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Doormat Covert Narcissist Turns Primary Psychopath

Uploaded 6/27/2020, approx. 44 minute read

Many of you send me questions and ask, can the covert narcissist become a classic narcissist? Can the classic narcissist become a covert narcissist? Can the somatic become a cerebral, etc., etc.?

Well, let me tell you something, children. I'm old enough to have dined with the dinosaurs. And I can tell you one thing I've learned in my long and fruitful life, the only constant thing is change.

So yes, every mental construct, every mental health diagnosis within the cluster B personality disorders can and does metamorphosize into other personality disorders within the cluster B, which is precisely why I've been advocating since 1997 to unify all these separate diagnoses into a single diagnosis of personality disorder cluster B with different emphases.

But that's a subject for another video.


Today, what I would like to discuss is what happens to the covert narcissist when he or she, more frequently he, when the covert narcissist transforms.

What does the covert narcissist change into when subjected to stress, to humiliation, to rejection, to abandonment, to mortification?

We know that borderline women, women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, they react by becoming secondary psychopaths. Ask any spouse of a borderline woman and he will confirm this.

Borderline women, when they are stressed, when they're frustrated, when they're humiliated, when they're rejected or abandoned or perceive abandonment or anticipate abandonment or whatever, they tend to react like psychopaths do.

But they are secondary psychopaths. They are psychopaths with emotions and with empathy, but they're still psychopaths. They react in antisocial ways. They become defiant. They lose impulse control. They don't think about the consequences of their actions. They don't have long-term thinking, etc.

I've dedicated a whole video to this. There's a video about the borderline woman as a secondary psychopath. I recommend that you watch it.

The covert narcissist, when he is under similar adversarial problematic circumstances, tends to become a primary psychopath. In more rare cases, in fewer cases, the covert narcissist becomes a classic narcissist. That's more rare. And it's more rare because the covert narcissist has difficulty to solicit and elicit narcissistic supply from the environment.

The covert narcissist, you remember, he's shy. He is fragile. He is vulnerable. He is avoidant. He is anxious.

And so the covert narcissist doesn't have the necessary tools to extract narcissistic supply from other people, either by coercing them, charming them, cajoling, but he doesn't know how to do this.

So what happens to the covert narcissist in most cases is that he becomes a primary psychopath.

And this is the topic of today's conversation, today's video.


And so we started by saying that there is no type constancy. For example, the overt or the classic narcissist can switch from somatic to cerebro, from cerebro to somatic, from inverted to classic, from classic to inverted, etc.

Similarly, the patient with borderline personality disorder can suddenly become a secondary psychopath.

Why is that? It's because these people don't have an identity. They have something called identity disturbance, identity diffusion.

Instead of a core, a very strong identifiable core with strict demarcated boundaries, these people have a cloud, a cloud or a swarm, like a swarm of bees or locusts or a hive mind. They are all over the place and they are utterly inconsistent and they are all inclusive and they assimilate and assemble influences constantly. And these influences affect who they are. Not only what they remember, not only their moods, moodlability, not only their emotions, emotional dysregulation, but who they are, their identity, crucially dependent, crucially depends on input from the environment, on their milieu, on what people tell them, on how they are judged, on criticism, on disagreement, on applause, on approval, on adulation, on admiration, you name it. Feedback, input from the environment is crucial for the regulation of theirinternal environment.

Actually, they confuse their internal environment with external. Their internal objects are external, their external objects are internal. And this is why they have severe difficulties in their relationship and I've dealt with this in other videos.


But today we are going to deal with the covert narcissist.

The covert narcissist has many similarities to borderline personalities, many. But it has a few outstanding features, a few special features.

Again, I describe these features in a series of videos and in an interview I gave about covert narcissism. And you can find all of them on my YouTube channel.

The foundational work in covert narcissism is Cooper and Akhtar in 1989. And they were the first to describe phenomena such as pseudo humility. The covert narcissist pretends to be modest and humble, but it's a cover for grandiosity. They describe shape shifting.

So they go to these videos and have a look at what is a covert narcissist.

A word of warning, most of the material on covert narcissists online is utter, sheer, unmitigated nonsense, for two reasons. It does not rely on scholarly studies and research. And the second reason is the diagnosis of covert narcissism is extremely new. We don't have a sufficient body of research to substantiate or support any of its features, psychodynamic features, clinical features, and so on. So we are groping in the dark at this stage. Anyone who pretends to tell you what is exactly a covert narcissist is basing himself on anecdotes, misdiagnosis, or sheer nonsense, which he took out of his sleeve. Be careful, be careful. I would say from my experience, anywhere between 90, that's nine zero, and 95% of all the so-called information out there, including information given to you by people whose names are preceded by doctor, is absolute trash. So whatever you hear, try to do your own research. Try to find scholarly articles in academic journals and so on and so forth. Go to reliable websites and so on, because YouTube is accessible and a cesspit of nonsense and worse.


Let's go back to the covert narcissist.

So the covert narcissist is forced very often to be a people pleaser.

There is a proposed subtype of borderline known as shy borderline, or vulnerable borderline. Shy is a common phrase. It is not clinically substantiated. Many attempts have been made to find such a subtype. We failed. That's precisely the reason why it's not mentioned in any textbook. It's not mentioned in the diagnostic and statistical manual. You can find it on the online and usually in the work of one or two highly specific therapies. So I'm sure it's very profitable, but unfortunately it has no legs to stand on.

