Covert Narcissists—Doing their Dirty Work in Secret

When we think of narcissists the grandiose, man or woman of the hour, magnetic figure comes into our minds. Certainly there are many highly successful narcissists who fit this description.

There is another kind of narcissist I call covert whom most people would never think possesses the same fixed and destructive psychopathology as his extroverted relative. Coverts are always under cover. They appear to be meek. We see them blending into the background–always at our service. Some of them drip with compliments to us. They become instant followers. They are full of compliments They ask us questions that make us look very smart. Their body gestures are humble and self-effacing. They appear to be embarrassed by their own presence.

Covert narcissists are very sneaky. They get as much inside personal information they can about you.. They put this in their back pocket so they can use it on you later when they decide to make a power move and wipe you out. They thread themselves closer and closer into your life. This happens in many romantic relationships. The CV has done some research and realizes quickly that you are a great catch—short or long range–a week, a month or even a marriage. Coverts like to see their plans become successful. This is all done with deliberately. Narcissists don’t love anyone–always remember, they are incapable of any real real feelings for another human being that denotes affection, love, caring, etc. With their quiet ways, they draw you in. You may even feel sorry for the CV who is making a play for you He or she is awkward and you think this is innocent and charming. Finally you fall hard, especially if the intimacy card is well played. If you are just coming off of a painful divorce and breakup, all the better for the CV. You are very vulnerable.

The CV treats you like royalty–Anything you want honey? I’m here for you 24/7. This is so appealing to most women. “What a selfless kind person this is?” “Finally, someone I can trust.” None of this is true but you don’t know that yet. Months go by and everything is wonderfully intense and exciting. Not long and the marriage plans are made. After you have been together for a while you start to notice that the sarcastic remarks are pointed at you more frequently, the accusations are coming more rapidly; you see his lips curl more often. But then he’s all sweetness again and you are thrown off. He tells you a story that you believe. He has been having a rough time financially—some bad breaks due to unscrupulous people that took advantage of him. You believe him and give him access to your private bank accounts. They are placed in both of your names. He has already researched your family’s monetary worth and becomes very chummy with your parents. They trust him completely as well. Time moves forward but the nature of the narcissist does not change. You are being betrayed and keep making excuses for his lack of attention to you, his dismissiveness. One day when you least suspect it, he decides you are causing him too much stress and the answer is a divorce. You can’t believe it but it is true. You have been set up all of this time. He hires a very tough attorney and fights you cunningly. As a result he ends up with half of all the assets. Weeks later in the aftermath while you are wiped out from the horror of this experience, he has flown out of town on the winds–of course with the goods he intended to take from you minutes after he met and seduced you. This happens frequently with CVs. They have such great cover and a masterful act. To protect yourself from the covert narcissist, research the narcissistic personality. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Narcissistic Mothers-A Pain in the Pit of Your Stomach

Those who haven’t had narcissistic mothers cannot completely understand just how dreadful they are. Each narcissistic mother is ghastly in her own special way. Some are covert and pretend to be good, even holy. They walk around with golden coronas circling their heads. The family members are often impressed with their piety and spiritual devotion. Then there are the flamboyant, grandiose types who are socially very skillful and charming. They are often the center of attention. They magnetize many people to them who believe that they are superior. Above all, despite the outward persona the narcissistic mother always has certain attributes. She lacks genuine empathy and is incapable of feeling and understanding or caring deeply about another person’s feelings, including her own children. What great performances these women play. In private they are holy terrors who cause fear, anxiety, panic and immobilize their children. The exception is the child chosen by the narcissistic mother as the perfect reflection of herself. This son or daughter (in some cases more than one child is picked) gets free reign of the house, never learns how to treat others with respect, has a superior attitude toward himself and overrides the psychological boundaries of other family members. The children who are not chosen are under the heel of the rampaging narcissistic mother. She is hell to live with. Often these women emasculate their husbands and dominate them completely so that they have no say about their own children.

Adult children often report that they suffered from anxiety,tension even pains in the pit of their stomachs when in the presence of narcissistic mom. You never knew when she would threaten you with punishment or take a swipe at you. Narcissistic mothers are tyrannical and get away with it. In the world they are often considered to be wonderful human beings who are considerate and caring and very charming. This is their great acting job at work. So many people are fooled by them. When you tell someone the truth about a narcissistic mother, they will look at you quizzically as if you are being cruel or simply have something wrong with your thinking processes.

If you are the adult child of a narcissistic mother it is past time for you to get rid of the metaphorical or real pain in the pit of your stomach. To lead your own life, it is often necessary to sever the “relationship” because it has become impossible and abusive. Some victims find that excellent psychotherapy helps them to heal. Be careful in picking a therapist. Make sure they understand this personality disorder very well and be sure that they are not narcissistic personalities themselves.

