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Psychologists says there are five signs your partner is a covert narcissist

Psychologists says there are five signs your partner is a covert narcissist

According to experts, there are five signs to be on the lookout for

When you picture someone who is narcissistic, it’s easy to jump to the massive ego and constantly staring at themselves in the mirror kind of image.

But there’s a lesser known version called the ‘covert narcissist’.

It’s the kind of person you’re in a relationship with and constantly feel as though you’re in the wrong and can’t do anything right, or that they are of greater significance than you - similar to 'overt narcissism'.

But, with covert narcissism, certain characteristics can sometimes go under the radar without you even noticing.

Talking to the Huffington Post, clinical psychologist Craig Malkin said: “Covert narcissists don’t feel special by virtue of positive qualities like attractiveness or intelligence; they feel exceptional because of their pain or suffering, agreeing with statements like ‘most people don’t understand my problems’.”

We’ve definitely all heard that one in our time.

A psychologist has listed the five signs of covert narcissism.
Getty Stock Photo.

He went onto say that while 'overt' narcissists are often outspoken and their 'grandiose is loud', the covert narcissist is actually the opposite.

"In covert narcissism, the grandiosity is hidden but vulnerability is at full volume.” he said.

And according to psychology professor, W. Keith Campbell, it can take a while to spot covert narcissism as it's often 'indirect and comes out as anger'.

So, here are some of the signs as described by experts:

They like to be the biggest victim

In the mind of a covert narcissist, being the victim is a source of competition as Malkin says they 'always have to win in the game of who was hurt the most'.

Covert narcissists always tend to feel let down, hurt, unloved, and always requiring more from you than what you can give.

Constant reassurance, constant reaffirming that they are the best - it can become exhausting.

He adds that if you feel yourself always apologising anytime you feel hurt, then it could be that your partner is a covert narcissist.

Covert narcissists treat pain as a competition.
Getty Stock Photo.

They don't like when the spotlight is on you

Covert narcissists want all the attention - that’s because in their head, they need it to be known that they are the best 24/7.

Any form of attention on anyone else and it’s shutdown mode.

Therapist Wendy Behary told The Huffington Post: “There’s a lot more hypersensitivity to not getting this extraordinary attention they think they deserve, never feeling appreciated enough.

“The covert narcissist is just boiling inside and will find other ways of punishing you or trying to banish you from this moment of glory.”

Rather than communicating what’s on their mind, they act out instead

Instead of communicating with you how they’re feeling, they might just sit in a slump ignoring you, or burst into tears seeking sympathy.

According to Malkin, covert narcissists wield emotion like a manipulative weapon and any sadness they are showing is more likely for effect rather than it being genuine.

“Covert narcissists don’t really trust people enough to state needs and feelings directly and clearly, so the emotions never quite feel genuine." he added.

"In fact, covert narcissists often brood instead of saying exactly what’s on their mind.”

They might 'act out' rather than communicate.

They suck all of the air out of a room

The bottom line is that they believe all of their problems are more important than yours and often drain everyone else’s energy around them by talking about that - like an energy vampire.

Malkin says they 'feel entitled to air time' so if you ever attempt a conversation, don't expect a 'how was your day' but rather a huge triad about how bad theirs was instead.

They are very defensive about their achievements

As we have found out, they’re quite difficult people to deal with - and they can often be very defensive if they aren't living up to their own expectations.

“They’re constantly seeking reassurance and validation but are also quick to become defensive and react angrily when they feel threatened.” Dr Harold Hong said.

While they are also 'seeking reassurance', they are simultaneously 'defensive and angry' when they feel threatened.

It's a lose-lose either way.

If all of this is starting to add up in your head, then you might want to think about whether this is the healthiest choice for you going forward in your relationship.

Linda Martinez-Lewis says it's important to 'be faithful' to yourself as an individual and maintain 'steady boundaries'.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Sex and Relationships