Narcissists-Screamers,Passive Aggressives,Covert Operators

Each narcissist is unique in his or her inimitable way. We learn a great deal about a person by the way he communicates.
With narcissists there are several styles that stand out. The first is The Screamer. This man or woman always has the volume dial turned to the max, especially when under stress or frustration which is frequent. There is no modulation in sound intensity whether the narcissist is in public or private. Screaming is the most direct route to getting his or her needs and desires met immediately. Although many narcissists are obsessed about their image and would not make a public scene, the Screamer projects his feelings, threats and intimidations without a filter. If he doesn’t get the right table at a restaurant, best theater seat, quickest appointment
he screams bloody murder–wild eyed, face flushed, mouth gaping, body shuddering. He attracts a lot of attention as he communicates: “I want what I want when I want it.” Surprisingly, those involved in the ugly interchange with narcissistic screamers, respond to their requests readily to restore peace and civility. Narcissistic Screamers do not apologize nor are they embarrassed by their inappropriate behaviors. For them, it is only what they want and getting it that matters. After all, they deserve it; they are superior and entitled. The sheer volume and intimidation projected by the enraged narcissistic is enough to make must people cringe and go to their protective corners and acquiesce to the narcissist’s delusional demands.

The Passive Aggressive narcissistic communication style is notable for its seesaw quality. These narcissists are sullen and can go for weeks without speaking a word if they have been crossed or confronted, especially by a spouse. They are masters of the “silent treatment.” This type of narcissist is gifted at “quietly seething.” Everyone in the household is unnerved and disrupted by this behavior but it is difficult to confront and deal with since the narcissist has become and will remain mute until he decides to end his strike. These narcissists often play the victim role, expressing that no one appreciates or understands their problems. In this role, the other spouse often feels guilty that he or she is responsible for the narcissist’s sorry emotional state.

The Covert Operator is the narcissist who juggles a second or third life, beyond the 007’s of the world. These are fine actors, playing many parts skillfully. They are never genuine, even with those close to them-spouses, children, friends. They lead secret lives, cleverly compartmentalizing one from the other. “The narcissist puts his life in neat compartments that are sealed off from one another. He (or she) is able to activate self-identifications of vitality, superiority, success, and power. These are kept separate from the unconscious parts of himself that feel depressed, enraged, empty, and helpless. It is as if one side of the body is unaware of the sensations and activities of the other side. It is not unusual for a narcissistic personality to juggle a series of mistresses and wives with other peripheral affairs as well.” Those who travel widely as part of their professional careers pick up intimate partners for varying lengths of time. Unable to demonstrate fidelity of any kind, they move from one woman or man, looking for sexual excitement rather than emotional intimacy. There is cold calculation in narcissists who are Covert Operators. Some of them return to home base at various times that suit them. They convince spouses that being away is essential to success in their careers. Many spouses are taken in by these fraudulent explanations and stay with their Covert Operators until they are replaced or discarded.

Understanding and learning how to successfully deal with narcissists are powerful tools that will fortify and inform you in handling these complex, pervasive personality disorders of our time. Visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi,Ph.D.
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