In other words, what I'm trying to tell you, there's no such thing as a shy borderline. It's completely unmitigated nonsense. There are borderlines who internalize their aggressive impulses and their egodystonic emotions, such as guilt and shame, but all borderlines do it from time to time.

Borderlines pendulate the switch between internalizing and externalizing. Psychopaths only externalize. They are angry. You'll be the first to know. They are vengeful. You will pay the price. They externalize everything and you bear the brunt of their dissatisfaction, their unhappiness, their rage, and so on.

Borderlines are not like that. Borderlines go through two phases. In the first phase, they actually internalize. They feel ashamed. They feel guilty. They feel dysphoric, in other words, sad, sad or depressed. They feel anxious and they accumulate and they accumulate and they don't show anything, don't express themselves, don't let it out. Then they erupt. They erupt like a volcano. They become secondary psychopaths.

This is the typical pattern of borderline, the accumulation phase followed by the eruption phase, very geological. I think this is the source of the confusion when we come to shy borderlines.

The shy borderlines have longer than usual accumulation phases, but all borderlines, all borderlines without a single exception, act out. They can act out by cheating on the spouse. They can act out by breaking objects. They can act out by engaging in extreme forms of silent treatment or catatonic behavior. They can sit on a chair and not move for two weeks. They can act out by not taking a shower for a month, by not getting out of bed for two days. There are a million ways to act out, but all borderlines act out. All borderlines externalize their aggressive impulses.

This is very crucial to understand. It's similar with the covert narcissist. The covert narcissist goes through an accumulation phase. The humiliations, because covert narcissists are hypervigilant, they know that they are deficient. They know that they are lacking. They know that they don't have what it takes to obtain narcissistic supply.

In a way, you could say that covert narcissists are in a perpetual state of collapse. They are perpetual collapsed narcissists. Exactly like collapsed narcissists, they react with aggression, but it takes a long time. It takes a lot longer than usual for the covert narcissist to react with aggression. And then when it does react with aggression, it's highly channeled and highly structured and very dissimilar, not the same, like the aggression of the classic narcissist.

The aggression of the classic narcissist is infantile. It's like the temper tantrum of a spoiled brat. An idiot.

The aggression of the covert narcissist is very similar to the psychopath. We come to it in a minute.


This is the topic of this video.

But the covert narcissist can go for years, for years, without showing anything. Everything underground, everything surreptitious, everything hidden, concealed. That's why it's called covert. Everything is covert. All the bad emotions, the bad blood, the animosity, the hostility, the envy, the feelings of inferiority, festering, seething, and then finally erupting.

Throughout the life of the covert narcissist, he experiences losses. People have been taken away from the covert narcissist. Even what's rightfully his, all his life, the covert narcissist gets used because he is not assertive, because he has no functional boundaries, exactly like the classic narcissist. And because he doesn't know to extract supply, to compensate for the wounds and for the arrows and slings of fortune, because he doesn't have this arsenal, arsenal of grandiosity and compensatory tools that the narcissist has, he experiences life as a constant state of loss.

And everyone takes away from him everything. People take away from him his time, his ideas, his money, his reputation, his women, his contacts, you name it. Even if they don't, that's how he experiences relationships with people. Because he's hypervigilant and a bit paranoid. And because he is pseudo humble, not really humble, he experiences every interaction as a bruising competition in which he is bound to lose. He's bound to lose because he cannot stand up for himself. He feels that he's not, if he's a man, he feels he's not a man.

And in any case, he feels that everyone is trampling over him. Everyone is stepping on him. Everyone is humiliating, burying him in the mud. And that's a horrible feeling. And it's a feeling that provokes even in healthy people would provoke negative affectivity, negative emotionality, extreme aggression.

In 1939, there was a psychologist, Donald, he suggested that frustration is automatically converted to aggression and almost fully converted to aggression.

So such constant frustration breeds aggression. Aggression is a fixture and feature of the personality. In other words, the covert narcissist is an aggressive personality.

But this aggression, even this aggression is counterproductive because he has to suppress it. He cannot show it. He cannot release it. He doesn't allow himself, for example, to be really angry. Instead of being really angry, instead of communicating and verbalizing his rage, his grudges, his complaints, his grievances.

The covert narcissist would prefer to be passive aggressive. He would undermine. He would procrastinate. He would sabotage. He would make sure things don't happen. He would disintimate. He would destroy intimacy in a variety of mechanisms and ways and methodologies.

So, and it's all there. This swamp ofevil and negative, you know, it's all there. And there is a limit to what any human being can tolerate.

Covert narcissists are no different. Many of them are human beings. And so there's a limit to what they can tolerate. And they go through life and they adopt a posture of a people pleaser. They feign, first of all, they feign indifference. They pretend to be indifferent to what's being done to them.

Like if I don't show you that it hurts me, if I have a devil may care attitude, if I have a, you know, go ahead, do what you want. See if I care, then I'm impregnable. Then I'm untouchable. Then you cannot hurt me. Then you don't have the satisfaction to see me hurt. You don't have satisfaction to see the pain in my eyes. I'm going to pretend that, you know, who cares? Do what you want.

So indifference is a major apathy. Indifference is a major defense of the covert narcissists.

And in very extreme cases, they become numb and expressionless, literally expressionless. They have like a blunt face. And because they have a poker face, not to show their hand, you know, it's covered, poker in a way.

And the second thing they do, they collude in their own abuse. They collude in the plunder. They collude in the pillage. They collude in the invasion of their territory, in the violation of their own boundaries. They collude in their own maltreatment and mistreatment and humiliation.

