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5 Ways To Identify The Secret Language Of Narcissists

Maria Flynn
Written by Maria Flynn

Charming, intelligent, caring—hardly words you’d use to describe a narcissist.  The truth is, the reason so many get sucked into a narcissist’s world is because your initial exchange with them can almost sweep you off your feet!

The charm quickly wears off the moment a narcissist feels threatened.  If they think you’re the threat (or if they feel you can see them for who they really are), then beware of the punishment that follows by way of rumors, bashing, and even physical abuse.

Charm is one way a narcissist will manipulate you, but unfortunately, narcissists are often highly intuitive, too, according to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom.  This can set you up for experiences you’d never imagine yourself to be a part of because a narcissist with intuition will only use their intuition for their own self-interest.  Period.

Aside from the obvious, “all about me” immature nature of some narcissist (easy to spot), some are very advanced at manipulation, pulling you into their world and setting you up for massive emotional abuse and an energy drain leaving you more whipped than a 10K run.

The secret language of narcissists is virtually secret because unless you’ve had a lot of experience, you may not even see the snake until it bites you.  We’re talking about the covert narcissist.

  • Covert narcissists are perhaps the more dangerous of the narcissistic types. Covert narcissist aren’t arrogant or obviously aggressive, but instead, have almost magically reeled you in as their source of “supply” (for your skills, your abilities, your resources, your connections, your money, your company, your whatever they need from you).
  • The covert narcissists start out nice, but drain your energy and have the potential to become extremely dangerous.  It’s not always easy to exactly single out what they’re doing wrong, but your gut knows it and you often feel drained, nervous and even angry after spending time with them.  These are the wolves in sheep’s clothing and they have a secret language all their own.

How to identify the secret language of covert narcissists:

1. No Energy Match

You feel empty when you’re around them and it doesn’t make sense to you because they use all the right language like, “I love you” or “you’re so beautiful” and even, “I appreciate you.”  If the words and the energy don’t match for you, pay attention! Listen to your body signals.  Energy doesn’t lie. CLICK HERE to learn more about managing your own energy.

2. Poor Me Attitude

You feel sorry for them and you naturally want to help.  Watch out because once they’ve pegged you as a source of “supply” you’ll be doing all the work for them.  These are among the most draining and irritating narcissist.  You’ll hear things like,  “I’m so confused” or “you’re so smart” or “I can always rely on you.”  Yes, there are moments in all our lives where we’re genuinely confused and we need help from others. But like the saying goes, when you teach a man to fish, they’ll have a food source for a lifetime.  The covert narcissist resists learning and finds somebody else to do the work for them.

3. Ribbons and Bows

The gift (I mean guilt) giver is the covert narcissist who loves to give and do favors as a way to manipulate you. They give because the moment they need you, they expect you to give back to them at the moment they need it and will let you know that you being unavailable is “selfish” considering all they’ve done and given to you.  A gift with strings attached is not a gift.  Just say NO.

4. Help Me (Not Really)

Obsessed with problems, this covert narcissist won’t call you until they need your advice (which they’ll NEVER take).  You may feel good temporarily because they’ve reached out to you, and they say things like, “you’re so smart” or “I look up to you” (and of course, you naturally want to help). If you feel drained and headachy after “helping”, BEWARE, you’re being used as a dumping ground.  

5. Broke On Purpose

These parasitic narcissists have extremely manipulative language when it comes to excuses about not having money or a job. They don’t even want to do the work to find work.  Let’s call a spade a spade here—they’re sponging off of you.  

I hope the secret language isn’t so secret anymore. The covert narcissist isn’t openly aggressive, but the harm is still the same and often not recognized until you’ve already trusted them (the covert narcissist starts out “nice” after all).  It isn’t until later that you painfully realize the monster—the narcissist behind the mask.

This article is based on my personal experience with narcissists.  The emotional damage (and even physical abuse) from a narcissist is not an easy experience to suddenly overcome and “get over.”  The effects are long-lasting and I can only recommend to educate yourself and seek professional help if you feel you need it.


Knowledge is powerful only when you know how to use it.  You deserve healthy and loving relationships.

Additional resources:

1.  Emotional Freedom, by Dr. Judith Orloff

2.  The Empathy Trap:  Understanding The Socio-Empath-Apath Triad

With so much love…

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About the author

Maria Flynn

Maria Flynn

Maria Flynn is the founder of One Wise Life as well as writer, coach, and creator of Your Energy Makeover, Spirituality For The Stubborn Soul Membership, and ABUNDANCE Bootcamp 3-Week Intensive. Maria has transformed her own life using the same methods she teaches her students to overcome and heal from abuse, obesity, and depression.

Maria has impacted the lives of millions through her online programs and social media presence. Maria has created a space for others to find self-love, self-discovery, self-improvement, and a renewed trust in their own intuition that answers the inner ache for those wanting more meaning and fulfillment in life.

Maria's purpose is to educate individuals to the reality that everyone (no exceptions) is a Sacred Thumbprint of the Universe (an extension and expression of the Universe) and therefore have an innate ability to work in HARMONYwith the Universe by integrating their own Spiritual Force supporting the creation of joyful, successful, meaningful, and ABUNDANT lifestyles. Maria's proven that her real and practical approach and systems work with clients around the world who've experienced massive breakthroughs.