Covert Narcissist Mother: 10 Clear Traits

10 clear covert narcissist mother traits + six strategies to deal with her

Ever felt like something wasn’t quite right with your mom, but you couldn’t put your finger on it? Chances are, you might be dealing with your covert narcissist mother. But don’t worry, you’re not alone.

We’re here to walk you through the ten unmistakable traits of a covert narcissist mom in the simplest way possible. And even better, we’ve got six solid strategies to help you navigate through it all. So sit tight, because we’re about to crack the code on dealing with a covert narcissist mom, once and for all.

What Is A Covert Narcissist Mother?

A covert narcissist mom acts all sweet on the outside but is actually pretty selfish underneath. She likes to get praise but acts like she’s super caring. She’s always criticizing and controlling, never really understanding how others feel.

Her kids end up feeling pretty down about themselves because she’s always making them doubt themselves. Unlike the obvious narcissists, these ones are sneaky about it, so it’s tough to see. Kids of these moms often feel pretty bad about themselves, but therapy can help them sort things out and feel better.

10 Clear Covert Narcissist Mother Traits

Ever wondered if your mom might be a covert narcissist? We’ll break down the 10 key traits to look out for. Understanding these signs can shed light on your relationship and make things clearer.

1) Scheming and Manipulative Tactics

A covert narcissistic mother, displaying traits of covert narcissism, excels at manipulating others, even her own children. Behind the guise of a perfect mother, she employs manipulative tactics, such as gaslighting and guilt trips, to maintain power.

By twisting the truth and portraying herself as the victim, she shirks responsibility for her actions, leaving her children feeling confused and guilty. This behavior is characteristic of covert narcissistic mothers, who prioritize their own needs over their children’s well-being. And disregarding the child’s need for honesty and support.

2) Emotional Detachment

Unlike nurturing mothers who empathize with their children’s feelings, a covert narcissistic mother lacks empathy. She appears indifferent to her children’s emotions, dismissing them or redirecting the focus to herself, leaving her children feeling ignored and isolated.

This emotional detachment stems from narcissistic traits. Where the mother’s exaggerated sense of self-importance overrides her children’s need for emotional validation.

3) Entitlement and Exploitation

Viewing her children as extensions of herself, a covert narcissist mother feels entitled to command their lives and emotions to meet her own needs. She manipulates and exploits her children, disregarding the impact of her actions on their well-being.

This behavior reflects narcissistic entitlement and exploitation, where the mother’s desires take precedence over her children’s needs. So a child can feel pain raised by this toxic mom.

4) Shallow Connections and Violated Boundaries

Instead of forming genuine bonds, a covert narcissistic mother seeks shallow connections with her children. And using them to fulfill her own needs. She disregards their personal space and feelings, violating boundaries and manipulating them for her own gain.

Setting clear boundaries is essential for her children to protect themselves and maintain their sense of self. This behavior is emblematic of narcissistic behavior. Where the mother’s need for validation overrides her children’s need for autonomy and respect.

5) Crafty Control

A covert narcissist mother, is like a master puppeteer, pulling the strings behind the scenes to control her children. She’s really good at using sneaky tactics like making them doubt themselves. Or feel guilty for things that aren’t their fault.

Breaking free from her grip means recognizing when she’s trying to manipulate you and standing up for yourself. It’s like learning to see through her tricks and not letting her control you anymore.

6) Unattainable Standards and Image Obsession

Living with a mom like this can feel like you’re always falling short. She’s obsessed with how things look and expects you to be perfect in everything you do. Whether it’s getting top grades or looking a certain way, she’s always pushing for more.

But here’s the thing: her standards are way too high, and they say more about her own issues than anything you’re doing wrong. So, instead of trying to meet her impossible expectations, it’s better to set your own goals and love yourself just the way you are.

7) Deceptive Communication

Talking with your covert narcissist mother can be like trying to unravel a mystery. She’s really good at twisting the truth to suit her own needs, making it hard to trust anything she says. But you can protect yourself by setting boundaries and talking to people outside of her circle who you can trust. It’s like learning to see through her lies and not letting her mess with your head anymore.

8) Constant Validation Craving

She always seems to need attention and praise, like she can’t be happy unless she’s the center of everything. But no matter how hard you try to make her happy, it’s never enough. Here’s the thing: her need for approval is her own problem, not yours.

So instead of bending over backward to please her, focus on building your own confidence and surrounding yourself with people who appreciate you just the way you are. It’s like breaking free from her constant need for validation and finding happiness on your own terms.

9) Overbearing Dominance and Jealousy

A covert narcissistic female tightly rules her children’s lives. And calling the shots in everything they do to feed her own need for power. She doesn’t give them space to be themselves or make their own choices. On top of that, she feels envious of their successes and achievements.

Instead of being proud, she sees them as threats to her own ego. This leads her to undermine their efforts or put down their accomplishments. This toxic mix of hold and jealousy suffocates her children’s dreams, making them feel worthless.

10) Distant and Neglectful

A covert narcissist mother’s emotional neglect leaves her children feeling abandoned and alone. She’s emotionally distant, putting her own needs first and leaving her children longing for a real connection. Her interactions lack warmth and depth, missing the love and support kids crave.

Despite wanting closeness, her children feel unloved and unsupported. They’re afraid to upset her, always worrying about her reactions. This neglect leaves lasting scars, hurting their self-esteem and making it hard to build healthy relationships later on. Thus you can also understand what weird things covert narcissists can do.

Six Best Strategies to Deal with A Covert Narcissist Mother

So if you’ve got a covert narcissist mom in your life. Here are the six best strategies to deal with her. Think of these strategies as your secret weapons when things get tough.

  • Boundary Establishment

Setting clear rules to protect yourself from your mom’s hurtful behavior is super important. It means deciding what’s okay and what’s not okay when you’re dealing with her. So you might need to limit how much time you spend together, or what topics you talk about.

  • Selective Engagement

Sometimes, it’s best to keep your distance from your mom to avoid feeling upset. If being around her makes you feel bad, it’s okay to see her less often. Your emotional well-being comes first, even if it means spending less time with her.

  • Community Support

Having people who understand and support you can make a big difference. When dealing with your covert narcissist mother. Whether it’s family members, friends, or teachers, having someone to talk to can help you feel less alone.

  • Self-Care Emphasis

Taking care of yourself is really important when your mom’s behavior is tough to handle. This means doing things that make you feel good, like exercising, relaxing, or talking to someone you trust.

  • Perspective Preservation

Remember, your mom’s behavior doesn’t define who you are. You’re valuable and worthy of love, no matter what she says or does. It’s not your job to fix her or make her happy. So try not to let her actions bring you down.

  • Advocacy and Autonomy

It’s okay to stand up for yourself and tell your mom what you need, even if she doesn’t always listen. Learning how to stand your ground. And handling conflicts can help you feel more confident and in control of your own life.


Don’t hate your mom. But spotting those sneaky traits of a covert narcissist mother is key. Once you’ve got that down, it’s time to figure out how to deal. These six strategies are like your superhero tools for handling the situation.

From setting boundaries to taking care of yourself and getting support from people who’ve got your back, you’ve got options. Just remember, you’re not alone in this. With a bit of patience, self-awareness, and sticking to your guns. You can break free from that toxic grip and start feeling good about yourself again.

Author Tarannum Ali

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