Here are 3 clues that God may be exposing a covert narcissist to you.
1. When You Are Beginning to Realize You Cannot Speak Rationally with This Person Because They Use Mental Gymnastic to Serve Themself, God Could Be Exposing a Covert Narcissist to You
The word “narcissist” get’s thrown around a lot here on the internet. The reality is, most people are not a true narcissist; but most of us have some sort of narcissistic tendencies that cause us to be selfish at times. One difference between a true, hardcore narcissist compared to the average person who just struggles with being self-centered now and then is the complete inability to receive correction.
A covert narcissist is so tricky to spot because their deep personality and character flaws are most evident in their self-serving thinking patterns. Some narcissists are easy to spot because they wear it on their sleeves like a badge of honor. But a covert narcissist is a lot more subtle. They are often marked by an incredible ability to do mental gymnastics to avoid seeing themselves in a negative light.
A Christian who struggles with self-centeredness will receive the Spirit’s correction. They will feel remorse for their selfishness, they will ask people to forgive them when they realize they’ve been selfish, and they will take steps to increase their humility and decrease their selfishness. But a covert narcissist will go through great lengths in their own mind to justify why they are always right and never wrong no matter how blatantly wrong they really are.
According to the Bible, there actually does come a time for us to stop trying to correct someone who is obviously living in sin but who will not receive our correction. In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus taught us to not judge people’s motives but to take the planks out of our own eyes so we can help correct the mistakes we see in the lives others. But then in Matthew 7:6 he said, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” This means there are people in this world who God does not want us to try to help anymore because they are completely unwilling to receive correction.
In short, a covert narcissist is completely unreasonable and will not repent of his or her sinful selfishness no matter how glaring their flaws are to everyone in the world accept to themselves.
2. If You Are Beginning to Learn About This Person’s Previous Lives Which They Deliberately Hid from You, This Is Often a Sign God Is Exposing a Covert Narcissist to You
One really difficult trait to deal with when it comes to covert narcissist’s is their insane obsession with controlling the narrative surrounding their past. They will go to great lengths to shape the storylines to make themselves always come out on top in the court of public opinion.
The only problem with this is that not all people are so socially naive. While that might seem harsh, what I mean is that there will always be a few simple-minded people who will believe a covert narcissist no matter how many times they create a ridiculous alternative narrative. But the normal, mature adult is only willing to listen to a sob story so many times before looking at this narcissistic storyteller and realizing they are just telling tall tales that are detached from facts and reality.
Once the covert narcissist has worn out their welcome by telling too many unbelievable stories in the hopes of hiding their sinful selfishness that is leaving a trail of broken relationships behind, they then realize their only remaining option is to pack up and start fresh somewhere else so they can reset their false image to a new group of unsuspecting people. It takes years to get exposed again but they keep repeating this cycle of self-implosion and so eventually they have to always pack up and keep moving to a new place so they can trick a new group of people for awhile before getting exposed again.
This is why we need to take seriously the counsel given to us in Proverbs 11:15, “Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm, but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.” This means we shouldn’t just trust people at their word when we really don’t know them yet. The church would do well to remember this when putting people in leadership. It’s okay to verify things when verification is needed. When people have nothing to hide, they don’t hide anything.
So when you meet someone new who seems to be great, but then you begin to realize they have many former lives they’ve left behind because they could no longer control the narrative there any longer, this is often a sign God is exposing a covert narcissist to you.
3. If You Are Beginning to See that This Person Is Secretly Ruthless Towards Anyone Who Disagrees with Them, This Could Be a Sign God Is Revealing a Covert Narcissist to You
An unhealthy love for self always turns into a hatred of others. Satan, for example, didn’t just hate God. Satan started loving himself so much that he then began to hate God because he wanted to take God’s place. Isaiah 14:12-15 states:
How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.”
Ezekiel 28:16-17 also says:
. . . you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.”
If you are beginning to see that someone is a backstabber like Satan who will do anything, no matter how ruthless, to get all the praise for themselves because they are only in love with themselves, this is a sign God is exposing a covert narcissist to you.