Skip to content

8 Signs You Are Dealing With A Vulnerable Narcissist

Signs Dealing Vulnerable Narcissist

The word ‘narcissist’ has become very common now, with many people just casually throwing it around whenever they want to describe anyone who might not be a good person. The interesting thing about narcissism is that there’s not just one narcissist, there are many kinds of narcissists. One of these narcissists is the vulnerable narcissist.

A vulnerable narcissist is different in the sense that their narcissism symptoms aren’t always that prominent, and they don’t exhibit the ‘classic’ and ‘conventional’ signs of narcissism like maybe the others do. This means, they are still narcissists, but their behavioral traits don’t always seem narcissistic, such as:

  • Being shy and reserved.
  • Feeling sensitive about what others think about them.
  • Modesty.

These are just a few signs that point to the fact that someone might a vulnerable narcissist; there are many other traits that will help you understand whether or not you are dealing with a vulnerable narcissist.

Here Are 8 Signs You Are Dealing With A Vulnerable Narcissist

Signs Dealing Vulnerable Narcissist info

1. Exceptionally introverted and shy.

Vulnerable narcissists tend to be more on the introverted and shy side. Most of the time introverts are seen as unfriendly, unapproachable, negative, too quiet, and someone who needs a lot of solitude to function. All this tends to be seen as red flags sometimes. Narcissistic people are petrified of others seeing their weak points, especially their shortcomings and failures.

The moment their innermost and private feelings are exposed, they lose the superiority complex they constantly bask in. This is why vulnerable narcissists tend to mostly avoid social events unless they have a strong ulterior motive and a personal agenda. Their narcissism also makes them very distrustful of others, and their intentions.

Read: This Inkblot Test Will Determine If You Are A Narcissist, Psychopath, Both Or Neither: QUIZ

2. Really sensitive to criticism.

Narcissism means a low, even damaged self-esteem and self-worth, and a lot of insecurity. This shows up as massive sensitivity to any sort of criticism, no matter how constructive it might be. Even though sensitivity to criticism is nothing new when it comes to narcissism, it seems to be an even bigger issue when vulnerable narcissists are concerned.

They just cannot take criticism of any kind, even if it’s for their own good. Most of the time, they will use sarcasm, cutting remarks, and horrible retorts to pretend that this does not affect them, but the truth is, it affects them deeply. They feel attacked, insulted, humiliated, and mortified on the inside. In their heads, they are absolutely perfect and criticism directly injures the glamorized view they have of themselves.

3. They have a neurotic personality.

Having a neurotic personality is crucial when it comes to being a vulnerable narcissist. Having a neurotic personality means having the following traits:

  • Vulnerability.
  • Antagonism.
  • Depressed demeanor.
  • Excessive self-gratification.
  • Self-consciousness.
  • Constant feelings of panic and anxiety.

When you are a narcissist, and you are high on self-centeredness, self-obsession, and neuroticism, you will naturally dwell a lot about your social status, physical appearance, personal relationships, and its status, career, and money. In other words, you will constantly obsess about all those things that will help you maintain a façade of superior social status.

Related: The Ninja Narcissist: 7 Secret Signs Of A Covert Introvert Narcissist

4. Exhibits a lot of passive-aggression.

Vulnerable narcissists are pros when it comes to being passive-aggressive. Passive aggression is mostly their choice of weapon when they want to manipulate someone to get something done. Internally, they feel that they are ‘special’ which is why they should always get what they expect from others. They also have a deep-seated desire to be revengeful with people who have hurt or wronged them in any way.

When they are being passive-aggressive, they might exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Silent treatment.
  • Trying to sabotage someone professionally or personally.
  • Subtly playing the blame game, and even shifting blame onto others.
  • Insulting someone in the name of humor.
  • Delaying tasks that they feel are not of their standards.

5. Suffer from anxiety, depression and an inner emptiness.

Vulnerable narcissists tend to suffer from depression and anxiety more than people who are not vulnerable narcissists. This is because they have an inherent fear of failure that they are not good enough to be successful, which further fuels their anxiety and feelings of low self-esteem. Most of the time, they feel an inner emptiness that drives them to sabotage their personal relationships too.

