Covert narcissistic abuse crushes one’s soul. This podcast is devoted to understanding covert narcissistic abuse, its effect on the victims, and how to heal.
Covert narcissistic abuse crushes one’s soul. This podcast is devoted to understanding covert narcissistic abuse, its effect on the victims, and how to heal.
Life with a covert narcissist - those words really hold so much meaning in them, anyone who has lived this knows what I am saying with those simple words.
As I have explained many times in these episodes, is not the normal path of give and take, mutual reconciliation, mutual respect and courtesy. It is a very one-sided relationship. One with you doing all the work, doing the work for two individuals, carrying all the weight of the relationship. All the while being blamed for anything and everything that goes wrong and even being blamed for not doing anything to help the situation. While you are wearing yourself out trying to make things better.
To say it is exhausting does not come close to describing how you feel. It is impossible to even put the feelings into words.
Bone-dry, nothing left in the tank, exhaustion
Completely drained - mentally, emotionally, spiritually
Not knowing where else to turn, many turn to marriage counseling. Maybe it is in hope that someone can actually help. Maybe it is one final step of trying everything you can to save the marriage. Maybe it is pressure from the covert narcissist to go. Or even from your family and friends.
And marriage counseling can be incredibly helpful and productive when you are dealing with two normal range, healthy, mutually invested individuals. But here you are dealing with one passive-aggressive, manipulative, self-serving individual and one exhausted, internally beaten down, self-doubting individual. This creates a very different scenario, and the marriage counselor may not realize this at all and unintentionally add to the confusion.
Jan 29 2023
Help! Everyone around me is a narcissist! They are everywhere!!
Once you start identifying the elements of narcissism that have infiltrated your personal life, it can certainly seem like narcissism is everywhere you look now.
My mom, my dad, my brother, my sister, my friend, my coworker, my boss, my neighbor, the stranger in the store, the clerk at the gas station, the lawyer in the news.
It’s everywhere! And we want to go screaming into the night! The random red flags that we see all around us remind us of the CN that we have been married to for years, even decades, and we want nothing to do with all of it. We want them all to go away!
However, not every narcissistic trait that you see around you makes that person a narcissist. Just because they are confident in who they are does not make them a narcissist.
As I mentioned in my episode two weeks ago, there are some elements of narcissism that are adaptive and productive. Today I want to explore that further to help us to better understand.
Jan 22 2023
Covert narcissism is narcissism from a unique angle. The internal characteristics are the same as an overt narcissist, but it plays out differently.
Narcissism is not defined in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as the loud and boisterous life of the party. It does not list traits of hitting, cheating, and yelling.
Rather, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is defined as having a grandiose sense of self-importance, requiring excessive admiration, believing that they are special, having a lack of empathy, jealous of others, and arrogant. These traits and others are present in both overt and covert narcissists. How they show up differs. In this podcast, we explore these differences in order to raise awareness of covert narcissism.
This particular episode addresses the hyper-sensitivity of narcissists and how this displays for both overt and covert narcissists. Overt narcissists react with fear and use intimidation to control of their victim. Covert narcissists react with hurt and victimhood, using guilt and blame to control their victim.
Jan 15 2023
Someone recently commented on my Tiktok video, saying that they have been confident that they are married to a CN, but now are struggling bad wondering it they are the narcissist.
I totally understand this! It is actually extremely common that it’s mind-blowing! I want to help you understand why this happens and to describe the different types of narcissistic behavior.
Everyone has moments of displaying narcissistic behaviors and traits. And not all narcissism is wicked and evil. There are elements of narcissism that actually serve a productive and healthy role in life. Narcissistic traits that help us through developmental phases in life, such as the transition from childhood to adulthood and the transition from victim of emotional abuse to taking charge of who we are and the life we want to live.
Standing up for yourself can feel incredibly narcissistic. And that toxic and manipulative person in your life will be extremely quick to point that out. But don’t be fooled. Educate yourself. Take deep, honest self-reflective looks at your own thoughts, feelings and actions.
Today I am discussing the different types of narcissism and how it is showing up in our world.
Jan 08 2023
Jan 01 2023
Spending any holiday time, vacation time, family time, or even date time with a covert narcissist is an awful lot like pulling a Chance card in Monopoly. If you are an avid player of the game or even a casual player, then you know that feeling of landing on Chance and having no idea if this is a good thing or not. Will it be a reward of something great or a punishment for an imaginary crime? Either way, it has nothing to do with any action on your part.With the CN, this can turn out to be a good time, quite enjoyable, a relief that it stayed peaceful and happy or it can be a total disaster and sheer punishment. Not knowing what is coming and knowing the intense negativity that is always a tiny fuse away makes it incredibly difficult to relax and just enjoy. Even when the environment is positive, it is impossible to trust it.
