Covert Narcissistic Sister—Poor Little Me

Covert narcissistic sisters play the “poor little me” role in their families to wreak havoc with their non-narcissistic brothers and sisters. They start very early telling lies to the parents about their siblings and then playing the innocent role to the hilt. As they grow older they escalate their sabotage, causing great pain to all of their family members. They plot to take boyfriends away from their sisters by telling lies or revealing secrets or making up secrets. They are believable in their lying. Parents often make excuses for them:”Oh, she is shy and dependent; she is not capable of lying and being cruel; give her a chance; she’s unsure of herself; you have to be kind to her.” As she grows older the CNS becomes even bolder and as the parents age she becomes “indispensable” to them. In secret she gains their total confidence to the point of being in charge of all of their possessions—properties, investments, etc.
When the parents are gone, everything has been left to her– a pittance or less to the other children. Who’s saying “Poor Little Her” now! Covert narcissists can be difficult to detect. Do the research and you will learn to recognize them—They are to “good” to be true. To learn about the NPD in-depth, visit my

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

One thought on “Covert Narcissistic Sister—Poor Little Me”

  1. This is an excellent description. I had an overtly narcissistic borderline disordered father, a covert narcissistic mother with aspergers and this article could have been written as a biography of my younger sister.
    Her lies and sabotage are part of my earliest memories. I sometimes wonder if she was born a sociopath. I know there was plenty of conditioning and encouragment that helped her along as she grew older. She was always a very jealous, spiteful child who delighted in finding ways to torment me. She received a great deal of positive reinforcement through her joy at watching me being beaten as a result of her provokation and lies. It worked for her because my parents were so sick and saw her as one of them. She was never corrected even when she was caught in a lie. She was rewarded for this ugly disgusting behavior. She would stand and watch me endure brutal beatings at her behest with a maniacal cheshire cat grin on her face. I knew even then that her enjoyment and satisfaction came partially from my pain but mostly at her own ability to cause it. The power actually made her giddy. I could go on forever citing instances of her black hearted insanity but will not. I will just say that her behavior escalated over the years to the point of committing vandalism and physical assault among many other illegal immoral acts. She has never ever been held accountable or punished in any way for any of it.
    I was an extremely high achiever as a child and excelled in many areas, academics, athletics, creative arts etc…and had I been allowed would have gone on to live a wonderful and prosperous life. She has never had an original thought in her life and did poorly in school but was able to suck up to our parents and earn their favor by helping them create a false image to the world that we were “a wonderful christian family”. I had no interest in their attention saw no benefit in courting their empty half hearted affections or perpetuating their image. I had learned early on that staying away from them was the safest course of action. She along with my sick parents scapegoated me and due to the intense shaming, psychological torture and beatings that lasted well into adulthood, coupled with sabotage and outright squashing of any attempts I made to create an independent life free of them. Their modus operandi was to openly sabotage any efforts and then shame me for failing. There were many agencies, teachers, parents of friends and relatives who reported the physical abuse but they were always able to lie their way out of it by claiming i lied and had “emotional problems” . Many times they actually evoked sympathy for themselves that they had to dela with such an “unbalanced mentally ill kid”. (As I was portrayed by them. Relatives and neighbors were afraid of my violent father and were intimidated into keeping quiet or facing his wrath. Unfortunately I ran to get away and at 17 jumped out of the frying pan into the fire having 2 children with a malignant narcissist who was also a violent alchoholic. It was all downhill from there. No need for all the unnecessary details. Throughout my life I have continued to attract these monsters and now I live a very limited existence of self imposed isolation. I would rather be alone than with one of their kind. I was recently forced into having some contact with her and immediately the venom that has accumulated over the last 6 years of no contact was injected into me. I t was like I had never been away, like I had made no progress in recovering and I found myself right where she wanted me, back in anger, frustration and shame. I will never again have any form of contact with her or her poisonous offspring who has been trained to treat me exactly as she does. He even uses the same phrases? She is a waitress who lives in my mothers basement. My father died years ago broke and alone as a hoarder. When I got away they had to have a new scapegoat and he was the lucky candidate.
    I wonder Dr Martinez, if it is possible to be born a sociopath? How could she have developed these traits at such a young age? Do you think there will ever be a way to hold her accountable?
    Expose her? Will our society ever recognize this insidious form of abuse as illegal and punish these monsters? Will I ever be able to form healthy relationships with supportive genuine and loving friends or am I doomed to be alone? Forever is a very long time.

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