Covert Narcissists: 7 Quotes to Empower Their Victims

Helping you make sense out of an experience that makes no sense at all

Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.


haunting red face of a covert narcissist
Image from Pixy — CC0 Public Domain

“How could they do this to me? How could they do this to me???

It’s the distressed call of a victim of a covert narcissist in the wild. I know it well. It’s a call I’ve made many times.

The complete and utter confusion and frustration. The feeling that your life has been turned upside down.

Had it been the most common type of narcissist — an overt, malignant one — you would’ve seen this coming. They give off an “it’s all about me” vibe and will tear you to pieces the minute you say anything that contradicts their greatness.

Your person, however, just kind of blended in with the crowd. They were sweet and funny; they didn’t really draw attention to themselves. Yet they turned out to be just as capable of damage as their malignant cousins.

I’ve written about narcissism (especially its covert variety) extensively on here in the past. In this post, I want to do something different. If you’ve been a victim of one of these people’s abuse, I have 7 quotes that will uplift you, empower you, and help you understand who they are.

Understanding the facade

Contrary to popular myth, abusers do not suffer from anger management problems. They manage their anger problems just fine when there are witnesses. — source unknown

Have you ever acted in a play and had one of the leading roles? It’s pretty exhausting to have to act that role for 90 minutes or 2 hours, isn’t it?

Well, imagine someone who spends their entire life acting a role.

That’s what covert narcissists do. They spend their entire life cultivating an image that is friendly, popular, charming, witty. However, that image is nothing but a facade, a mask, hiding feelings of deep-rooted shame and worthlessness.

They cultivate associates (flying monkeys and enablers) who believe the false image and project it back to them, allowing them to deny their true selves.

If you are one of the rare people who sees behind the mask, the narcissist will fly into a fit of…



Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.

I write about writing, ideas, creativity, homelessness, intuition, spirituality, life lessons. Ex-college teacher Twitter: @paulryburn