Dec 25 2022
Now let’s talk about these holidays that are right in front of us. The holiday season brings out the child in all of us. For many, that’s great. The childlike mindset of hope and expectations. The eagerness for happiness, presents and great food. Songs about peacefulness and love. Expectations of laughing, smiling, and just feeling content. The escape of a few days with no responsibilities, time to rest and simply enjoy each other. Maybe even some snow to really bring out the child in us.
For a covert narcissist, this child that it brings out is very different. Not childlike, but rather childish. "Look at me and how great I am." "What about me," when the conversation wanders or the spotlight shifts around. Snide remarks and sarcastic stabs when they don’t get their way, though they try to play this off as "I was only joking" and blame you for being too sensitive. Unwilling to share YOU with the festivities of the holidays, so their true colors come roaring out.
The holiday season can certainly bring out the worst in a covert narcissist. But you do not have to let them “steal your joy.” Today, I am going to give you three tactics for taking back your holiday joy.
Dec 18 2022
I hear so many people questioning themselves about walking away from abusive relationships.
I really care about him/her.
I really do love them. Shouldn’t I stick it out? Don’t all relationships have issues?
I know they are hurting and need to be loved.
I know this will hurt them even more, how can I do that to them?
Does the following sound familiar to you? You are in a relationship, and something in your relationship just isn’t right. Something feels off. Maybe you are having a hard time putting your finger on exactly what it is. But you know that you are not feeling good about it, not feeling happy and content.
You don’t like the way your partner treats you. His (or her) words are harsh and uncaring. Anytime you try to talk with them, it becomes a problem. Why can’t we even have a normal conversation? Everything is combative. Even conversations that should be simple and easy just aren’t. They blame you for everything and refuse to take any personal responsibility for their own words and actions. You feel like you just can’t do anything right, ever.
My relationship with a covert narcissistic husband is the most confusing thing I have ever been through in life. There is absolutely nothing simple or easy about it. I remember the day when I had a powerful revelation. I don’t have to hate him in order to walk away!! It is okay to care about them and yet to simply walk away.
Dec 11 2022
I said to a friend once, “I am afraid to leave my boys at home alone with their father.”
She said, “That is quite alarming and not okay. Why do you say that?’”
I realized right then how incredibly difficult this is to explain. I was not afraid for their physical safety. He wasn’t going to hit them. He wasn’t going to throw things and scare them. Most of the time, he wasn’t even going to yell at them.
But he was going to emotionally dump on them. They were trapped victims to this horrible form of emotional abuse. Something I was even struggling to defend against. They stood no chance.Venting is a healthy way of letting our trapped feelings find voice and expression. It releases those feelings so the person venting can begin to feel better and look at things more rationally. This is extremely different than emotional dumping, where no one walks away feeling better. Instead everyone feels beaten down and worthless. Today, I explore those differences so you can see and decide for yourself what is happening in your relationship.
Individual coaching sessions right now are on sale for $99 per hour through the end of December. Cnglifecoaching.com
Group sessions are on pause for the month of December and will begin again in mid-January.
Dec 04 2022
You don’t see it until you see it. You can’t unsee once you see it.
One day, all of a sudden, I just saw it. My thoughts were, "hey this is a problem."
"Something just isn’t right here."
Before this, I made excuses. I justified everything.
He’s not feeling well today.
He had a rough childhood.
He is stressed at work.
He didn’t have siblings.
The kids were being loud and frustrating.
Our son could have been more obedient.
I could have been more understanding.
I could have said that better.
I should have known that would upset him.
Anything and everything except for - he should not talk to us this way. His words are mean and hurtful. His tone is not okay as my partner for life. He is NOT a loving and compassionate person.
Why were those not the things I was thinking and saying? I misdirected the fault for what was going on for years, many years. Laying the blame everywhere except where it truly belonged. Until one day….
Nov 27 2022
I know this nightmare that you are living. I lived it too. I know the daily pain of trying to matter, trying to be good enough, trying to somehow, magically, find peace in your world. A peace that just doesn’t exist.
