Sunday, August 21, 2011

Covert Narcissist--Don't Let Him "Get the Drop on You"

There's an old expression about letting someone get the drop on you. Your enemy is waiting for you in the dark in your favorite chair as you innocently enter your apartment, thinking you are alone. He's patient; he knows your schedule. He has accessed your apartment several times before this evening without leaving a clue. This isn't a scene from a Dean Koontz novel. This is real life. A feeling of dread snakes up your spine and adrenaline rushes thunder through your body. These are the feelings we get when we are suddenly confronted by a covert narcissist.

In the beginning we didn't know he/she was psychologically dangerous. He appeared as a friend, even a confidante, like a member of your family--someone who can be completely trusted. Covert narcissists are talented at getting into people's heads. They know your deepest needs and vulnerabilities, even your secrets (despite their complete lack of self insight or the capacity for introspection). Some convert narcissists play the role of  at your service servants. They are your 24/7 rescuers. They have come  to save you from a painful dark period in your life. You have confided in them (They appear to be great listeners) and they are at your side ready to do anything that will ease your pain. This is their MO. It works so smoothly. They customize their style to fit each individual they will corner in their web. In the beginning phases the covert narcissist is there with the surprise gift, the "comfort" phone call, the art print you've dreamed about.

All the time they're working you. You've been psychologically anesthetized. As the "relationship" gets closer you trust this individual more. If it's a romantic relationship, it won't take long to become a marriage. The covert narcissist has already checked you out thoroughly and knows you are his solid gold ticket to a much better life. Some covert narcissists bring you along to become members of their elite circle. You have high level connections, talents, a great resume---a pedigree that reflects perfectly on the narcissist's self image. 

Eventually the dark side of the covert narcissist is revealed in all of its putrid ugliness. You find them picking away at you. Then all of a sudden they lunge for a frontal verbal attack. You can't believe this is the person whom you love and trust. You are confused and hurt. Maybe it is your fault: they are having a bad day; you need to be more understanding---None of the above. This is a covert narcissist who has finally bared his canines and is taking a bite out of you. Feel the pain and know this is not fiction. The narcissistic core is now fully exposed and you are on the receiving end of highly primitive toxic projections. It is better to cut your losses now than to try to convince yourself that this is some fluke and this individual can be changed. Narcissistic personality is a fixed disorder that does not change. Narcissists even covert narcissists beneath the phony humility and pseudo empathy are completely devoted to themselves, what they can get from you, take from you----no matter what harm it causes. They are as ruthless and treacherous as their grandiose cousins.

Research and study the narcissistic personality disorder so that you learn to recognize them quickly. If someone comes on too treacly, too 24/7 at your service, pay attention to what is going on beneath the surface. If you are in a vulnerable emotional state---be especially self protective. If necessary research and find an excellent therapist who can help you through this painful cycle. Check out several therapists if necessary. There are therapists who are narcissists. Use your intuition in choosing the right professional. The practice of gentle yoga, meditation in a form that works for you (meditations can be short 1-2-3 minutes) and other healing practices. To learn about the narcissistic personality disorder in-depth, visit my 

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book:, Barnes and Noble, very well distributed online

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