“Understanding Covert Narcissism: Common Phrases That Reveal Hidden Abuse”

Do you feel like your actions are always being questioned?  Do you feel like you are losing control of your sanity? This feeling of being always on the edge induced by the Covert Narcissists you have in your surroundings. You may ignore the signs of hidden abuse in the name of their love and caring, but on deeper levels, you are only slumping your self-worth and sanity.

We deeply care about you and the victims who are going through Narcissistic Abuse. In this article, we will talk about the common phrases and language patterns that Covert Narcissists use to disguise their abuse, and the underlying Narcissistic tendencies affecting the victims.

By the end of this article, we believe in empowering you to combat the hidden abuse of Covert Narcissists.

– Understanding Covert Narcissists 

– Covert Narcissists Hidden Abuse

– Covert Narcissists’ Common Phrases and Language Patterns behind Abuse

– Effect of Covert Narcissists Hidden Abuse

– How to Combat the Hidden Abuse of Covert Narcissists

Understanding Covert Narcissists

Whenever we hear the word Narcissists, our heuristics guide us to think about someone with higher self-grandiosity, or a flamboyant person with hysterical arrogance. However, Narcissism has a wide spectrum of behaviors some fall under the category of Overt Narcissists who openly display their Narcissistic tendencies, whereas Covert Narcissists subtly project Narcissism and display a façade of being a good person.

Since they display Narcissistic tendencies subtly, their overall persona is shy, dependent and insecure individuals Covert Narcissists lure you into thinking they are poor fellows but behind the mask, they are terrible people to live with.

Covert Narcissists tend to have the following toxic personality traits that make them harder to catch off-guard.

  • Self-grandiosity
  • Egocentric
  • Seeking Attention and Validation
  • Lacking Empathy
  • Tendency of Verbal and Physical Abuse

One of the weird things Covert Narcissists do is hide abuse, they find strange pleasure in psychologically and emotionally abusing their significant others. Not all Covert Narcissists indulge in severe abuse, but mostly the Covert Narcissists falling under the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are more prone to become abusive in dealing with others. [1]

Related Article: 10 Telltale Things Covert Narcissists say in an Argument

Covert Narcissists Hidden Abuse

Covert Narcissist has hidden abuse lies in their excessive manipulation and mind-controlling tactics. It has debated that if Covert Narcissists have a soft persona why they become abusive. Psychotherapists dealing with Narcissists have noticed that Covert Narcissists think their pain and suffering are unique, so Covert Narcissists induce that pain in the form of hidden abuse to others to gratify their egocentric tendencies in return.

The causes of Covert Narcissists’ hidden abuse are their genetic makeup, the childhood trauma and abuse they have suffered, and most importantly their relationship with parents or guardians.  The role of the caregiver determines the behavior adaptations Covert Narcissists make later in life.

Authoritative parenting in a highly controlled environment such as expecting the child to be best in everything or extensive social comparisons often drives the Narcissistic child with failures toward abuse.

Just like their façade, Covert Narcissists’ abuse also takes place subtly; their favorite mode of hidden abuse is Language and Communication. The things Covert Narcissists say in an argument and the phrases they use in day-to-day life are as if a sword dipped in poison.

Right before Covert Narcissists manipulate you to clank swords with them, we provide you the deep insights into the common phrases and language patterns that Covert Narcissists use to disguise their abuse.

Covert Narcissists

Covert Narcissists’ Common Phrases and Language Patterns behind Hidden Abuse

Covert Narcissists have the urge to internalize trauma and contempt that results in their toxic language patterns and the taunting phrases they use during altercations. Similar to a jolting lava they hide their resentment behind the mask of fakery and timidity however their internal lack of empathy turns them into a walking red flag.

Arguing with a Covert Narcissist is an extremely frustrating experience, the things Covert Narcissists say in an argument will push you between a rock and a hard place. Following are the hot water situations Covert Narcissists create to disguise their abuse.

Phrases and Passive Aggression

Covert Narcissists express their disapproval and disregard through being passive-aggressive. They don’t care if the situation is intense or does not demand a serious reaction Covert Narcissists will be the first ones to be triggered.

It would not be wrong if we say Covert Narcissists’ lingua franca is about criticism, judgment, abuse, and sneering. They express their aggression in subtle ways by taking a jibe at others, mocking them, and talking behind their back. Some of the examples of the things Covert Narcissists say in an argument are:

“I don’t want to talk about that let’s move on”

“If you didn’t want it you better not act that way”

“I should’ve trusted somebody else”

“I think this discussion is going nowhere”

“If I am so mean why don’t you just leave?”

“Oh! You look so different I failed to recognize you”

“Lol, I was just joking”.

