What is a ninja narcissist?
Most of us have heard of narcissists: people with an inflated sense of self-importance who believe that they are entitled to special treatment. However, few of us know what is a “ninja narcissist” or a “covert introvert narcissist”. While narcissism is generally easy to identify, narcissists who are pathologically introverted are not so easy to spot. Preston Ni M.S.B.A. notes that the key difference between a narcissist and a covert introvert narcissist is that while the former will explicitly say that they believe they are better, the introverted narcissist will hint at it (without even realizing).
There are 6 signs someone is a covert introvert narcissist.
1. They are quietly smug.
Have you ever spoken to someone who shows that they have no interest in what you are saying? This disinterest can be conveyed through a lack of eye contact, an impolite yawn, a dismissive gesture, or even eye-rolling. While this person will never explicitly say that they believe you are beneath them, they will show you that they think it. Moreover, when they do speak, they often assert their own views and criticize you.
2. They are self-absorbed.
While introverts tend to be better at listening rather than speaking, a pathologically introverted narcissist is different. That is, they will only show interest in the things you are saying if they find them agreeable. Otherwise, they will pretend to listen while mentally tuning you out. If you were to ask them a question, you would find that they were not paying attention to what you were saying.
3. They are hypersensitive.
A covert introvert narcissist cannot handle criticism. If they are criticized, they will become extremely defensive as they attempt to protect their ego. This defensiveness can take the form of sarcasm, anger, or dismissal. Their hypersensitivity often stems from insecurities.
4. They fish for compliments.
While an extroverted narcissist will constantly brag, the introvert will not. Nevertheless, they share the same need for admiration, praise, and validation. Instead of bragging, they will minimize themselves and their accomplishments. In doing so, they hope that others will tell them that they are wrong and reassure them that they are special.
5. They show empathy (only when it serves them).
According to Healthline, introverted narcissists do feel compassion and show empathy. However, they do not do so without a reason. Crystal Raypole writes that although you may see them performing acts of kindness, such as giving money and food to homeless people, “they generally do these things to win the approval of others”.
6. They are passive-aggressive.
When they are unhappy with somebody, they will not explicitly say so. Instead, they will use passive aggression. For example, they might make hurtful jokes, give you the silent treatment, or sabotage you. In addition to this, they may engage in other manipulation tactics such as gaslighting.
If you know someone like this, take care of yourself and be wary. They may not be who you think they are.