One of the most difficult individuals to identify is the concealed or hidden narcissist. They are so clever at disguising their true intentions, lack of conscience, emotional threats to you. Often they appear to be humble and self effacing–butter doesn’t melt in their mouths. They give you just the right kind of attention that makes you feel that you are deeply appreciated and respected. You breathe a sigh of relief and believe that you have found someone whom you can trust. They have a way of putting you at ease and off guard. Concealeds are unlike their grandiose, “look at me” cousins. If anything, they appear to be quiet, undemanding and empathic. They have Ph.D.s in pseudo empathy. That’s how fine of an act they have honed down. You find concealeds in every population. Some thrive in religious circles, spiritual communities, in mental health professions, etcsta. However, they range the gamit in formal education socioeconomic status, social status and circles of influence.
The concealed narcissist possesses the same psychic structure as the grandiose, sun kings and queens that demand attention at stage center and are constantly commanding unlimited applause and adulation. That is the difficulty in recognizing them before they get their psychological hooks into you. They are very cunning and hold their personal cards close to the vest. They are masters of your emotional and psychological “tells”. I daresay some of them are phenomenal poker players.
Concealeds are clever at putting just the right flavors and amounts of their attention on to you. Some act like servants, individuals who are there to rescue you, who declare that without you their lives would lack meaning or value. Concealeds outwardly take the high moral ground. This is a ruse to impress you about their “fine” characters.
Once you are under their spell, you begin to feel the cruel darkness beneath their compelling, seemingly innocuous surfaces. They let the primitive projections fly and catch you off guard. You are shocked and rocked by the incoming waves of corrosive cruelties and psychological assaults. Then, when you think you cannot take it any more, the hidden narcisisst apologizes so convincingly that you let him/her back into your life. This back and forth pattern over months and years saps you of your emotional and psychological energy. But, many of you blame yourself. This is all backwards but you don’t realize that you are not at fault at all. You are on the receiving end of severe psychopathology.
To protect yourself from these hidden narcissists, study this personality structure in-depth. At the same time, start putting yourself first. Learn to take very good care of yourself. If you have not learned how to do this, especially if you were raised in a narcissistic family, it is time to start—-Now.
Know that the concealed narcissist is very difficult to identify. Put yourself first. Take care of yourself with the right amount of sleep, proper eating, an exercise program that works for you, guided meditation, high quality acupuncture, making Beauty and Nature in all of its forms a part of your daily life. Trust your intuition and insight always.
12 thoughts on “Concealed Narcissists Are Psychologically Dangerous”
Based on my personal experience, being from a narcissistic family and having made relationships in search of those who possess those comfortable traits I grew up with, this posting hits home. I’ve found the most difficult aspects of constantly having narcissists in my life is that they seem to be the “giving” type” of person. We are fooled into thinking that they have empathy for us as they know how to bait their victims with offerings of material possessions or experiences that keep us appreciating them. Then, out of the blue, we find ourselves a victim of their spontaneous rage, being blamed for the very inconsistencies they generate.
They will want you to intercede for them because they want to hide behind their facades and multiple facets of emotional turmoil going on within themselves. They are vindictive and you may be used as their agent, who remains clueless as to their real motives to hurt others or gain revenge or leverage toward their intended victims. One such example might be that they may compose a retaliatory letter to a former employee, business associate or their boss, only to ask you to sign or address the letter so the source remains incognito. They may ask you to deliver a package to “a friend” that contains something that they stole or borrowed, maybe illegal substances or something vile that they would not want to be seen delivering or returning. In other words, you become “used” for a sundry of their control mechanisms that they employ until one day, they fly into a rage because you, supposedly, didn’t do something, correctly.
