Are You Dealing with a Covert Narcissist? Take the Test and Find Out

Do you ever feel like there’s more to a person than meets the eye? Does someone in your life seem to have a hidden agenda, always playing the victim and subtly manipulating others? If these scenarios sound familiar, you may be dealing with a covert narcissist. Thankfully, our covert narcissist test is here to help you spot the signs.

go straight to the covert narcissist test

What is a Covert Narcissist?

Before we delve into the covert narcissist test, it’s essential to understand what a covert narcissist is.

Unlike overt narcissists who are often easy to spot due to their blatant self-importance and need for attention, covert narcissists are much harder to identify.

They may appear humble, empathetic, or even self-deprecating on the surface, which can make them difficult to identify.

covert narcissist test

The Covert Narcissist Test

The covert narcissist test is a series of questions designed to identify the subtle traits of covert narcissism.

These questions revolve around themes such as empathy, entitlement, superiority, and manipulation.

A high score on the covert narcissist test indicates that you might indeed be dealing with a covert narcissist.

It’s important to note that this quiz is not a diagnostic tool, but rather an aid to better understand certain behaviors and patterns.

If you suspect you’re dealing with a covert narcissist, please seek professional advice.

covert narcissist test

Why Use the Covert Narcissist Test?

The covert narcissist test is an invaluable tool when it comes to understanding relationships and interpersonal dynamics.

It can provide clarity and validation for those who feel they are being manipulated or taken advantage of by a seemingly humble or self-effacing individual.

By using the covert narcissist test, you can begin to identify the patterns and behaviors that are characteristic of covert narcissism, leading to better understanding and more effective coping mechanisms.

Take the first step towards understanding and clarity by taking our Covert Narcissist Test today.

covert narcissist test

Take The Covert Narcissist Test

This interactive quiz was designed to help you explore the possibility that you may be dealing with a covert narcissist. This questionnaire is not a diagnostic tool but rather an aid to understanding certain patterns and behaviors. The results of this quiz should not replace professional advice.

1. Playing the Victim

When evaluating whether a person often plays the victim to garner sympathy, there are several key behaviors and patterns to look out for:

  1. Emotional Manipulation: The person frequently shares stories of personal hardship or injustice, often embellishing details to make themselves appear more helpless or wronged than they actually are.

  2. Deflection of Responsibility: They often blame others for their problems or failures, refusing to take accountability for their actions. They might say things like “It’s not my fault” or “They’re against me.”

  3. Excessive Need for Sympathy or Validation: They may constantly seek reassurance, comfort, or validation from others, usually in response to perceived slights or injustices.

  4. Dramatization: They might dramatize situations to make themselves seem more pitiful or disadvantaged. This could involve undue exaggeration or even outright fabrication of events.

  5. Frequent Complaints: They may consistently complain about their circumstances, yet never take steps to improve their situation.

  6. Using Their Victimhood to Manipulate: They might use their status as a “victim” to manipulate others into doing what they want, often making the other person feel guilty or obliged to help.

Remember, occasional instances of these behaviors can be quite normal and do not necessarily indicate covert narcissism. However, a consistent pattern of these behaviors could be a sign to consider.

Does this person often play the victim to garner sympathy?

 
 

2. Passive-Aggressive Behavior

When trying to spot if a person demonstrates passive-aggressive behaviors, here are several key signs to look out for:

  1. Sarcasm or Disguised Insults: They might frequently use sarcasm or veiled insults that can be hurtful to others but still allow them to maintain a facade of politeness or innocence.

  2. Silent Treatment: They may give the silent treatment or withdraw from conversations as a form of punishment when they’re upset or not getting their way.

  3. Avoidance of Direct Confrontation: Instead of addressing issues openly and honestly, they may avoid direct confrontation and express their anger or dissatisfaction indirectly.

  4. Procrastination or Deliberate Mistakes: If they’re unhappy about a task or request, they might intentionally delay completing it or make deliberate mistakes to show their displeasure.

