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Behind the Covert Narcissist’s Mask – Emotional Detachment


The covert narcissist cannot express genuine emotions; he/she is putting on a brilliant show, a master class in method acting. He learned very early that being authentic was not approved of; it was frowned upon, shameful.  

Showing emotion is perceived by the covert narcissist as a weakness, a vulnerability, a defect of character. The covert narcissist is convinced that he is in complete command of himself. This is part of the covert’s delusional belief that he is invincible. He has free reign to project his cruelest unconscious feelings on to his victims, especially spouses, ex-spouses, other family members.

The small child learns to impose an iron will on his feelings and this becomes an integral part of the growing child’s sense of self. As this pattern of warding off true feelings deepens these children learn at the same time how to always win by cunning, secret manipulation of the feelings of others. For the covert narcissist, controlling one’s emotions completely is one of the highest goals in life. In effect, this capacity represents an emotional shallowness, an incapacity for psychological intimacy and a coldness that runs through the covert narcissist’s core personality. 

Ultimately, being married to or partnered with a covert narcissist does not resonate with you. You are authentic, express your feelings, have compassion and empathy. Move forward along your unique pathway of transformation and evolution.

Abuse, abuse recovery, after narcissistic abuse, Covert Narcissist, depression, emotional abuse, Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Life, gaslighting, healing, Linda Martinez-Lewi Ph.D., manipulation, mental health, mental illness, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse recovery, narcissistic personality disorder, Narcissists, NPD, overt narcissist, personality disorder, psychological abuse, Recovering and Healing After the Narcissist, toxic people, toxic personalities, trauma, Triangulation, Word Salad

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