In today’s article we take a deep dive into the double life of a covert narcissist, and we unveil their public persona vs the private reality. If you have a covert narcissist in your life, then today’s article is a must see.
The first point on this topic is their use of what I call intrusive control. In public, the covert narcissist is known to present themselves as polite and respectful, very respectful of people’s privacy, just like any other person you’d encounter. They try very hard to appear as if they respect your boundaries and personal space. Covert narcissists understand basic societal norms and have worked very hard to present a public image that adheres to all acceptable behaviors. Pretending to respect and honor the rights of others’ boundaries and privacy is a part of their act. However, behind closed doors, they turn into something entirely different. They invade your privacy in ways you would not expect. This could apply to people in their family, personal friends, co-workers, partners, siblings, neighbors, you name it. It could be as blatant as reading your personal diaries or messages without your consent, or it might involve eavesdropping on your conversations, attempting to gain insight into your thoughts and feelings or getting information that they can use against you at a later date. This could even manifest into more serious tactics and possibly criminal behaviors like stalking and spying, where they follow you to gain information about you or even possibly setting up hidden cameras in the house, car, or office. You have to understand that their use of intrusive control isn’t just an invasion of your personal space; it’s a means of control and manipulation. By knowing your secrets and vulnerabilities, they are much better equipped to maintain power and control over you. It’s a way for them to stay one step ahead and manipulate your thoughts and emotions, all the while maintaining their phony public facade. This is an example of the stark contrast between their public image and their private actions.
Another example of their double life and complete hypocrisy is how they publicly portray themselves versus how they behave when they think no one important will find out. They exploit other people’s vulnerabilities for personal gain. In public, covert narcissists typically appear incredibly empathetic, understanding, and completely trustworthy. However, behind closed doors, it’s not uncommon for these narcissists to utilize private and personal information against whoever they have in their crosshairs. For example, they may use secrets one of their children told them in confidence as a means of manipulation and control. They might leverage the past mistakes of their spouse to throw in their face when they want to win an argument, trying to make them feel guilt and shame as part of the devalue cycle and to keep them in a constant state of self-blame, making them feel indebted to the narcissist. They might exploit a co-worker’s fears and phobias about their work performance to get them to comply with the wishes of the narcissist. They could even exploit someone’s financial vulnerabilities by controlling access to money and resources as a form of leverage or threaten to completely withdraw financial support from someone who is dependent on them in order to gain complete compliance from this person. None of these abuse tactics and manipulation tactics are foreign to the covert narcissist, who uses them to dominate and control other people. However, this is in direct contrast to how they behave in public, and the image they present to the outside world. Most people who do not know the narcissist behind closed doors wouldn’t believe that this is how they actually operate when they think no one is watching.
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