  5. Subtle Sabotage: They may subtly undermine others’ efforts or success, perhaps by spreading rumors, withholding necessary information, or not fulfilling their responsibilities.

  6. Denial of Negative Feelings: When confronted about their behavior, they may deny having any negative feelings or intentions, often insisting that the other person is “reading too much into things”.

  7. Resentment towards Others’ Success: They may exhibit resentment or jealousy towards others’ achievements or happiness, often feeling like they are being overshadowed or neglected.

Remember, occasional instances of these behaviors can happen in anyone and do not necessarily indicate passive-aggressiveness or covert narcissism. However, a consistent pattern of these behaviors could be a sign to consider.

Does this person demonstrate passive-aggressive behaviors?

 
 

3. Putting Other People Down To Elevate Themselves

When trying to identify if a person subtly puts others down to elevate themselves, here are key behaviors and patterns to look out for:

  1. Disparaging Humor: They may use humor as a tool to insult or belittle others, often disguising their put-downs as jokes or playful banter.

  2. Comparison: People with low self-esteem might feel good only when they compare themselves to someone they believe is “lesser” than them. This could be in terms of looks, intelligence, wealth, or other attributes 2.

  3. Jealousy: They might put others down out of jealousy, especially when they see someone else doing well or achieving success.

  4. Attention Seeking: Some people put others down to draw attention to themselves or to make themselves feel important.

  5. Deflection of Inadequacy: They may criticize others to deflect from their own insecurities or feelings of inadequacy. By focusing on others’ faults, they can avoid confronting their own shortcomings.

Remember, occasional instances of these behaviors can happen in anyone and do not necessarily indicate a problem. However, a consistent pattern of these behaviors could be a sign of an underlying issue.

Does this person subtly put others down to elevate themselves?

 
 

4. Hidden Agendas

When trying to discern if a person has a hidden agenda, here are some signs and behaviors to look out for:

  1. Inconsistency: They may say one thing but do another. Their words and actions may not align, which could suggest they’re not being entirely honest about their intentions.

  2. Manipulation: They might use emotional manipulation, such as guilt trips or playing the victim, to influence others’ actions or decisions in their favor.

  3. Secrecy: They may be secretive about their plans or withhold information that should be shared openly.

  4. Selective Communication: They might only communicate when they need something, or selectively share information to control situations or people.

  5. Overly Focused on Personal Gain: If they seem overly focused on what they can gain from situations or relationships rather than on mutual benefit, this could indicate a hidden agenda.

  6. Dishonesty: They may lie or distort the truth to suit their purposes.

  7. Lack of Transparency: They might avoid answering direct questions or be vague about their intentions, plans, or feelings.

Remember, occasional instances of these behaviors can happen in anyone and do not necessarily indicate a hidden agenda. However, a consistent pattern of these behaviors could be a sign to consider.

Does this person seem to have a hidden agenda?

 
 

5. Manipulative Behavior

If you’re trying to identify if a person frequently uses guilt or manipulation to get their way, here are some signs and behaviors to look out for:

  1. Playing the Victim: They might consistently portray themselves as the victim in situations, even when it’s not warranted, to make others feel guilty and to manipulate the situation in their favor.

  2. Emotional Blackmail: They might use fear, obligation, or guilt (also known as the FOG tactic) to pressure others into doing what they want. Statements like, “If you really cared about me, you would…” are common in this scenario.

  3. Gaslighting: This is a form of psychological manipulation where they make others question their own perceptions, memories, or sanity, causing them to doubt themselves and become more susceptible to the manipulator’s influence.

  4. Triangulation: They might use a third person to validate their point of view or to undermine the other person’s confidence.

  5. Negging: This is a manipulative strategy often used in the dating world where they give backhanded compliments or start a conversation with a subtle put-down to lower the other person’s self-esteem and increase their need for approval.

