Female Covert Narcissist

12 Female Covert Narcissist Traits

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Female covert narcissists can be one of the more difficult narcs to spot in the crowd.

You won’t find them centre stage, drawing all of the attention to themselves in such an obvious and grandiose way. Oh no, they’re more likely to be humbly sitting at the back of the room, in a quiet, selfless manner.

But, don’t be fooled by her false mask of benevolence and innocence. She is more dangerous than some of the other types of narcissists due to her magnificent acting skills and impulsive emotional blackmail and gaslighting.

Let’s delve into the female covert narcissist traits, revealing who she really is and how she operates. Then, you will be able to detach from her never-ending pity party and avoid enabling her abusive ways.

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Behind the Female Covert Narcissist’s Mask

Narcissist Mask

The Female Covert Narcissist is Created

The creation of the female covert narcissist can be traced back to her childhood. Through the experience of a traumatic environment or event, the child was left with incredibly deep feelings of shame, disgust and self-loathing.

Those feelings were too much for her to bear, so in her undeveloped childlike emotional state, she unconsciously stamped her foot and said, “No! I refuse to feel these things.”

This is where the psychological split happened whereby her True Self was amputated as a way of disowning her inner wounding.

All that was left to rule her was her ego, which is how the female covert narcissist was born.

Life Without Her True Self

Our True Self is responsible for us being able to feel all of the things that make us truly human, such as kindness, love, empathy and compassion. On the other hand, the ego is responsible for the lower vibrational aspects of humanity, like control, competition, manipulation, greed and envy.

In other words, our True Self is our authentic self, while our ego is a no-self. There’s nothing authentic or tangible about the ego.

The ego knew that for its own survival as ruler of this person, it needed to forever protect the narcissist from the truth – that she is a flawed and ordinary human being, just like everybody else.

In order to do this, the ego constructed a False Self, which exemplifies itself as being a perfect, superior God. The ego has successfully tricked the narcissist into believing that she is actually her False Self, while the truth of her insecure and fractured self is hidden deep within.

Severing Her Access to Life Force Energy

The biggest problem is that when the narcissist cut off her True Self, she also severed her access to the infinite life force energy. It’s through this life force energy that we are able to be our own source of love and validation, which are essential for our psychological safety, security and survival as individual beings on this planet.

This means that for the female covert narcissist’s psychological survival, she needs to seek that validation outside of herself. If she doesn’t, she will be left to fall into her inner pit of despair and self-loathing, which is the only thing left without her True Self.

The narcissist has been left as a life force addict, always on the hunt for external validation & approval as a means of survival.

The Fantasy & Her False Self

The female covert narcissist now lives in a fantasy reality, entirely constructed by her ego. In this fantasy reality, she is the centre of the universe, making her superior, unique, perfect and God-like. Everyone else in her universe is merely a tool for her to use to gain whatever it is that she seeks.

Because of her (imaginary) position on the throne, she feels entitled to say and do whatever she likes with no repercussions, because after all, Gods aren’t answerable to the rules and laws of mere mortals.

However, there is one very big flaw with the narcissist’s false reality…
It’s not real.

The narcissist’s fantasy existence is nothing more than a figment of her imagination, yet for her psychological survival, it must remain real at all costs.

So, to keep her delusion inflated, she needs to be receiving constant feedback from the world around her that supports her fantasy, otherwise, it will quickly begin to fade away into the nothingness that it is.

Feeding the Fantasy

How the female narcissist feeds her fantasy is by controlling the world around her in such a way that she can extract narcissistic supply. This narcissistic supply serves to reinforce that her delusional reality really is ‘real.’

Two Forms of Narcissistic Supply:

  1. Primary Supply – Gained via attention (both good & bad attention validate the narcissist’s fantasy of superiority, uniqueness and powerfulness)
  2. Secondary Supply – Gained via appearances (must be positive appearances to validate her delusion of perfection and grandeur)

What’s really happening, on an energetic level, is that the narcissist needs to pilfer the life force energy of others to feed her insatiable black hole. If she doesn’t, her fantasy will fade and she will left with the truth of who she is – a scared, insecure child filled with deep shame and self-loathing. That is a fate worse than death to her.

READ: All About Narcissistic Supply
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Unique Traits of a Female Covert Narcissist

Guilt, Remorse, Regret

Low Self-worth

The trait that sets a covert narcissist apart from their more grandiose counterparts comes down to self-worth and shame.

