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.
5 Helpful Books for Dealing with a Covert or Vulnerable Narcissist
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Resources
- The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
- Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups – We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
- One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
- Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
- Where Are You in Recovery? You might not be sure exactly where you fit in and what level of recovery you’ve achieved. If that’s the case, you’ll want to check out this self-assessment to help you determine exactly where you fall in the stages of recovery from narcissistic abuse. Once you finish and submit the assessment, you will be given resources for your own situation, along with recommendations of which groups to join.
- Which Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program is Right for You? If you aren’t sure which program you want to utilize to facilitate your recovery from narcissistic abuse, this self-assessment will help you decide.
Additional Resources for People Dealing with Covert Narcissists
- What is a Covert Narcissist?
- Meet the Vulnerable Narcissist
- Take the covert narcissism test if you’re not sure you’re dealing with a covert narcissist.
- Why Narcissists Are Often Misdiagnosed With Bipolar Disorder
- Take the Narcissistic Personality Inventory Test Here
- Secrets and Self-Loathing: Identifying a Covert Narcissist
- Toxic Narcissism in Relationships: Identifying PTSD and C-PTSD
- Are you married to a narcissist? 12 easy ways to spot
- Why are narcissists so easily bored all the time? Narcissistic Personality Disorder FAQ – QueenBeeing
- Is there a cure for NPD? – QueenBeeing
- Narcissists, Psychopaths, and the Weird Sex Stuff: Personality Disorders and Sexuality (Compilation) – QueenBeeing
- How to Stop Being Miserable – QueenBeeing