In this intense nightmare, that beautiful heart of yours separates from your head. It simply cannot take the pain anymore. It is an experience of complete disconnection. Logically, you know a lot of what is going on, but your heart just shuts down. It doesn’t work anymore. This is a level of internal exhaustion that is like no other.
Your heart is so incredibly hurt by the one person who is supposed to be your greatest ally. The one who is supposed to have your back, supposed to stand by your side no matter what. The one from whom you expected the greatest amount of safety and love. The one who said, I do.Yet this is the one that has brought you to me today. The one who has created so much intense pain inside of you. The one who has disconnected your head from your heart, your mind from your body. A large part of the healing journey is finding you again, reconnecting mind and body, and regaining enjoyment in who you are all over again. Take that journey with me and thousands of others right now!
Nov 20 2022
Does a narcissist ever change? Can they ever get better? Is there any hope?
He/She says that they are working on it, that they are getting help. They even go to therapy. How much time should I give them? How will I know if it is for real?
I get asked this all the time. I have talked with so many who are completely stuck because of these very questions. They say things like - I think he/she is getting better. Things have been calmer for quite a while. They are being more cooperative, nicer, giving me more attention. Maybe they actually get it this time. Maybe this time it will stick. Maybe, just maybe.
So many victims of covert narcissistic abuse stay for years in an abusive marriage, all in the name of “they are getting better.” Progress, they call it. Only to have the abuse return over and over. Each miniscule step of progress just erases each round of bad behavior. Decades later, you realize that nothing has ever changed, ever. You have simply been trapped by pseudo recovery.
Nov 13 2022
How many holidays have you had ruined by a covert narcissist? How many Thanksgivings? How many Christmases or Hanukkah's? How about New Year's?
Holidays are a wonderful time for narcissists to display their horrible behavior. They are often on full steam at such a time that your thoughts are on peacefulness, happiness, family time, making memories with your kids. They choose the absolute worst times to sabotage your attempts at happiness, your attempts at creating a positive environment for the family. Why?
Narcissistic people have a hard time with others being happy, experiencing joy. And it is purely horrible if that happiness and joy is not centered around them. You can’t possibly be happy about anything that isn’t about them. They are so incredibly jealous of anything or anyone else having the power to bring you joy.
The holidays steal their spotlight. So they make great efforts to grab it back. Thus they sabotage the holiday season.
Get through this holiday season with a little extra help and support. Sign up today for a single session of my Holiday Group Special!
Nov 06 2022
Did you feel like you had the perfect soulmate for you? I remember saying, You’re like the male version of me, and I’m the female version of you. We just had so much in common and connected on so many levels.
Mirroring is a manipulative tactic used by covert narcissists to charm you and catch you as their prey. However, mirroring plays out in several ways in these toxic relationships. Understanding this can certainly help you to make more sense out of the crazy nightmare.
Mirroring is when one person, consciously or unconsciously, imitates the gestures, speech, patterns, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, interests of another person. It involves both verbal and nonverbal behaviors.
At the beginning of the relationship, covert narcissists mirror you. They like what you like, love what you love, and want what you want. They agree with everything you say, and even talk like you talk. Using words and phrases you use. These instant connections help you to feel safe and secure, cared for and noticed. You let your guard down, and you over-trust.
Throughout the relationship, mirror imaging is a factor, but not just in one direction. We often end up mirroring them too, which is why so many victims of covert narcissistic abuse come to me asking if they are the narcissist!!
Special offer right now - all individual sessions are only $99 per hour. Sign up today at www.cnglifecoaching.com. I look forward to working with you! I wish you so much peace on your journey of healing!!---
Oct 30 2022
Have you ever been accused of being too sensitive? Being too emotional? Have you ever told yourself that you should be stronger, less emotional? I want to challenge these questions and judgements.
This episode is inspired by the book titled The Highly Sensitive Person’s Guide to Dealing with Toxic People by Shahida Arabi. The subtitle of the book is How to Reclaim Your Power from Narcissists and Other Manipulators. If you have not yet read this book, I do highly recommend it.
The world will tell you that your high sensitivity is a weakness, and too often we believe that ourselves. I am telling you that it is an amazing strength! It is a beautiful thing, and our broken world needs it so badly. You need it! We all need it! Never again will anyone ever convince me that being sensitive or emotional is a weakness. It is a beautiful strength, and I will nourish it!
I want to let you know about a November special that I am running. All of my individual coaching sessions in November are only $99 per hour long session. I will have it ready to go this week. So if you want to take advantage of this offer, go to my coaching website, which is cnglifecoaching.com. I wish you so much peace on your journey of healing!---
Oct 23 2022
This is a special treat from Kentucky in the USA. This is my first ever in-person retreat for members from CNG Group Coaching Sessions.
