serious. Indeed, covert and vulnerable provide cloaks of invisibility for textbook narcissists. The truth is covert narcissists present themselves to the world as anxious, socially uncertain, sullen, and withdrawn, yet, in actual fact, they share the same grandiose and unemphatic traits as their exhibitionist counterparts. That’s right, these folks are just as equally skilled in the dark arts of manipulation as overt narcissists, although, they tend to hide their true intentions with more finesse, making them even more dangerous.


Now, covert narcissists are slippery characters and like to believe that their superior intelligence sets them one step ahead of the others. Although, don’t let this scare you, because, with a little analysis, it’s possible to pick up on their traits, no matter how well they believe they dissimulate them. Even though they might not seem overly arrogant, their grandiosity transpires in a more backdoor manner, for example, they’ll attempt to discredit people’s achievements or claim that thing certain things are beneath them. Plus, they won’t hesitate to play the victim and will always claim that everyone is against them and out to get them. The fact they manage to hide their true intentions makes them even more menacing and threatening…

Why are covert narcissists so dangerous?

Here are 10 reasons why these folks terrify me, and why they should put you on edge too.

1) They are difficult to spot

Just like any ill-intentioned people, when the spotlight isn’t on them, they wreak havoc and really go to town. With them switching on the victim persona and being able to turn on the waterworks on cue, these folks really do believe they can blend in and get people to feel sorry for them. Plus, for them, the idea of being unsuspected validates their intelligence, which gives them a huge boost of adrenaline.

2) They take deviousness to the next level

Compared to typical textbook narcissists, the coverts are even scarier because they have even less empathy, feel more entitled, and are even more passive-aggressive. Coverts make the typical narcs look harmless, which does truly take some doing. The truth is they are capable of absolutely anything, plus they have no regard for anyone’s mental health, making them a completely toxic combination of pent-up insidiousness.  

3) Their goal is to get you hooked

From love bombing to intense flattery on social media, a covert’s mission is to get you to fall under their spell. Having control over people is what they desire most, and also gives them confirmation that they are powerful and important. In actual fact, they don’t even consider those they sink their teeth into as people, instead, they see them as their little minions.

4) They move at lightning speed

There’s no hanging around where these folks are concerned. When they have a goal in mind, they lay the groundwork necessary to achieve it in no time. Although this may sound like a quality, in reality, they never actually use their work ethic to do anything constructive or good, no, these guys only believe in destroying and breaking things down…

5) They sap your energy

Their constant whining about their lives and how they are always picked on are carefully created narratives used to pull the wool over their victim’s eyes. If a covert narcissist can get someone to feel sorry for them by playing the poor me act, then they’ll seem utterly inoffensive and be free to do whatever they please.

6) They are vindictive

By persistently playing the downtrodden victim, certain coverts eventually start to believe their own lies and therefore want revenge on people they deem to be dismissive towards them. When they have a grudge against someone, the level of danger they pose flies off the chart.

7) Gaslighting and manipulation thrill them

Whilst most people get their dose of serotonin from food, sex, or even sport, these guys get their kicks from toying with their victims.

8) They fail to recognize their wrongdoings and don’t care about them either

If there was ever a lack of empathy contest, then I’d happily place a huge bet on these skilled manipulators coming in the first place.

9) They use your weaknesses against you

Like any self-respecting manipulator and gaslighter, these folks know exactly how to analyze people in a flash, and are therefore able to spot even the slightest weakness within them. 

10) They are true chameleons

Above all, what makes covert narcissists so dangerous is their ability to manipulate the narrative surrounding them. Their acting skills are so fine-tuned that they fool people into a false sense of security by making them believe they ought to feel sorry for them. In the blink of an eye, they can slide into the role of anything necessary to win them sympathy credentials.

Editor’s note - Never drop your guard

Narcissistic personalities are extremely dangerous and toxic for our mental health, which means they should never be underestimated. If any of the points above have set alarm bells off in your head with regard to someone in your friendship group or family, it could be time to cut ties with them. In any case, your gut feeling on someone will rarely ever lead you astray.

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