(AscendHealthy.com) – The stereotypical narcissist is extroverted and charming, while also often arrogant and entitled. They’re masters at playing people and can be difficult to pick out of a crowd. Experts believe there’s another type of narcissist that could be even more elusive, and because they often show traits that are uncharacteristic of the typical narcissist, these people can easily hide in plain sight, even among people who know how to spot their kind. We can show you what else to watch out for.
The Vulnerable Narcissist
In recent years, researchers have identified a split in how narcissistic traits present. Whereas the stereotypical “grandiose” narcissist often gives a charming first impression that quickly crumbles as people get to know them, the “vulnerable” narcissist initially comes across as depressed and anxious. This subgroup has all the same underlying characteristics — a sense of entitlement, feelings that they’re “special” or better than others, a need for acknowledgment or praise — but instead of being outgoing or overtly egotistical, the vulnerable narcissist struggles with constant fears of loss and invalidation.
According to The Minds Journal, female narcissists are more likely to fall on the vulnerable side. They may use their vulnerability as part of manipulations to get what they want. These people are also more likely to fall into denial and avoidance when stressful situations arise, although they may become domineering or vindictive when they don’t get their way.
Traits to Watch For
Vulnerable narcissists use your empathy against you, so setting them apart from friends undergoing multiple genuine hardships isn’t always easy. There are a handful of traits they tend to share, however. Be on the lookout for these possible red flags:
- Psychology Today describes vulnerable narcissists as shy, insecure, and often hyper-focused on their depression, which they’re more likely to blame on our unfair world than work on fixing.
- They’re overly concerned with appearances and may go above and beyond with clothing and makeup.
- They don’t react well to “no.” The vulnerable narcissist is your best friend, as long as they’re getting what they want from you. Watch out, however, if you can’t deliver — even once.
- Nothing is ever their fault, at least from their perspective, and they may become moody, passive-aggressive or withdrawn if you point out any mistakes or shortcomings.
- They’re not interested in other people’s problems unless they’re personally affected as well. At times, they may come across as downright cold.
- Everything is a competition to the vulnerable narcissist. No matter what it is, they need to find that one-up.
All narcissists see life as a game and everyone around them as pawns. Those who use their vulnerability as just another tool can be especially dangerous in their deceptions. Don’t feed their dysfunction. Watch for the signs and know when it’s time to take a step back.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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