Covert narcissists are convincing pretenders. They play the part of the "good person." They fool almost everyone.---even professional therapists. They are a sly lot; They walk around being so "helpful and indispensable" to members of their family, friends, business associates. Most people are sure that they are individuals of high character, above reproach.
If you have a sibling who is a covert narcissist you have been emotionally hurt many times without understanding why. Some humiliated siblings blame themselves and feel inferior and worthless. The covert narcissistic sibling plays a back and forth game---rushing in the be your best friend and confidante one moment--someone you can trust completely--- to tearing your down with the cruelest words and humiliations. They lash out at you, mercilessly. You think you understand your brother or sister. You don't until you study and comprehend the inner workings of the narcissistic personality disorder. In the worst cases one of the parents takes sides with the covert narcissist in complete ignorance of his/her child's true dark nature. The covert narcissist is talented at making others feel good about themselves when they want something from you. They are known to be giving and caring by business associates and social acquaintances.
When we talk about family dynamics the picture is the reverse.The covert narcissistic sibling is always competing with you to win at any cost. As he/she pretends to care deeply about you, he does everything he can to tear you down. When you are at your lowest ebb and let down that you are having a miserable time---that's when these clever vipers strike the hardest to break you. They have caught you off guard, know that you are weak and desperate and have come in to orchestrate their psychologically fatal blow. This coup d'grace demonstrates to them that they have defeated you for good. You may have held a high place in the family before but now you are a loser, a weakened, diminished version of yourself. They bask in getting the better of you. Always remember this when they turn on the perfected pseudo empathy and words of "deep concern" about your condition.
Learn to stop the cycle of this sadistic game. The covert narcissistic sibling will continue to trick, terrorize and wear you down to ultimate desperation.---to get their pound of flesh. Since they are not going to stop their attacks or their highly pathological behaviors, you are the one to change your attitude and behavior toward them. First, recognize that you are the sibling of a severe personality disorder that is not going to change. This person is not a good candidate for psychotherapy because beneath the false modesty and pseudo humility is an individual who feels superior to you and every one else. This is a narcissistic personality disorder wearing a very convincing facade. Once you understand this, you will be relieved and stop trying to change them or blame yourself. Practice self assertion. Do not let your sibling trespass your personal boundaries. You deserve respect. In many cases grown siblings make a decision to have limited contact with the narcissistic brother or sister. In some instances the non-narcissistic sibling decides to sever the relationship and move forward with his/her life. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life