Covert Narcissistic Sisters Play and Deceive with “Poor Little Me”

Covert narcissistic sisters play the “poor little me” role in their families to psychologically unhinge and wreak havoc on their non-narcissistic brothers and sisters. They start very early telling lies to the parents about their siblings while playing the innocent role to the hilt.

As they grow older their sabotage escalates, causing great pain emotional and psychological pain. They plot and take boyfriends away from their sisters by telling lies or revealing secrets or conjuring up dirty secrets. They are believable; their lying skills are impeccable.

Parents often make excuses for them especially if this the Golden Child:”Oh, she is shy and dependent; she is not capable of lying; give her a chance; she’s unsure of herself; you have to be kind to her.”

As she grows older and her psychopathology deepens the CNS becomes even bolder. As the parents age, the CNS  becomes “indispensable” to them. In secret she plots and gains power and access to all of their financial assets—properties, investments, etc.
When the parents are gone, everything is left to her—a pittance or less to the other siblings.  Who’s saying “Poor Little Her” now!

Covert narcissists are difficult to detect. Learn to recognize them. They are too “good” to be true. Always trust your Intuition, your Gut, that Sense of Knowing you have that is a great gift. 


Covert Narcissists Induce Shame in their Spouses

The covert narcissist is the trickiest and most subtle individual to identify as a personality disorder. He or she appears to be impeccable in facade, character, integrity, professional status, values, morals–the list is a long one. You have met many covert narcissists without knowing this. Don’t blame yourself or expect that you would recognize these individuals. It takes a lot of research and deep observation to identify one of these hidden in plain sight toxic people. Many of them wear the robes of holiness and goodness. They are beyond reproach. Often they hold unquestioned authority as members in high standing of spiritual movements or religious organizations. This makes it very difficult to question the true content of their characters. Those who are very powerful and influential covert narcissists in the world are also viewed as “heroes” in many people’s eyes. Don’t be fooled by the titles, degrees, professional training, adulation, prizes, medals, public praise that others receive. For the covert narcissist this is a perfect setting for him or her to get the ego supplies that are so desperately needed to fulfill an extreme sense of self entitlement.

Being married to a covert narcissist the spouse is continually subjected to injected  feelings of shame. They might even use the old phrase: “You should be ashamed of yourself.” You say to yourself–”For what?” But beneath the surface you feel on a visceral level that you are wrong and that there is something intrinsically the matter with you. This is a horrible trap. You have no reason to feel shame and to be emotionally burdened by a dreadful lie. The narcissist is bullying you with this powerful cruel projection to control you and make your life a living hell. Those who have a conscience feel shame from time to time. The narcissist does not have a conscience and is shameless. How absurd when you look at this rationally and understand that you have been terribly wronged and treated with complete disrespect.

There is a time of decision when being married to a covert narcissist is no longer an option. The loud siren is going off. “Leave, let go and lead your own life!” Study the narcissistic personality in-depth so that you understand their true nature, including that one who is hiding behind “goodness and “perfection”–the covert lying in the weeds ready to ambush you. Learn to appreciate your true nature, to become more entitled to true respect, to recognize your many creative gifts, to become more acquainted and comfortable with your true self–the authenticity of you as an individual.


Covert Narcissistic Snakes in Tall Beautiful Green Grasses

Do not be surprised or angry with yourself if you have been fooled by a Covert Narcissist. They are among the most clever of beasts. Their image is impeccable. They can be charming in an arresting manner, unlike the grandiose narcissist who is over the top with his/her delusional visions, bombast and extreme demands of self entitlement. No, these Coverts are so slick they suck us in quietly with their pseudo authenticity. They have been practicing this and perfecting it all of their lives. This is how they survived— by being fake but very believable. They are convinced of being genuine with their pseudo humility, truthfulness and fake empathy that feels so real.

I have found that it can take some time to identify Coverts. I have been fooled by them. I was shocked later when I realized their true natures. One man, an acquaintance, struck me as very talented, truly magnetic, even spiritual. He was very handsome to boot. He looked you straight in the eyes and you began to immediately feel that he cared deeply about you as an individual. I have had only a few direct interchanges with him. I came away at first very impressed with his “character” and “empathy.” Had I been in contact with him more often, it is likely I would have seen through him sooner. I made an inquiry about finding a referral to help me with a project. He was very enthusiastic and signaled affirmatively. A bit later he adroitly pulled himself out of the matter. I registered this shift but let it go. The clincher for me came later when I discovered that he revealed his true nature. As part of an investment negotiation the CN cleverly and ruthlessly strong armed the other person involved and threatened to expose some of his personal secrets if he didn’t go along with the Covert’s agenda. The other person was sufficiently terrified and capitulated to this Covert’s treachery.

I have permanently crossed him off my list. No avenging angel will swoop down and deliver him a mortal blow. It is very likely that he will go about unscathed—manipulating most people with his arsenal of magnetism, brightness and irresistible charm.

