11 Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do To Protect Themselves

Have you ever encountered an argument with someone who abruptly changed their behavior to protect themselves?

Have you been living with somebody who shifts his or her statements and emotions all at once?

These are the people who are known as covert narcissists. They are the people who suddenly change and leave you in shock at times.

Covert Narcissists are masterminds of changing their verbatim, behavior, and emotions in a flash.

Let us dig more into psychology and personality traits to understand what weird things Covert Narcissists do to protect themselves.

  • Psychology and Covert Narcissists  
  • Spectrum of Narcissism and Covert Narcissist
  • 11 Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do To Protect Themselves
  • Reasons behind Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do
  • Tips and Techniques for You to Counter Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do

Psychology and Covert Narcissists

Narcissistic Personalities often exhibit a set of personality traits that determine their behavior as overt and Covert Narcissists. While overt narcissists are more extrovert in terms of depicting the following weird traits, Covert Narcissists more subtly project the same personality traits like:

  • Self-grandiosity
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Lacking empathy
  • Exploiting significant others
  • Infatuation of power, money, fame, and love.
  • Blaming and shaming others

Before we check mark all these narcissistic traits in someone and diagnose them with Narcissistic Personality or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), we must understand that only a professional mental health practitioner can clinically diagnose and assess people with NPD and Narcissistic Personality.

Spectrum of Narcissism and Covert Narcissists:

British Clinical Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen in his book “The Science of Evil” suggests very similar to borderline personality, autism, and schizophrenia, narcissistic tendencies also fall under a spectrum. The umbrella-like nature of narcissism implies two poles with one end of the baseline lies overt narcissists and Covert Narcissists. Among the bunch of weird things Covert Narcissists do to protect themselves lacking empathy with proneness to cruelty has attained considerable importance. We can understand their behavior by looking at where the Covert Narcissists are located in the Narcissism and Empathy Bell Curve: [1]

Further research on Covert Narcissists also delves into 11 weird things Covert Narcissists do to protect themselves, varying from their routine life to distressing situations.

11 Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do To Protect Themselves


The demeanour of Covert Narcissists is very archetypal and supportive however, the surreal presence of the following traits reveals what weird things Covert Narcissists do to protect themselves from being exposed.

1.   Self-Grandiosity:

one of the predominant weird things Covert Narcissists do is have an inflated sense of self, the grandiosity of their thoughts never be seen externally but in subtle statements they give during their day-to-day interactions.

You will frequently catch them saying; “I don’t want to say this but I always speak logically”, or after a fight, they might say; “I think you owe me an apology, not me”.

2.   Self-Victimization:

Covert Narcissists are masterminds of gaining sympathy and affection without letting the next person know their motives, they will present themselves under the light of victimization.

You will often hear them saying: “Well, I don’t show much but I had a traumatic life”, “Ah! Maybe if I die sooner it going to end your worries”, or, “I think my life doesn’t have a meaning”.

3.   Gaslighting:

Covert Narcissists are the uncrowned kings of manipulation. Covert Narcissists with their foxy manipulation aggravate the conflicts; they often devalue the opinions of others and do elusive taunting that will make others doubt themselves.

You can catch them saying; “Oh God! You’re being so illogical and obnoxious”, “No, if I were at your place I would have reacted differently”, and, “I think you are just being a snowflake”.

4.   Exploitive Behavior:

Covert Narcissists are prone to triangulation, and will intentionally cause quarrels between other people, so later on Covert Narcissists can adopt the role of a mediator being the only sane and superior among the other parties.

You can come across their statements like; “I don’t want to hurt you, but your father treats me differently than his other son-in-laws”, “You should have reacted first you are not weak”, or “I think you might be just overreacting this isn’t a big issue”, “oh come on! Be the bigger person”.

5.   Lacking Empathy:

Covert Narcissists often lack a sense of empathy, especially towards those who do not count them as superior. When they see themselves treated like others, to protect their entitlement they evoke a lack of empathy and regard.

You can hear them talking about; “Although I’m very charitable I don’t think my money would do any good for them”, “I’ve done so much for you, and what I’ve got in return? “I don’t believe your stepchildren are my responsibility, I’m dating you, not your family lol”.

