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Why are covert narcissists so mean?

Covert narcissists may appear shy, self-deprecating, or unassuming at first, but underneath this facade, they too possess a sense of superiority and entitlement. In their attempt to hide their true nature from others, they must mask their intentions and behave in a way that minimizes the risk of being exposed as a narcissist.

Because of this, they may not outwardly express their inner sense of superiority, entitlement, and grandiosity.

Instead, covert narcissists may take more subtle routes to express their underlying feelings. This may include excessive criticism of others, a passive-aggressive approach to communication, the silent treatment, and a range of other passive behaviors.

By utilizing such covert tactics, they can manage their interpersonal dynamics while maintaining a feeling of superiority.

It is this fear of their superiority being exposed that causes covert narcissists to be so mean. They become generally hostile and cruel because they are fearful of others seeing what lies beneath their exterior and discovering their true nature.

Kindness and politeness do not help them to control their environment and protect their ego, so they resort to hostile tactics to dominate and control those around them. In this way, by becoming hostile and mean, they can maintain their sense of superiority while keeping any vulnerabilities they possess hidden.

What angers a narcissist the most?

Being ignored or deprived of attention is probably the thing that angers a narcissist the most. They thrive off of having everyone revolve around them, so anything that disrupts or takes away from that fantasy can cause them to become enraged.

Other scenarios that can anger a narcissist include criticism, being disagreed with, or someone appearing to be stronger than them. They are quick to act out in the heat of the moment and typically can’t handle criticism of any kind.

It’s also important to note that the anger of a narcissist is typically much more intense than a typical emotional response, because they have a need to prove that they are the most powerful person in the room.

Are covert narcissists aware of what they are doing?

Yes, covert narcissists are often aware of what they are doing and why, even if their behavior is not in line with the cultural norms of the society around them. Covert narcissist can often present themselves as victims, lashing out at people for minor slights or perceived wrongs, believing that their behavior is justified due to their status.

This form of narcissism is often centered around maintaining a negative self-image, where the individual believes deep down that they are not worthy of any real respect or admiration, and so must look for validation from those around them.

As a result, the covert narcissist may go to great lengths to get the attention, admiration, and validation that they crave – even if their behaviour doesn’t make sense from an outside perspective.

What is the root cause of covert narcissism?

The root cause of covert narcissism is not yet fully understood, however, research and theories point to childhood experiences and attachment styles as possible contributing factors. It is believed that individuals with covert narcissism may have had an unstable or tumultuous childhood, either due to experiences of neglect and/or abuse, or because parents were excessively demanding and withheld emotional support.

As a result, these experiences may have led the individual to develop an insecure attachment style and an impaired sense of self. In order to protect themselves from further hurt, they may have developed overly defensive strategies that are rooted in narcissism, such as an intense desire to be seen as the victim, a need to be the center of attention, or an inflated sense of entitlement.

Additionally, some research suggests that experiences of parental invalidation could also contribute to the development of covert narcissism. Ultimately, the root cause of covert narcissism is complex, and likely involves a combination of childhood experiences, personality traits, and environmental stressors.

How do you deal with an angry covert narcissist?

Dealing with an angry covert narcissist can be extremely challenging and difficult. It is important to have a plan in place to properly handle their tantrums or emotional outbursts. The most important thing to remember is to not engage in any argumentative or hostile behavior.

This will only fuel the narcissist and encourage them to continue their aggressive behavior.

Start by allowing them to express their anger and frustrations, but try to remain as neutral as possible. Remain calm, cool, and collective and try not to take anything they say personally. Instead, focus on how their behavior is making you feel without lashing out.

Also, acknowledge the narcissist’s feelings but do not add any commentary or judgment. Offer validation and understanding, but not agreement. This will help them feel heard, but not blamed or judged.

It is important to set boundaries and limits with a covert narcissist. They may push and test boundaries, so it is important to be firm, consistent, and clear about your expectations.

Finally, take care of yourself. Debating a covert narcissistic individual’s behavior is likely to be an unproductive experience and will likely lead to feeling overwhelmed, powerless, or frustrated. Therefore, it is important to take time for yourself to practice self-care, such as journaling, engaging in leisure activities, spending time with supportive people, and getting restful sleep.