Outsmart You

6 Weird things covert narcissists do to outsmart you


Have you ever styled your best and your friend shared a backhanded compliment?

Have you ever received a valuable gift from your partner but later found the giver is breaching your boundaries?

Are you working with a manager who calls it teamwork but never contributes?

  • Narcissistic Personality; Overt Narcissists and Covert Narcissists
  • Covert Narcissists Personality
  • 6 Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do to Outsmart You
  • Solutions for Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do to Outsmart You

Narcissistic Personality; Covert Narcissists and Overt Narcissists

In the realm of mental health, Narcissistic Personalities refer to people with an irrationally boastful sense of identity, they expect a tremendous amount of attention and praise from other people. Narcissists project themselves as admirably self-confident, smart, charismatic, dominant, and swanky but the core of their persona is on the brink of perplexed self-worth and self-esteem.

Before you think of a Narcissistic Personality as always being extravagant and dominant, you must know two cunning sides of narcissists who hide behind masks to outsmart you.

The existence of narcissistic tendencies in the personality is not a cinch to identify and rectify. Narcissists can either shape themselves as Overt Narcissists or Covert Narcissists depending on various psychological factors. Heredity plays its role in propagating narcissism in the child, the parental figures exerting authoritative parenting or excessive attention may result in the adaptation of Narcissism.

Overt Narcissists are the exhibitionists of power. They carry a flamboyant aura around with confidence, self-admiration, self-love, arrogance, envy, critical of others, lack of empathy, and cynical disregard for the needs of others. Overt Narcissists are easily identifiable due to their obtrusive exterior, but Covert Narcissists display their personalities as about inhibition of their ostentatious traits.

The reason why we are going to discuss Covert Narcissists at length is due to the grandeur and devious sides of Covert Narcissists are rarely noticeable. You might be living with Covert Narcissists but it will take years to realize.

Covert Narcissists Personality

Paul Wink, a renowned American Psychologist who has done extensive work on narcissism at the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research University of California, states that Covert Narcissists fall under the radar of Narcissistic Vulnerability-Sensitivity. The Covert Narcissists at unconscious levels feel self-grandiosity but their conscious display shows vulnerability, lack of confidence, depressed feelings, and absence of motivation (Narcissistic Deficiency). Despite having, higher self-entitlement Covert Narcissists seek constant approval, admiration, and attention, and disregard the need for initiative. [1]

They believe their vulnerability to traumas and distress makes them anxious and pessimistic. Covert Narcissists are envious of the needs of others; the slightest amount of criticism can trigger their defensiveness and hypersensitivity.

The Covert Narcissists use super-secret tactics to manipulate and outsmart you. For a better understanding of their devious tactics, let us explore 6 Weird Things Covert Narcissists do to Outsmart You.

6 Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do to Outsmart You

Keep an eye out for weird things Covert Narcissists do but use your sharp observation skills ten times more.

Deflective Manipulation:

Covert Narcissists are in dire need of power and control, but their means of achieving their end goals are not clear. If they recognize you have a strong mentality and not easily persuaded, they will attain the fulfillment of their need to control and play with you by manipulating you.

In the beginning, Covert Narcissists will be flattering you with compliments, or love bombing you with expensive gifts and valuable favors but the moment you put your trust in them they become sneaky.

They will outsmart you by changing the nature of statements. You will frequently hear them making absurd inferences like; “Darling I don’t want to make you feel bad about yourself, but I remember how in the start you loved me more than now”, or they will say “I don’t want to demotivate you but, I believe you’ve more potential.”

Covert Narcissists will increasingly undermine your looks and give backhanded compliments so that you feel crappy or get insecure about your presence. They outsmart you with weird comments like; “I think this color looks so off on you, why don’t you change honey?”


Covert Narcissists are envious if you take edge against them, they will create such circumstances backed by provocation and gas lighting that you cannot help but become a victim of the outfox. They will argue to push your buttons to react, Covert Narcissists may even provoke you to make major life decisions during the fight so, they can later on validate the distress by saying; “Oh! It wasn’t my fault, I was trying to control the situation”, “Because of you we are all going to suffer”, or when you set them accountable they will say, “I can see it coming”, or “See, I told you”.

They can conspire you into thinking your loved ones are not as rewarding as they are because Covert Narcissists tend to project their miserable sense of self over others. They will give you unsolicited advice such as nobody needs your contribution to the family, your boss does not care about the extra work you do, and you should leave your job because those incentives might raise your earnings compared to theirs.