Because internally they perceive that if they collude with this, then they are in control. If they made it happen, then they made it happen. They started the process. They controlled it.

So they tell themselves stories. A covert narcissist can tell himself, I allowed people to abuse me because I'm self-destructive. I'm self-destructive. I'm self-defeating. I actually use them. I use these people as pawns. I took them and they were my instruments. They were my tools for self-destruction.

So they create this false fake narrative. They reframe situations which are essentially abusive, situations which involve loss and pain and hurt, devastating hurt. They reframe it as I made it happen.

Those of you who watched the previous videos about mortification, this is the classic mechanism where an external mortification, something that happens to the narcissist from the outside and challenges his personality and his brandiosity and the cohesion and coherence of his ability to function.

So when this happens, some narcissists replace the story, reframe the story. Instead of saying someone hurt me from the outside, they say I made this person hurt me.

They replace external mortification with internal mortification. They restore the locus of control. If someone did something to you from outside, then you're not in control. There is an external locus of control.

But if you say I made them do it. I provoked them. I humiliated them. I abused them. So they abused me back. I rejected them. So they rejected me. I humiliated them. They humiliated me. I took something from them.

Their pride, their well-being, their happiness. So they took something from me.

If you reframe the story this way, you made things happen. You are godlike. It's a grandiose defense.

So covert narcissists have this a lot. And so they try somehow to control the situation.

And one way to do that is to be totally self-destructive, self-defeating, passive-aggressive, supportaging, undermining evil.

Perhaps the word evil fits here somehow. But even not in the religious, philosophical, ethical sense. But even in the sense that it's de-sympathic, without empathy. That's one strategy.

But there is another strategy, which is much more common, by the way.

Covert narcissists try to be people pleasers. They try to have no boundaries, no dignity, no self-respect, or even to pretend to be crazy, no sanity. They're like the perennial clowns, or the king's joker.

And in this way, what they're saying is, look, I'm childlike. I'm childlike. I'm defenseless. Don't hurt me. I will give you anything you want. I will do anything you want. You can take from me anything you want.

What do you want? You want my wife? Take my wife. You want my money? Take my money. That's it. Do what you want.

But I'm defenseless. So don't hurt me beyond what you absolutely have to do.

And so they say to themselves, whatever people can do to me and to mine, people around me, my loved, my nearest, my dearest, is limited by their pity, by their compassion. Maybe by their sense that there is nothing more to take.

Maybe people will stop hurting me when the maintenance cost becomes too high.

So some covert narcissists become people pleasers and rely on the kindness of strangers, to borrow a term from a street card named Desire, the famous theater play movie. So they rely on the kindness of strangers. They rely on the pity, compassion of strangers.

And others, as I said, they become passive aggressive. And they do this so that the cost of abusing them will skyrocket and escalate. And at some point, the abuser would say, okay, enough is enough. It's not worth it.

But of course, this makes everyone around the covert narcissists feel unsafe, unprotected, especially his women, especially his wife, his spouse, his girlfriend. But not only his, his colleagues, his, his children. They feel unsafe. They feel unprotected because it's not a lack of assertiveness. It's willingly, willingly forgoing boundaries, dignity, self-respect, sanity, predictability, safety. They feel insecure. And of course, they feel disillusioned. Everyone around the covert narcissist feels disillusioned.

So ironically, even the covert narcissist people pleasing is not the normal type of people pleasing, not the same type of people pleasing.

In a typical people pleasing setup, the people pleaser pleases people sacrificially. She or he, she usually says, okay, my interests are less important than your interests. My wellbeing is less important than your wellbeing. I will sacrifice. I will sacrifice my happiness, sacrifice my future, sacrifice my wellbeing for your sake. It's not healthy, but it's far more sane and grounded than the covert narcissist version.

The covert narcissist version is not to say, I will sacrifice something for you. The covert narcissist version is to say, if you want, if you want to take something from me, whatever it is, even if you're taking from me my pride, my dignity, I will vanish. I will disappear. And by disappearing, I will undermine you because then there will be no one to take anything from.

And indeed, the main strategy of the covert narcissist is the vanishing act. Suddenly, he or she is nowhere to be seen. Nowhere to be seen, absenting themselves, not only physically, actually, rarely physically, but absenting themselves emotionally. Not there. I'm not here. You can't hurt me. I'm not here.

And it's a passive aggressive strategy, but in their minds, it's a people pleasing strategy.

So, for example, a covert narcissist may tell you, I'm leaving you alone because you want to be alone. Or I don't care what you do with other women because I want you to be happy. In other words, I'm not here.

The covert narcissist realizes that he's mentally ill, that she is utterly dysfunctional. If it's a female covert narcissist, they realize this. They know that they're incapable of maintaining even the rudiments of a relationship. Sometimes they're not capable of having sex, proper sex, not sadistic sex, masochistic sex, or kinky sex, proper sex. They definitely are not able to gauge reality properly or to act in reality self-efficaciously.

It is this lack of self-efficacy that underlies covert narcissism.

The covert narcissist is a narcissist who failed to act efficiently on the environment, failed to extract supply, to regulate his internal psychodynamics to allow him to function.

So it's a failure.

The essence of covert narcissism is reified failure, defeat. The covert narcissist is defeated.