Celebrate your individuality, learn to quiet your mind through gentle yoga practice, meditation–sitting and walking, opening up to your special creativity, finding friends who care deeply about you and are capable of empathy. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Covert Narcissistic Spouse–You Become the Bad Person

Covert narcissists are very difficult to detect—even for some clinical professionals. If you have been fooled by a few, don’t blame yourself. They are charmingly cunning, under cover operatives. In many cases it can take a spouse years even decades to recognize that they are married to a narcissist. They have taken the stinging blows of cruel projections, believing that they were at fault.

The covert narcissist uses the camouflage of being a low key person who doesn’t make waves. He/she appears to be unobtrusive even humble. Covert narcissists scurry around, waiting to help you—at your service, especially in the courtship phase and beginnings of the marriage. You wonder:”This is too good to be true but this guy is willing to do anything for me.” Many spouses are so taken with this total devotion and apparent selflessness that they don’t see the red flags flying in their peripheral view.

Covert narcissists begin revealing themselves with small digs and criticisms. You wave it off and tell yourself that your spouse has a lot of career pressures and you have to be understanding. They play a game which I call “I’m up; you’re down” . They know when you are vulnerable and at a low emotional ebb. They often take these times to brag about how indispensable they are at work. This is based on their claim of meticulousness; they don’t make any mistakes. This is untrue but the accusations are coming so fast you feel dizzy. Without warning they point out major mistakes you have made (some of them going back decades). They pick away at you until they draw a strong emotional response. They have caught you by surprise and you are very upset. You feel badly about yourself. You are confused and believe that what your spouse is telling the truth. He isn’t; it’s a lie. You feel emotionally unsteady and trapped. These accusations go deeply into the victimized spouse and reside there. If you have had an abusive childhood and were neglected, it is possible that you have carried feelings of inferiority and inadequacy into your adulthood. This combined with the continuing attacks of your convert narcissistic spouse creates a psychologically toxic environment for you.

Some spouses finally recognize that they are being tormented by someone who has a serious psychological disorder. Many spouses research and discover that they are married to a narcissist who has disguised himself as a good person. He has all of the major traits: lack of empathy, deceptive, frequent rages, manipulative, obsession with a perfect image, chronic patterns of cruelty.

The victimized spouse often makes the decision to sever the marital non relationship. After many years of being the recipient of verbal and emotional abuse, some of these individuals find that quality psychotherapy helps them to re-set their attitudes and feelings about themselves and to recognize that they are good human beings. They are not flawless but real and capable of giving and receiving love. The move forward to lead lives of inner peace, use of their unique gifts and feeling entitled to be treated with respect. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Covert Narcissistic Spouses Max Out Stress Levels

Covert narcissists are a rare breed whom most people believe are fine human beings. While they are showing their spiritual bonafides and everyone is buying their story and heaping on praise, you are married to this impossible person. Very few outside of the family home ever find out how psychologically toxic the covert narcissist is.

Spouses are victims of narcissistic abuse–veiled threats to ruin your reputation, constant put downs and stunning humiliations, being told that you are at fault (when it is the narcissist who has made egregious mistakes), bout after bout of Vesuvian narcissistic rage. Some spouses feel that they deserve this horrendous treatment because they think little of themselves. They have been emotionally pummeled all of their lives and don’t know the difference.

Others know that the marriage is a travesty, that they are suffering from serious symptoms of stress–They are maxed out with chronic headaches, free floating anxiety, hyper-vigilance, insomnia, intestinal discomforts and obsessive self doubt and lack of confidence.

Fortunately many of these victims finally acknowledge to themselves that they can no longer live in these dreadful, life draining circumstances. They want their psychological and physical health back and their stamina and finally, to return to themselves, their lives, their creative gifts, solitude and a promise of peace. Many sufferers of the convert narcissist study the literature and discover that they have been married to one of these severe personality disorders. Some are helped by quality psychotherapy, support groups and friends who are supportive and available at all times. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcisistinyourlife.com

Covert Narcissists–Holier Than Thou Kind

Covert narcissists attire themselves in different camouflages. They are your psychological enemy if you marry them. Despite their pseudo humility or even fake holiness, inside they are narcissistic personalities. They method act the empathy superbly. They give you all of their attention and more when they are actively chasing you or want what you have. One of the most difficult CN’s to recognize is the “saintly” one. (Those who are seeking God or trying to be better human beings through spiritual teachings are completely exempt from this post).

