Why Do Covert Narcissists Hide Your Personal Things
Why Do Covert Narcissists Hide Your Personal Things?

Have you ever wondered why your personal items seem to go missing, only for them to reappear later without any explanation? This could be a subtle manipulation tactic used by covert narcissists in your life.

Covert narcissism is a less obvious form of narcissism where the individual hides their true nature behind a façade of kindness and humility. In this blog post, we will delve into the psychology of covert narcissists and explore ten reasons why they may hide your personal things, as well as provide helpful strategies on how to deal with such situations.

Key Takeaways

  • Covert narcissists hide personal items to exert control and power over their victims.
  • They may use this tactic to create confusion, make you question your memory, or cause emotional distress (gaslighting).
  • Hiding personal items can also be used to manipulate situations or gain leverage against the victim.
  • To deal with covert narcissism, it’s essential to set boundaries and seek professional support for recovery from narcissistic abuse.

The Psychology: Why Do Covert Narcissists Hide Your Personal Things?

Covert narcissism is defined by a need for control and power, which can manifest in the form of hiding personal items to maintain a sense of dominance over their victim.

Definition Of Covert Narcissism

Covert narcissism, often referred to as “closet” or “introverted” narcissism, is a subtler form of the personality disorder characterized by an insidious and hidden drive for attention.

Unlike their overt counterparts who openly display grandiosity and arrogance, covert narcissists exhibit passive-aggressive behaviors that may appear humble or self-effacing on the surface.

An example of covert narcissistic behavior might be someone who always plays the victim in situations where they are not receiving constant praise or admiration. They may manipulate others into feeling sorry for them to feed their need for affirmation while concealing their genuine motives.

The Narcissist’s Need For Control And Power

Covert narcissists are driven by an insatiable need for control and power in their relationships. This desire stems from deep-rooted insecurities and a fragile ego that constantly requires validation, admiration, and attention. And in order to gain control and manipulate others, covert narcissists do a lot of weird things.

One way covert narcissists attempt to gain this control is by hiding or moving personal items belonging to their victims. In doing so, they create an environment where their partner feels confused and disoriented—ultimately making them more reliant on the narcissist’s perception of reality.

For example, a covert narcissist may subtly move car keys or wallets just before leaving home with a spouse or partner for an event they know is important to the victim. When frustration ensues as the item cannot be found in time, the narcissist plays innocent while enjoying a sense of victory over having successfully disrupted the evening plans without any apparent blame on them.

How Hiding Personal Items Serves This Need

Hiding personal items is a subtle yet effective way for covert narcissists to assert power and control over their victim. Because this behavior is not overtly aggressive or confrontational, it often goes unnoticed by others.

One reason covert narcissists hide personal belongings is that it creates insecurity in the victim, making them feel vulnerable and dependent on the narcissist for emotional support.

For instance, if they consistently misplace your car keys, you may find yourself constantly seeking their help to locate them.

Another reason behind hiding items is that it serves as a form of gaslighting – a psychological manipulation tactic whereby the abuser causes the victim to doubt their own perception of reality.

By repeatedly hiding important possessions such as wallets or cell phones, covert narcissists can make victims believe that they are forgetful or disorganized when in fact these issues were intentionally created by the manipulator.

How It Affects The Victim

Covert narcissists who hide personal items can have a profound effect on their victim. It can be an emotionally draining and confusing experience that leaves the victim feeling frustrated, anxious, and paranoid.

Additionally, this behavior creates a power dynamic in which the covert narcissist holds all the control over the relationship. Victims may feel manipulated into constantly searching for lost personal belongings or capitulating to unreasonable demands from their partner just to avoid further conflict.

10 Reasons Why Covert Narcissists Hide Your Personal Things

Covert narcissists have many reasons for hiding your personal items, including creating confusion and dependency.

#1. To Exert Control Over You.

