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Unmasking Narcissism: An Amateur's Guide to Covert and Overt Narcissism

Narcissism, a term often thrown around in casual conversation, is more than just excessive self-love or vanity. It's a complex personality trait that can manifest in various ways, primarily as overt and covert narcissism. But what do these terms mean, and how do they impact relationships and interactions? Let's delve into the world of narcissism.

Overt Narcissism: The Visible Self-Love

Overt narcissism is the type most people are familiar with. It's characterised by an inflated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Overt narcissists often come across as arrogant, boastful, and excessively concerned with their image. They tend to dominate conversations, belittle others, and have an insatiable desire for success and recognition.

Covert Narcissism: The Hidden Self-Obsession

Covert narcissism, on the other hand, is less obvious. Covert narcissists also have a high sense of self-importance, but they hide it behind a facade of humility, sensitivity, or anxiety. They often play the victim, manipulate others subtly, and harbour feelings of entitlement and resentment. They may seem self-effacing and modest, but underneath, they feel superior to others and crave admiration and validation.

The Impact of Narcissism

Both overt and covert narcissism can have a significant impact on relationships. Narcissists often struggle to maintain healthy relationships due to their lack of empathy, need for admiration, and tendency to manipulate others. They can cause emotional harm to those around them, often without realising or acknowledging it.

Dealing with Narcissism

If you find yourself dealing with a narcissist, whether overt or covert, it's important to set boundaries and protect your mental health. Seek support from trusted friends, family, or a mental health professional. Remember, it's not your responsibility to change a narcissist, but you can control how you respond and interact with them.


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