Not openly acknowledged or displayed.
Even people without an extensive knowledge of mental health concerns have likely heard of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
“narcissist” is often used casually to refer to people who don’t necessarily have a diagnosis of narcissism if they appear to have some narcissistic traits, such as grandiose delusions, low empathy, arrogance, and a need for admiration.
Portrayals of characters with narcissism in movies and television have also increased the condition’s notoriety. While depicting characters with mental health issues in the media can help increase awareness, it can also create problems. In the case of narcissism, much of what’s seen in popular culture rests heavily on stereotypes associated with grandiose and malignant narcissism. If people with narcissism aren’t portrayed as outright villains, they’re typically portrayed as toxic or harmful individuals.
If you’ve had a close relationship with someone who has NPD, you might agree that many of these stereotyped traits have truth to them. Still, it’s important to recognize that NPD can occur in varying degrees of severity, occurs on a spectrum, and can present in different ways. As a result, you may not always recognize someone has narcissism, especially if they live with a less-known subtype such as covert (vulnerable) narcissism.
Covert narcissism is also known as shy, vulnerable, or closet narcissism.
Covert narcissism often involves a more internalized experience. People with these traits still feel unappreciated, need admiration, have contempt for those they consider inferior, and believe they should get special treatment. But instead of displaying outward grandiosity, they may privately fantasize about having their special qualities recognized or getting revenge on people they believe have slighted or wronged them in some way.
SIGNS OF COVERT NARCISSISM
Not every person with some or all of the listed traits will have any type of NPD, but the following characteristics may help identify covert narcissism in people who meet criteria for NPD.
- A reserved or self-effacing attitude
- Humility or a tendency to put themselves down
- Smugness or quiet superiority
- passive aggressive behavior
- Envy of others and/or feeling that they deserve what other people have
- A lack of empathy for the feelings or situations of other people
- A tendency to step in and help others out of a desire for recognition
I chose to blog about the “covert” narcissist because this is the one I have personally dealt with. As a child growing up with a parent “on the spectrum” of narcissistic behavior I never knew what to expect yet knew what would happen. If that makes sense.
There’s a few memories that come to mind as I think back on my childhood. I remember it was my Granny’s birthday and mom made her a cake. Mom told me to carry the cake as we was heading out the door to take the cake to Granny. She told me NOT to drop it. What did I do? I dropped it.😶 THAT was a never ending chastise. She yells at me saying things like why did you drop it? I told you not to drop the cake. Now a quick fast forward my son was in the kitchen making himself a smoothie. ( he was trying a new recipe and was measuring everything per recipe request) he washed the measuring cup, then turned to dry it, but he dropped it in the process. I just happen to be there in the kitchen, I turned around saw the look of disappointed on his face, a kind of sadness because he dropped the measuring glass. A quick flashback of when I dropped something came to me, I looked at my son and asked are you ok? I knew he was barefoot so I said don’t move, I grabbed the broom and dust pan to sweep up the glass. As I was doing it he was beating himself up about dropping the measuring glass. I simply told him it’s just a measuring glass, no big deal. We can replace it. Accidents happen.
Because I know how it feels when you drop something and get yelled at for it, you already feel bad because of a mistake you made, theres no need to add fuel to the shame you already have.
There I go giving in depth explanations on things. I have realized that I tend to do that because of arguments with me trying to explain to mom about my feelings on anything. Or trying to have a productive conversation and find a happy medium in our disagreements. I would spin my wheels trying to get her to at least acknowledge my feelings or thoughts or ideas. I didn’t know THEN what I know now.
I think a part of the reason my mom has narcissistic tendencies is for one, she is the first born. BUT there was some miscarriages before my mom was born. Fortunately I have never had a miscarriage, but I imagine it’s devastating. So when you finally carry full term that baby is so important to you. Although my mom is the first of 6 children. However my mom suffered from asthma as a child growing up. Which leads me to lean towards WHY she has cover narcissistic tendencies. Back in the 40’s and 50’s medicine was no where near as advanced as it is today. Just as an example, when mom had a cholecystectomy they cut her from just under her chest down to the bottom of her stomach. Where as now it’s just 3 little incisions. That’s just one example of how medicne and medical practice has advanced. So back then asthma attacks were more dangerous and scary; and there is no doubt in my mind that when mom got sick with asthma the world according to Granny stopped until mom got through the asthma attack. There for creating the covert narcissist. I mean who doesn’t like being nurtured and cared for, being catered to your every need at the drop of a hat. As a child you enjoy the attention for sure. But unbeknownst to anyone it can create a sense of entitlement. Because that was normal as a child to be catered to. I don’t know if I can articulate this into words but I will do me best. However when a person is ill especially a child of course you as a parent will cater to the sick child. Of course that child will love and enjoy the attention. Now the child is better and things go back to normal. But said child is wanting attention so the child will feign an illness. Trust me if you have a child we all know the tricks of the trade. And I know how it seems like a reach, but understand the covert narcissist is the one who secretly enjoy admiration, they use manipulation, and self pity.
I am in no way saying that’s THE only recipe to the creation of narcissism. There is no direct correlation to any reasoning behind or how a person becomes or is a narcissist.
Ok that’s enough for today. But I leave you with these 2 videos. I thought they was pretty funny