While grandiose narcissists have such an over-inflated sense of themselves, they exhibit high levels of self-worth, which will ooze out of them through arrogance and entitlement. They already believe themselves to be amazing and expect the outside world to reflect that back to them.

However, covert narcissists feel shame and low self-worth regularly. Even though they’re more introverted and reserved, they have the same core belief of superiority and specialness that the grandiose narcissist has. The difference is that the covert narc needs constant validation from the outside world to give them their self-worth.

Fragile Ego

Due to the female covert narcissist’s lack of charm, charisma and confidence, she is not able to barge through life, demanding the accolades and applause that she genuinely feels she deserves.

And since she doesn’t have anything truly authentic to offer, she is regularly being shown by the world around her that she is not as superior or special as she thinks she is.

Without any extroverted charm or her own sense of self-worth, the female covert narcissist’s ego is extremely fragile.

Yet, since her fantasy delusion has her believing that she truly is unique, powerful and better than everybody else, her ego must attack any evidence that goes against that reality.

The female covert narcissist cannot accept any criticism (even if constructive) because that would be to admit that she is not flawless and special. Instead, she’ll project the very things that she’s doing back onto the person who accused her of such things, or she’ll play the poor victim to evade accountability.

A Humble & Self-effacing Exterior

The hidden danger of becoming enmeshed with a female covert narcissist is that she appears to be humble and unselfish at first glance. But, when you dig a little deeper you’ll find someone who’s extremely contemptuous and manipulative underneath.

A big part of the female covert narcissist’s identity is wrapped up in appearing to be humble, self-sacrificing and nice. They need people to see them this way so that they can come across as ‘innocent’ all while hooking into their victims and extracting life force energy (narcissistic supply).

The female covert narcissist learnt a very long time ago that the best way for her to manipulate and get her needs met was to play the victim and use people’s empathy and compassion against them. Her tactics work best on those with high levels of empathy because she knows that she can use guilt and obligation to twist them around her little finger.

When the female covert narcissist plays the hapless victim, she can garner sympathy and monopolise people’s time and energy, receiving the attention and validation she so desperately craves.

There is no greater victim than a covert narcissist.

She will often even put herself down as a way of fishing for compliments. This is how the female covert narcissist can go undetected for so long to the untrained eye. However, her victims will cycle through the same four stages of abuse as with any other narcissist.

READ: 4 Stages of Narcissistic Abuse

▶️ VIDEO: 3 Traits of a Female Covert Narcissist

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How a Female Covert Narcissist Operates

When a Narcissist Sees You Cry

Let’s explore the ways in which a covert female narcissist will operate in order to extract the life force energy from others so that she can inflate her fantasy and temporarily abate her inner black hole.

She Cannot Accept Responsibility

A female covert narcissist’s lack of accountability for herself is next level.

In order for the narcissist to protect herself from her deep inner truth, that she is a flawed and normal human being, just like everybody else, she must keep her fantasy reality alive.

This means that any evidence contrary to her belief of being a perfect, superior Goddess, must be destroyed before it can enter her false reality, shattering it into a million pieces.

Any time the female covert narcissist is criticised or feels slighted in any way (whether real or imagined), her ego will set its crosshairs on the person who delivered this information and seek to annihilate them.

  • She will project her disowned wounds onto other people, effectively absolving herself of the burden.
  • She will gaslight people to change their perspective and rewrite the storyline so it suits her agenda.
  • She will emotionally blackmail others into doing what she wants through fear, obligation and guilt.
  • And she will blame others for the very things that she is doing, all in order to evade accountability.
READ: 6 Tactics Used to Avoid Accountability

She is the Biggest Victim on Earth

The main manipulation tactic that a female covert narcissist will employ is victimhood. She has learnt that by playing the quiet, humble “poor me,” she can get people to feed her lots of attention via pity and pandering.

When people indulge in the covert narcissist’s pity party, she is able to plug into them energetically and siphon out a steady stream of life force energy, all without them suspecting a thing.

This tactic works especially well on those who are closest to the covert narc, like partners, family members and close friends. This way she can make them feel obliged to hand over their resources for fear of feeling incredible guilt if they don’t.

Female covert narcissists are exceptional actors. They will either play ‘dumb and innocent’ or the ‘poor victim’ to avoid having to take responsibility for themselves.