  6. False Promises: They may promise to change or do something in return for your cooperation, only to break that promise later.

  7. Blame Shifting: Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they might shift the blame onto others to deflect guilt.

Remember, occasional instances of these behaviors can happen in anyone and do not necessarily indicate manipulation. However, a consistent pattern of these behaviors could be a sign of a manipulative personality.

Does this person frequently use guilt or manipulation to get their way?

 
 

6. Overly Sensitive to Criticism

If you’re trying to identify if a person is overly sensitive to criticism, even when it’s constructive, here are some signs and behaviors to look out for:

  1. Defensiveness: They might become defensive or argumentative when faced with criticism, even if it’s meant to be helpful or constructive.

  2. Denial: They may deny the validity of the criticism or dismiss it as untrue, rather than considering its merit.

  3. Anger or Resentment: They might react with anger or hold onto resentment when they are criticized, even for minor things.

  4. Blame Shifting: Instead of taking responsibility, they might shift the blame onto others or circumstances to deflect criticism.

  5. Avoidance: They may avoid situations or people who might offer criticism, thereby missing opportunities for growth or improvement.

  6. Overreaction: They might overreact to criticism, taking it as a personal attack or insult rather than a chance to learn and improve.

  7. Low Self-esteem: Overly sensitive individuals often have low self-esteem and might take criticism more personally as a result.

Remember, everyone can be sensitive to criticism at times, and it’s natural to not enjoy being criticized. However, a consistent pattern of these behaviors could signify an excessive sensitivity to criticism.

Does this person seem overly sensitive to criticism, even when it’s constructive?

 
 

7. Over Entitled

The following are some signs and behaviors that indicate that a person is over-entitled and always expects special treatment.

  1. Unreasonable Expectations: They may demand or expect more than is reasonable or customary in various situations, whether it’s at work, in relationships, or in social settings.

  2. Lack of Reciprocity: They might expect others to go out of their way for them, but not return the favor or show appreciation.

  3. Disregard for Rules: They may believe they are exempt from rules or norms that others are expected to follow and may become upset if they are held accountable.

  4. Impatience or Anger: They might become impatient or angry when they don’t receive the special treatment they believe they deserve.

  5. Lack of Empathy: They could show a lack of understanding or consideration for other people’s feelings, needs, or perspectives.

  6. Manipulation: They may use manipulation tactics to get what they want, such as guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or playing the victim.

  7. Superiority Complex: They might act as though they are superior to others, believing they are more deserving of privileges and advantages.

Remember, everyone can display signs of entitlement occasionally, but a consistent pattern of these behaviors could indicate an ingrained sense of entitlement.

Does this person have a sense of entitlement or expect special treatment?

 
 

8. Blame-Shifting

The following are some signs and behaviors that indicate that a person is projecting or blame-shifting.

  1. Avoiding Responsibility: They might consistently avoid taking responsibility for their own actions or mistakes.

  2. Blame Shifting: They may frequently shift the blame onto others, even when it’s clear they were at fault.

  3. Denial: They could deny any wrongdoing, even in the face of clear evidence.

  4. Rationalization: They might make excuses or provide seemingly logical reasons to justify their actions and avoid blame.

  5. Playing the Victim: They may portray themselves as the victim in situations where they are actually the instigator, to elicit sympathy and shift blame.

  6. Gaslighting: This is a form of psychological manipulation where they make others question their own perceptions, memories, or sanity, causing them to doubt themselves and become more susceptible to the manipulator’s influence.

  7. Attacking the Accuser: They might respond to criticism or accusations by attacking the person who is holding them accountable, rather than addressing the issue at hand.

Remember, everyone will deflect blame occasionally, but a consistent pattern of these behaviors could indicate a habitual tendency to avoid responsibility and shift blame onto others.

Does this person often deflect blame onto others?
 
