Survivors know the difficulty in trying to explain Covert Narcissism to others. Perhaps that explains why a mini-language has sprung up around Covert Abuse. There's no way to explain it without Flying Monkeys, Triangulation, Supply Funnels & Hoovering. Time to brush up!
A covert narcissist is a person who has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) but does not display the grandiose sense of self-importance that psychologists typically associate with the condition. They may appear shy or modest. They can also be known as a Shy Narcissist, Vulnerable Narcissist, Covert, Psyche Killer, Soul Murderer, Jezebel Spirit and Covert Abuser.
Red Flag: A term used by early-stage abuse victims to describe the dynamics of "strange" past events & observations - before learning their official names given by the mental health community. Today's Red Flag is tomorrow's understanding of, say, Reactive Abuse. Red Flags begin where knowledge and learning end. Early-stage Red Flags could include things feeling off. Your friends are avoiding you. Glares. Lots of white lies. Lots of "coincidences" etc.
A type of covert abuse involving a third person, or a "proxy" to carry out abuse on behalf of the covert narcissist. Some people with narcissistic personality disorder may use triangulation to increase their feelings of supremacy, secure their self-esteem, and devalue others while keeping their victim off-balance. It involves recruiting others to attack the abuse victim/target.
Anchoring bias is a cognitive bias that causes us to rely too heavily on the first piece of information we are given about a topic. When we are setting plans or making estimates about something, we interpret newer information from the reference point of our anchor, instead of seeing it objectively. Mark Twain explains it best: "It is easier to fool someone than to convince them they've been fooled."
The term "Bandwagon Effect" describes the tendency for people to adopt certain behaviors, styles, or beliefs simply because others in the group are doing so. It is a cognitive bias by which public opinion can change due to new beliefs that become popular to the "groups." As more people believe the rumor, others "hop on the bandwagon regardless of facts. i.e. It must be true because "everyone" believes it so.
Defensive Manipulation Tactic. Blame shifting is an emotionally abusive behavior in which an abuser sets up a dynamic where the victim comes to believe that they are to blame and that they must work harder to fix the problems (such as improving the relationship.) This never works because the problem is not the victim; the abusive behavior is the problem. Nothing you do will change an emotionally abusive person’s behavior.
CNPD stands for Covert Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It's a Cluster-B Personality Disorders found in the DSM-5 under "Narcissistic Personality Disorder" (or NPD). CNPD is often referred to as Covert NPD or Covert Narcissism. Although the abuse is dished out by a seemingly sweet & loving person, it is considered on of the most dangerous (and diabolical) forms of abuse in existence.
Covert Narcs target friendly, giving, caring, empathic and compassionate people. Typically the two partners develop complementary roles to fill each other's needs. The codependent person has found a partner they can pour their self into, and the narcissistic has found someone who puts their needs first, which is essential to a covert's identity.
Covert Abuse embodies harm done to a " target" by scheming secretly or manipulating others to carry out attacks. Synonyms; Narcissistic Abuse, Abuse via Proxy. Narcissistic Victim Syndrome is a phrase that collectively describes these specific and often severe effects of narcissistic abuse. Many experts acknowledge narcissistic abuse can have a serious, long lasting impact on a victim's emotional health.
The distinction between Covert & Overt Narcissists is outwardly noticeable, but inside they think and operate in quasi-identical fashion. People with overt narcissism are typically extroverted, bold, and attention-seeking. They may become aggressive or violent if a person or situation challenges their sense of status. The covert type is less obvious. A covert narcissist may come across as shy, withdrawn or self-deprecating.
You'll need to become an expert in these and other manipulation tactics. Deflection, Rationalization, Reaction Formation, Denial & Blame-Shifting barely scratch the surface of the Covert Narcissist's arsenal of defensive manipulation tactics. Offensive tactics such as gaslighting and making false allegations against the victim often account for the majority of the mental harm caused to the victim.
Offensive Manipulation Tactic. These are synonyms of Minimization. Short Definition of Devaluing: Words or behaviors that point out other's inadequacies, and which are meant to diminish their sense of importance and place them above the victim on some status hierarchy. (Psychology Today)
A discard can be the last movie in the Hoover Cycle. The Covert Narcissist may begin, subtly, insidiously, and covertly, to devalue the abuse target. Typically the discard occurs when the narcissist orchestrates the exit from the relationship (usually) in an egregious emotionally painful way.
Emotional baiting is a tactic used to provoke an angry or emotional response from the target. It's designed to incite rage which then becomes "proof" that the victim is the one who's "abusive, crazy or unstable." It is similar to Reactive Abuse.
The Narcissist's facade is an A1 priority. See what happens when you confront the covert narcissist? Image & reputation supersede everything, even kids. Victims who pose a (credible) threat to expose a narcissist's facade, are in a state of heightened danger. Psychologists warn of the dangerous to, even, reveal you're researching narcissism to a covert narcissist.
Flying monkey is a slang term for a proxy abuser who acts on the covert abuser's behalf. It's a sad moniker for those who can be manipulated to harm others based on mere gossip and innuendo. Proxies can be dangerous, too. Charles Manson's proxies are still in jail 50 years later.
Covert Narcissism is difficult to detect, even for trained professionals. However, Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures changes in the brain's blood flow. fMRI Scans can identify Covert NPD via the lack of blood flow to brain centers in charge of lying. A pending fMRI Scan can upset a self-aware Covert Narcissist.
The king of all manipulation tactics. It's virtually impossible to detect and virtually impossible to stop. Virtually. From a Psychology Today article: Gaslighting is a form of persistent manipulation and brainwashing that causes the victim to doubt themselves.
