I have become more aware of the dark gifts of covert narcissists.Their act is so smooth that it deceives most of us, even highly trained therapists, psychiatrists, custody judges, social workers, domestic law attorneys and the list goes on. Don’t be surprised if you have been compromised by the gifted covert narcissistic man or woman who makes you believe that he or she is genuine and deeply cares about you and wants you in his/her life. His words and manner are so convincing—the eyes sparkle and hold yours. The words glide perfectly out of his mouth. He knows exactly how to move toward you, give you the look that you cannot resist and dare you to say “no.”. Most of us can’t. We are taken, hooked, goners, filled with desire from head to toe. Our frontal lobes are temporarily out of commission. That’s the initial power of the presence of these clever seducers. They strike us as genuine with enough vulnerability to be convincing. The false self of the covert narcissist charmer type is exquisitely honed like a fine piece of ancient 22 karat gold jewelry.
This type of covert narcissist is oozing with charm–the kind that gets under our skin and won’t go away easily. These guys learned to be unforgettable long ago. Many CN men are golden boys of mothers who worshiped them. They were prized from the moment of conception, celebrated at birth, treated like princes, adored for their handsomeness, precociousness (which was emphasized and rewarded by mother), kept the center of attention despite other children in the family who were treated like afterthoughts. Early on these gifted coverts– male and female– knew there was nothing they could not achieve and no one whom they couldn’t seduce–intellectually, psychologically, sexually.
These are ways to help yourself make the discrimination between the covert narcissist and the genuine article:
If everything about this person is too good to be true–too perfect—Pay Attention. Very Likely It Is.!
Listen to your intuition and the messages that are pouring into you.
You will hear warnings. They may be faint at first but if you are tuned in, the messages become clearer and stronger–Stay Away!
Give yourself credit for knowing exactly what another person wants from you. The narcissist always has something in mind. He doesn’t give himself for free. There are big strings and conditions attached to what he is “promising.” Listen to the music not just the words which make your mouth water.
At some point he gives himself away. You will notice that when you add it up, he is emotionally distant. He is skilled at going through the motions of intimacy but cannot fully participate in closeness, deep caring, genuine empathy and commitment. His attention span for going the long haul with someone is short. You notice the restlessness now–the need to flee a situation that could become psychologically very close.
Be kind to yourself if you have fallen for one of these gifted deceivers and manipulators. There will be a next time–there are so many covert narcissists to whom you will say “No” at the outset.
Celebrate your authenticity, warm humanity, deep commitment to those whom you love. Loyal to the core–you go the distance for those whom you hold dear. This is your greatness and your joy.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.