Covert Narcissists have fragile self-esteem and they find the regard of others unfulfilling, hence they crave external validation and sympathy. Covert Narcissists believe they owe an immense amount of admiration and special favors from people because they have had a traumatic life. However, they exaggerate their helplessness and trauma as when manipulation does not work; they go for the soft means of self-victimization.

Their speech is full of self-deprecation while projecting themselves as modest. And their outlook on the future would be pessimistic because they want you to uplift their morale, only to be outsmart by them later. Their most frequent self-belittlement statements are; “You know what true love doesn’t exist”, “My life is meaningless”, and “I just have good intentions for everyone but look what I get in return, betrayal”.

However, when you truly empathize with them their true persona takes very less in revealing itself.


Covert Narcissists staunchly believe they are first at everything no matter if it only exists in their fantasy. They will often walk ahead of you. People might consider them being protective but it is a sign of their subtle dominance. Covert Narcissists will deliberately talk about topics that will steer the conversation toward their achievements. You can often see them standing with high-achievers in events but they envy them deeply.

One of the weird things Covert Narcissists do is decorate their rooms with nominal feats, they will frame a sprint competition certificate of Kindergarten to brag; “I was the only kid in four hundred students to win this competition, at such small age”, “I’m the only person closest to my boss, he never take any decision without consulting with me”.

You may spot narcissistic parents in public who excessively boast about their kids; “Oh! My child never throws tantrums in public”, or “You won’t believe me but my baby started walking in just 1.5 months”, “Isn’t it amazing? My son cleared his law test in first attempt”.

Chronic Liars :

Covert Narcissists are chronic liars; they will indirectly lie to you about things that are objective reality. Covert Narcissists are good at fabricating facts with convincing stories. One of the weird things Covert Narcissists do is compulsively lie to validate their low self-esteem and self-pitying persona.

Covert Narcissists will frequently lie in relationships to their partners and since they lack empathy, they can cause considerable damage to their partners without worrying about the repercussions. They are extremely sensitive to criticism even a small amount can shake their world, so they will outsmart other people by questioning their honesty while blatantly lying to themselves. You might catch them saying; “Nobody can be trusted in this world I swear”, “I clearly remember I didn’t say that you are changing my statements”, and “I speak the truth only”.

Silent Treatment :

Covert Narcissists have a delusional idea of self-importance, slightest humiliation or criticism can trigger their avoidance behavior. When they believe a situation will demand them to come out of their covert exterior, they will engage in stonewalling. The silent treatment of is tactically used to exert their authority and indirectly manipulate others. [2]

They think that withdrawal from a situation teaches a hard lesson to the next person. You may think that Covert Narcissists are being patient by remaining silent, but they are using fakery to outsmart you in quarrels. Covert Narcissists will deviously control the situation by acting as if nothing has happened. They will not even shy to hoax their fakery as; “Leave me alone”, “I’m fine”, “I need some personal time”, or “No matter how many times I repeat, you won’t understand”, yet the truth was they are imperiously silent without feeling guilty.

If you have found these signs of weird things Covert Narcissists do very relatable and you think you are living with a Covert Narcissist, It is the right time to take action against their toxicity.

Solutions for Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do to Outsmart You

Controlling the destructive tendencies of Covert Narcissists is a far-fetched idea. However, managing your behavior and saving yourself from Covert Narcissists’ outsmart tactics, is highly achievable.

Here are some of the top solutions recommended by mental health professionals to cope with weird things Covert Narcissists do.

Respect Your Boundaries:

Before you expect Covert Narcissists to abide by your boundaries, you must be assertive in respecting your boundaries and not letting any provocation enter.

Prioritize Yourself:

One of the most painful things in living with Covert Narcissists is to indulge in self-doubt. They will push you to think negatively about your self-worth and manipulate you to feel inferior. It is the best time to be comfortable in your skin, begin self-care and count on your strengths.

Assertive Avoidance:

When you see Covert Narcissists are causing conflicts try to leave them on their own, and do not take part in winning the arguments with them. Try to remain calm do not take initiative for them and address your needs openly.

Social Support:

You never know how slowly narcissism penetrates, sometimes you do not believe it is happening but you become just like them. Seek social and professional support to keep your sanity in check.

Further exploring weird things Covert Narcissists do, leads you to identifying covert narcissists in other spheres of life. If you want to know, more about Covert Narcissists then click here!

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