 

9. Low Empathy

Signs that a person lacks empathy:

  1. Difficulty Understanding Others’ Feelings: They may struggle to understand or relate to others’ emotions or perspectives.

  2. Disregard for Others’ Feelings: They might dismiss or ignore other people’s feelings, especially when those feelings don’t align with their own.

  3. Self-Centeredness: They may often focus on their own needs and feelings to the exclusion of others.

  4. Lack of Sympathy: They might not show sympathy or compassion when others are going through difficult times.

  5. Insensitive Comments: They could make comments that are insensitive or hurtful, without seeming to realize or care about the impact of their words.

  6. Struggle with Authentic Relationships: They may have difficulty forming deep, authentic relationships due to their lack of understanding or consideration for others’ feelings.

  7. Manipulative Behavior: They might manipulate others for their own gain, without considering the impact on those involved.

Remember, everyone can display signs of lacking empathy occasionally, but a consistent pattern of these behaviors could indicate a more serious lack of empathy.

Does this person seem to lack empathy for others?

 
 

10. Unappreciative and Ungrateful

If you’re trying to identify if a person rarely shows genuine appreciation or gratitude, here are some signs and behaviors to look out for:

  1. Lack of Acknowledgment: They might consistently fail to acknowledge or recognize the efforts of others.

  2. Taking Things for Granted: They may take things, people or situations for granted, showing little appreciation for what they have.

  3. Expecting More: They could constantly expect more without expressing gratitude for what they already receive.

  4. Minimal Positive Feedback: They might seldom give positive feedback or compliments.

  5. Dismissing Others’ Efforts: They may dismiss or downplay the efforts of others, making them feel unappreciated.

  6. Self-Centeredness: They could often focus on their own needs and wants, overlooking the contributions of others.

  7. Lack of Reciprocity: They might accept help, gifts, or favors without returning the kindness or expressing thanks.

Remember, everyone can forget to express gratitude occasionally, but a consistent pattern of these behaviors could indicate a habitual lack of appreciation or gratitude.

Does this person rarely show genuine appreciation or gratitude?

 
 

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How to Deal with a Covert Narcissist

If the quiz indicates that you might be dealing with a covert narcissist, whether it’s personal or professional, you are likely to be concerned.

However, all is not lost. Although these individuals are adept at manipulating others and playing the victim, there are strategies you can employ to navigate these challenging interactions.

Here are some practical steps to manage a relationship with a covert narcissist:

covert narcissist test - boundaries

Establish Clear and Firm Boundaries

Covert narcissists are experts at pushing boundaries, often subtly and under the guise of needing help or understanding.

They may use guilt-trips, emotional manipulation, or play the victim to get their way.

This is why it’s critical to set strict boundaries and stick to them, regardless of the tactics they employ.

Defining your personal space and emotional boundaries involves clearly communicating what you are and aren’t comfortable with.

It’s about setting limits on what behaviors you will accept and which ones you won’t.

This might include limiting the time you spend with them, deciding on topics you’re not willing to discuss, or making it clear that certain actions are unacceptable.

Standing firm against a covert narcissist’s manipulative tactics requires resilience and self-assuredness.

It’s important to remember that it’s not only okay to say ‘no’, but it’s necessary for your own wellbeing.

Prioritizing your needs isn’t selfish—it’s a crucial part of maintaining healthy relationships.

covert narcissist test - setting boundaries

It’s also essential to consistently enforce these boundaries.

If a covert narcissist realizes that a boundary can be crossed without consequences, they will likely continue to do so.

Therefore, if a boundary is violated, make sure to address it directly and assertively.

Finally, remember that setting boundaries isn’t about punishing the other person; it’s about taking care of your own emotional health.

In dealing with a covert narcissist, your well-being should always take precedence.

seem support

Seek External Support

Interactions with a covert narcissist can be challenging and emotionally exhausting.

Thus, it’s vital to have a strong support network to rely on during such times.

