What makes covert narcissists so dangerous?

By Tom Ewall

All narcissists are dangerous, but what adds to the danger of covert narcissists is that they’re even harder to recognize than more in your face narcissists.

What makes narcissism difficult to recognize or understand is that the reality of the narcissist is so different. The reality of the narcissist is total self absorption, to the point of solipsism, to where others exist in the mind of the narcissist only for their pleasure (as in “he serves for the pleasure of the president).

We often run scripts in our head, what if scenarios we use to understand others and plan. We naturally assume others are like we are, and process logic as we do, perceive reality as we do, and more or less think along the lines we do. This allows for functional conversations.

None of these assumptions holds for the narcissist. They are all about having to prove to themselves that they are better than you, constantly justifying their behavior, and criticizing and blaming you.

Covert narcissists do these things passive aggressively. In all their actions they build in plausible deniability, so if you try to approach them about some inconsiderate thing they did, they’ll just say,”Oh no, you misunderstood me!” and spout some bs.

They’ll refuse to cooperate whenever it’s in regards to something you want, but if it’s something they want, they’ll hound you every couple of seconds until they get what they want.

Shame is abhorrent to a narcissist, so they have all sorts of psychological ploys to pass their shame on to you, and let you keep all of your own. In a normal, healthy relationship, both parties work to share the shame.

For example, “I’m sorry I yelled at you. I’m tired. I shouldn’t have done that.” “I totally understand, I’m tired too.” This type of conversation never happens with a narcissist. Instead the response will be,”Boy, you must be really tired to yell like that. I can’t believe you’d treat me so disrespectfully,” or, if they’re the first person, “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings by yelling at you, but you should understand I’ll always put the children first” or “but you pushed me into it” or some excuse where you’re to blame.

And every single conversation is like this. There is never a single time when anything is easy or cooperative or fun. Even something like discussing if you want to get milk from the supermarket is tiring and unpleasant.

They just make you feel like crap, and completely frustrated that nothing ever goes the way you would like.

They refuse to give closure to anything.

The tricks they use make you think about them all the time to where it’s exhausting. You wish for some way to escape, but they make it difficult.

They have no empathy, and don’t care one shit about you, and constantly abuse you, while hiding their ugliness in a facade of sweetness and false concern.

These are some examples of how they’re dangerous. To reiterate one thing, shame is a very negative and destructive emotion. They’re refusal to bear any shame, either yours or their own, is extremely psychologically destructive.