A narcissist is a person who’s highly selfish, lacks empathy, and believes they’re superior to others. They have delusions of grandeur and an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
Since every human being is selfish to some degree, we all have narcissistic traits.
In some people, however, narcissistic traits are present to a pathological degree. They have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Their lives are negatively impacted by their narcissistic traits.
Narcissism is of two types:
- Overt narcissism
- Covert narcissism
As the name suggests, overt narcissists openly display their narcissistic traits. They’re extroverted and appear confident, arrogant, charming, and aggressive.
In contrast, covert or vulnerable narcissists tend to be introverted and come across as shy, self-conscious, and insecure. They do have an exaggerated sense of self-importance but don’t overtly display it.
Both overt and covert narcissists seek narcissistic supplies, i.e., people they can devalue and/or gain admiration from. Both believe they’re unique and superior. Both lack empathy and are likely to exploit others for personal gain.
Female covert narcissist traits
Female covert narcissists have the following traits:
A female covert narcissist is a source of negativity. She’s always unhappy and dissatisfied. She always has someone or something to criticize. She does this because if things ‘out there’ are bad, she must be different and good.
It’s a way for them to make everything appear uglier compared to themselves.
This habit of theirs makes them emotional vampires. You can’t stay in their company for long and not be irritated and drained.
Deep down, they have a shame wound that makes them believe they’re flawed. So they have to dump this shame onto external objects so that your attention isn’t focused on their flaws but on the flaws ‘out there’.
2. Victim mentality
She plays the victim to avoid responsibility, shift the blame on someone else, and gain sympathy. You can’t have a normal discussion with her because she turns almost any conversation into a sob story in which she’s the victim.
She also fishes for compliments by saying something negative about herself.
In doing these things, she loses track of all logic and may even resort to lying. For instance, she might accuse you of not helping her in a time of need even though you did. She has to frame herself as a victim no matter what.
3. Poor communication
She has no concept of boundaries. She can’t healthily communicate her needs and emotions. When she’s upset, she makes everyone around her upset so that they also feel what she feels.
Similarly, she can also be bad at hearing you out and seeing things from your perspective.
4. Lack of accountability
You can’t hold her accountable for her actions because she never admits her faults. She doesn’t accept her faults because doing so would trigger her shame wound. While no one likes making mistakes, in her mind, ‘making mistakes’ means ‘being flawed’.
5. High sensitivity to criticism
While nobody likes criticism, constructive or otherwise, narcissists tend to display an exaggerated negative response to criticism. She dismisses your valid criticism or shifts the blame onto you.
She uses manipulation techniques for two primary purposes:
- To avoid responsibility and accountability
- To maintain power and control
Covert narcissists get a kick out of controlling those around them. While power dynamics is a reality of human nature, she seems over-concerned with power and control. She uses subtle emotional manipulation techniques to control others.
She competes with your other relationships because she wants you to invest in her alone. If you’re in a relationship with a covert female narcissist, she’s likely to isolate you.
7. Obsessed with image
Caring about your image and reputation is a normal human tendency. Narcissists, however, are obsessed with their image. Everything to them is about their image. Many narcissists are viewed positively by their broader social group but negatively by their immediate family members.
She isn’t genuinely interested in anyone because she lacks empathy, thinks she’s superior and has trust issues. No matter how hard you try to connect with her emotionally, she’ll seem distant and neglectful.
She says things like ‘friendships are a waste of time’ and ‘we all die alone’. She believes these things because she’s uninterested in nurturing emotional connections. She’s so steeped in her own negativity that she has no energy left to nurture connections.
9. Delayed revenge
Because she is covert, she doesn’t want people to see her narcissistic traits. So, if you criticize her or say something neutral that she misinterprets as criticism, she won’t do or say anything in the moment. But she will remember it and take revenge later.
Think you might be a covert narcissist? Take this covert narcissism test to get a score.