After you are subjected to a series of these rages over time, you then become suspicious about their emotional health. Then, one day, something happens as in Clint Black’s popular song, “Nothing but the Taillights”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1UzjnHjK7A . These are people whose habit of inflicting pain will eventually become obvious. Suddenly, either you won’t know what to do, or you will be forced to wonder about your safety for the present, and/or, future. This person has given you so much, and you are grateful that you seem to share so much in common that it seems like a natural “match-made-in-Heaven”. How could anyone treat you so well one day, a week, or a month, and then produce a tidal wave of rage that makes everything they’ve said nice about you, or whatever they’ve given to you, seem so vain. You might suddenly wonder if this is the same person. These are people with syrup dripping from their mouths, and seemingly from their hearts, but, sooner or later, you discover you’ve been used.
Another recent popular song dedicated to a narcissist is “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri.
These character-types are vain, but venomous persons. The Bible describes them as “vipers”. Image to them is everything — so seemingly “nice”, “loving”, and “generous” seems to fit them, so long as it achieves their motive of self-importance, self-image, and provides them a means to an end. That end is control, exploitation, empowerment, or motive to cause pain — an evil burden they carry, lurking and festering within their souls to quench their thirsty egos and beliefs of self-entitlement.
If you are not a believer in Christianity, you may want to consider obtaining your value through reading the Bible, at this point. You will then be assured that you were created with the same value as anyone else. Narcissists are no better than you, and you don’t have to take their abuse, so learn not to feed them.
You will need positive sources of guidance and reflections in your life, such as these postings, to help you escape the self-destruction being imposed upon you. God bless you for seeking help through Dr. Martinez-Lewi’s keen insights and reflections. If your situation is perilous, you may want to consult her, immediately. Please know that I, myself, found her writings to be a blessing to my life and my dealings with narcissistic behaviors in my past and present relationships. She helped me to understand my position in my family — why I had been treated as “second-rate” — never measuring up to my parents’ expectations of perfection.
More importantly, Linda taught me how to cope with “narcs” through “minimal” or “no contact”. Why so little or no contact? Though it may seem harsh, these are people who constantly seek to take advantage of you in some way. If you “give an inch [to them], they will [eventually] take a mile” and keep coming back to you, for more.
Please know I am offering my postings in great appreciation and admiration for Linda’s work. I am writing without any compensation or desire for recognition. I have not yet made personal contact with Dr. Martinez-Lewi, herself, though I feel I know her through her writings. I perceive we share much in common, as those of us who comprehend what she says, do. I encourage you to give thanks, today, for being on a path toward greater freedom. Truth will provide you freedom.
You nailed it word for word from beginning to end.
Please write more about this personality type and how to cope if you are literally forced to live with them. Thanks!
Thank you again, Dr. Martinez-Lewi for describing this pathology so intrinsically well. You, above all writers, have such a phenomenally great proficiency with the English language/grammer! You write like you are a bird in a tree way up high, looking down below, to the sorrow of the masses, knowing exactly why they don’t sing. We all have the ability to sing, but most of us sing to ourselves. We feel alone and, therefore, don’t have an audience. We sing to ourselves… and you hear us! Thanks a million for all you do, how you write it, and how you have the capacity to write for us. You are a very unique person, my dear! Much love!
How can you escape?(how did you?) (when they keep stealing my Identity papers & emptying my bank accounts)
I’ve tried, over & over.
I too have had years worth of experience dealing with a “concealed”, albeit cerebral narcissist! It wasn’t until I bought Dr. Martinez-Lewi’s book did I begin to realize that the pain, shame, and games that were being hurled my way, had NOTHING to do with me, my worth as a person, but were about a person who deep inside lacks a true identity!
She thinks she is clever with her ongoing, so-slight (but hurtful) actions, but now that I know what to look for, I don’t give her a free pass any longer. Case in point, she & I (we are related by marriage) had to plan a family get-together honoring an family member. She purposedly asked me if my husband liked a certain dish, but never mentioned or asked about my preference. So, in my response, I told her what we BOTH preferred! I let her know that a) her slight wasn’t missed b) I refuse to remain in the “invisible” box, she wanted to put me in!
Thankfully, our interactions are limited to only a couple times a year!
