The Guilt Trip: Weird things Covert Narcissists do to manipulate their partners

Covert narcissists use the tactic of guilt-tripping to make their partner feel guilty for the things they never did. If you ever feel guilty of doing things you never did, the covert narcissist may manipulate you. Guilt-tripping is common among the weird things covert narcissists do to make their partner feel guilty. A narcissist may try to make their partner feel guilty about themselves if they think their partner is not behaving in the way they actually want. Covert narcissists always need someone to whom they can blame for their problems. They are in need of constant admiration and in fear of losing the person who admires them; they can do anything, even if it means manipulating that person. This article explains some weird things covert narcissists do to make their partners feel guilty.

The following are some weird things covert narcissists do in order to exert control over their partner.

1.Love Bombing

Love bombing frequently occurs during the start of a  relationship. Narcissists often shower their partners with excessive praise, expressing their deep admiration and adoration for them.

Some of the weird things covert narcissists do in love bombing you include sending romantic messages, showering you with flattering comments, and showing acts of affection like leaving love notes on your car windscreen or having flowers delivered to your workplace.

Narcissists tend to establish relationships at a rapid pace. According to Neo, certain individuals naturally connect because they share common interests, and their differences complement one another.

She explained that attempting to rush things in the early stages of a relationship can actually lead to a faster development of intimacy, which is not desirable. “Anybody who has to do that indicates they are doing something a bit creepy.”

During the initial stages, narcissists often express sentiments such as “You’re my soul mate,” “I’ve never encountered someone like you before,” and “You have a deeper understanding of me than anyone else.”

2.Trivializing the Feelings

One of the weird things covert narcissists do to make you feel guilty is by downplaying or dismissing your emotions. When we talk about “trivializing feelings,” we are referring to the behaviour of downplaying, ignoring, or not taking feelings seriously. For instance, imagine yourself expressing your feelings to the narcissist in your life, saying something like, “It really hurts and upsets me that you cancelled our plans without informing me.” Afterwards, they replied with, “Why are you making such a protest about this?” It’s just a simple cancellation. Please try not to take things so personally.

Trivializing your feelings can be seen as a way of downplaying them, which is actually a form of gaslighting. We will discuss gaslighting in more detail later in this article.  In the example you just read, the narcissist is minimizing your feelings by downplaying the effect of their actions. They make you feel as though your emotions are unwarranted or exaggerated.


This term refers to a tactic that narcissists employ to manipulate their partner into reestablishing contact or reviving their relationship after a breakup and a period of separation.

Sometimes, individuals may resort to sending frequent texts, emails, or even small gifts in an attempt to draw their partner back into their lives. Sometimes, people may resort to making false promises in an attempt to convince their partner that they can change. They might express sentiments such as being unable to imagine life without their partner, claiming that their partner is the love of their life. Simultaneously, they manipulate their partner’s emotions or exploit their insecurities in order to make them feel guilty and obligated. They could utilize fictitious names, social media profiles, and personas to reach out to you.

A client who has been married for 14 years shared an interesting story about how whenever she started to emotionally distance herself from her husband, he would suddenly change his behaviour and become more affectionate and attentive, almost as if he was trying to draw her back in. She had the overwhelming sensation that the person she had fallen in love with had finally returned. She said, “I was feeling unwell, and usually, my husband doesn’t pay much attention to how I’m feeling or what I need, especially when I’m sick. But all of a sudden, he seemed so caring and asked if I wanted some tea!” At that particular moment, she began to doubt her initial judgment of him and felt open to the idea of giving him a second opportunity. Sadly, this phase of caring didn’t last very long.


One of the weird things covert narcissists do to control their partner’s emotions and thoughts is gaslighting. Gaslighting is an element of psychological warfare. Covert narcissists use it to put doubt on their partner’s reality perception. As a result of their skilful manipulation, their partner begins to doubt their own emotions, memories, and ideas, which leaves them confused, lost, and emotionally vulnerable.

Some examples of the weird things covert narcissists do include ignoring their partner’s emotions, not letting their partner talk during arguments, not offering an apology when they’re hurt, and holding them responsible for things they didn’t cause or couldn’t change.