And so even if the covert narcissist decides on minimal targets, like I will hold on to what's mine. I will hold on to who is already with me. I will hold on to my wife because I love her. I will hold on to my possessions because they're mine. I mean, even these decisions are non-defensible. He doesn't have the resources even to implement this kind of super minimal targets, which the lowest of the lowest can.

And so gradually everyone comes to regard the covert narcissist with a mixture of weariness because he's like a snake. You never know when he will lash out and kind of with a spiked tongue will do something.

So with a mixture of weariness, you realize that there's some processes going in the background that you will never be given access to. Stealth processes, ambient processes, not good processes, something evil. You realize that process is there, which are not totally healthy and definitely not benevolent. There's a lot of malice, malevolence, maliciousness in the air, ambient.

So people treat the covert people, when I say people, I mean men and women. By the way, it's a rare case where both men and women treat someone the same way. So weariness, pity, revulsion and content.

Gradually covert narcissist experiences only these reactions from other people. They're never loved, they're never hugged, they're never kissed, they're never embraced, they never feel at home, they never feel welcome and accepted, let alone unconditionally.

All the experiences, contempt, disgust, revulsion, weariness, people will keep away from them, keep away from them and pity, overwhelming pity.

And so some covert narcissists, of course, are gifted and people are envious of the gifts of such a covert narcissist. And many people project this envy and their sense of guilt and shame for abusing the covert narcissist.

By becoming even more aggressive, there is an unholy, unholy, unwholesome cycle of aggression with the covert narcissist. His reticence, his reluctance to engage, his inferiority, his pseudo humility, his fakeness, his identity diffusion and instability, his cunning, his passive aggression, they provoke aggression, they provoke an aggressive reaction, an aggressive reaction from his environment.

But then people are ashamed that they had reacted to him this way, they feel guilty and sometimes they envy him for some of his gifts. So this provokes even more aggression and this more aggression provokes the covert narcissist to be even more covert and more narcissist. And this provokes more aggression.

The covert narcissists cannot extricate himself from this never-ending cycle of maltreatment and mystery. I mean, covert narcissists in all the videos that you see online, YouTube, they portray some kind of demons, devilish entities who are out cunningly with subterfuge and Machiavellian ideation, they've just spent all their days thinking how to destroy you.

Not so, not so. The typical covert narcissist is actually very sad, very broken, very damaged and wants very much not to be himself, but can't. They can't.

Ultimately covert narcissists lose everyone in their life. Everyone walks away having squeezed the covert narcissist dry of any usefulness.

It'sso impossible to have any type of productive, happy, mutually rewarding, reciprocal relationship with the covert narcissist that people very often and very fast gravitate to a transactional relationship with the covert narcissist. They take something from him.

And if he insists, they give themselves, but it becomes a transaction. A covert narcissist can start a love affair and within six months, it will all be about money. He can establish a business with full trust and loyalty. And within a year, his partners will have betrayed him and introduced another someone else instead of him, substitute for him.

He's constantly betrayed, constantly abandoned, constantly dropped, because he offers nothing of himself. And he offers nothing of himself, first of all, because there is no such, exactly like classic and overt narcissist. There's no one there, but he also offers nothing of himself because he's hypervigilant, paranoid, suspicious, and he is afraid to offer something.

So there is something I call the doormat, doormat narcissist. From time to time, the doormat narcissist tries to fight back. The doormat narcissist is a covert narcissist who was trampled upon to the point that he became like a doormat. And he also adopted doormat strategies, given, given before you're destroyed.

I mean, the alternatives are don't give in, be defiant and be destroyed or given.

So there's this variant of covert narcissist, which I tongue in cheek called the doormat narcissist. And from time to time, the doormat covert narcissist tries to fight back.

But even the ways that he tries to fight back are utterly dysfunctional and counterproductive. And he tries to fight back by emulating and imitating a psychopath, a primary psychopath.

The covert narcissist looks around and says, look at me, look at me. Everyone has sex with my wife. Everyone stole my money. Everyone humiliates me, mocks me, ridicules me, derides me, decries me, criticizes me, disagrees with me. All the time, whatever I'm doing, it's considered to be passive-aggressive, cunning, disgusting. People are revolted. People pity me. People make jokes at my expense.

Covert narcissists have something called referential ideation. They think everyone is gossiping about them, making jokes at their expense.

So finally, the covert narcissist says, okay, can I be different? Let me try to be different. Can I stop all this? Can I extricate myself from this cesspool, from this cistern?

And he looks around and says, wow, you know what? Psychopaths get it right. No one, no one fucks with a psychopath. No one dares to screw with a psychopath. A psychopath gets his way. Psychopaths rule. Psychopaths rock. I'll be a psychopath.

And so when covert narcissists attempt to become self-efficacious, when they attempt to reassert control over their lives and to establish functional boundaries, they do so by imitating primary psychopaths, not secondary, like the borderline. The borderline becomes a secondary psychopath. Secondary psychopath is someone who engages in antisocial behavior, impulsive behavior, socially unacceptable behavior, unethical behavior, but still maintains emotions and empathy. So she feels bad about what she's doing.

The covert narcissist tries to imitate and emulate very successfully sometimes a primary psychopath. That's a psychopath with no conscience, like the famous title of the book by Robert Hare.

See, someone without conscience, someone with no function, no regret, no remorse, no guilt, no shame, nothing, no empathy, nothing. People are objects to be used, abused, discarded, end of story, next case.

This is the primary psychopath. Primary psychopath is not evil in the sense that not a tiny minority of primary psychopaths are sadists. And so these primary psychopaths inflict pain because they derive pleasure from inflicting pain.

