How Do Covert Narcissists Express Their Rage?

How Do Covert Narcissists Express Their Rage?

Kurt Cagle 20/03/2022
How Do Covert Narcissists Express Narcissistic Rage?

Covert narcissists express rage overtly when alone with the victim. 

What is a Cover Narcissist?

Covert narcissist is a person who has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) but displays these behaviors in more subtle ways.They may appear shy or modest.

A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. Covert narcissists are explosive in raging, when they really lose it. They are frustrated from hiding their hatred, in a very passive-aggressive style. Think pressure cooker. Covert narcissists pretend things don’t bother them, but secretly plot to destroy you behind your back, then they explode. 

Covert narcissists tend to “rage” by talking more calmly yet incessantly for hours and hours until you say you are sorry for things that you were not responsible for. They want you to bow down to them to control you. They express rage overtly when alone with the victim. They yell, accuse, threaten, break things, terrorize, destroy property. If they have crossed this line, they physically or mentally abuse their victim. When in public, they set the victim up to be publicly humiliated. 

What Are the Symptoms of a Narcissistic Person?

Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and the severity of symptoms vary. People with the disorder can:

  • Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance

  • Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration

  • Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it

  • Exaggerate achievements and talents

  • Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate

  • Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people

  • Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior

  • Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations

  • Take advantage of others to get what they want

  • Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others

  • Be envious of others and believe others envy them

  • Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious

  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office

What's The Difference Between a Narcissist and Cover Narcissist?

Narcissism is (likely always) an extroverted trait if you view extroversion and introversion through the lens of being easily overstimulated by sensory phenomena (including social interactions). Introversion in that light aligns much more closely to the autism spectrum, which has its own characteristics.

A covert narcissist, on the other hand, is a narcissist that has learned to hide the most obvious narcissistic traits. They aren’t demonstrative, aren’t obviously fixated upon themselves, but internally, they have a highly inflated sense of self-worth and privilege but have discovered that displaying this openly will tip their hands too early. When they are exposed, covert narcissists react in much the same way that other narcissists do, but they are able to control themselves faster.


Covert narcissists explode because they are afraid that someone will recognize them as frauds, while introverts are afraid that they won’t be able to control their emotions but have no other channel to vent it.

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Kurt Cagle

Tech Expert

Kurt is the founder and CEO of Semantical, LLC, a consulting company focusing on enterprise data hubs, metadata management, semantics, and NoSQL systems. He has developed large scale information and data governance strategies for Fortune 500 companies in the health care/insurance sector, media and entertainment, publishing, financial services and logistics arenas, as well as for government agencies in the defense and insurance sector (including the Affordable Care Act). Kurt holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. 

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