The biggest “take-away” that I learned from my interaction with “concealed narcs” is to NEVER allow them to shred your self-worth, self-esteem! Their bag of tricks include shame; blame; obfuscation; and lies! Immediately RESPONSE must be taken whenever they cross or violate your line of respect! I also have some “defense tools” of my own! Specifically a recording app (on my phone) that I will subtly turn-on before any dialogue begins! I use recordings to a) re-play the conversation, when I feel safe and no longer vulnerable b) to allow others to listen when soliciting advise/support. c) To see if my current feelings/emotions match my initial ones.
I also know that all narcs need a constant supply (source) to feed their egos and that you are only as good as your last performance to them! I purposely use the technique of “gray rock” to make myself blend in the background, so that they can scope out another source, once they realize that I won’t be entering into their inner sanctum!
In closing, I wish that Dr. Martinez-Lewi would write a follow-up book describing all the people that she has helped and the coping strategies that she teaches or has used effectively when dealing with this personality disorder!
Wow Stan, your comment hit home with me, big time. This article did as well, but in my current situation of divorcing a covert narcississt who also shows traits if a cerebral narc at times, these posts and forums about NPD are all I have to really support what im going through… Since finally pulling the mask off my soon to be ex-wife my life has been a living nightmare, filled with an emotional roller coaster ten times as bad as the emotional abuse I was enduring when we were together. I won’t go into the full story right now, but id be happy to if anyone is interested… Basically, in a nutshell I married a young woman 9 years younger than I was about 6 years ago and was with her almost 9 years. We were both recovering drug addicts but 100% sober for the first few years of our seemingly perfect marriage.. Fast forward 4 years into our marriage and we had two beautiful children born two years apart….. Over time things got progressively worse, as far as her affection towards me and the girls. About 2 years ago my wife finished culinary school, with the promise I could further my education next. She quickly gained many accolades as a chef and her time with me and the kids dissipated to almost non-existant. She worked 65-75 hours a week and I quickly became primary caregiver to our children, while keeping a full time job (which I almost lost because her job meant so much more than mine) and providing all the love I could possibly give to our girls. While at the same time as serving as her emotional punching bag and making every excuse in the book for her cold unaffectionate behavior towards me.. She even used a gaslighting tactic very often by saying she never had been affectionate since we met and that I was hyper-sensitive and even took jabs at my manhood by saying my sensitive need for affection and support wasnt something men needed… That drove my insecurity up and really hurt to my core. At the same time I started suspecting she was having an affair, but again I was told I was paranoid and insecure. She covertly emotionally and mentally abused me daily, while I kept everything in house and didnt let anyone in on our real issues. She used me for all her dirty work on the outside by keeping me emotionally hostage and fearing that if I didn’t walk the line, she would have the affairs that I had suspected she was having… It was a nightmare……. Long story shortened, I googled the behaviors she was using towards us and stumbled on narcississm. My jaw immediately hit the floor as story after story by writers and victims explained my own every day life to a T. THE NEXT THING I did was a huge mistake… Apparently I ignored the advice to leave immediately and go no contact. I confronted her with my findings on narcississm………NEVER, ever, ever do that. If your reading this and your in One of these relationships please take my advice…. I had finally had enough and asked her to go to marriage counseling and after a couple days of hounding her about it, she finally agreed… I forgot to say that this came a few weeks after she had admitted to a small extramarital offense. She claimed she kissed a coworker and was fired from the fourth job in two years…But not wanting to throw our marriage away, I wanted to work it out… fast forward again a few days and we went to the marriage counselor …. Let’s just say in the therapy session things did not go her way and she suffered the second narcissistic injury in a week .. The very next day after the counselors session she left the state with our children and filed an ex-parte order of protection against me, attached with false allegations of physical abuse against her and emotional abuse against my children.. even though there’s never been a shred of evidence of physical harm or emotional harm to any of them,I was immediately put on the defensive with my name dragged through the mud; and over two months later without seeing my children for any of the holidays at Thanksgiving or Christmas, i’m still awaiting my first court date because she’s been allowed a continuance and I’ve had to get one of my own to gather money for an attorney and witnesses etc. I need all the prayers and support I can get right now from people who have dealt with this because mutual friends of ours and people close to me have no idea what I’ve been going through and they just look at me with a glazed stare when I tell them she has a personality disorder ….. Thanks for your time
