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⬅️ On CHART : Letters A, B, C, D represent people with varying degrees of N damage – who are closer or further away from a Healthy Self. They function in the real world, but their behavior alternates between the extremes of Rage & Awe, creating much internal turmoil, & constant drama in their relationships & at work.
Os or O-Ns = Overts or OVERT Ns (‘narc’ = narcissist)
Cs or C-Ns = Coverts or Covert Ns // FS = False self
Covert Ns can be hard to identify & even harder to expose. While Overt Ns idealize themselves, Cs invest their heart & soul into idealizing something outside of themselves, hoping they’ll get warm inside by basking in reflected glory. AND, It doesn’t only have to be a person, but also religion, ideology, political movements, charity organizations….
C-Ns tend to be shy, sensitive & insecure, but Os & Cs share the same core personality traits. EXP: The difference is like listening to a song on full blast or very low. The song remains the same, only the volume changes.
IMP: The “covert” aspect of N is not about hiding abuse or being slyly manipulative, which are common to all types of Ns.
IT IS about the fact that C-Ns are by nature more toward the Introvert end of the MBTI E-I scale, which masks their underlying grandiosity.
If someone seems shy but still manages to suck all the air out of the room, you’re probably in the presence of an introverted N. Their partners know that there’s nothing covert about how arrogant, withholding & argumentative Cs can be.
EXP: Someone who jumps on everything you say, “What did you mean by that?”
OR who often goes into bitter rants about all the ways they’re being mistreated by everyone….
What Cs & Os have in common (intro- & extra- verts)
✴︎ They too crave importance, thirsting for admiration, but will look different to observers. They might give back-handed compliments, or purposefully minimize their accomplishments & talents so people will reassure them about how talented they are
✴︎ They cling to feeling special, but with low self-esteem the grandiosity takes a different form. Cs fantasize about their greatness more than advertise it. Some Cs imagine themselves a misunderstood or undiscovered genius, a long-suffering victim (troubled teens can raise this to high art), the most sensitive person in the room, or the biggest piece of s–t!
✴︎ hyper-sensitive: reacting to slights & criticism, apt to attack “enemies” in a flash
✴︎ manipulative : which is by definition Sneaky. Loud Os or quiet Cs, they’re equally crafty
✴︎ not self-reflective, unwilling to uncover their motivations & feelings
✴︎ very abusive – mentally, emotionally & verbally, sometimes physically
✴︎ use narc-speak / ‘word salad’, convoluted & deliberately confusing talk
✴︎ struggle to recognize needs & feelings of others, unless those relate to themself
✴︎ lack object-constancy, seeing things in B & W
EXP: When angry at you (unaware of feeling abandoned), they forget all the good things about you, & suddenly you’re all bad
✴︎ use gaslighting, triangulation & other mind games
– Overts are in your face with it – they like you knowing they ‘gotch-ya’
– Coverts fool you by making you think they’re loyal & faithful – while sneaking around. They’re more dangerous & damaging because you don’t see them coming.
1. Overt-Ns are often ambitious, successful go-getters, full of charm & energy
‣ but many COVERTS are marked by failed ambitions, chronic feeling of emptiness, & low functioning. When supply-depleated, they can sink into hopeless apathy
2. Overts can be identified by how they tell everyone how amazing they are, bragging about abilities & achievements
‣ but COVERTS are known to present themselves as weak & needy victims, & then run that ‘game’ as bait to reel in supply
❥ They’re often referred to as ‘Vulnerable Ns”. But there’s actually nothing vulnerable about them. That’s the problem.
If they could be emotionally open & vulnerable, they would be able to form secure attachments, which is what helps prevent people from becoming NPDs in the first place.
True vulnerability means taking genuine emotional risks & openly turning to others for support – rather than endlessly complaining.
NEXT: Covert Ns – #2