But the overwhelming majority of psychopaths are not sadists.

When they do inflict pain, when they do hurt people, it's instrumental. It's in order to get something.

They're goal-oriented, they're goal-focused. They're not all the time very self-efficacious.

Many psychopaths are all over the place. I call them the klekli psychopaths.

I make a distinction between the klekli psychopaths and the heiress psychopaths.

The klekli psychopaths are losers, zeros.

But all psychopaths, the mischievous, clownish, klekli psychopath, and the goal-oriented chief executive officer psychopath, knows where he's going, knows how to get there.

All psychopaths of every considerable variety, primary psychopaths, trample on people. All of them use people, all of them abuse people, all of them regard people as objects. All of them don't care, don't care what their actions might do to people.

And so the doormat narcissist looks around and says, wow, this works. It's a great strategy. Look at this guy. He has money. He has beautiful girls all over him. He enjoys life. He's traveling. I'll be like him. I'll be a primary psychopath.

So he tries to fight back by becoming primary psychopath.

So many covert narcissists, for example, will become con artists, scammers. They con people out of money. They assert themselves. They assert themselves by taking instead of giving. Most of the lives they give, they have to give to survive.

But now they want to take. So how do they take?

Fraud, cheating. Cheating, I mean, monetarily money, stealing, antisocial activities. Or the covert narcissist would insist on sexual exclusivity at the commencement of an intimate relationship coupled with kinky and sadistic sex.

That's his way. I'm the man now, you know?

So it's very off-putting, very off-putting to watch because you have this warm, warm of a person, this midget, this zero, this loser, who suddenly, you know, puffs up and I'm now the king. I'm not the rooster. I'm the king of the, you know, king of the hill and he's imitating, he's imitating a real psychopath.

Real psychopaths. And it's very off-putting because you see that again, again, it's a strategy of faking.

Covert narcissists know only how to fake. Even when they're talented and so, they would build on their talent and their gift and their endowment and fake. They would use it to fake. They would leverage whatever gifts they have.

Some of them have gifts. They would leverage these gifts to fake, to misbehave, to undermine water. Water, I swear.

Oh, the hell, no one believes me. Okay.

But you know what? Covert narcissist is a failure. I said it before. And even here, when he tries to imitate a primary psychopath, he fails time and again.

People, for example, see right through him, walk away. Women team up with him and then cheat on him repeatedly.

Why? Because their needs, emotional needs, physical needs are not met. And in the hope that he will set them free and let them go once they have made him aware of their ostentatious, sexual, inflagrant transgressions.

There's one thing the covert narcissist is very good at is clinging, clinging, neediness, emotional blackmail, stalking. You can't just come to covert narcissist if you are his spouse, intimate partner, intimate, romantic partner. You can't just come and say, listen, you know, we're not getting along. We're not compatible. Let's break up like two adults. There's no other there. There's nobody there. Even child.

In the case of the classic narcissist, you have a child. In the case of the covert narcissist, you have an absence, but true absence.

The narcissist, the classic narcissist provides you with a hole of mirrors. There's a child there that's a true self, it's wounded, it's broken, it's damaged, it's crying. It's not functional.

So you can't really interact with it. You can see it.

As the intimate partner of the narcissist, you can see this child. You can fall in love with each child. You can have maternal instincts and reflexes to protect this child, to nourish and nurture this child, but you can't really reach this child. And there's no real growth or progress.

But at least the narcissist provides you with a hole of mirrors. At least he idealizes. At least he generates a new psychodynamic. He generates new processes, thoughts, emotions, something.

Covert narcissist is not even this. It's a howling, howling, deep space, void. There's not even a hole of mirrors.

For example, covert narcissists are very bad at idealizing. They don't know to idealize.

So but they cling. They are needy. They demand. They stop you. Stalkers come, especially eryotomaniac stalkers, come out of the rows of covert narcissists.

So covert narcissist is likely to become an eryotomaniac stalker or any type of stalker, paranoid stalker, much more than a classic narcissist.

Classic narcissist would just let you go, replace you. You're interchangeable. You're commodified or commoditized. You are dispensable.

Not so with the covert narcissist. Covert narcissist would become a stalker or would not let you go, simply. I mean, physically would not let you go. Emotionally black valence threatens suicide or something like that. In this sense, the covert narcissist has the same behavior like the borderline patient and like some very sick and extreme cases of codependency, dependent personality disorder. That's the clinical diagnosis.

So covert narcissists are very dependent. And when they are pushed to the corner, when they are under tremendous stress, when they experience tremendous stressors, when they're humiliated and rejected and abandoned or at risk of being abandoned, they suddenly become borderline or codependent.

And then when this doesn't work, they become primary psychopaths. Of course, if you look at it, it makes sense because the borderline is a bridge into psychopathy. Remember that the borderline becomes secondary psychopath.

So what happens is essentially the covert narcissist, when rejected, humiliated, abused, abandoned, stressed, etc., de-stressed, depressed, the covert narcissist then becomes borderline.

In other words, he becomes a secondary psychopath and then becomes a primary psychopath.

You can see the logic in the, in the, but the internal experience of the covert narcissist, of course, is different.

By the way, this is common with healthy people. No one experiences the world and himself or herself precisely as other people experience you. That's why talking to people is important. Socializing is a very important self-regulatory function.

So people provide you mirroring. They provide you with calibration. They set you straight.