This describes my ex husband 100%! I spent years feeling like I was to blame for his constant cheating and planned to leave each and every single time. But in true narcissistic form his tears and apologizes were so very convincing. By the time he was done my head was so spun I thought maybe if I hadn’t answered his phone, or maybe if I just learned to ignore those “gut feelings” etc…He convinced me that intuition was garbage and just what people said when they were feeling suspicious of someone for no reason. I’ve learned though that our gut feelings are nearly almost always true. With each time he was caught the next time he escalated to another level. First starting with causal online chatting or texting, then stepping it up to arrange to meet and swearing he never did. It finally ended when he was actually so brazen to leave the house every night for months and not come home until late the next morning and refused to explain where he had been. This is when I finally got brave, and angry and flat out wouldn’t stand for it anymore. I refused to take his “I don’t need to tell you anything” response as an answer and began demanding he explain himself. After all we had 2 young children that he was leaving me with night after night. My head became filled with protecting them as I watched my ex slowly start destroying the security of our son since he no longer had a hold on me. Enough was enough and I stood firm. Here’s where I know they are dangerous…when you DO finally stand up to them the attack…physically. By the grace of God I got out…or rather he up and just left. It’s been an uphill battle since then but you can survive this kind of person. Find a support system…family, friends, counselors etc. Don’t hide, don’t stay silent…no matter how crazy your story sounds when you tell it share it. Get it out there…these people ARE dangerous. It amazes me how many people have lived through this and what I’ve shared is only a tiny portion. I should write a book. Anyway, thank you for these posts they’ve been so very helpful for me in getting me through my ordeal.
Wow. You got straight to the point on this one. I just got myself out of a horrible relationship. It was not easy and to today it is not but boy am I glad. Here’s my story please share. I hope it helps someone. https://www.facebook.com/notes/yessi/living-with-a-narcissist/993288664074425
After 10 years of put-downs, gossip, scapegoating and abuse from my partners family – namely his Mother & Sister and to some extent his ex-wife (although I am on the fence about that and maybe she is a victim herself being from the same family). I am confused, depressed, deeply anxious and in therapy.
My partner displays similar traits but is deeply aware of his actions and this whole dynamic himself. Together we do our best. However what I find happens, is that once the smear campaign is in full swing and they start to take you down, and you start going down, the emotion turmoil myself and my partner end up in, empties itself into the world as rage towards each other – i.e. huge fights and the relationship begins to break down in its regular, predictable pattern. Then we become confused.
The way it seems to happen is this, any emotional turmoil you display individually or as a couple is used as a weapon against you – used as evidence of your disfunction and unsuitability. The flying monkeys are working hard themselves to be the ‘golden’ person, relaying stories, sympathizing with the NPD mother or sister, ‘we’re the unfortunate victims’ stories, stay with granny and you’ll be ok. As you start to back away you are accused of tearing a family apart and coming between a mother/son & sister/brother. Or in my partners case, siding with a manipulative b*tch who is destroying our family.
This is where you begin to lose your mind.
You become convinced it is you actually, they are right, you’re a lunatic, a fraud, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, unsuitable for their united, family led by the indispensable matriarchs who are cunningly taking you down and your sanity as well. Yet you’re not so sure it’s them. Maybe it’s you. Maybe they really are right. You start recalling the insults, the abuse and think maybe you deserve it. Maybe you’re so crazy, you don’t even know you’re crazy. Maybe you should leave, or worse….kill yourself.
