Budding covert NPD, or "narc"?

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Wilderhearts

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Budding covert NPD, or "narc"?
« on: May 29, 2019, 05:57:24 PM »
I have a young co-worker that I supervised for some time.  Her behaviour took a drastic turn for the worse a while ago, and I started putting some pieces together.  I thought she was just entitled, insecure, and behaving generally like a spoiled teenaged brat (she's early 20s, and it appears she comes from a family with a lot of money).  I've since wondered if she's a convert narcissist - she's incredibly sensitive to constructive criticism, even when gentle and respectful, and reacts resentfully later on in passive aggressive ways.  She will not listen to people with more knowledge than she has and puts on this confused "but no, I'm right" face when receiving information she can't comprehend.  She's charmed many people in the office into doing work for her, work leagues above her skill level, and then takes credit for it (while simultaneously admitting she doesn't understand it).  She can't respect boundaries for the life of her, and her needs have to be considered any time I make a minor decision.  She blames me for not preventing her from making mistakes when I tell her "this is how you prevent this mistake next time you do it."  She's also become very smug and arrogant, and I would say is delivering a lot of "fake" empathy.  Loads of attention seeking behaviour when she isn't getting the praise and validation she thinks she deserves. 

It's also noteworthy that the more noxious problem behaviours (passive aggression/spitefulness, arrogance, disruptive attention seeking) weren't there before a director moved her into a new role - all the supervisors would have told him she didn't have the necessary skills and was being kept on as a trainee for her own benefit.  After that she seemed to feel justified in acting like a snotty brat (excuse my venting).

I really thought this was immaturity, entitlement, and insecurity until i read about covert narcs.  I also just read the term "non-PD narc."  What is that?  She's been shuffled off my team due to her behaviour (my boss was very supportive when I finally went to her, after being at the end of my rope for months) so won't be my problem any more, but I'd like to know for myself if this is good old fashioned brattiness, "narc" behaviour, or covert NPD.  How do you differentiate?

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clara

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Re: Budding covert NPD, or "narc"?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 08:25:47 PM »
Something along those lines happened in my department years ago, Wilderhearts.   We had a employee who was fine for almost two years.  She wasn't the best employee but she did her job, didn't complain, was reliable etc.  Then the person who hired her retired, and we found out that she'd been a "temp" worker all those years, so our  new manager decided to hire her on as full time.  Well, that's when it all went downhill.  She started acting like a spoiled brat--and she was in her 40s!  She started not wanting to do work she'd been doing, accusing us of keeping her "down," telling us we didn't appreciate her abilities and wanted a promotion etc. etc.  She became a major pain in the rear as she started making claims about herself that were lies and exaggerations and delusions, and on top of it she started making these claims to others who weren't in the department and who didn't know any better.  As this went on, those of us who were charged with supervising her refused to play into her demands and wants and needs and knew that if we forced her to keep doing what she'd always done, she'd likely quit because she thought so highly of herself and was seeking more money.  Which is exactly what happened.

I don't think she was NPD because of the radical change in her behavior.  PDs don't seem able to hide their natures for very long, let alone almost two years.  I suspect she was a covert narc because when I thought back on her prior behavior, she always had an attitude of being better than the rest of us, although she was quick at self-deprecation and didn't seem to take herself too seriously.  But when the person who hired her was gone, she believed she could more easily get away with her behavior and attitude and so it came fully to the surface.  I also learned that her boyfriend of several years had dumped her immediately after she was hired full-time (apparently he wasn't willing to end the relationship while she was still a temp and waited until she had the security of a full-time job to do so) and a lot of what she was doing was also acting out.  She had to present herself as someone superior to us in order to make herself feel better over his behavior.  All in all, it was a miserable time for everyone who had to deal with her and when she resigned you cannot imagine the relief we felt!

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Wilderhearts

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Re: Budding covert NPD, or "narc"?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2019, 06:23:20 PM »
It's so funny you mention she accused others of "keeping her down."  My brain has been so conditioned into PD thinking by my uPDf that as soon as I went to my superior at work, I was afraid others would see me as trying to "sabotage" this young coworker.  Consciously I know it's not, it's just drawing the line and not wasting resources, but who knows what's being said behind my back.  Nothing's gotten back to me, however.  There's just been some (real or imagined) coolness from the other young people in our office.

Yes, the unfounded claims about her abilities.  She constantly says "I can do that.  I can do that." when I know without a doubt she can't.  Sometimes I want to scream "YOU THINK YOU CAN DO THESE THINGS NEMO BUT YOU JUST CAN'T." LOL  It has put me in the position of either being the person who publicly calls her down, which would make me look disrespectful, or I have to disregard what she says and explain my decision (based on her actual abilities) which looks like I didn't take her "abilities" into account, which looks like I'm trying to hold her back.  Double-bind.  Argh.  Whatever, those days are past now.

So your coworker wasn't a PD but a "covert narc."  Is a "narc" then just someone with a lot of toxic traits/PD behaviours that they turn on/off depending on the situation?

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NotFooled

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Re: Budding covert NPD, or "narc"?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2019, 04:09:31 PM »
So Is a "narc" then just someone with a lot of toxic traits/PD behaviours that they turn on/off depending on the situation?

From what I've read a covert narc  does not act grandiose.  The key characteristic to both types of Narc is  entitlement.  I believe my uPDBIL is a covert narc and I see allot of similarities in what you describe and his behavior.