Many of the holy CN’s are brainwashed and insist that you are a sinner. If they are your relatives this becomes intolerable. They tell you that you are going to hell if you don’t believe the way they do. You are looked down upon. Holy covert narcissists know what is best for your soul. They never stop trying to save you. They riddle you with guilt. Growing up in a family of saintly CN’s is particularly challenging. Children often feel guilty that they cannot come up to the moral level of their relatives.

Be sure you don’t marry one of these pretenders. Highly spiritual people are nonjudgmental. They tend to their own souls and have compassion for you as a person. They wish you well and have respect for you, even if you are an atheist.

To protect yourself from entanglements with covert narcissists, study their personality structures deeply. Know what makes them tick and be aware of all of the costumes that they wear to fool you. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

Covert Narcissists Play Martyr Role

Covert Narcissists convincingly play the part of the victim. Some of them become the “martyr” as an ultimate way of controlling others– especially their spouses. How can someone raise their voice to a person is hurting so much. CNs move back and forth in this role depending on how well it is working for them. In effect they blame their spouse for the very cruelties that they have perpetrated. A CN can be screaming ugly epithets at you one moment and convincingly asking you showing that they have been severely emotionally hurt by you the next moment. This is particularly the case when they are under a lot of pressure, when you have decided to divorce them and are moving for a settlement. They play the victim role to the hilt. They tell family members, your friends, everyone in reach how badly you have treated them, about your monstrous cruelties, your insensitivity and lack of empathy, your emotional coldness. This martyr role is convincing on a lot of people in your social circle. They are playing the victimized good guy who has been emotionally harmed by you. When a divorce is in process, this ploy can be very effective. Do not be surprised at the lengths the CN will go to convincing others that you are the villain because you are breaking up the family.

In some cases the spouses stops in her tracks and decides to make a try a couples therapy and fight to get the marriage on track. That’s how powerful their method acting can be. Never be fooled. This is a narcissistic personality who is playing one of his best cards–the good guy, great husband and ultimate martyr. You know differently. You remember the horrible cruelties visited on you by this toxic narcissist. You have lived behind closed doors with this person and been the victim of his manipulations, accusations, criticisms and exploitations. Hold on to the truth. Do not be swayed. You are entitled to lead your own life and be free of your covert narcissistic spouse. Remember that this personality disorder does not change. Some divorcing spouses benefit from high quality psychotherapy. De your research and choose the right therapist for you. Begin to think about yourself first. Leave the CN with his worn out act behind.

Lead the life that you deserve.Now you are free to think you own thoughts, have your feelings and use all of your creative gifts. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email
: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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 website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Narcissistic Psychotherapists-Identify Them and Keep Your Distance

There are many excellent psychotherapists who help individuals, couples and families to identify, work through and resolve psychological and emotional issues in an ethical and competent manner.

In this post I am speaking about narcissistic psychotherapists—including psychiatrists, psychologists and various counselors who have narcissistic personalities and can cause psychological and emotional harm to their clients. This is particularly the case if the client is in a chronic state of crisis, emotionally dependent, lives in continual fear of abandonment and has severe symptoms of clinical depression and/or anxiety. Some clients live in a state of mental confusion and are delusional in their thinking. These people are particularly vulnerable in the outside world. There are narcissistic therapists whose major goal is to create and expand their business empire. For them only the bottom line that matters—how many patients will pay them at the highest fees possible for their services. Some therapists keep clients for monetary gain over periods of years rather than referring them to a professional or group that can be helpful. .

To protect yourself from narcissistic psychotherapist, watch for these character traits and behaviors in your psychotherapist:
Poor eye contact. The therapist is distracted and restless.
Taking telephone calls or initiating them during a session.
Constant self reference–therapist talks about himself and his family rather than focusing on his patients
Pattern of changing appointment times
Therapist displays behaviors of grandiosity and extreme self entitlement
Therapist does not listen and is not attuned to the client’s feelings, thoughts, fantasies, fears, worries.
Therapist does not make himself/herself available during times of crisis
Argumentativeness and defensiveness–The therapist is always right; the patient is always wrong.
Therapist’s lack of empathy.

It doesn’t matter how many degrees, clinical internships, books authored or prestigious universities a psychotherapist has attended. With all of the perfect credentials a psychotherapist can still be a narcissist especially if this is a smooth well rehearsed convincing role.

