Was my friend a covert narcissist?

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Was my friend a covert narcissist?
« on: June 01, 2020, 01:43:23 PM »
My ex-friend seems to have a lot of the characteristics of a covert narcissist, but I always thought he was fairly sociable and had a reasonable amount of friends. I've read that covert narcissists tend to be shy and introverted, which doesn't seem to apply to him. He did have a very prominent victim complex; couldn't stand the fact that his female friends had boyfriends or didn't give him any attention; he would actually insult their boyfriends and hate them right from the get-go; he couldn't handle the slightest amount of criticism and would frequently resort to the silent treatment in reaction to that, which could last weeks; there were days when he looked depressed and acted grumpy; he kept selling this image of him that he was a very nice, understanding and inclusive person; he could be very dramatic. The thing is... He could also be very mean and agressive. There were times when he would insult people based on their sexuality, insecurities and personal things that they shared with him; he would sometimes stare at me in a very intense and scary way, almost like he was staring right into my soul, and would smile creepily; he threatened me once; in general, he was very manipulative. Sometimes, it felt like I was at war with him and he would do things just to get a reaction out of me, almost in a petty and vengeful way... Like he was punishing me for something. He, then, would smile at me and give me a "Game on!" look. Can he be considered a covert narcissist?


Starboard Song

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Re: Was my friend a covert narcissist?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2020, 03:45:37 PM »
Welcome to Out of the FOG.

When someone has an infectious disease, you can do a test that shows the particular species of bacteria in their blood. When they have an auto-immune disorder, you can see the defective functioning of the immune system. Personality disorders are not such a thing: there isn't a categorical line across which someone has a PD, and therefore is less responsible for their behavior, or is therefore more or less susceptible to a treatment plan.

I'd encourage you to not worry about the diagnosis. Around here we often toss around acronyms like uBPD, for undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder. Some of us may be slyly slipping in an amateur diagnosis. But for the most part, it is a really very helpful way of saying that we are dealing with "this kind of person." We all understand the types of patterns, behaviors, and reactions one can expect from an NPD, and how it differs from BPD, and the others.

Your friend may very well have narcissistic personality disorder. You have correctly identified traits consistent with it, and ways in which it isn't a perfect fit. But what matters is your dignity and peace of mind. If you engage with him, you should establish boundaries[/url for yourself. Boundaries aren't a controlling fence around others: they are a decision about what you will and will not do, or engage with. They allow you to thrive, for yourself and others. Also look into the 50% Rule and My Stuff/Your Stuff on our What To Do page.

Be good. Be strong.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 04:55:55 PM by Starboard Song »
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If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle