9 Ways Covert Narcissists Use Illusion of Fake Empathy to Manipulate You


Narcissists, as commonly known, are self-centered with a superiority complex and an immense need for praise and admiration. They sometimes use the mask of fake empathy to control others and hide their true self behind hypocritical compassion. That is a deceptive mix of manipulation and imposed control on other people. They use fake empathy to control, gaslight, and exert dominance, insignificantly destroying the mental health of victims.

You must be thinking about whether a narcissist can be empathic. Yes, they use the veil of fake empathy to lead their agenda further. Such narcissists are not easy to spot. They conceal their true nature so that people take years to recognize it. Most people fall for their deception and live their lives under the control of covert narcissists. Narcissists have no emotional empathy, but they fake it well with their acting.

They ideally use the illusion of fake empathy to manipulate their partners into believing and doing what they want. However, by having an understanding of their cover of fake empathy, You can recognize warning signs of covert narcissists using fake empathy as a tool to lure their victims. There are many weird things  covert narcissists do to showcase their veil of false empathy.

Some people take years to recognize red flags in their narcissistic partner. Years of hidden manipulation and gaslighting leave a lasting impression on the victim’s mental health. It is imperative to understand how covert narcissists don masks of fake empathy to feed their egos and take control of their partner’s lives.

Are you experiencing mental stress due to a covert narcissist partner? Do you want to know how they try to control their partners? In this blog, we are going to shed light on nine weird things covert narcissists do while using the illusion of fake empathy to manipulate you. Let’s take a look at that;

How Covert Narcissists Use Fake Empathy to Manipulate You?

Here are some ways that show how covert narcissists use fake empathy to manipulate and control you. There are many weird things covert narcissists do to exert control over their partners. By understanding these, you can identify a covert narcissist and their true nature.

1.   Excessive Praise

Everyone loves to hear a word of praise from their partner. It makes you feel good, appreciated, and valued. But covert narcissists use excessive compliments when they need any favor.

For example, they might show you compliments in front of friends or family to make themselves look superior. They tend to forget your existence and ignore you when alone.

2.   Using Empathy to Induce Self-Control

Empathic narcissists use empathy as a way to manipulate people and control others to maintain their superiority complex. They might appear loving and supportive to you. But they do everything to get the validation they want.

Everything they do is about them; they control your lives without you noticing.

3.   Sudden Change

A covert narcissist can change in a second. You must be confused about what happens to your partner. Sometimes, he is friendly and loving, and at times, he is disowning your entire existence.

Do not fall for the sudden change; they use it to take charge of everything. Their only agenda is to ensure you do everything according to their will.

4.   They Don’t Listen To You

They pretend to listen to you and show false emotions. Instead, they don’t feel emotion or care about others’ feelings. A covert narcissist shows emotions only when it is needed to show others their superiority.

5.   Show of Charisma

Covert narcissists showcase their charm and charisma to captivate their partners into deceit and manipulation. They use their magnetic personality to win and seek favor from their partners.

Their ultimate goal is to take control and gain more admiration from others.

6.   Victim Complex

Covert narcissists portray themselves like a victim every time. They manifest that nothing is their fault, and everything is your mistake. You would never find them admitting anything.

If you encounter any problem and look towards your partner, they back out. Rather than supporting, they become victims themselves.

They think that they are perfect and can not be blamed for anything. So, they shift the blame on others and deem themselves innocent.

7.   They Never Take Responsibility

Covert narcissists never take responsibility for any of their actions or words. They live in a bubble where they are devoid of blame and responsibilities.

You must be surprised to see how they shift their focus on themselves and make everything about them. They never think of taking blame, and their narcissistic pattern shows that they suffer because of others.

8.   Violation of Personal Boundaries

Covert narcissists never respect your boundaries, resulting in mental wearing down. They think everyone is under their control, and they can blur personal boundaries.

They will violate your boundaries and try to get admiration and praise without thinking about anything else. In their motto, there is no definition of personal space and comfort.

9.   Keep You on Your Toes

It would help if you had a lot of energy to stand against covert narcissist behavior. They love to feed their egos with your power to manipulate and gaslight you. You can never know what they are up to. They switch their nature in a split second.

In one instance, they are with you, showing fake empathy. In another moment, they start criticizing you and shift blame on you.

How Do You Protect Yourself from Their Fake manipulation?

1.   Be Aware of Warning Signs

The first step in protecting yourself from fake manipulation is to recognize warning signs of covert narcissists. After becoming aware of red flags and how they use phony empathy to control you, you can pave a path to free yourself from toxic relationships.

2.   Cautious Communication

Covert narcissists are extremely sensitive to communication. It would help if you stay cautious when you are communicating with a narcissistic partner. They would never take responsibility for anything, or else they shift the blame on you.

They will play the victim card if you try to point out their flaws. There is no benefit in talking to them about their fake empathy. Instead of listening to you, they can insult you or stonewall you.

3.   Establish Boundaries

Covert narcissists do not respect people’s personal space and violate the boundaries whenever they deem fit. Hence, it is most important to set and enforce boundaries with a narcissistic partner.

You must stand up for yourself and say no to specific behaviors and attitudes. If you want to protect yourself, you must take charge and stay put on that.

4.   Self-Care

Bearing the toxicity of covert narcissist partners can take your mental health to a worse state. Therefore, it is paramount that you prioritize and start focusing on yourself.

Engage in activities that bring you happiness and peace of mind. Keep yourself busy in any activity like painting, gardening, or pursuing any other interest.

5.   Seek Professional Help

Do not forget to seek professional help when you come out of a relationship with a covert narcissist. It would help if you had advice from expert therapists to get out of mental chaos induced by manipulation and gaslighting by covert narcissists.

Wrap Up

Covert narcissists use the illusion of fake empathy to manipulate and exert self-grandiose on their partners. From emotional manipulation, passive-aggressive behavior, and the need for validation to gaslighting. These weird things covert narcissists do to exert dominance and control over their partners.

If you are stuck with a covert narcissist partner, do not devalue yourself. This is the time to think of yourself and step out of a toxic relationship. There is no reason for you to live under the dominance and self-control of a covert narcissist partner. If you identify the signs and ways they use a veil of fake empathy, protect yourself from their manipulation.

Prioritize yourself, practice mindfulness, and get support from expert professionals. This would take some time to get out of the mental trauma they exert on your mind, but this would be worth it. We have discussed potential ways in which covert narcissists can manipulate and gaslight you. Understanding red flags and how to protect yourself from their toxicity is imperative.

Take charge of your life and let no one else manipulate and dominate you. Get out of such a relationship and seek professional help. You deserve to live a happy, calm life without mental chaos and stress.

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