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Covert Narcissists’ Phrases: Things Covert Narcissists Say Uncovered

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

Have you ever wondered about someone’s true intentions after a chat? Sometimes, there’s more going on than what we see—recognizing the Things Covert Narcissists Say involves figuring out their tricky language. How can you navigate their sneaky strategies and avoid their harmful effects?

Key Takeaways:

  • Covert narcissists use specific phrases to control and trick people.
  • It’s critical to know the signs of covert narcissism to protect yourself.
  • Rebecca Zung, Esq, shares phrases that expose a covert narcissist’s real self.
  • Though they may seem modest, shy, and not confident, covert narcissists are indeed very manipulative.
  • They use gaslighting, indirect aggression, and particular words as their tools.

Ten Power-Packed Phrases to Unmask a Covert Narcissist

A covert narcissist’s tricks can be hard to spot but powerful in controlling others. Challenging them is key to stop their sneaky ways. Lawyer Rebecca Zung says using ten strong phrases can reveal their true self.

1. “I’m not having this discussion with you. I’m telling you how it is.” This forces you to stand firm and not fall for their tricks.

2. “I don’t get what you’re trying to say or do here.” It puts them in a tight spot, making it hard for them to twist words.

3. “I can see through your manipulative behavior.” You’re showing them that you’re on to their deceit, and you won’t stand for it.

4. “I’m not interested in playing games with you.” You’re making it clear you prefer honest talk over mind games.

5. “I expect honesty and transparency in our relationship.” This demands real talk and challenges their usual deceits.

6. “I won’t be manipulated or controlled by you.” It declares your freedom and determination not to be their puppet.

7. “Your words and actions don’t align.” You’re calling out their lies, pushing them to face their actions.

8. “I won’t tolerate being treated disrespectfully.” It shows you respect yourself too much to take their bad treatment.

9. “I trust my intuition and won’t be gaslighted.” By trusting yourself, you avoid falling for their reality-twisting lies.

10. “I am confident in who I am and don’t need your approval.” This states your self-worth isn’t tied to what they think of you.

Using these phrases takes courage and clarity. Say them boldly and keep your lines clear. They help show a covert narcissist’s true colors while safeguarding you.

assertiveness against covert narcissists

Characteristics of Covert Narcissists

Covert narcissists, also known as vulnerable narcissists, have traits that are different from overt narcissists. They might look humble, shy, and insecure rather than displaying self-importance. This hidden vulnerability can make them hard to recognize. It also gets them sympathy and support from others.

Yet, under their modest front, they are manipulative and exploitative. Covert narcissists use sneaky methods to get attention, control, and validation. They are really good at taking advantage of others’ feelings and weak spots. Their manipulation is often unseen but aimed at getting what they want.

covert narcissist characteristics

Covert narcissists may not act like typical narcissists, but their manipulation is just as serious. They might make you feel guilty, act like they’re the victim, or subtly put others down. These actions help them stay in control and boost their ego.

Knowing about covert narcissists is key to avoiding their harmful effects. By understanding how they manipulate, you can keep yourself safe. This knowledge will help you have healthier relationships and care for your well-being.

Deceptive Strategies of Covert Narcissists

Covert narcissists are masters at manipulating others. They use tricks to control and keep their victims confused. Let’s explore the tactics, gaslighting, passive-aggressive actions, and special language they use.


Gaslighting is a favorite trick of covert narcissists. They twist the truth and make their victims question reality. This makes victims doubt themselves and lose confidence.

Diverting Attention

Covert narcissists are good at dodging blame. They shift focus to others to not take responsibility. This keeps victims from seeing their true self.

Minimizing Achievements

They also make little of others’ successes. By dismissing these achievements, they feel superior and in control. This harms the victims’ self-esteem and keeps the narcissist on top.

Covert Narcissist’s Vocabulary

Covert narcissists use crafty language to confuse and belittle. Their words might sound normal but have mean intentions. This language trick helps them stay in power by demeaning others.

It’s key to recognize these schemes, gaslighting, and passive-aggressive tactics. Knowing them lets you defend yourself and set healthy limits in relationships.

Protecting Yourself from Covert Narcissistic Abuse

If you’re dealing with a covert narcissist, focus on your well-being first. Start with loving and validating yourself. Celebrate your own successes and know your worth without needing their approval. Build a strong identity that isn’t shaken by their manipulation.

Therapy can be a big help in taking back control and healing from narcissistic abuse. A good therapist offers support and ways to mend the emotional hurt caused by the covert narcissist. They teach you coping strategies and how to set boundaries. This empowers you to form healthier relationships moving forward.

Spotting the signs of covert narcissism and protecting yourself is crucial for healing. By looking after your mental and emotional health, valuing yourself, and getting therapy, you can escape the abuse cycle. You can then pave the way for a brighter, healthier future.


What are some phrases that covert narcissists use?

Covert narcissists often say things like “I’m not having this discussion with you. I’m telling you how it is.” They might also say, “I don’t understand what you’re trying to say or do here.” They use these phrases to manipulate and control others.

How can I unmask a covert narcissist?

You can reveal a covert narcissist’s true nature by being assertive and setting clear boundaries. Challenge their manipulative ways to expose them.

What are the characteristics of covert narcissists?

Even though they might seem shy or insecure, covert narcissists are manipulative. They seek attention and sympathy using their tactics.

What deceptive strategies do covert narcissists employ?

Covert narcissists engage in gaslighting, shifting the focus, and downplaying others’ success. They use confusing language and hidden meanings to belittle and manipulate their targets.

How can I protect myself from covert narcissistic abuse?

To protect yourself, practice self-affirmation and love. Celebrate your own successes. Getting therapy is also a powerful way to heal from narcissistic abuse and regain control of your life.

Source Links

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