Stop Narcissists

I wrote this article, because there are so many victims of the Narcissists, who don’t know how to protect themselves. And we still don’t talk about this theme enough. I feel deep inner need to spread the word about this terrible thing called Narcissism. With spreading words we can do all that is in our power to stop the Narcissists hurting more and more people. Parents, siblings and partners should love you, not manipulate, use and destroy you. Let's make this world a little bit better by being informed.


When we say the Narcissists, most people imagine individuals, who are obsessed with themselves, who have a grand sense of self-importance and crave attention and admiration. We think that we can tell, when there's one around. But there are also other people with the same personality traits, that are much harder to recognize. They can live with you, work with you, and you would never label them as the Narcissists. We will come back to these people later, now we’ll bring more light to what generally is Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Narcissism (drive to feel special) belongs to the so-called Dark Tetrad (formerly Triad) Personality traits. The other three are Machiavellianism (a cold, chess-playing approach to life and love), Psychopathy (a pattern of remorseless lies and manipulation) and Sadism (a tendency to delight in the suffering of others). People with these personality traits are also known as Toxic People. Dark Tetrad describes four personalities, but there are people who manifest two or even all four of the traits. It’s the correlation between psychopathy and narcissism that makes narcissists dangerous. Let’s concentrate on Narcissism for now.

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

  • have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and being unique

  • are craving admiration and acknowledgment

  • have fantasies about being influential, famous, and/or important

  • exaggerate their abilities, talents, and accomplishments

  • are preoccupied with beauty, power, and/or success

  • believe that the world owes them something

  • exploit others to get what they want

  • have no empathy toward others

  • lie to make themselves look good

  • tell rich stories about themselves from desire to gain trust and manipulate their listeners

  • don’t experience genuine emotions, their ability to verbalize feelings is most likely a learned behavior

  • know how to play on other people's emotions

  • think other people are just tools and objects needed to satisfy their own desires

  • are smart enough to know what you are looking for and pretend to be that


There are two main types of narcissistic personality disorder - Overt and Covert. Overt types can be easily spotted. It's much more difficult to recognize a Covert Narcissist, who is more introverted. In the academic literature they are usually referred to as “Vulnerable”, “Stealth”, “Introvert” or “Closet” Narcissists. This type of Narcissists have the same traits as Overt ones and share the same goals, they just act differently. A Covert Narcissist is like a jar with poison, but instead of being transparent and open, it's closed, nicely packed and labelled Tasty Marmalade and probably coming with the slogan "Best in the World". So if you look for someone who is loud, insensitive and arrogant, you won’t see a Covert Narcissist.

"The Narcissists are subconsciously aware of what they are in fact doing themselves, but they project it onto you, with the result that you then get blamed for exactly what they are doing themselves."

Now we're starting to see, why is Covert Narcissism so dangerous and damaging. It's the worst form of malignant narcissistic disorder. The Covert Narcissists do everything to look like a good person. You can live with a Covert Narcissist for a long time without even noticing that you're being manipulated. You think that you're eating marmalade, but you are getting poisoned spoon by spoon. You feel emotional pain and you even don’t know where it came from and how it evolved. It takes time, courage and knowledge to see things in their purest form - as they really are.


Knowledge helps empower those who are interacting with the Covert Narcissists. You can protect yourself only when you can recognize the narcissistic personality and abuse tactics. So let’s look in details at how the Covert Narcissists act. Read slowly and carefully, it’s a long list. They:

  • give compliments, 'cause they want compliments back

  • use sweet talk to manipulate you

  • are initially very charming and charismatic

  • believe that they know best and that their way of doing things is the correct way

  • have thrill or novelty seeking behaviour

  • counter, block or divert your conversation whenever you want to talk about something that is unpleasant for them. They might even pretend they don't hear you and leave the room without an answer, showing you that you are invisible for them

  • are hypocritical and apply rules to others not themselves

  • lead parasitic lifestyles

  • are well behaved in public, but abusive in private

  • have fun with people only if they're having fun at another’s expense

  • are not acting openly. Instead of directly blaming you, they make you question and second-guess yourself. They can get what they want indirectly through passive-aggressive behavior

