7 Ways Covert Narcissists Tell On Themselves


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1. Triangulation: Creating conflict or jealousy through comparisons and/or put-downs.

The first way that covert narcissists will give themselves away is through triangulation. Triangulation can happen in so many different ways. One way that it comes through really early on is through gossip. So, they’ll tell stories about people, maybe even their inner circle. And I’ve said this before, with a covert narcissist, sometimes you don’t know who their friends are and who their enemies are because they talk about their friends behind their backs, as if they were their enemies. If you’re friends with a covert narcissist, you’re probably going to know everything about all the people in their lives, whether you ever met those people in person or not. You’re going to know their deepest, darkest secrets. But triangulation can work in other ways too. Sometimes covert narcissists will use triangulation to make you jealous, and sometimes they’ll use triangulation to otherwise make you feel bad about yourself, to make you think that other people are against you.

Recommended Book: Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself- By Shahida Arabi.

So if you’re new here, I’ll let you know I like to jot some insightful comments to highlight the points that we’re talking about here today because there are always some real gems in the comment section. So now here’s one about triangulation. This commenter says, ‘There is always a third person involved, her ex-friend, family member, etc. And they change their roles. Sometim:es they are good, and sometimes bad. For example, during love bombing stage, her ex was the worst human being ever. On the other side, during the discard, he was the best example of how to be a real man.’ This is also a good example of something I talked about in my article about the female covert narcissist, where she’s very likely, if she’s in a relationship with a man, to emasculate that man, say things like ‘man up,’ or otherwise attack her partner’s masculinity.

2. Through lies and manipulation.

Now, I know this seems like it would be obvious if somebody’s lying to your face, right? But when you first get to know somebody, it’s not always so obvious. Or, this is another interesting angle. Sometimes it is obvious, but you might convince yourself that it’s not a big deal.

And you might think, ‘Well, this person did this for me, so it’s okay because they’re taking care of me.’ And some of you might think, ‘Well, it’s good to have someone like that in your corner, someone who’s quick on their feet.’ And I can’t argue with that. It definitely takes a certain level of intelligence and bravery to jump into action really that quickly and effectively. But I say, be careful out there, because if someone is willing to use those powers for their own personal gain, regardless of what could happen to the other person.

Related: 8 Lies ALL Narcissists Tell.

So whether or not it’s a lie to you or manipulation of you, pay attention to what’s going on because when you first meet someone, it’s probably not going to be done to you. They’re probably not going to be obviously lying to your face or obviously manipulating you. And if they are, you’re going to know that’s a red flag, and you’re probably going to walk away. But pay attention to how they interact with others in your environment because there are some people who don’t even hide their manipulative behavior. They might even be a little bit proud of it. And if you encounter someone like that, my word of caution to you is that eventually, they are going to be manipulating you too, if they’re not already.

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