So the covert narcissist doesn't experience himself the way other people experience him. For him, for example, when he cheats on people and steals their money or whatever, for him, this is setting boundaries, asserting himself. But of course he is, this kind of refraining is confabulated and fallacious.

Think about it for a minute. What does a covert narcissist do?

Covert narcissist becomes a con artist when he transitions to the primary psychopath mode, when he says enough is enough. I've been abused. I've been molested. I've been everything. I'm putting a stop to it from now on.

I'm a firm man or woman. I am going to get what I want. I'm going to be a primary psychopath.

Okay. What am I going to do? I'm going to steal money from people.

So even then what the covert narcissist does is he invents a character. The con artistry is built on a fictitious character, a fictional character.

So the covert narcissist invents a fictional character and this fictional character extracts money for me or sex or power or whatever it is that the covert narcissist decided will set him free and make him whole.

When the covert narcissist becomes primary psychopath, he decides on goals, the goal is to make him feel better, more egosyntonic, better with himself. So whatever the goals are, he doesn't dare to go out there as himself.

He creates a character, a fictional character, and he lets people interact with this character.

So there's covert narcissist, character, people, and people never interact with the covert narcissist in the primary psychopath phase. They interact with a fictitious or fictional character that he had constructed for this purpose.

But then wait a minute. If he had created a fictional character as a primary psychopath for the con job, it defeats the purpose.

Again, actually, the covert narcissist ends up giving everything of himself to another person. It's true that this other person was conjured up by the covert narcissist.

Please try to understand what I'm saying. All his life, other people took from the covert narcissist everything.

Now he's fed up, he's pissed off, he wants to put a stop to it.

What does he do? He invents yet another person. And that invented, conjured, imaginary, scripted person again takes everything from him.

The covert narcissist is locked, locked into a pattern which he cannot break out of. He is used to giving to other people. He is used that other people take from him.

So even when he wants to take something, he doesn't feel that he can take it. He feels so inferior, so lacking in efficacy, such a zero in a loser that even when he wants to steal money from people, he doesn't dare to do it himself.

He invents another person and he gives everything he has to that invented creature, to that new entity, to that new person.

Again, he perpetuates the story of his life. Again, he gives everything to someone else that he had invented with someone else.

It means nothing psychologically. It's again not you. It's again not him. The benefits that flow from the con artistry, from the fraud, from the cheating, they don't flow to him. They flow to this imaginary firewall, to this mode, to this separation, to this partition. They flow to this creature, to this character.

And that's where they stop. The covert narcissist doesn't experience it. And if he does, he experiences it by proxy as a secondary benefit, like a very distant echo.

The covert narcissist doesn't allow himself, even as a primary psychopath, to enjoy the fruits of his misconduct. If he got a drunk woman to sleep with him, she's not sleeping with him. She's sleeping with a fake man that he had created for her.

If he stole money from a pensioner, from a retiree, he didn't steal the money, nor does he enjoy the money. It's the person he had created, the con artist, this imaginary figure that takes the money from the retiree, from the pensioner, and essentially enjoys it. It never gets to him. Even now, he is always one step behind, one step removed, watching in envy as life unfolds in front of his eyes, but unable to touch it, unable to reach it, because he is looking through a glass darkly.

It's like in the Bible, Moses, Prophet Moses, God let him see the land of Canaan, but never allowed him to enter. After 40 years of walking the nation of Israel through the desert, God did not allow Moses to enter the land of Canaan. That was his punishment. That's the punishment of the covert narcissist. He can see, he can grasp, he can perceive what it would be like to experience life, to live, but he can never live. He can never really experience. He always has to, because he's so weary, so afraid, he's so paranoid, so suspicious, so hurt, so damaged, so broken, so inferior, so inefficient, he has to avoid life. Whatever happens can happen to the entity that he had invented when he became a psychopath.

And of course, the classic narcissist has this on a permanent basis, precisely the roles of the false self. That's why the narcissist, the classic narcissist, never experiences life, because people are not reacting to the narcissist, they're reacting to the false self.

And the false self is not the narcissist, is not, they are not the same. Their false self has very little to do with the narcissist, but characteristics, his traits, his behaviors don't, they don't, he doesn't share anything with the narcissist.

And so if a woman falls in love with the false self, she falls in love with the false self, not with the narcissist.

If the narcissist makes money, it's the false self that enjoys it, not the narcissist.

Narcissist is always an observer, a spectator. Watch my previous video, hyper-reflexivity. The narcissist always watches his life from the outside as though it were some curious insect, some object to be perused and studied scientifically.

It's a horrible feeling, it's like you're removed from your own life.

And what do you do when you don't exist at all? Who is this? Who is observing in the case of the covert narcissist?

Even this question is unclear.

Covert narcissist makes women fall in love with a false apparition, with an emanation, with a thespian project, a role play, I don't know, a stage play. Never with a real him, when the grooming phase is over and the potential mate or intimate partner enters the shared fantasy, she discovers to her dismay that the covert narcissist had conned her into a relationship with a complete abusive and mentally disabled stranger with him. So he presents one facade, that's the love bombing and grooming phase.

I have a video about these two. I think I have a video about everything, I have to check.

So in the love bombing and grooming phase, the covert narcissist and the classic narcissist make the potential partner, the intimate partner, fall in love with some totally imaginary character, with a fictitious character, with a protagonist, with a screen, with a visage, I don't know what to call it, mirage.

But when of course the relationship starts in earnest, she discovers the discrepancy between the person or the man she had fallen in love with and the real man.