To protect yourself from narcissistic psychotherapists, do your homework. Referrals from professional people whom you trust is important. This does not guarantee that this is the right therapist for you. Pay very close attention to your intuition. If you are getting the impression that this therapist has narcissistic issues, regardless of his/her educational and clinical experience, listen carefully to this message. Don’t respond to any pressure a psychotherapist places on you to enter treatment. Interview several therapists. You are hiring someone to work with and help you. You are in charge of this decision. There are many excellent psychotherapists who are highly competent, knowledgeable, clinically and personally fit and highly empathic. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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 edition Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Marital Counseling with Narcissistic Spouses-Taking a Big Chance

Many men and women marry narcissists without knowing the truth about their personality structures. This is not surprising. Narcissists appear to have it all—the image of physical attractiveness, smooth social skills, charm, even charisma combined with great self confidence. What’s not to fall for. In the beginning the narcissist is very attentive to the partner he/she has chosen. Many of these masterful manipulators bend to your every wish, even anticipating what you want before you ask for it. They are lavish in their attention and giving. As time moves on, the emotional scene changes and you notice how demanding, perfectionistic, cunning and deceptive they are. For many spouses a time comes when the non-narcissistic spouse has reached a point where she can no longer tolerate marriage to this self absorbed unempathic partner. Some spouses want to save the marriage. They unwittingly believe that they are dealing with a normal person—someone who is willing to go into therapy with the best intentions and try to sort out the mutual and individual issues that will improve their marriage. This happens frequently and doesn’t have a favorable result.

It is your decision to enter couples therapy. My clinical experience has been that narcissists believe that they are superior, have no imperfections, that problems with the marriage belong to their partner. They will either refuse to go to therapy or if they do will sabotage the process. In some cases, they persuade the therapist to take their side. That’s the cunning of the narcissistic personality disorder.

Rather than trying to fix or change your narcissistic spouse, it would be more helpful to you, if you are seeking therapy, find an excellent counselor and see them one on one. It is important that this professional has studied narcissistic personality disorder in depth and has counseled many spouses who are married to these individuals. Think about your emotional and psychological welfare first and that of your children. There are solutions. They may not preserve the marriage but they will help you to reclaim your life, your emotional and psychological well being. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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

Narcissistic Psychotherapists Cause Psychological Damage

Today we are surrounded by narcissists in our personal and professional lives. Narcissists have entered every profession and many of them are highly successful psychotherapists. Narcissists are often very intelligent. They frequently attend the finest universities, get first rate clinical training and have the confidence and drive to establish a successful clinical practice. Even today graduate schools and medical schools and those in charge of internships do not do an adequate job of weeding out applicants who are not psychologically suited to treat individuals who are suffering from a variety of mental disorders. Most licensing for psychotherapists of various kinds require very little private therapy on the part of the applicant. If your grades are good and you have succeeded in your internships and passed the exams, you have earned a license for practicing psychotherapy.

I have had a lot of experience with clients who have had either mediocre or poor quality psychotherapy that not only didn’t solve their issues but made them feel more helpless, frightened and discouraged. Some clients have been drawn into inappropriate sexual relationships with their therapists and had to deal with severe emotional and mental fallout from this deep level of betrayal. A serious transgression of this kind can cause the patient to emotionally regress and lose ground from all of the work they have done in the past. They have to start over again, finding a professional whom they can trust and is worthy of this role. Narcissists have severe boundary issues. Everything belongs to them. People are their possessions, created for them to do their bidding. When a narcissistic therapist crosses the sexual line with a patient he/she has no conscience about the devastating effects of these actions. The therapist controls the patient, is having his ego and sexual needs fulfilled and doesn’t give a damn about the psychological consequences to someone whom he is professionally and ethically and legally required to protect. The client is in a vulnerable position of transferring powerful feelings and fantasies on to the therapist. Narcissistic therapists often take full advantage of these emotionally fragile individuals who are at their mercy. (There are psychotherapists who are not narcissists who have sexual relationships with their clients.) Fortunately, in some cases, the therapist is reported to the appropriate authorities and his/her license is revoked. However, there are many more instances in which the patient is discarded by the person they trusted the most. They believed they were in love with the therapist and now are mercilessly discarded to fend for themselves. Some patients end up hospitalized and in a very fragile psychological state as a result.

Many narcissistic therapists are never caught and quickly move on to their next victim. The outrageousness of these acts cannot be overstated. A client comes to a professional therapist in desperate need of psycholological help. (There are both male and female narcissistic therapist perpetrators. Male therapists are still more prevalently reported in the literature). Her guard is down—she is highly vulnerable. She believes that a trusting therapeutic alliance is growing between them. The psychotherapist breaks the boundaries of trust and professionalism, has sex with his client and when he is finished with her, he moves on to leave his previous client’s life in a state of emotional and psychological chaos. The majority of psychotherapists are professional and ethical. I am speaking about the exceptions. Nevertheless, narcissistic therapists do a tremendous amount of psychological damage to their patients and to the profession itself. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation
Email
: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com