My comment (which is awaiting moderation):
My ex leaned more on the asshole side but I still think he was more a covert narcissist. CN’s are harder to spot and they don’t fit into the description of textbook narcissism. That is why they are so dangerous, more dangerous than regular narcs and why they wouldn’t fit the criteria for NPD and many professionals don’t know about covert narcissism.
The following things he did were:
He was very vulnerable and very emotional and sensitive (Common CN thing)
Naive (also a common CN) and always a victim, nothing was ever his fault
Gaslighted me, he would say one thing and then deny it or claimed I said this to him
I had to walk on eggshells and I had to watch what i said and how I said it and I had to keep my feelings bottled up or he would get upset
He would use his kid to humiliate me and he also made fun of me because of a tone he would use about certain things about me
He was very controlling and tried to subtly cut me off from my parents and he would call me self centered to get his way and he would ignore me unless I acted the way he wanted me to act and then he would go “I don’t want to be a control freak so I won’t make you do it” but yet still get upset with me.
He would deliberately trigger my anxiety and try and make me uncomfortable like driving close to the mailboxes to make me think he was going to hit them.
He had to put others down to make himself feel better so he always put my family down
He was very critical of me and the things I liked and what games I played and what shows I watched and nothing I did was ever good enough for him
I think this went beyond asshole. My other ex was an asshole but he was no way a narcissist. I think he did some manipulation too but it was only for because he didn’t want to work and didn’t want to help himself so he had excuses always. It wasn’t for control. But I felt my second ex was controlling except he wasn’t telling me to do things or making me but he used emotions for it which was manipulation. Trust your gut instinct. I also felt he would doing it on purpose to trigger my anxiety and he knew I had anxiety. He even kept a piece from me I needed to return to Dish Network and I told him how much it meant to me and what consequence I would get if I didn’t get it back to them. He didn’t give it back until I had a meltdown and was panicking but I think he did it for his own good because I was saying online about it how I could get a lawyer and get him arrested and send Dish network after him and saying how my dad wants to come to town and get it from him at his work.
He fit lot of the profile for covert narcissism and lot of it makes sense now for his behavior. I didn’t want to label him as such but when the shoe fits, it’s hard. I did lot of reading about it and hours of it before deciding and also reading stories by other victims of narcs. I have heard worse stories so I am glad mine wasn’t that bad but it still hurt me and affected my thinking and changed my views. For years I just thought he had social anxiety and cared too much what others thought of him but now I know it was for his self image and ego and he was trying to control what others think of him and I just thought he had depression but now I know it was because he couldn’t do the image he wanted others to see because of his income limited it. He wanted a nice car and nice furniture and a nice house but couldn’t have those so he was depressed about it and to me this was silly and I didn’t care about his apartment or what he owned and what car he drove. He also claimed he had PTSD to justify his behavior towards me, because his ex called him a pedophile he said, he used it to hurt me by ignoring me because if I was too immature for him, he would ignore me until he thought I was acting mature enough for him. He also used Asperger’s to not get my perspective and to not even try, he would just go “Oh that is too abstract for me to understand.” Plus none of it ever added up about his “diagnoses.” I read this is a common CN thing to do, use medical labels to justify their abuse and to get away with it and to tell his son everything about me to humiliate me and used honesty as an excuse to be critical of me and to not care about my feelings. And another thing, he was always complaining I was making him looking like an asshole or a control freak and for years I just thought he was paranoid and worried too much what others would think but now I think he might have been called those before and now he was trying to control it. I do realize now he was aware of what he was doing so instead of trying to change it, he was trying to control what others think of him and not to see that side of him. Also he had me believing I was worst off than I really was and I felt so bad about myself, he acted like I was retarded and low functioning and used it against me. Lot of his actions were confusing and that was the whole point, it was to distort my image of him so I wouldn’t see the real him. But actions speak louder than words.
But I do think narcissist has become a buzzword to mean asshole or when someone does something we don’t like or we find annoying. I wouldn’t call someone that over one thing such as them doing selfies. Narcissist has become the “I am so OCD” because they like things organized or don’t like things out of place or uneven things.
After meeting my husband and being with him for 9 years, I do see a big difference between someone caring what others think of them and them wanting a private like between my ex.
My husband is not so controlling to a point he has to listen to everything I talk about and having to listen in on our conversations and he isn’t telling me to quit talking to people online who aren’t female or aspies. He isn’t so private to a point he acts so controlling about it. I bet the reason why some narcs would have a very private life is because they don’t want people to know the real them, they want to keep their false image. They have so much low self esteem they create a false image and want others to see it and when they can’t have their false image, they get depressed. My ex was not able to live up to his false image like having a nice car or nice pots and pans, nice home to live in, etc. so he was bitter and an unhappy person and me telling him I don’t care for that stuff didn’t matter to him, it was all about him. He was not rich but he wanted to create this false image of himself.
Also people who have low self esteem do not put others down and are not critical of others. That is beyond normal low self esteem. That is leaning more on the narcissist side. That is also why the overt ones exaggerate and lie about their achievements while the covert ones will put you down for it and judge others for their achievements. Did I ever mention in this blog how he said people living up on the hill were snobs because they lived in those nice big houses? He was also overly jealous and there is a difference between a narcissist being jealous and a non being jealous.