This support system can serve as a source of comfort, provide a fresh perspective, and offer actionable advice.

covert narcissist test - friends can be family

Connect with Trusted Friends and Family: Reach out to individuals who have earned your trust and can empathize with your situation.

These could be friends or family members who understand your circumstances and can offer a listening ear without judgment.

They can provide you with much-needed emotional support, share their experiences, and offer a balanced perspective.

Having people who genuinely care for your well-being can make a significant difference when dealing with a covert narcissist.

support group

Join Support Groups: Consider joining support groups, either in-person or online, that focus on dealing with narcissism.

These forums provide a safe space to share experiences, learn from others who are in similar situations, and draw strength from their resilience.

You’ll find that you’re not alone in this struggle, which can be incredibly reassuring and empowering.

therapy

Seek Professional Help: Engaging with a professional therapist or counselor can be immensely beneficial.

Mental health professionals are equipped with the expertise to help you navigate complex narcissistic relationships.

They can provide you with strategies to maintain your boundaries, manage stress, and protect your mental health.

Therapy can also help you rebuild your self-esteem and regain control over your life.

reading

Stay Educated: Keep yourself informed about covert narcissism. Understanding the condition and its impacts can help you better manage your relationship with a covert narcissist.

There are numerous resources available, including books, online articles, webinars, and podcasts, that provide in-depth insights into narcissism and coping mechanisms.

self care

Practice Self-Care

Engaging with a covert narcissist can be mentally and emotionally taxing.

It’s crucial, therefore, to prioritize self-care as a fundamental part of your strategy in dealing with such individuals.

Self-care is not a luxury, but a necessity for maintaining your emotional health and resilience.

Engage in Joyful Activities: Make time for activities that bring you happiness and relaxation.

This could be anything from reading a book, painting, gardening, playing an instrument, or going for a walk in nature.

These activities can provide a much-needed respite from the stress of dealing with a covert narcissist and help replenish your energy levels.

Exercise Regularly: Physical activity is not just beneficial for your body, but also for your mind.

Regular exercise can help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost your overall mental health.

Whether it’s yoga, running, swimming, or cycling, find a physical activity that you enjoy and make it part of your routine.

mindfulness

Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment, without judgment.

Practices like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply paying attention to your surroundings can help you stay grounded and focused.

Mindfulness can also help you better manage your reactions to the covert narcissist’s manipulative tactics.

How to Manage Anxiety and Stress with a Mindfulness Practice

Prioritize Rest and Relaxation: Ensure you’re getting enough sleep and taking time to relax.

This could involve taking a warm bath, listening to calming music, or simply doing nothing at all. Rest is vital for rejuvenating both your body and mind.

Nourish Your Body: Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for your physical health and can also influence your mood and energy levels.

Prioritize nutritious foods that fuel your body and keep you feeling your best.

Seek Professional Help When Needed: If the stress of dealing with a covert narcissist becomes overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Therapists and counselors can provide you with effective coping strategies and resources.

Wrapping Up: Understanding and Navigating Relationships with Covert Narcissists

As we conclude this blog post, it’s important to remember that dealing with a covert narcissist can be challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible.

By understanding the traits and behaviors of covert narcissists, you can better navigate your interactions with them.

The covert narcissist test we’ve shared can help you identify if someone in your life exhibits these traits.

However, this test is not a replacement for professional diagnosis.

If you suspect you’re dealing with a covert narcissist, consider consulting a mental health professional for a comprehensive evaluation and advice.

We’ve also provided some strategies on how to deal with a covert narcissist, including establishing clear boundaries, seeking external support, and prioritizing self-care.

These tactics aim to safeguard your mental health and equip you with the tools to manage these complex relationships.

Remember, it’s crucial to stand your ground and prioritize your needs when interacting with a covert narcissist. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed.

It’s not about changing the narcissist—since that’s often beyond our control—but about empowering ourselves to respond effectively and maintain our emotional well-being.

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