Runaround Phrases and Gaslighting

Covert Narcissists will catch you in a deceitful maze where you delude everything and question your sanity. Their responses are vague but gaslight you to feel guilty about your actions and your thoughts. Covert Narcissists smartly play with your emotions, they use a runaround communication style where the jest of every argument is about you being at the fault and they deserve sympathy.

“I am sorry if you feel that way but it has to be said”

“Huh! You did well for your benefit, have I asked you to do that for me?”

“I wish I could cry like you”

“You are just overreacting”

“I think it is time you see what you bring to the table”

“I don’t feel our relationship is rewarding anymore”

“Let’s just accept you are the guilty party”.

Condescending Tone and Manipulation

You might have never noticed that but they will make themselves a salient part of your decision-making, you will be indirectly dependent on what they decide for you. From what color to wear to what courses you should study, Covert Narcissists will cling to your conscience and abuse you from time to time.

Covert Narcissists have a clear-cut target to control you, initially, they appear dependent and mask it as being insecure but after winning your trust they take over the charge. One of the weird things Covert Narcissists do is display fakery, they will love-bomb you until they fool you into thinking their pervasive interest is an obsession.

However, Covert Narcissists love to use a condescending tone in an argument to dictate your thoughts and actions; they do not care about abusing your personal space.

“You never listen to me”

“You should listen to me first”

“I’ve asked you to wear white, who told you red suits you?”

“I care about you that’s why I give my opinion straight up about everything”

“I can’t help it but I’m brutally honest”

“I hope you don’t repeat that mistake, or I won’t be able to love you the same way”

“Nobody can love you more than me”.

Unapologetic Objectification and Stonewalling

Covert Narcissists aim to rationalize their hidden abuse, which helps them be unapologetic about being abusive. Covert Narcissists will objectify your stances so frequently that you feel like you can never have a meaningful view of the things around you. The things Covert Narcissists say in an argument will drive you insane into thinking negatively about your self-worth, and deeply damage your self-esteem.

They are highly envious of others. If they share space with someone more influential than them, Covert Narcissists will start treating them like objects or run a smear campaign against them. They will drag you to an emotional rollercoaster where you expect them to be apologetic, but due to an intense lack of empathy, Covert Narcissists will never regard your feelings.

One of the weird things Covert Narcissists do is to retreat by engaging in stonewalling. They will become evasive after provoking you to fight. Covert Narcissists find pleasure in giving you the silent treatment after pushing your buttons.

“You are not doing something special; every mother does that for their children”

“I don’t owe anyone apologies”

“Who do you think you are?”

“People know you because of me”

“I don’t want to talk about that”

“See it yourself”

“Out of everything I did for you, you only focus on my mistakes”

“It was just a reaction”

“You are not being logical”

“Puff, I’m tired of your drama”.

Effects of Covert Narcissistic Abuse

The continuous guilt-tripping things Covert Narcissists say in an argument with their below-the-belt common phrases and language patterns, have deteriorating effects on a person’s mental health and physical appearance.

Covert Narcissist’s hidden abuse causes shame and guilt, self-doubt, and regret. Even though you try your hardest to help them and strive for your relationship, their hidden abuse is something they consciously select for the people. Covert Narcissists at times appear helpless about their devious persona but this is another means of gaining your empathy. Covert Narcissists willfully want you to walk on eggshells for them, by intentionally enforcing the things they say in an argument.

Also Read: 11 Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do To Protect Themselves

We understand as an empath how much it hurts when someone says; you are not doing enough, but it’s the time you challenge the claims Covert Narcissists make to disguise their abuse behind heated arguments.

We are helping you to discover how you can combat the hidden abuse of Covert Narcissists.

How to Combat the Hidden Abuse of Covert Narcissists?

Challenge Your Thoughts

Do not believe in their statements take time to respond. If you feel like Covert Narcissists are hurting you, address the hidden abuse by responding, “I know you’ve had a lot, but we both suffered mutually.

Canceling Provocation

Do not let any provocation by the Covert Narcissists enter your boundaries. Be assertive about demanding for your personal space.

Do Not Apologize

Covert Narcissists want you to feel meager about your feelings; they satisfy their egos by forcing you to apologize. Excuse yourself not apologize by saying: “I’ll take some time in sorting out the stuff by myself” or “If I find myself at fault I’ll confess.”

Avoid Confrontations

Do not indulge in “I-statements” with Covert Narcissists, arguing with them is not fruitful rather defuse their entitlement with your presence. “I respect your opinion, but It doesn’t appear like that to me”.


Begin self-care and self-love, and count on your strengths and achievements to counter their foxy hidden abuse, which is making you insecure about yourself.

Social Support

You never know how 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 and validate positive feelings.

Further exploring things Covert Narcissists say in an argument helps you to identify Covert Narcissists in other spheres of life.

If you want to know more about Covert Narcissists, then click here!

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