6.   Hypocrisy:

Covert Narcissists deceive others with frequent fluctuation in their statements. For Covert Narcissists, their happiness and sticking to their weird advantage are more important than aligning their actions on one path.

You can witness hypocrisy in their statements; “Stop shoving your words in my mouth, I certainly didn’t say that”, “I clearly remember what I did, don’t tell me to rethink”, “Oh! I didn’t mean that, you got it wrong”, “Why am I always being judged?”

7.   Aversive Withdrawal:

No matter how supportive Covert Narcissists appear in their good-guy façade, they will always backfire by becoming aloof and withdrawn when their grandeur is at stake.

Instead of apologizing or initiating the conversation, they will show their withdrawal to seek attention and to protect themselves from accountability.

Covert Narcissists show weird withdrawal like leaving messages on seen or giving self-pitying replies; “I no longer see a purpose staying here, bye”, “I’ve reacted on what I’ve found right, no hard feelings goodbye”.


8.   Intentional Forgetfulness

 Sometimes you have reminded your partner of your birthday/anniversary just two days before. However, they still forget it such cases do not always happen due to forgetfulness. Covert Narcissists are not by nature givers and they envy praising others on their big days.

They intentionally forget and create circumstances where they become the main character.

9.   Flattering and Fakery

Covert Narcissists create fake positive personas to satisfy their need for admiration and protect themselves. They are good at people pleasing and cleverly put certain needs of others above their needs until the person offers them gratefulness. Once people show them gratitude, Covert Narcissists stop flattering and start exerting entitlement.

You can catch them flattering you by saying; “Oh darling! I wish this dress suits me the way it suits you”, or “You are being too generous with your words, I’m trying to become a better person”.

10.               Silent Treatment:

Covert Narcissists’ silent treatment is a passively penetrating slow poison that does not indicate the matter been forgiven, but they artfully shape it into a punishment.

Their stonewalling is not always avoidance, but waiting for the perfect time to blame and shame their opponent without showing signs of guilt.

11.               Infatuation of Power:

 Covert Narcissists tend to possess delusional fantasies about being powerful, to protect that fallacy as true they often show compulsivity of gaining all means of power such as; love, intellect, fame, and money.

You can catch them saying: “I told you this will happen”, “I’ve seen that coming”, “It won’t be able to love you the same way if you repeat that mistake”, or “I’ve always been like this”.

We are not done yet, surely you are thinking about why they behave this way. On the other hand, what are the reasons behind the weird things Covert Narcissists do to protect themselves?

Read More: 11 Things Covert Narcissists Do to Twist Reality in Courtroom

Reasons behind Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do

The childhood of narcissists plays a vital role in determining whether they adopt overt narcissist personality or be Covert Narcissists. The weird things Covert Narcissists do also give insights about the genetic predisposition, parenting style, traumatic life events, and dominating authority figure they have experienced in early developmental life.

Although Covert Narcissists appear introverted and reserved, however, due to continuously juggling with egoistic grandiosity and projection of low self-esteem they cannot resonate with a healthy childhood identity.

 Tips and Techniques for You to Counter Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do

Do not worry we have your back! Just as if Covert Narcissists wear their guards after doing weird things to protect themselves, you can also counter them by implementing these self-help tips and tricks to protect your mental health and well-being.

1.   Setting Personal Boundaries:

Set up boundaries and limits in your interaction with Covert Narcissists.

2.   Support:

 Seek social support from family members and friends.Protect your mental health by seeking Therapy and Professional Help for recovery from narcissistic abuse.

3.   Self-help Strategies:

 Gain in-depth knowledge of the weird things Covert Narcissists do to protect themselves and enhance your understanding by reading literature, articles, blogs, biographies, journals, etc.

4.   Identify Triggers:

 Identify the potential triggers, and try being directive with them.

5.   Reforming Reactions:

Control and reform your emotional reaction to a Covert Narcissist’s manipulation, set them accountable for their actions in a subtle way, this may help in mitigating the situation.

Further exploring these traits leads 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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