One of the major reasons why covert narcissists hide your personal things is to exert control over you. These individuals have an insatiable need for power and dominance in their relationships, and hiding your personal items gives them a means to achieve this control.

For example, imagine coming home from work one day and realizing that your favorite necklace has mysteriously disappeared from its usual spot on the dresser. You ask your partner if they’ve seen it but get no response.

Later on, you discover that the necklace was hidden away in a drawer where you would never think to look for it.

#2. To Create Confusion And Disorientation.

Covert narcissists derive satisfaction from creating confusion and disorientation in their victims. One way they do this is by hiding personal items, causing their victim to feel like they are losing their mind.

They may move things around or even take items without permission, leading the victim to question if they misplaced the object or forgot where it was.

For example, imagine coming home from work one day, only to find that your keys are missing from where you usually keep them. You search high and low but cannot find them anywhere.

#3. To Make You Question Your Own Memory Or Sanity (gaslighting)

Covert narcissists may hide your personal items in order to make you question your own memory or sanity, a tactic known as gaslighting.

For example, a covert narcissist might move something of yours and then deny ever touching it. They might suggest that you are forgetful or losing your mind when you insist that the item was in a different spot before.

This kind of behavior can leave you feeling confused, helpless and doubting yourself.

#4. To Provoke A Reaction Or Cause Emotional Distress

Covert narcissists often hide personal items to provoke a reaction or cause emotional distress in their victims. They enjoy the feeling of power they get from eliciting an emotional response from others.

For example, they may move your cherished family heirlooms without telling you or delete important files from your computer.

When confronted about the missing items, covert narcissists will often deny knowledge or accuse their victim of being too forgetful or careless with their belongings. The constant gaslighting can lead to feelings of confusion and self-doubt for the victim, making it even easier for the narcissist to maintain control over them.

#5. To Maintain A Sense Of Power In The Relationship

Covert narcissists often hide personal belongings to maintain control and power in the relationship. By taking something that belongs to you without permission, they are able to assert their dominance and make you feel powerless.

For example, a covert narcissist may hide your phone charger when they know you need it the most or take your car keys to prevent you from leaving the house. These actions can leave you feeling frustrated, helpless, and anxious about what else they might do next.

#6. To Manipulate The Situation To Their Advantage

Covert narcissists are masters of manipulation and they often hide personal items to turn the situation in their favor. They may use this tactic to gain a sense of control over you or pressure you into doing something that benefits them.

For example, if they know your phone is missing, they may refuse to help you look for it until you agree to do something for them first.

In some cases, covert narcissists may even use hidden personal items as leverage against you. For instance, if they come across compromising information on your computer or diary, they can wield it as a threat and force you to comply with their demands.

#7. To Create A Dependency On Them

Covert narcissists often hide personal items to create a sense of dependency on them. This can manifest into several different forms, such as hiding important documents like passports or financial papers which then restrict the victim’s ability to travel or manage their finances without the narcissist’s assistance.

Another example of creating dependency is by hiding everyday items like keys, phones, or even clothes; the idea being that it makes it difficult for the victim to function daily without seeking help from the covert narcissist.

By controlling access to these essential items using manipulative tactics, they ensure that their victims remain dependent on them psychologically and emotionally.

#8. To Distract You From Their Own Behavior

Covert narcissists will go to great lengths to hide their own behavior. They may steal or hide your personal items as a way to distract you from the real issue at hand: their actions.

For example, they may accuse you of being disorganized or careless with your possessions when in fact they are the ones who misplaced or stole them. By creating chaos and confusion, they divert attention away from themselves and onto you.

#9. To Make You Feel Insecure Or Less Confident

One of the reasons why covert narcissists hide your personal items is to make you feel insecure or less confident about yourself. By taking something that is important to you, they create a sense of vulnerability and powerlessness, which in turn makes them feel superior.

For instance, hiding your phone or laptop can cause panic and anxiety as you struggle with the fear of losing valuable information.