Those who are closely involved with covert narcissists have a very difficult time. I understand and I am sorry about the pain that you have and do endure. Never blame yourself for not recognizing the true nature of these individuals sooner. When you do, pay very close attention to what your intuitions and observations are telling you.  Remember—self care is essential.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Covert Narcissistic Sibling Playing the Meek Card

Covert narcissistic siblings can tear a family apart, pitting one sibling against the other and vying for influence and specialness with the parents. The covert narcissist, unlike his grandiose, magnetic, larger than life brother or sister narcissist, this concealed type is very slippery and difficult to detect. Often he or she becomes the child and later the adult who is needy and at the same time, gives preferential treatment to mom or dad to get whatever he wants. The covert narcissist has a gift for making others feel sorry for him. He prays on the mercy of others and misuses and distorts the true reality.

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Gifted Covert Narcissists Fool Most People–Even Therapists

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.

Covert Narcissists–Making You Feel Guilty

True holiness is rare and sublime. It is based on a deep inner core of compassion, empathy and true selflessness. The person traveling the spiritual road each day comes without fanfare or entourage. He lives simply with ego dropped. He is flexible and open and has a great sense of humor.

A type of covert narcissist is the one who wears the martyr’s crown and dresses in sackcloth and ashes.He/she demonstrates externally how devoted he is to helping others, being exceedingly moral, putting others before himself, self sacrifice with complaint. This is the external image which is often very convincing with friends, acquaintances and family members.

When you encounter a pseudo holy covert narcissist one on one, they will attempt to activate feelings of guilt in you. They remind you from years past of some misstep you made, an insensitive remark you made, a foolish small oversight. They tell you to ask for forgiveness from the person you “harmed” but also from God. You deserve to be punished from their point of view. They impose their beliefs on you and if their personality is forceful enough, you feel guilty and inadequate. They create many victims including their children who experience great shame. With children this is a form of brainwashing. The child believes that there is something intrinsically bad about him. Fortunately, in many cases children grow up to recognize that their parent was misguided. Many benefit from psychotherapy which helps clients to look into themselves, to understand the projections imposed on them by the covert narcissistic parent. The covert narcissist in any role in your life is always projecting his/her unconscious toxic contents on to you. Remember this–It is vital information when you are interacting with a narcissist.

The take away is to learn to respect and protect yourself, to trust your perceptions, insights and intuitions. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Telephone Consultation: United States and International

Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life


Identify Covert Narcissists-Show Them the Door

Covert narcissists are among the most difficult to recognize. They have such a smooth act going that they have been practicing all of their lives. How can someone who is so self-effacing and self critical, be such a louse. That’s because they have learned to play so many roles with great skill. Some of them are: “I’m helpless and need you desperately.” “You are the most wonderful person I have ever met. I don’t deserve you.” “I want you to be my mentor; I look up to you.” “You are so great; I want to be just like you.” “I have fallen in love with you and can’t let you go.” That last one is one of the best if we can admit it.

First, take time to research in depth all of the facets of the narcissistic personality disorder. Beneath the well faked humility, the covert narcissist possesses all of these traits. He/she may not be grandiose and they usually aren’t. But they feel superior to others, are self absorbed, deceitful, manipulative, chronic liars and exploitive without a pinch of empathy.

Especially if you are very attracted to this person, hold off on your impulses to get more intimate and take a long view and a microscopic look at this individual. It is well worth your effort and time. You will spare yourself a lot of misery not getting caught up in the narcissistic web. Always use your intuition. If you are finely tuned to it, they will give themselves away. Be patient and highly discerning. I wish you the very best. I know you will prevail. Visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book: amazon and amazon kindle editionEmail:

Varieties of Narcissistic Rage I

Beneath the surface the narcissist is always seething with rage. Some narcissists are clever concealers. No one in their external environment would ever suspect that in the privacy of their homes they are out of control screamers. It is not unusual for them to literally get in your face. You watch the veins of the face and neck bulging, wondering when they’re going to pop. I have heard many horrendous stories of a narcissistic parent’s menacing ways. Some narcissists carry out physical beatings on their children. Others prefer the psychological torture of maintaining an environment of terror and panic. By keeping the anxiety temperature at the highest levels, children and spouses are in a constant state of uneasiness. This makes them easy pawns for manipulation.

One of the most unpleasant varieties is that of the narcissist who creates ugly public scenes to get what he wants, when he wants it. He will accept no authority other than his own. When he is in restaurants, stores, at meetings and his argument is not going well, he simply turns up the volume to full blast. The people around him are first shocked. Then they become frightened. I have seen many narcissists get their way with this full throated approach.