Grey Rock is a coping mechanism intended to diffuse the covert narcissist by avoiding contact as much as possible, and when forced to interact, refrain from showing emotion and give monotone, simplistic replies. This provides a measure of protection from getting baited into "reacting" to the abuser.
Yes, it's named after the vacuum for the back-and-forth (energy) sucking. Hoovering is a type of emotional abuse done by a narcissistic person when they think the victim is seeking to move away. Cycles of Love-Hate, or War-Peace continue until the victim stays away, or gets a "discard". (See #13).
Another name for a covert narcissist; The introverted narcissist uses a gentle approach to explain why something is "always" the victim's fault. Coverts might even pretend to be a victim of your behavior or engage in emotional abuse to put themselves in a position to receive reassurance and praise from enablers.
One of the core, fundamental strategies of a covert narcissist is to slowly (or quickly) isolate you (the victim) from your own support system. Rumors started behind your back often with false allegations of physical abuse, etc by the Covert Narcissist usually gets the job done before targets realize it.
An A.K.A. for Covert Narcissistic Personality Disorder, often used by ministers, pastors & victims who link covert abuse to the Jezebel Spirit in Revelation 2:20. Jezebel was also a queen who practiced (demonic) Baal worship. She had many of God's messengers & prophets murdered. Jesus advised to "not tolerate" this demonic spirit.
Love Bombing is usually an early-stage offensive manipulation tactic to bond with "the target" and gain trust. Once trust is gained, "love" is displayed in cycles (intermittent reinforcement). Love Bombing happens in a Hoovering Cycle.
Don't confuse with other Narcissist classifications. Malignant Narcissism is like an "evil accelerator" for either, Covert, or Overt Narcissists. A Malignant AND Covert Narcissist makes for a dangerous or even murderous combo.
It's a measurable scale indicating narcissism levels in anyone. We all have narcissism to varying degrees. Moderate narcissism is a key to mental health. However, scores at the extreme ends of the scale are a cause for concern. fMRI scans can also be used to detect Covert NPD.
In terms of Covert Narcissistic Abuse, projection typically manifests in the victim being (falsely) blamed for what the covert abuser is actually doing. In other words, a Covert Narcissistic Abuser projects their own abusive behavior onto their target.
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) like PTSD, is a mental condition in which survivors of severe trauma can be triggered to relive the trauma, even years after the event. Covert Narcissist Abuse Victims frequently suffer life-long emotional scarring, depression & even brain damage in extreme cases.
It's like this: Covert abuser purposefully incites victim until there's a (natural) outburst. Then abuser claims the outburst is "proof" she's the one being abused. Meredith Miller (Inner Integrations) did a great presentation on Reactive Abuse.
One sign you're with a Covert Narcissist is if it seems like most (or all) your special days are "somehow" ruined or sabotaged. High frequency and/or chronic sabotage of important life events becomes obvious to most victims, even if it's in retrospect.
The silent treatment is a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval, and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence. See full article on Psych Central.
Smearing involves purposeful, false rumors spread by the covert narcissist (usually via proxy, or flying monkey) in an effort to discredit, destabilize and isolate the victim further away from friends, family and their support system.
Slang phrase used to describe the "type of murder" Covert Narcissists commit; i.e. murder of soul, psyche, ego, core-self and murder of identity. Narcissists have a vampire-like quality and can suck the life out of their target, literally.
Sowing Discord is a Biblical term for spreading false gossip and rumors. It's the core sin of a covert's smear campaign. God considers it an abomination (Proverbs 6:19). The other abominations listed seem to describe the Covert Narcissist's entire playbook.
Attention seeking behavior - positive or negative - is referred to as Narcissistic Supply. Narcissistic supply is a form of psychological ego addiction in which the narcissist requires, and even demands, limitless special treatment. To gain this attention, narcissists often use a false self to attract others.
The Covert's Narcissistic Supply begins with "Targeting" the right type of victim (or "supply") which usually means someone who is a co-dependent, empathetic & compassionate type of person; or people that are easy to manipulate.
Triangulation is the act of manipulating a third party to attack a victim. It's a highly-effective strategy to earn an advantage over noted rivals by manipulating them into conflicts between one another. Triangulation (often called "Abuse via Proxy") is a covert abuse method used by narcissistic abusers to comfort and protect their super-fragile ego.
A synonym for a Covert Narcissist; or introverted, shy, or a vulnerable narcissist. Covert, Victimized are most-used. Victimized (or Covert) Narcissists "play the victim" when in truth they are the ones abusing the falsely maligned victim (often via of a smear campaign based on lies & deceit).
People with strong narcissistic tendencies and other dark personality traits tend to blame others for their own bad behavior. If they are lying, then they will accuse others of lying. If they are cruel, they will say that others are cruel. If they are stealing and scamming, then they will accuse others of stealing and scamming. See the Psych Central Article.
Abusers can "weaponize courts" explains Legal Expert, Rebecca Zung in her blog. UNSANE documents the abuse target's defense against false allegations. The UNSANE story contains the incredible response which turned the tables on the abuse permanently. Books on the topic include Negotiate Like You Matter and Splitting (on dealing with narcissists in court.
This phrase can be found in the Bible, as a reference to people who appear outwardly sweet and seem harmless, yet attain joy for being divisive and purposefully destructive. Dr. George Simon's masterful 2010 book on manipulation and covert narcissism is aptly titled, Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.
This manipulation tactic can be used both, defensively and offensively, depending on the situation. It can be used defensively to avoid answering certain questions. It can be used offensively to incite a reaction from the victim, usually in a public setting. Synonym; Crazy Talk, Talking in Circles & Crazy-Making Communication.
If we are this cool on a website, imagine what we can do with a few emails between now and the release of the movie.
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