The victim storylines can range from health issues, to problems at work, financial issues and anything in between.

It doesn’t matter what happens, the story will always be the same – the female covert narcissist is always the poor, innocent victim, while the other people/ situations are always to blame.

A big energy suck with a female covert narcissist is when you fall for her victimhood and offer to help her solve her problems, over and over again. Quite often, the solutions can appear to be quite simple and yet she never seems to want to help herself.

At the end of the day, she doesn’t want help ‘fixing’ things, because being the perpetual victim is her game. She needs it in order to gain attention and tap into people’s life force energy.

She Expects Others to Be Her Slave

Female covert narcissists are generally pretty lazy creatures. They lack the get-up-and-go attitude that some of the other narcissists exhibit, which is how the others are able to seek out the supply they need.

For the covert narc, she’s more than happy to kick back on her throne (i.e. the couch) and get her minions (i.e. partner and children) to run around after her like serfs.

Tales of a Lazy Female Covert Narcissist…

I once knew a female covert narc who would not even get up from her chair to get herself a water. Instead, she’d yell out to her husband at the other end of the house to fetch it for her.

She was also far too lazy to walk from the carpark to the store front when they went to the shops, so her husband would religiously drop her at the front door, then go find a park for the car and meet her there.

Because of her incredible laziness and inactivity (along with a junk food addiction) she was a very overweight woman with a never-ending list of health issues. But, all of those problems just played right into her hand. Now she had created very real and legitimate reasons to play the victim, avoid all accountability and increase the hours of ‘care’ she expected from her husband.

The covert narcissist is very unlikely to find herself in a position where she’s receiving attention and adulation through fame, leadership, success at work or anything else that feeds her delusions of grandeur. So, she will set up her home life so that it synthetically gives her the same feelings of power, superiority and being a Goddess.

In other words, she will peg herself as the Queen of the household and subtly program her family to bend the knee and submit to her. Her fantasy of being the best and the most powerful will be fed by having her family running around after her like slaves. And if they don’t comply, get ready for crocodile tears and the ‘poor me’ program to be switched up a notch until they are guilted back into line.

READ: Why Do Narcs Really Cry?

She Will Pull Others Down to Prop Herself Up

Since the female covert narcissist doesn’t have the extroverted confidence to be a super, amazing woman, she will pull those around her down in order to inflate her self-worth and make herself feel elevated.

She will belittle in the guise of ‘helpful feedback.’ She will sandwich devaluations in between compliments and she will make underhanded remarks, all with a smile on her sweet face.

The purpose of the all of these hidden and cruel words is to destabilise the other person and chip away at their self-worth without being seen to be directly attacking anyone.

The put-downs of a female covert narcissist are nothing short of confusing as what you’re seeing and hearing do not match up. You’re left feeling like you can’t quite put your finger on what’s really happening.

READ: Weird Things Narcs Say

She is Passive-Aggressive

Passive-aggressive behaviour is where the female covert narcissist indirectly expresses her thoughts or opinions in a subtle way, rather than just coming right out and saying them.

The purpose of this tactic is to avoid direct confrontation, while still being able to manipulate and control the emotions and actions of others. But by using this indirect technique, she can maintain her appearance of innocence and victimhood.

Examples of Passive-Aggressive Behaviour:

  • Silent treatment to punish others for not doing what she wants
  • Sarcastic & backhanded comments
  • Compliments sandwiched between devaluations
  • Subtle criticisms
  • Eye-rolling
  • Moodiness & sulking to play the victim

Her Main Weapon is Guilt

Female covert narcissists are so adept at using guilt as a weapon that it’s easy to fall prey to this tactic unless you know what you’re looking at.

Narcissists on the whole have very low levels of empathy due to the loss of their true authentic self. However, covert narcissists are extremely good at faking it to get what they want.

Their whole identity is wrapped up in being the biggest victim, so that any time something doesn’t go their way, they can easily turn on the tears to appear poor and vulnerable. They know that anyone who has a normal level of compassion will fall for it hook, line and sinker.

Female covert narcissists will weaponise your empathy and compassion against you every, single time.

She doesn’t care that she’s manipulating you or emptying you out of your resources, over and over again. She severed her conscience long ago when she cut off her True Self. As far as she is concerned, you and everybody else in her world are simply tools for her to use to gain narcissistic supply.