Hello my ex husband is Narcissist, I wish I knew the signs before we married in 1983. in 2002. I moved my mother who was ill and my legally blind, cerebral palsy, and austic brother in our home. My ex never once offered to help me. He or my ex daughter in law could of at any time took my brother to the movies, or to an activity, but these two never did,
I was going to divorce my ex in 1988 but he was having a heart issue took 2 yrs for him to get back on his feet, then the following year. I found out I had stage 1 cancer. We did not have a good running car to get me to the hospital that was 55 miles away for chemo treatments. I took the Chemo pill instead and was I ever so ill, I had 2 nurse friends in church and they would stop by my home to check on me and my sons who were in school at the time.
In 2002 my ex was working in Texas, then come home till another job opened up for him, then he was gone again. By 2006 he was pretty much drifting out of my life. Finally I was able to afford a divorce. I tried for years to get him to get him to see a counselor at church or at a counseling center. He said he was not crazy, and I should just let him 2 times a year go off and let him travel and he said that would make him alright, I thought What?
He continues to make my life difficult. He is not the biological father of my 2 sons, and not the biological grandfather to my grandsons. He walked out of the marriage when my grandsons were toddlers, My grandsons father had a truama brain injury from a horse training accident.
My son ex wife mother of my grandsons divorced my son.
Then in 2015 of April, after all the help I gave for free to help ex daughter in law, free baby sitting, money for gas, whatever finances I could help her with, taking my grandsons to their doctor and dentist appts. movies, clothes, for 15 yrs. She needed to go get her taining at the police academy, I even worked part time myself as a Case Manager in Youth Services so I could help my ex daughter in law get the education and work experience she needed to help support herself and 2 boys, Little did I know she called my ex husband who is highly Narcistic. Ex daughter in law gave me permission to pic up my grandsons on Feb 14, 2015. She wanted to go to a Concert at a local Indian Casino and go fishing with her new husband of 2 years. Then on Feb 18, 2015 I called her at her job Sheriff Department. She works as a Dispatcher.
She lives and works 100 miles from me in another county where she is
employed, she was mad due to the fact that I asked her if I could wait till early morning Feb 19, 2015 to leave my home early, because my present daughter in law was getting her last radiation treatment of cancer from New Mexico best Cancer Center at UNM. I had told my ex daughter in law that present daughter in law was dizzy, nauseated, and felt very ill from all her chemo to raditation, a surgery to remove a breast. Ex daughter in law had no understanding that if I put present daughter in law on the highway that 70 miles of a lonely 2 lane highway with no cell service nor help if present daughter was to get ill and needed medical attention.
Ex daughter in law put a restraining order against me.
Then few days later the sheriff in my county of residents serviced restraining order papers papers on me.
My ex daughter in law said that I took my grandsons from her resident county to my county, then she said I locked my grandsons in a bedroom which that has never happen. My ex had called me on Feb 16, 2009 and told me ex daughter in law is talking about putting a restraining order against me.
For what he did not know, he use to say I was a good mother, wife, and for sure a great grandmother. Then this past April 8, 2015 he drives from Texas who is also remarried and yells and cusses me in court. My ex was not here in my state nor was he at my home to know what the situation was., The Hearing Officer just hollered back @ him to be quiet or he will hold him for comtempt of court. Hearing officer told him that 3 times. and yet my ex hollered more cuss words at me, ….Isn’t this a technically issue. When in Hearing by the Hearing Officer is that person suppose to be in charge of his court room? This hearing officer even aloud my ex daughter in law to decide for herself if she wanted to remove or keep the restraining order on me. I helped her with her career so she could get a pay check and yet she doesn’t care about mine. There has never been a domestic in my home or at my ex daughter in law home. I spent all day in the city yesterday with hopes to get some help to get this restraing order removed and off my record. Im 62 yrs old, never ever been in any kind of trouble with the law nor did I ever smoke a cigar. I have had a perfect record my whole life. Now I am a volunteer for my state and with this restraining order I will have to remove myself from my seat as a state advisory councel .. That saddens me because I have enjoyed working my team of 15. We care and work on our state gov’t policies and laws, I have enjoyed serving the people of New Mexico. In order to be on these state organizations one must have a clean record. I worked very hard, paid my taxes, and now @ 62 yrs old this is what is happening to me.
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