Why Does a Covert Narcissist Discard You?

Medically Reviewed on 1/5/2022
covert narcissist discard signs
Covert narcissists discard you as a coping mechanism when things become too much for them or if they are uncomfortable with their situation.

Covert narcissists discard you as a coping mechanism when things become too much for them or if they are uncomfortable with their situation. If a covert narcissist decides to leave you, they may leave you for a quite long time, but later, they try to get back in touch with you.

  • Unlike typical narcissists, covert narcissists have extreme fight or flight reflexes, and when they choose flight, they run hard and fast.
  • Though typical narcissists do not discard people because they crave attention, covert narcissists may go to extreme measures to permanently discard you.

A covert narcissist is someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and exhibits all narcissistic symptoms. Covert narcissism, also called closet narcissism or introverted narcissism, is a susceptible kind of narcissism.

What do narcissists do to avoid you for a brief time?

When they become terrified and want to leave a conversation while you are speaking, they will do things, such as:

  • Walk out of the room
  • Refuse to look at you
  • Fail to answer anything when you ask them a question, even if you ask them repeatedly for a response
  • Move towards the door
  • Turn to the side or completely turn their back to you
  • Intentionally move far away from you
  • Start watching TV or looking at their devices or paying attention to or doing something else
  • Constantly interrupt you and zone in on specific things you say

If such tactics do stop you from talking, they may burst and smash things around or yell and scream at you.

  • It does not matter what the topic of the chat is.
  • They just want you to refrain from mentioning anything unfavorable of their conduct or calling them out for whatever they are doing.
  • During difficult talks, they become enraged and severely disturbed.

Do covert narcissists apologize?

Covert narcissists never apologize since they consider that their emotions are more important, whereas the victim's wants and sentiments are highly questionable.

  • They take everything as a competition, especially during comparison.
  • They say things in such a way that everything you went through does not compare to what they have gone through.

How should you respond to the hoovering of a covert narcissist?

A covert narcissist hoovers or literally sucks away all your emotions, self-esteem, and confidence and leaves you completely drained and confused with self-doubt.

Hovering is identified as an aggressive technique by a covert narcissist. They tend to return to your life after a long absence to do it repeatedly. As a result, covert narcissist hoovering can be hazardous to the victim's mental and physical health.

  • A covert narcissist does not display their inflated ego but may use the victim as an object to fulfill their physical and psychological demands.
  • This makes it more difficult to detect and recognize their problematic behavior patterns.
  • In other words, they have the traditional, harmful narcissistic tendencies, but it takes longer to discover and recognize them because they are neatly concealed by a seemingly flawless appearance.

The first thing a person should do is refuse all attempts at hoovering. It is critical to maintain your resolve and never give up.

To deal with a covert narcissist hoovering, use the following recommended strategies:

  • Set limits and personal boundaries: When dealing with a narcissist hoovering, it is critical to establish boundaries. Be strong and do not give in to their pressure.
  • Mask that your decision is for them: A clever strategy to counteract their hoovering efforts is to make it appear as though backing off will benefit them. If you make it about them, they will be more willing to listen to you.
  • Tactful communication: Once you have a narcissist's attention, it is essential to negotiate tactfully to reach a compromise and then, present your terms and conditions clearly and comprehensively. It is critical to show them that you are not going to bow down to make them give up on the goal of having you under their control.
  • Maintain distance: You must build emotional and physical barriers between yourself and them. Cut all emotional links with the narcissistic hoover. The most important thing is to block the narcissist on the phone, email, and social media and stay away from them in person, otherwise, you will be caught off guard.
  • Seek assistance: To some extent, being aware of the indicators of hoovering might aid you. However, constant and unrelenting emotional abuse and manipulation in such a relationship may frequently weaken your objectivity, making you more prone to falling for a narcissist's hoovering practices. In such cases, seeking counseling from a professional could be incredibly beneficial to break the trauma attachments, heal, and move on.


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Medically Reviewed on 1/5/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

Agarwal S. 8 Signs of Covert Narcissist Hoovering and How You Should Respond. Bonobology.com. https://www.bonobology.com/signs-of-covert-narcissist-hoovering/

Mayfield E. Why Do Narcissists Discard You? Mindset Therapy. https://www.mindsettherapyonline.com/blog/why-do-narcissists-discard-you