  • minimize their accomplishments so people reassure them how great they are. It’s ‘cause they constantly seek reassurance of their talent, accomplishments and skills

  • take things personally and feel distrustful, mistreated, unappreciated, and misunderstood. Although they have fragile sense of self, they dream of greatness and don’t understand why people don't appreciate them. They feel that the world hasn’t sufficiently recognized their uniqueness

  • have feelings of neglect or belittlement, anxiety, and delusions of persecution

  • are highly threatened by opposing perspectives and viewpoints and hypersensitive to criticism

  • regularly violate the boundaries of others, may regularly invade your privacy, go through your things, phone, emails or diaries, or expect that you mind read their wishes. They may even steal your things

  • use more gentle tactics to achieve the same goals as Overt Narcissists. They might appear kinder than them, but don’t be fooled. Their emotional accessibility is rather a performance than a true act of care. They are mimicking emotions of others and are more cunning and deceptive than the Overt Narcissists

  • can make themselves seem vulnerable, good-hearted, shy and humble. They can pretend to be a poor lost child, that needs your rescue. But as soon as you help, they got you

  • play the role of victim and a martyr

  • they do everything to keep the focus on themselves

  • intentionally make you distrust your perceptions of reality or believe that you’re mentally incompetent. This is called Gaslighting

  • are competitive and want to be always on the top, sometimes in unethical ways like cheating

  • withhold such things as money, sex, communication or affection from you

  • lack the capacity for self-reflection and introspection necessary for taking accountability for their actions, so they blame others and the world for their failures or anything that is wrong in their life

  • use projection as a strategy. The Narcissists are subconsciously aware of what they are in fact doing themselves, but they project it onto you, with the result that you then get blamed for exactly what they are doing themselves. This is very sick and wicked strategy that people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder often use. During discussion with them you can easily feel you are going crazy

  • may stalk or follow you, in real life and also online. If you are on social sites like Facebook, they stalk your friends, look in their profiles, then talk badly about them, or write comments, where they don’t belong to show their power

  • deny anything that doesn’t reinforce their grandiose image, you can wave with a real evidence in front of their faces as much as you want

  • try to make you feel small, unimportant and irrelevant, to make themselves bigger, more important and more relevant

  • can enjoy creating confusion and conflicts between people, whether they are the family members, coworkers or friends

  • are more likely to express envy, rather than put down others directly

  • concentrate on empathic, compassionate and caring people. For these people it’s very hard to see, that they're dealing with pure evil, ‘cause they believe there's something good in everyone and that people, who are nice to them can’t lie. No, there are also really truly bad people, who are great actors among us, and it’s dangerous to be naive in this case

  • can’t connect with you and your feelings, just because they are so preoccupied with themselves. They don’t feel remorse for the pain and emotional distress they cause and usually have little regard for your talents and abilities

  • don’t put energy into anything that doesn’t bring them something. As if they said “I help you, but first tell me what will I get from that.”

  • give, when they want something in return or to remind you that they gave you something whenever there’s a chance

  • are not helping for a help sake, they are doing it for others to think about them that they are good. When they do something good, they make sure somebody’s watching. They might even be in a helping professions and appear that they care for others, but they are only motivated by need for recognition or egoistic pride

  • might brainwash you into thinking that they are human beings with morality

  • act like a chameleon changing their identity according who they are talking to

  • are so sneaky that only close people who live with them for longer time can get a glimpse of a person whose words don’t match his or her actions

  • lie and call you crazy, even when they are confronted with a direct evidence. They lie, deny and blame feeling no shame about it

  • can apologize, but only if it serves them and they don’t mean it

  • expect special treatment

  • aren't good listeners. It’s mainly because they are self-absorbed and consider others boring

  • are prone to boredom

  • are hyper-sexual or have deviant sexuality

  • ignore the needs of a child for whom they are responsible. They can place or leave the child in a dangerous situation

  • are more likely engaged in domestic violence, child abuse and incest than Overt Narcissists