Aug 22, 2022

Covert Narcissist: Signs, Clues, and Redflags to Watch Out For

by Lisa A. Romano

covert narcissist signs lisa a romano podcast sob story

Have you ever fallen for a shy, vulnerable, unassuming narcissist, who you eventually discovered felt entitled to exploit your empathy?

Covert Narcissists Use Sob Stories to Gain Your Trust

It is not easy to spot a covert narcissist. They can appear timid, shy, and insecure. Their goal is to manipulate you into submission by appearing to be a safe person all the while below the surface, a sinister agenda is waiting to unfold.

Covert narcissists embrace the role of victim and use their victimhood as a way to manipulate others into emotional submission. Their goal is to exploit their victims emotionally, financially, and or spiritually. They are secretly angry and feel entitled to abuse others and distort their victim's reality to achieve their goal of dominance in the relationship.

Some signs and symptoms of a covert narcissist include:

  • passive aggressive comments
  • a need to nitpick partners
  • causing others to feel like what they do is never good enough
  • hold grudges long after others have apologized or moved on
  • highly critical of others
  • finds faults in others and expresses them with rage, grandiosity
  • highly sensitive to criticism 
  • reacts poorly to any feedback that is not positive
  • sees themselves as the victim of others, when there has been no offense 

Podcast On Covert Narcissist: Signs and Symptoms 

In this podcast on covert narcissism, you will learn more about the signs of covert narcissism you might want to make yourself aware of.

Red flag You're Dealing with a Covert Narcissist 

A common red flag that signals you're dealing with a covert narcissist, is your propensity to record conversations with them. Covert narcissists spin tails, recreate history, deny facts, and question your perception of reality, as ways to manipulate you into a state of dependency.

Once you doubt your perception of reality, and after you've attached to an abuser, trauma bonding comes into play, reinforcing your need to depend upon the one who has scrambled your brain. Your distrust in yourself, your thoughts, and your emotions instill tremendous insecurity and anxiety within you. As you awaken and begin to educate yourself on the signs of covert narcissists, you may discover yourself needing to record your conversations with a narcissist. You may also print out text messages and offer them to friends and family as a way to help you reorient yourself to reality. 

If you've ever felt the need to have other people listen in on conversations you've had with a narcissist because you are afraid that maybe you are crazy, you've most likely experienced gaslighting, which is a common narcissistic trait.

If you are confused and full of self-doubt because you can't make heads or tails out of your relationship, I hope this podcast can help clear things up for you.


We Can All Be Narcissistic Sometimes 

Maybe we can all be narcissistic from time to time, and get lost in our emotions and ego, however, when it comes to someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder, we are NOT talking about someone who finds it easy to experience empathy toward others. In fact, narcissists THRIVE off of dominating others, through various tactics from the double edge sword of a backhanded compliment, to nitpicking, to gaslighting, and an array of various psychological manipulation tools as well. 

Healthy people SELF CORRECT.

They might not enjoy constructive criticism but they know on some level, that they should probably heed some well-intended advice if they want their lives to improve. And, once we see something not so pretty or handsome within us, we set out to change it for good!

We know our actions have wounded others and we can feel that hurt within ourselves too. Our empathy allows us to self-correct so that we can continually improve our relationships with others and ourselves. 

Lisa A. Romano was voted the #1 Most Influential Person of 2020 by Digital Journal and one of the top 10 Most Inspirational Women of 2021 according to Yahoo Finance. She is a Life Coach and Bestselling Author who specializes in Codependency and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery. Her YouTube Channel has over 400K subscribers, and her 12 Week Breakthrough Coaching Program has helped thousands, including psychologists and even neuroscientists, release painful emotions from the past. Romano’s approach is seen as groundbreaking and highly effective for creating the inner transformations all human beings are capable of. To learn more about Lisa and her online programs, books, speaking events and support groups, visit