And this piece is rough, this disillusioner, she becomes angry, disappointed, frustrated, she feels that she had been fooled and lied to and deceived. And her most fervent wish is to up and walk away by any and all means necessary.

If she has to have casual sex with a stranger to get rid of the covert narcissist, she would do anything. She would rob a bank. She would stand naked in the square, in the days before social distancing. She would do anything just to get rid of it.

Because the pain that the covert narcissist inflicts on his intimate partner is double.

First of all, she had been deceived and lied to.

And that's a very bad feeling always, but also she had been fooled. So she's a fool.

He is a constant reminder how gullible and stupid she would be to have fallen in his trap.

No one can suffer this.

And again, by luring women into his lair, I'm saying women, but of course you can switch the pronouns. You can, by luring women into his lair, the covert narcissist is giving himself abundantly, but to another man.

He is luring these women not to himself, but to the man he had invented, a fictitious character.

I don't know the irresistible genius.

The covert narcissist is doing the dirty work for this fictional protagonist. He's satisfying the grandiose and sadistic needs of this imagined, invented, created character to uphold and prove his irresistibility, to taunt, frustrate, humiliate and despoil women captivated.

I don't know what, whatever the needs of this imaginary primary psychopath character, the covert narcissist gets to work. He is the servant of his own creation.

It's like the golem. The golem in the famous Jewish story where, you know, they made from mud, mud and soil, they made a kind of monster. And then they put the name of God in the monster's mouth and it came alive.

It's the same with the covert narcissist. It's a Frankenstein. He's a Frankenstein. He's Dr. Frankenstein. He creates this golem. And then he puts the name of God, primary psychopath in the mouth of the golem, becomes primary psychopath.

But the covert narcissist is a servant of this golem. He's working for the golem.

What happens to the golem?

The sex is the golem. The money is the golem. The pleasure derived out of sex and money is the golem is the power is the golem. Everything is channeled. Everything drains into the golem.

The covert narcissist just does the dirty work for the golem.

And these are the needs of the fictional character, not of the doormat covert narcissist. The doormat covert narcissist being the people pleaser that he is, he dedicates all these resources to cater to the needs of this fictional character, of this imaginary entity, the superhero, the primary psychopath, which he conjured up like a magician.

It's very difficult to comprehend, but imagine that you invent, imagine that you want someone very much, but you're very afraid to reveal who you truly are. So you invent false identity on Tinder, on Tinder, you invent a false identity. And then you interact with the heart robe or the drop dead gorgeous. But who is interacting? Not you. Your false identity is interacting. What are you doing? You're maintaining the false identity. You're working on behalf of the false identity. You will become the false identity's indentured servant.

That's how the covert narcissist experiences his life.


And so women in committed primary diets often complain to casual sex partners, to dates or to lovers when they stray, when they cheat, when they commit adultery. So they often complain to the partners about their relationship. So they often complain about their relationship.

Notice the relationship, how it's dysfunction brought on the adultery.

Same with men, of course. Men who stray out of committed, monogamous, sexually exclusive relationships, they complain about the relationship. They can complain about the partner, but they would complain about how the partner functions in the relationship. The focus would be on the husband.

But typically the spouse or the intimate partner of the covert narcissist would complain to her cheating partner or to his cheating partner about the covert narcissist, not about the relationship, about the covert narcissist. And very often she would say things like he doesn't exist or all he knows to do is to be angry or something like this. But the focus would be on the problem, the dysfunction, the reason for the adultery, the reason for the extra marital affair, the reason for the straying and the cheating, the reason for exiting, for the extra dyadic sex, for exiting the couple. The reason is the identity or lack of identity, lack of core of the partner when the partner is a covert narcissist.

If the partner is healthy, the complaints would usually be centered, revolve around the relationship. The relationship is not working because the partner is doing this or not doing this, but it would be about the relationship. It's an important distinction.

Very often the covert narcissist, intimate partners, business partners, they like many elements in their relationship with the covert narcissist. Very often they miss these elements after the breakup or after the dissolution of the business. They miss these elements.

There were many elements in the interaction that they liked and wanted, but there was no way they could countenance the covert narcissist himself. What he did, how he acted, how he reacted sometimes is acceptable or even more, more than acceptable, but he himself is not. Something is seriously awry with the covert narcissist himself, with who he is or rather with who he's not.

And it makes even the greatest rewards, the greatest gifts, greatest adventures, the greatest sex and incommensurate compensation, insufficient compensation. I don't know, but possibly it's like having great sex with a sex doll or having a very intelligent conversation with an artificial intelligence up. There's a feeling that everything that happens, happens independent of the covert narcissist. Every behavior of the covert narcissist, every contribution, every gift, every endowment, every wonderful moment is there, but kind of not, not directly emanating from the covert narcissist.

There's a disjointedness between the covert narcissist and all the whirlwind and whirlpool around him. And these are the only two modes that the covert narcissist has, the doormat and the primary psychopath.

Sometimes after a crisis, the covert narcissist becomes a doormat and he keeps the psychopath comatose and for very long periods of time he remains a doormat. But the primary psychopath always comes to the fore, always erupts, always returns, always takes over, always.


Now, two concepts.

Switching is the transition from one type of personality to another.

Switching is a term borrowed from the clinical psychology of dissociative identity disorder, multiple personalities.

In multiple personalities or dissociative identity disorder, when the person, whatever that is, switches from one alter to another, from one personality fragment or one self-state to another, you can see this. There are usually visible signs, not always, but usually, and this is called switching.

