One of the rudest wake up calls we'll ever experience is the utter shock of discovering that a friend, an acquaintance or a relative is a covert narcissist. We learn, usually in a most horrific way, that, all along, she has been planning to undermine us, while, at the same time, pretending to be supportive of everything we do. Life gets very confusing, and problems abound, but she is the one we least expect to be causing them.
A covert narcissist presents herself much differently than an overt narcissist, who probably dresses very sharply and seems to crave being the center of attention. Her hair and makeup are probably perfect and her clothes are stylish. However, a covert narcissist often dresses very plainly. She may even appear disheveled. It seems as if she prefers playing a bit part, instead of a leading role. But make no mistake. She has the same drive to dominate, and just as much seething envy, as her more put-together counterpart.
Both types of malignant personalities are capable of great destruction. However, it's my personal belief that a covert narcissist is much more dangerous, because we tend to underestimate her ability to manipulate people, because she appears so unassuming. These types can be very difficult to spot, even for trained professionals who might be looking for signs of this disorder.
So, how can the rest of us protect ourselves from these mild mannered predators? Look for little cracks in the facade, perhaps a brief glimpse of anger, or a competitive nature. Another clue is someone who always likes to run things. She may be a very benign, benevolent leader. But maybe not.
Pixabay image by OpenClips