How to Disarm a Covert Narcissist
How to Disarm a Covert Narcissist

Covert narcissism is a complex personality trait that often goes unnoticed due to its subtle nature. Unlike their overt counterparts, covert narcissists hide their self-centeredness behind a facade of humility and empathy.

However, dealing with a covert narcissist can be just as challenging and emotionally draining. That’s why it’s crucial to equip ourselves with effective strategies and clever phrases to disarm them.

In this blog post, we will explore the world of covert narcissism and provide you with 25 incredibly clever phrases to handle them with confidence and grace.

What is a Covert Narcissist?

Before we delve into disarming techniques, let’s understand what exactly defines a covert narcissist. Covert narcissists possess an inflated sense of self-importance and a constant need for admiration, just like their overt counterparts.

However, they exhibit their narcissistic traits in more subtle ways, often through passive-aggressive behavior, manipulation, and playing the victim. They may appear charming and empathetic on the surface but are skilled at using their covert tactics to control and exploit others.

How to Disarm A Covert Narcissist: Strategies and Tips

Disarming a covert narcissist requires a delicate balance of assertiveness, self-awareness, and effective communication. Here are some strategies and tips to help you navigate interactions with them:

  1. Set firm Boundaries
  2. Maintain Self-Confidence
  3. Stay Calm and Composed
  4. Avoid Getting Defensive
  5. Don’t engage in power struggles

Let’s look at each of these more closely.

Set Firm Boundaries

Establishing firm boundaries is a crucial strategy when dealing with a covert narcissist. Clearly communicate your limits and expectations, making it known what you will and will not tolerate in terms of behavior and treatment.

This sends a strong message to the narcissist that their attempts to manipulate or control you will not be successful. Consistently enforcing these boundaries is essential to prevent them from crossing the line and encroaching on your emotional well-being.

Maintain Self-Confidence

Covert narcissists often prey on the self-doubt and insecurities of others. Building and maintaining your self-confidence is vital in disarming their tactics. Recognize your worth and value as an individual, trusting your own opinions and beliefs.

By having a strong sense of self, you become less susceptible to their attempts to undermine or devalue you. This self-assuredness will make it harder for the narcissist to manipulate your emotions or exert control over you.

Stay Calm and Composed

One of the tactics covert narcissists employ is provoking emotional reactions to maintain control. By staying calm and composed during interactions, you remove their power and maintain control of the conversation.

Practice deep breathing, mindfulness techniques, or even taking a break if needed, to ensure you remain centered and collected. When you respond with composure, you disrupt the narcissist’s attempts to push your buttons and maintain a sense of control over the situation.

Avoid Getting Defensive

Covert narcissists often employ tactics to elicit defensive reactions from others. They may twist words, gaslight, or provoke you to defend yourself. However, getting defensive plays into their hands, as it keeps the focus on you rather than addressing the real issue at hand.

Instead, respond assertively and calmly, redirecting the conversation back to the topic or problem that needs addressing. By avoiding defensiveness, you maintain control of the narrative and prevent the narcissist from manipulating the situation.

Don’t Engage in Power Struggles

Covert narcissists thrive on power and control. Engaging in power struggles or arguments with them only feeds their need for dominance. Instead, shift the focus away from power dynamics and redirect the conversation towards finding solutions or compromises.

By doing so, you take away their power and assert your own agency in the situation. It’s important to remain assertive, but avoid falling into the trap of trying to outmaneuver or defeat the narcissist. Focus on problem-solving rather than winning battles.

25 Phrases to Disarm A Covert Narcissist

When faced with a covert narcissist, choosing the right words can make a significant difference. Here are 25 clever phrases to disarm them:

  1. “I appreciate your perspective, but I have a different point of view.”
  2. “It seems like you’re feeling insecure about this situation.”
  3. “I understand your concerns, but let’s find a solution that works for both of us.”
  4. “I’m sorry you feel that way, but I can’t accept blame for something I didn’t do.”
  5. “I’m focusing on my own growth and happiness right now.”
  6. “Let’s focus on finding common ground instead of arguing.”
  7. “I value your input, but I also need to consider my own needs.”
  8. “It’s important to me that we have a healthy and respectful relationship.”
  9. “I’m not comfortable with the way you’re speaking to me.”
  10. “Let’s take a step back and revisit this conversation when emotions have settled.”
  11. “I believe in personal accountability and taking responsibility for my actions.”
  12. “I appreciate your compliments, but I don’t define my worth based on others’ opinions.”
  13. “I’m confident in my abilities and choices, even if you disagree.”
  14. “I’m open to constructive criticism, but I won’t tolerate personal attacks.”
  15. “It’s important to communicate our needs and expectations clearly and respectfully.”
  16. “Let’s find a compromise that respects both of our boundaries.”
  17. “I value our relationship, but I need to prioritize my own well-being.”
  18. “I’m working on establishing healthier boundaries in my relationships.”
  19. “I won’t engage in manipulative or passive-aggressive behavior.”
  20. “I believe in treating others with kindness and respect, regardless of their opinions.”
  21. “I’m not interested in competing or comparing myself to others.”
  22. “I’m capable of making decisions for myself and trusting my instincts.”
  23. “I’m focusing on building a positive and supportive network of people.”
  24. “I’m confident in my abilities to handle challenges and make informed decisions.”
  25. “I choose to surround myself with people who uplift and empower me.”

Remember, using these phrases is not about winning or changing the covert narcissist. It’s about asserting yourself, maintaining your emotional well-being, and ensuring healthy boundaries in your interactions.


Dealing with a covert narcissist can be a draining experience, but with the right strategies and clever phrases, you can regain control of your interactions and protect your own well-being.

By setting boundaries, staying confident, and utilizing these 25 clever phrases, you can disarm a covert narcissist and maintain your emotional balance.

Remember, your well-being is paramount, so prioritize self-care and seek support if needed. With these tools in your arsenal, you can navigate the challenging dynamics of a covert narcissist with grace and resilience.