5.Passive-Aggressive Behavior

When trying to exert control or manipulation over their partner, covert narcissists frequently use passive-aggressive tactics. They speak calmly to their partner while making subtle comments or remarks meant to wound or humiliate them.

Imagine that you and your partner are going to dinner. However, when you arrive at the restaurant, your partner appears to be upset and somewhat distant. They comment sarcastically on anything from the taxi driver to the atmosphere of the restaurant to your appearance. Then, they will treat you like their pet, even if you have no idea what you did wrong. Being conditioned to believe that everything is your fault, you naturally take the blame for your partner’s negative mood on yourself.

By subtly conveying their annoyance or rage, the covert narcissist demonstrates passive-aggressive conduct in this situation. They withhold love or make sarcastic remarks as subtle types of punishment because they can’t express their emotions directly. Once again, your perception of reality and your sense of self-worth are influenced.


As a manipulative strategy, “blame-shifting” happens when a narcissist places the blame on another person rather than on themselves.

Consider a narcissistic partner as an example. A fight breaks out between you and your narcissist’s partner over housework. Then you say to your narcissistic partner, “I feel like I have been doing everything around here, and I am beginning to feel overwhelmed.” In response, they reply, “You appear to be always making things about yourself. There would be less tension in your life if you weren’t so lazy.

Your narcissistic partner is engaging in blame-shifting when, instead of owning up to their lack of responsibility around the house, they place the burden on you and try to make you feel bad about being overwhelmed.

The issue is with your partner’s lack of effort in assisting with the responsibilities, but if you didn’t see they were shifting blame, you would believe what they said, start to feel guilty, and doubt your own emotions.

7.Playing the Victim

One of the weird things covert narcissists do is play the victim, a behaviour also called self-victimization. Narcissists play the victim to make their partner feel guilty.

In the context of narcissism, the term “playing the victim” refers to the tendency of narcissists to put themselves in the position of a victim.  One easy example of this is Sarah, a narcissistic woman who talks badly about and criticizes her partner.

Sarah continues to portray herself as the victim, stating things like “You’re always making me feel bad” or “I just can’t handle the constant criticism from you.”  By utilizing this self-victimization strategy in conjunction with the other manipulation techniques that narcissists usually employ, Sarah’s partner is manipulated into feeling guilty and accepting the blame for the issues that have arisen in the relationship, despite the fact that Sarah’s actions are the primary source of the difficulties.

The fact that Sarah’s partner is unaware that he is being exploited allows Sarah to continue to play the role of the victim, which in turn causes her partner to feel even more responsibility for the situation.

8.The Silent Treatment

Silent treatment is really common among the weird things covert narcissists do to make their partners feel guilty.

A person is engaging in silent treatment if they do not respond to another person’s attempts to contact, whether vocally or by electronic means.

Imagine the four-year relationship between Rachel and the narcissistic man Justin as an example. Rachel finds out one day that Justin has been lying about money problems. When she confronts him about it, Justin becomes extremely defensive, leaves the home, and stops communicating with her immediately after the confrontation. Justin keeps ignoring Rachel’s calls and texts when she tries to contact him.

Justin continues to avoid talking to Rachel even after several days have passed. Rachel feels  bad about the situation and start thinking that she did something really wrong that forced Justin to leave her. This example clearly explain the concept of silent treatment.

Final Words

Weird things covert narcissists do have negative impacts on the mental and physical health of their partners. It is really difficult to ignore the guilt trips that covert narcissists use. Staying strong and realizing that being in a relationship with a narcissist is never your fault is essential.  You can protect yourself by establishing healthy boundaries. You can also get help from a professional when it is highly needed. It is essential to have a clear perspective and to remain true to your self-worth to successfully navigate these complex relationships . In the end, you should always give priority to your mental and physical health.

Hi, I’m Ashra Abdulrazzaq (Doing BS in Psychology). I am a professional psychologist and author whose work has been published on many recognized websites. I love unwrapping the mysteries of the human minds and then utilizing this knowledge to heal them.

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