Some of the most common weird things covert narcissists do to manipulate their victims include: hoovering, gaslighting, guilt-tripping, love bombing etc. This post will help you understand the covert narcissist better.
Who Is The Narcissist?
According to the DSM-5 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, narcissistic personality disorder erepresents “A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
4. Requires excessive admiration.
5. Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).
6. Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.”
Who Is The Covert Narcissist?
Narcissism can be overt or covert.
Overt narcissists tend to be extroverts, attention-seeking, and always hungry for praise.
Covert narcissists, on the other hand, are more subtle about seeking attention and praise (e.g., victimizing themselves). They tend to be withdrawn and introverted.
Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do
For a covert narcissist, nothing can be worse than being forced to live without someone to blame for their own problems. They also fear not having someone to praise them and admire them.
They would do anything to avoid being in such position, even if that meant manipulating you.
The following is a list of weird things covert narcissists do to manipulate you:
The term hoovering is used in relationships to represent the vacuuming up of any happiness or positivity the other person may be experiencing, as these feelings of empowerment constitute a threat to the narcissist’s control.
Hoovering is most used when the narcissists fear that their partner might move on from their relationship.
What hoovering looks like in a relationship?
Possible signs of hoovering include:
- Reaching out to you suddenly and without warning.
- Talking about not finding anyone as special as you.
- Threatening suicide or self-harm if you do not answer your phone.
- Claiming that their recognize their toxic behavior and have been making dramatic changes.
It is important not to engage when a narcissist uses the hoovering technique so as not to get trapped in a toxic relationship.
Gaslighting is when someone misrepresents an event to convince the other person that they’re wrong and cannot trust their experience.
This leaves the victim feeling doubtful and uncertain about their perceptions.
What gaslighting looks like in a relationship?
Possible signs of gaslighting include:
- Dismissing your feelings
- Never letting you talk during a conflict
- Never apologizing when you express hurt
- Blaming you for things you didn’t do or had no control over
3. Love Bombing
Love bombing often takes place at the beginning of a relationship. The narcissist will praise you effusively and let you know how much they adore you.
What love bombing looks like in a relationship?
Possible signs of love bombing include:
- Sending you romantic messages
- Showering you with flattering comments
- Showering you with acts of affection (leaving love notes on your car windscreen, having flowers delivered at your work, etc.)
The narcissist might make accusations to provoke you into feeling guilty. This gives them a sense of control and power.
They might accuse you of dating someone else, if you refuse to see them after a breakup.
Narcissists spread fake gossip and rumors about you to pull other people in your relationship dynamic, jeopardizing your reputation, relationships, and confidence.
How to Respond to Covert Narcissist’s Manipulation?
Narcissist’s manipulation can cause you to feel guilty, insecure, and vulnerable.
Giving in to their manipulation, while might get them to stop for a while, will only give the narcissist validation of their superiority and power, and encourage more manipulation.
The following are some suggestions to help you face their manipulation:
- Go no contact: avoid answering their calls and messages.
- Seek support: a therapist or other mental health professionals can help you make sense of narcissistic manipulation and set healthy boundaries.
- Covert Narcissist: Signs, Causes, and How to Respond (verywellmind.com)
- Covert Narcissist: Signs, Causes and How to Respond (healthline.com)
- 8 Signs of a Covert Narcissist & How to Respond – Choosing Therapy
- What Is A Covert Narcissist? – Forbes Health
- The Relationship between Grandiose and Vulnerable (Hypersensitive) Narcissism – PMC (nih.gov)
- (PDF) The effect of overt and covert narcissism on self-esteem and self-efficacy beyond self-esteem (researchgate.net)
- Not all narcissists are grandiose – the ‘vulnerable’ type can be just as dangerous | Relationships | The Guardian