“How dare you take your supply away from me! Who do you think you are?!”

And the moment you say “No” to her guilt tactics, she’ll turn on you. Anyone who dares to stop supplying the covert narcissist with supply will immediately become the abusive perpetrator in her delusional reality.

She’s a Masterful Gaslighter

Female covert narcissists are expert gaslighters with emotional blackmail and mindf***ery being their jam.

Gaslighting is one of the most insidious forms of emotional abuse one could endure. The purpose of the gaslighter is to mess with their victim’s reality by tampering with their memory, perspective and version of events.

Gaslighting is extremely hard to detect if you don’t know what it is. It leaves you in a mental fog, not knowing where the beginning and the end are or what’s even real any more. You end up doubting yourself and suffering daily from anxiety, adrenal fatigue and many other physical and mental symptoms.

If you’re not sure whether or not this applies to you, take the Am I Being Gaslighted Quiz to find out.

Here’s How a Narcissist Gaslights:

  • Countering your memory of things that have happened
  • Denying entire conversations and events
  • Withholding conversation, love and affection
  • Invalidating and belittling your feelings and concerns
  • Diverting the focus off themselves and back onto you or someone else
  • Generalising with stereotypes and blanket statements to invalidate

Female covert narcissists are master manipulators, constantly rewriting the storyline to suit their own agenda.

The covert narcissist essentially uses gaslighting as a hidden way of controlling her victims without it being outwardly obvious. It’ll be so concealed that the victim themselves won’t even see what’s happening.

READ: 100+ Gaslighting Examples

She’s Emotionally Empty

When you bring up your own personal issues with the female covert narcissist, most of the time you’ll be met with an emotional unavailability and lack of empathy. Yet, when she is going through something woeful and is in full victimhood, she expects complete empathy and compassion from others.

There is an emotional emptiness to the covert narcissist because essentially, she is an inauthentic no-self. Without her True Self she has nothing but an empty black hole inside, which can never be filled, only ever satiated.

Any moments of empathy that she does show are merely her mirroring back how she’s learnt to act in those situations. Quite often any empathy she displays is purely a manipulation tactic to gain trust and information out of someone or get them on side for her own benefit.

She Throws Adult Tantrums

When a female covert narc has a narcissistic injury she will lash out in rage, spewing her unhealed wounds all over the person who dared to bring them to her attention in the first place. A narcissistic injury is where one of her deep wounds have been triggered, yet since she refuses to acknowledge it, she instantly projects it outward as fast as possible.

Another instance where a covert narc will fly into an adult tantrum is when she simply isn’t getting her way and none of her manipulation tactics are working.

Narcissists are fundamentally stuck at the emotional maturity level of a child. You can witness this the most when they fail to get what they want and start kicking and screaming like an oversized toddler.

Narcissistic rages can be scary to witness, given the size of the person and the venom that leeches out of them in that moment. In some cases their eyes turn dark and it’s as though an entity has taken over them and they’re not even there any more.

▶️ VIDEO: 9 Signs of a Female Covert Narcissist

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Dealing with a Covert Female Narcissist

Anyone who’s got Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are bound to their mental illness for life. You cannot save or heal them because the crux of narcissism is, “I am perfect, I am superior, I am a God.”

In the narcissist’s view, they are already the pinnacle of perfection, therefore there is nothing to be fixed.

If anyone needs to change it’s you!

So, protecting yourself from the covert narcissist’s abusive behaviours becomes paramount for anyone who needs to deal with them.

How to protect yourself from a covert narcissist:

  • Go ‘No Contact’ if they do not need to be in your life any more
  • Set your own boundaries based on what behaviour you will and will not tolerate (despite how they thought they could treat you in the past)
  • Keep interactions with them short and sweet
  • Detach from their pity parties
  • Step back from enabling their behaviour
  • Make yourself too busy for them to be able to latch onto
  • Pull your energy back from them and pour into yourself instead
  • Focus on self-care & rebuilding your own self-worth and strength
READ: 13 Reactions When You Block a Narcissist

My hope is that this post has helped with understanding how a female covert narcissist operates so that you can free yourself from her controlling and manipulative behaviour.

If you’ve been in a prolonged relationship with a narcissist, the next step is to focus on healing your traumas so that they’ve got nothing to trigger you with, allowing you to rise beyond them for good!

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