Vulnerable Narcissism: 5 Helpful Books for Dealing with Covert Narcissists

Written by Angela Atkinson

Are you dealing with a covert narcissist, also known as a vulnerable narcissist? Are you at your wit’s end and you don’t know how to handle this very toxic personality type?

In case you’re not sure what a vulnerable narcissist is, let’s define one really quickly – they are a bit harder to detect than your standard, more overt narcissist.

What is a narcissist?


A narcissist
in general, is someone with a high opinion of him/herself. In narcissistic abuse situations, this refers to a toxic, verbally (and sometimes physically) abusive person who may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) along with antisocial features, paranoid traits, and ego-driven aggression. They may also exhibit an absence of conscience, a psychological need for power, and an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement.

 

 

and what are their characteristics?

The term “narcissism” is commonly used to describe people who are self-centered, self-absorbed, and even selfish. Narcissists can be found at the high end of the spectrum as well as the low end.

Some people with narcissistic personality disorder may function fairly normally in the workplace and their relationships in spite of having impaired empathy and a tendency toward grandiosity.

This higher functioning type is referred to as vulnerable narcissism.

Narcissists are often very insecure at their core; they may have trouble being criticized or being given constructive feedback about their performance or behavior because it threatens them so much. As a result, they will usually try to counter any criticism by telling you that you’re wrong or not seeing things clearly or by devaluing your experience altogether (“You don’t understand how hard I’m working!”).

What is a vulnerable narcissist?

The shy or covert narcissist is affected by what is referred to as “vulnerable narcissism,” which might be on the narcissism personality disorder (NPD) spectrum (a cluster B disorder, according to the DSM).

This type of narcissism is characterized by vulnerability and sensitivity, two characteristics that manifest with defensiveness and hostility.

Just like the standard, more covert type of narcissist, the vulnerable or covert has his or her share of grandiose fantasies, feels a pretty major sense of entitlement, and is quite exploitative of the people in his or her life.

What’s different about the vulnerable narcissist?

For one, his or her personality is characterized differently. The covert narcissist is plagued by constant worry, ineffective functioning, unfulfilled expectations (which lead to abuse of the narc’s sources of narcissistic supply – also known as the people in his or her life), and extreme vulnerability to stress.

Learn more about covert narcissists and vulnerable narcissism.

5 Helpful Books for Dealing with a Covert or Vulnerable Narcissist

The Covert Narcissist
The Inverted (Covert) Narcissist Codependent 
Behind the Mask: An Introduction Into Covert Narcissism
30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics
9 Ways to Outsmart a Narcissist

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Resources

Additional Resources for People Dealing with Covert Narcissists

Author

  • Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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