Same happens to borderline. You can see distinctly when she switches from borderline to secondary psychopath, psychopath. Ask any disgruntled husband, children, lovers, or whatever over borderline, they will tell you. You know immediately when she switched to a psychopath.

It's the same with the covert narcissist. You know immediately when he switched to a primary, primary psychopath.

And what about modification? Can the covert narcissist experience modification like the classic narcissist?

Yes, of course, he's a narcissist. Covert narcissist is a narcissist, only a failed one, a collapsed one, but they're still a narcissist. He's certified, so he can experience modification.

But in his case, there's an added condition to experiencing modification.

Modification in the covert narcissist occurs when the doormat wakes up, is provoked within a shared fantasy which is micromanaged by the psychopath.

So, when the covert narcissist is in a phase of a psychopath, and for example, has a shared fantasy with an intimate partner, and then she does something, she externally motivates him, the doormat wakes up, and then there's a conflict. The doormat is mortified, and there's a conflict between the doormat and the psychopath.

It is this conflict that the covert narcissist experiences as modification.

So, the covert narcissist cannot reconcile two dissonant self-states, doormat and psychopath. When he's a doormat, he's never a psychopath. And that's why I keep saying covert narcissists are not evil, they are not psychopathic when they are doormats.

So, when he's a doormat, he's not a psychopath. When he's a psychopath, he's never a doormat.

On rare occasions, owing to external modification, the doormat can wake up even as the psychopath is in charge, and this creates a conflict.

Because they are both, especially the doormat, they're genuine self-states, they're real, they're authentic, this creates a conflict.

By the way, exactly the same happens with multiple personality disorder. When, for example, therapy is mismanaged, or sometimes it happens that two dissociative alters, to remind you, someone with multiple personality has a core personality, it's called the host or the moderator or whatever, and many, many other personalities which are called alters, alternatives, alternative personalities.

So, usually, the alternative, usually, there are rare diagnosis where this is not true, rare dissociative diagnosis where this is not true, but in the bulk, vast majority of dissociative diagnosis, the alters don't know about each other. When alter one is in control, all the other alters are dormant, inactive. When alter six is in control, alter one is dormant and inactive. They don't know about each other, don't communicate with each other, they don't inform each other, except through the mediation and the agency of the host personality.

Sometimes therapy is mismanaged, and two dissociative alters are forced to meet each other and to communicate with each other, and this creates a enormous breakdown, enormous dissonance, leading sometimes to psychosis, psychotic disorder.

In a way, this is the equivalent of modification in someone with multiple personality.

Same with the covert narcissist. He can be mortified when this happens, when the doormat is forced to confront the psychopath, to realize there's a psychopath, how the psychopath looks, what he does to people, and so on. The qualities of the doormat, the characters, the characteristics, the traits, behaves, are not, absolutely not, the exact diametrical opposite of the primary psychopath.

The doormat abhors the primary psychopath, and of course, the primary psychopath abhors the doormat because he thinks the doormat is weak and he has to die. So there is a lot of self-destruction in the process.

The psychopath wants to kill the doormat, as he regards the doormat as a vulnerability, as a weak, despicable, wretch who needs to be eliminated. And the doormat regards the psychopath as an abomination, as the beast.

So they're both at each other's throats fighting in the internal space, and it approximates very much dissociative identity disorder, multiple personality.

Even as the doormat continues to process the mortification, the psychopath continues at pace with his exploits, and so he forcefully dissociates the doormat in order to function.

So there is another process here where the psychopath is trying to push the doormat back in, to bury him, to deactivate him, kind of.

When the covert narcissist experiences external mortification, for example, he's been horribly, horribly publicly humiliated. His defenses crumble, the doormat exits, but the psychopath is in control.

Psychopath says, bloody hell, here he is again. I have to bury this. I have to eliminate him because he's weak, he's vulnerable, it's a danger.

Same dynamic exactly exists in multiple personality, dissociative identity disorder. The host personality activates, protector personalities. Personalities that protect the fragmented hyper structure or superstructure of multiple personality.

And if the core personality is at risk, the protector personality will emerge and protect. And most protector personalities in MPD, in multiple personality, most of them are psychopaths, primary psychopaths.


People sometimes say the covert narcissist is gifted, but he's high maintenance and difficult.

It's very typical for the covert narcissist to lose jobs because of this.

Women say he's interesting, he's fun to be with, he's great sex. Maybe even he's lovable, but there's something very wrong about him and we cannot put the finger. Something is awry.

Someone put the parts together wrongly. There's this uncanny valley feeling, feeling of a feeling of key, of note. Something is not okay and you can't really verbalize it. You can't identify it accurately.

And this is a feeling that covert narcissists provokes even more than the classic narcissist.

Classic narcissist is a bumbling, clownish, grandiose, pompous, verbose fool, a fool of himself fool. You know that. You say it immediately, covert narcissist is different.

Very often the covert narcissist passes, is totally normal for very long periods of time, but every time you meet him, there is in you this alert, constant background alert that you want to shut off because there's no reason or rhyme or indication why it should be activated.

But your intuition knows better. Anytime this alert is on, walk away.

In 1995, I invented, invented the no contact strategy. I've been criticized for well over a decade by therapists and so today it's the mainstream.

No contact, red alert, warning sign, walk away. Do not speculate and do not be grandiose and assume that you can diagnose the person or that you can fix the person.

Don't, both.

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