I had never heard of A Covert Narcissist before…but it turned out to BE the answer to my deepest mind-swirling questions. Some people are NOT as they appear. You may have also come across ‘this person’? In 2016 I met a man who appeared to share many of the same core values, including trust, truth, and honesty. I fully believed him to be trustworthy and who he said that he was. This turned out to not be the case at all, and it left me confused and shocked to the core of my being! I went on a quest to try to make some sense of something that made no sense at all to me. Interestingly, the answer came to me when a random video appeared on YouTube, entitled Covert Narcissists: Wolf’s in Sheep’s Clothing?” by Ross Rosenburg.
Debbie Mirza wrote the book “The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist…” she describes them as often being well-liked, charming, charismatic, kind, appearing humble and empathetic, being good listeners and appearing to care deeply. She says:
“You can feel incredibly loved by them, and they simultaneously make you feel terrible about yourself. They use cloaked tactics that you don’t see for years. Coverts hide all these attributes so people will like and trust them, they know if they are obvious about their self-absorbed traits, people won’t like them. They know they must appear humble to be liked and revered. They know how to play people and how to charm them.”
They are so tricky because their true selves and true intentions are deeply hidden behind a shiny exterior. Dr. Ramani says charm, charisma, confidence, attractiveness, success, intelligence, and articulateness in human beings are equivalent to colourful feathers and camouflage in animals. They draw people into “their web,” and we can get drawn in unless we are aware.
(This is an excerpt from my article, “The Impact of Narcissism,” which also lists more narcissistic personality disorder traits).
I got drawn into his deceptive web, and THIS was my TRUE wake-up call. To fully and openly trust someone that acts and portrays someone trustworthy and with pure motives and they are not that was profoundly damaging and shocking to my soul. I felt stupid, played, taken advantage of and disoriented. I was full of shame. He was calculating, plotting, and pretending as I was loving, trusting, and future-building. My fragile self-esteem was hanging on by a thread- and my heart and spirit were broken.
How does one process and deal with this and move on and heal from it? I write in detail about this and all that transpired and my healing journey in my chapter of the book” I AM: Releasing the Shame of Narcissistic Abuse.…” Trusting the ‘wrong’ people has been an opportunity to look at ALL the places that have needed healing and understanding in me, which has been transformational! Openly talking about our experiences and connecting with others who have experienced similar things brings shame associated with it out of hiding. We are not alone; knowledge, connection and reaching out are power! Thankfully, there are so many excellent resources available to us as we navigate these healing and exploration waters! I have written many articles on the topic (and Codependency) at www.empathichearthealing.com
For more information on the bestselling, international collaborative book, I AM: Releasing Shame….” and how each of the other 13 authors have healed and empowered themselves (thought their unique modalities) and their clients.
I AM: Releasing Shame Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/iamreleasingshame/
Tamara’s Empathic Heart Healing Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/empathichearthealing05
Durvasula, Ramani S. “Don’t you know who I am?” How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility. Post Hill Press. 2019.
Mirza, Debbie. The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist: Recognizing the Traits and Finding Healing After Hidden Emotional and Psychological Abuse (p. 10, 14-18). Safe Place Publishing. Kindle Edition.