Additionally, when they hide things that are dear to you such as photographs, sentimental jewelry or other keepsakes, it leaves an emotional void that only serves to lower self-esteem.

The victim is left feeling inadequate and unworthy while the narcissist gains satisfaction from their control tactics.

#10. To Isolate You From Others Or Limit Your Independence.

Covert narcissists are known to isolate their victims from others and limit their independence, which can be achieved by hiding personal items. They may do this in various ways, such as hiding your phone or car keys so that you cannot leave the house without them.

For instance, a covert narcissist may hide your wallet containing all your identification documents and cash before an important meeting to make sure that you don’t attend it.

Or they may tamper with your work equipment if they know you have a deadline coming up soon.

Dealing With Covert Narcissism And Personal Item Hiding

Set clear boundaries with the covert narcissist and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to help you navigate the complex dynamics of this type of relationship.

Setting Boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries when dealing with covert narcissists who hide your personal things. Here are some ways to do it:

  1. Clearly communicate what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.
  2. Be consistent in enforcing your boundaries.
  3. Identify consequences for crossing your boundaries, and follow through with them.
  4. Don’t engage in arguments or defending yourself against baseless accusations.
  5. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist as needed.
  6. Remember that setting boundaries is not being selfish; it is necessary for your own wellbeing.
  7. Stand firm in your boundaries, even if the narcissist tries to manipulate or guilt – trip you into changing them.
  8. Don’t be afraid to say “no” when the narcissist asks for something that goes against your boundaries.
  9. Trust yourself and your instincts; don’t let the narcissist convince you that you’re overreacting or being unreasonable.
  10. Ultimately, prioritize your own mental and emotional health above trying to please the covert narcissist who is hiding your personal things.

Seeking Support

Dealing with covert narcissism and personal item hiding can be a daunting task, but seeking support can make a difference in your recovery. Here are some ways to seek support:

  1. Talk to someone you trust: Share your experiences with a trusted friend or family member who can offer emotional support.
  2. Join a support group: Being part of a group of people who have gone through similar experiences can provide a sense of validation and understanding.
  3. Consider therapy: A therapist can help you process your emotions, set boundaries, and develop coping mechanisms.
  4. Educate yourself: Research and read about covert narcissism to better understand what you’re dealing with.
  5. Practice self-care: Take time for yourself to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies.

Remember that seeking support is not a sign of weakness but rather an act of strength in recognizing the need for assistance in navigating difficult situations.

Finding A Therapist

If you are dealing with a covert narcissist who hides your personal items, seeking support from a therapist can provide the tools needed to cope with the situation. Here are some ways to find a therapist:

  1. Ask for Referrals: Reach out to friends or family members and ask if they know of any therapists who specialize in dealing with personality disorders like narcissism.
  2. Seek Online Resources: Use online directories such as Psychology Today or GoodTherapy.org to search for therapists in your area who specialize in treating those affected by narcissistic abuse.
  3. Contact Professional Associations: Reach out to professional associations such as the American Psychological Association or National Association of Social Workers for recommendations on experienced therapists.
  4. Check Insurance Coverage: Check with your insurance provider to see which therapists are covered under their plan and choose one that fits your needs and budget.
  5. Interview Multiple Therapists: Schedule consultations with multiple therapists before choosing one that best suits your individual needs and preferences.

Remember, finding a therapist is essential when dealing with covert narcissism and hiding personal items. A trained professional can help you work through your emotions, develop coping mechanisms, and take steps toward healing.

Conclusion And Final Thoughts

In conclusion, covert narcissists hide personal items as a means of exerting control and power over their victims. This behavior can have a detrimental effect on the victim’s mental health, as it often leads to confusion, gaslighting, emotional distress, and isolation from others.

However, there are ways to deal with this type of narcissism by setting boundaries, seeking support from loved ones or professionals, and finding a therapist who specializes in narcissistic abuse recovery.