The opposite is the covert narcissist–that charming, gracious, attractive, “humble” individual who pretends to be a saint but has been plotting your occupational, marital or psychological demise for a very long time. These are the tricksters, those double agent narcissists who present themselves as saviors and then go into all out combat to destroy you when the right moment arises. They are the schemers. You may even believe they are your ally. Never be surprised among family members. When it comes to wills and trusts there is often treachery and betrayal. An aunt, parent or sibling has plotted most of his life to acquire the family wealth, leaving crumbs to everyone else. He or she plays up the aging matriarch or patriarch, tells lies about the other family members, fabricates scandals, even crimes. These fictional tales are believed by the aging parent. The villain here makes sure that he maintains his role as savior to the parent holding the bulging purse of gold. He goes out of his way to be unusually attentive. He orchestrates his meticulous moves in such a way that he is trusted completely and given complete control of the estate and all of its holdings. This knowledge remains secret until the parent is deceased.. All hell breaks loose when the other family members learn the truth of the betrayal. But it is too late. This treacherous deed is a way of obtaining the maximum of narcissistic supplies for himself and at the same time disrupting and eclipsing the lives of other family members. The narcissist has achieved his only goal—winning at any cost. This is the circuitous route his rage has taken—the web of lies, deceits, plotting, secrecy, revenge and destruction. These narcissists have no conscience and never look back on what they have done. They easily justify all of their evil moves. They deserve to have everything. They are entitled to all of the spoils and winnings. That’s the way they play their dirty game, stepping on friends and family members to reach their goals.

One particularly egregious type of narcissistic rage is revealed in the endless fight for custody of children that is waged for years. The narcissists doesn’t give a damn about his children with the exception of a child he can use as an echo of himself. His children are possessions to be used to take revenge and destroy the life of the ex-wife or ex-husband. I have witnessed too many occasions in which the narcissist has used loopholes and machinations of the justice system to obtain a substantial amount of custody of his children. This is not done out of love but spite. Even further, it speaks of sadistic measures on his part that are meant to land a final blow to the non-narcissistic spouse who truly loves the children.

Waging these battles is very tough and requires the support of an excellent attorney who has mastered family law and understands the dark meanderings of the narcissistic mind. If you are in this position, do not give up or give in. Gather support around you from every quarter. You may lose some of your financial assets (or not) but you will have saved your children. That is the greatest achievement of all—creating a peaceful, emotionally consistent and calm, affectionate and loving, affirmative and creative life for your children. This is their legacy–the demonstration of the depth of your love. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book: and amazon kindle edition

Covert Narcissists Convince Us They Are Good People

Covert narcissists fly under the radar. It can be very difficult to identify them before they have psychologically ambushed you. Polite, humble, soft spoken, respectful in manner, the covert narcissists conceals his true nature with great skill. He/she comes on the scene unobtrusively. They are at your service, appear to be good listeners and are clever actors of pseudo empathy. In the first moves the covert narcissist appears to be very sincere. He/she has your best interests at heart. This is the bait and the trap. You come to trust and count on this seemingly considerate person who is so interested in your life and goals. The covert narcissist thinks long term, way down the road. He does favors for you and you take him into your confidence. All the while the covert narcissist is sizing you up. The closer he/she comes in, the greater his opportunity for exploiting you. Like all narcissists, these individuals don’t bother with people they can’t manipulate and deceive. Those who romantically fall for the covert narcissist are bound to be very disappointed and hurt. These individuals have taken your measure and know that by romancing you and becoming an indispensable part of your life that they will own your feelings and possess you psychologically. It is not surprising that the covert narcissist chooses a partner or spouse based on social status, professional accomplishments and social and business connections. Whether it is direct or covert, the narcissist is a user who only becomes involved with those whom he can use and increase his power and economic reach. Most individuals are stilled fooled by the covert narcissists because of his low key style, well polished pseudo empathy and his quiet charm and loyality to you. Protect yourself. Narcissists are not good people–they are users and abusers who are eclipsing your life.

Take time to understand all of the incarnations of the narcissistic personality disorder You will learn how to identify, detach, assert yourself despite every tactic the covert narcissist uses. Visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book: and amazon kindle edition

Covert Narcissists—Get Wise to Their Acts, Baits and Incessant Cruelties

Covert narcissists are among the most difficult to decipher. The can appear to be shy. They are excellent method actors, pretending to be your best friend. Covert Narcissists are magnanimous. They are always watching to get the inside track on you. Most people don’t notice any of these behaviors until these disguised enemies bare their sharp teeth.

Covert narcissists come on treacly, sugary, dependent, overprotective of you and caring. But you begin to notice here and there they are planting small digs at you. They dig and then come back to be your best friend, your confidante. They play the confidante role to the hilt. This is a big red flag. As you look carefully at the covert narcissist, they display no genuine empathy. If you recall clearly, you now know they wanted something from you from the beginning. They were obsessed with taking your power and putting themselves in your place.

Covert narcissists are incessantly cruel. They lie in the weeds. When you are the most vulnerable they strike with extended claws. Never share how you feel with a covert narcissist—that you are down, having to struggle emotionally or financially. They will find these times to demean and humiliate you. Once they have you where they want you the covert narcissist quickly discards you. They believe they’ve gotten rid of you and annihilated you. This pleases them. They are at the top of the heap; you are at the bottom. You now see them clearly with artifice or mask. They are incapable of genuine feelings or empathy. They are cold. They plot all of the time, using their cunning to stalk their human prey. Covert narcissists are highly competitive. They will fight you to the death psychologically. They are incredible competitors. Don’t let them get the better of you or any part of you. Learn about the narcissistic personality disorder in-depth. Assert your own power, mental steadiness and your sense of self entitlement. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book: and amazon kindle edition