These are women who have lived this nightmare and are on that healing journey too. Listen to their words, their feelings, their stories, and their hearts. Just like you, they felt alone, worthless, hopeless, and empty. Now we embraced each other with open arms, sharing laughter and tears in an amazing weekend event.
I know you will benefit from hearing from them. I wish you so much peace on your journey of healing!
To learn more about the group coaching sessions, visit https://www.covertnarcissism.com/group-session---
Oct 16 2022
Toxic shaming is about obedience and compliance. Narcissistic people use this tool often to manipulate their victims.
Covert narcissists have a defining sense of being defective and unlovable. This haunts them all their life. It creates a lifelong fight against shame. Shame is an emotion experienced when one’s flaws and deficits become known or when one is afraid they will become known.
They actually get trapped in a cycle of anger when their shame is triggered. Their anger is their way of not dealing with the painful feelings of shame. Instead they just get angry at the person who evoked the shame, whether they intended to or not. They rage at them, blame them, and project onto them. Narcissistic people get stuck in a cycle - feeling shame, lashing out in rage, feeling more shame, lashing out more, and so on. It grows and escalates.
Covert narcissists project all this shame onto you, their victim. They make you look and feel inferior to feed their need to feel superior. They control your self-perception, undermining your self-esteem and driving you towards self-destruction. They manipulate you to take blame for their behavior. They use this shame to isolate you from others.
Intense shame can lead to intense anxiety, self-hatred, withdrawal, fear, addictions, self-harm, anger, and more.
Start learning to speak your truth. Give yourself permission to feel your own feelings and room to be human. It is okay to do things that you could have done better, to say things that you could have said better. There is nothing wrong with this. No one died and made you God that you had to be perfect.
You are human! You are allowed to be human!!---
Oct 09 2022
Last week, I talked about where the story begins. With narcissistic people, their story does not begin with how they treated you. Rather it begins with how you react to their treatment of you.
Today is part two. I am going to give you an approach to boundary setting that has been absolutely life changing for me. A new perspective that allows you to take charge of your own life and be the person you want to be. Such a simple approach, but one we so often overlook.
Highly sensitive people must work extra hard to find ways to implement boundaries. Having to put boundaries in place does not come automatically to highly sensitive people. It is important to know that these boundaries are not for the other person. They are for you.
The kind of boundaries I am suggesting here are guided by your own desires in life. Your desires about who you are and who you want to be. What are your personal character goals?---
Oct 03 2022
I don’t care too much for the word codependent in today’s world. It has come to mean something incredibly negative. It portrays a weak, beaten down individual who has no ability to stand up for themselves. Someone who is emotional and sensitive, and they are told that their emotions are stupid and a waste of time. They are told that they have no self-love and must please others in order to feel adequate about themselves. Codependent individuals are portrayed as carrying a lot of deep internal shame and are looking for external ways to feel better about themselves, to validate themselves. As you learn more about narcissism, this viewpoint can feel incredibly similar to narcissistic people and be quite damaging.
However, we didn't start with all the self-doubt and shame. That’s not where the story begins. It starts with the words of manipulative people, telling us that we should be more of this or less of that. Telling us that we are wrong, over every tiny thing. Competitive and combative in even daily conversations about everyday life. Judging us on every issue, every action, every word. Over time, the victim of this loses themselves. You lose your love for life, your motivation to help others, your caring and generous spirit. The story starts with their abusive behavior towards you!---
Sep 25 2022
The effects of narcissistic control, especially covert narcissistic control, are incredibly subtle and extremely gradual. Little by little, without even realizing it, you fall into the orbit of someone else’s preferences, desires, moods, and wishes. In other words, within their control. Until one day, you wake up and realize that you have altogether forgotten who you are and what you might have wanted in life.
My next round of group coaching begins on October 11 and runs for 6 weeks. Beginning on that day, which is a Tuesday, I am offering a morning session 9-11 am CST and an afternoon session, 12-2 CST. Both of these sessions will fill up. So don’t miss this opportunity to grab your spot in the group. You can reserve your spot through my website at www.covertnarcissism.com
I also have a Saturday morning group beginning on October 22.
Topics we cover include:
I also offer one-on-one coaching and you can find that at www.cnglifecoaching.com. I wish you so much peace on your own journey of healing.
Sep 19 2022