Depressive and suicidal thoughts are a constant fixture in their lives, and when you add a lack of appreciation and acknowledgment to that, it leads to more bitterness, resentment, and feelings of sadness.

6. Experiences a lot of self-shame.

When it comes to vulnerable narcissism, their self-image is broken into two parts – their positive self-image centers around extravagant pride, and their negative self-image is full of shame. This split is one of the biggest reasons why they are so sensitive to criticism; it simply forces them to confront their drawbacks, which leads to deep feelings of shame.

When they have positive comments coming their way, they are able to hide their self-shame behind that. But when it comes to absorbing criticism and trying to understand their flaws, their negative self-image forces their pride out of the way, and this leads to excessive feelings of self-disgust, embarrassment, and finally shame.

Want to know more about a vulnerable narcissist? Check this video out below!

Vulnerable narcissist

7. Blaming others for their mistakes.

Another prominent facet of vulnerable narcissism is playing the blame game. Whenever they are in hot water, they never hesitate to shift the blame on someone else, as long as they are getting to save themselves. Even if they are the mastermind of it all, somehow it will be someone else’s fault; maybe they were ‘manipulated’ or ‘coerced’ into doing it.

If they are consistently late for work, it’s because their spouse took too long in the washroom. If they forgot their daughter’s birthday, it’s because their boss gave them too much work. Broke a friend’s promise and trust? Well, they were ‘manipulated’ into doing that! On the rare occasions when they do accept their mistakes, they do so because they are either caught red-handed or are cornered.

Even if they do admit their guilt, don’t expect to see any genuine remorse, sadness or regret in them. They are doing so only because their bluff has been called.

Related: Ninja Narcissists: How They Torment You With Their Sneak Attacks

8. Excessive jealousy and envy.

Narcissistic people are always envious of others and their lives; no matter how good they might have it, they are never happy, and nothing is ever enough for them. They are especially jealous of people who are rich, powerful, and good-looking because they covet these things more than anything else. Additionally, they also feel that others are envious of them because of how ‘superior’ they are.

Vulnerable narcissists never show these negative feelings openly, rather they would be bitter and resentful towards people who they feel are responsible for them feeling like this. Moreover, they also feel resentful when they don’t get what they feel they are entitled to and deserve.

It can be hard and very challenging to interact with a vulnerable narcissist, due to them being withdrawn, shy, and reserved. But when things get too much, and their narcissism doesn’t seem to improve, then maybe, you need to cut off all ties and move on with your life. The more you let a narcissist draw you in, the tougher it will be for you to protect your mental health and peace of mind.


Frequently Asked Questions

How to manipulate a narcissist to talk to you?

Some of the best ways to manipulate a narcissist to talk to you are by educating yourself about their personality, being clear about your boundaries, and always speaking up for yourself.

How to manipulate a vulnerable narcissist?

Manipulating and handling a vulnerable narcissist is easy once you grasp what makes them tick. Standing your ground, not letting them get to you, and calling them out on their problematic behavior are some of the best ways to handle vulnerable narcissists.


Signs Dealing Vulnerable Narcissist pin
Dealing Vulnerable Narcissist pin

Alexandra Hall

Hi there! I am someone who is trying to navigate through life, one day at a time. Writing is my passion and my job, and I am happiest when I am writing. I love reading comic books, watching drama movies, playing with my dogs and generally lazing around. An introvert by nature, you can find me in the farthest corner of the room in every party, playing with the dog and having my own party.View Author posts

Up Next

When Relationship Becomes Business: 5 Signs Of A Transactional Relationship

Signs Transactional Relationship

Are you in a transactional relationship? Transactional love is a form of romantic interest that results in a relationship of convenience. It can be considered like a business transaction where the focus is not on strengthening emotional connection, but on what one has to give and can receive from their partner. 

Let’s explore the meaning of transactional relationship to see if you are in one.

What is transactional relationship? 

To be honest, a transactional relationship sounds more like a business deal than a real relationship. It can be considered as a “business transaction” where two people enter a romantic relationship where one partner offers certain services or “gifts” and the other partner provides services in return. The

Up Next

Decoding The Narc Speak: Found In Translation

Decoding The Narc Speak

A narcissist tends to communicate differently than other people. Take a careful look at what narcissists say and what they mean. Understand Narc speak, as it often disguises their true intentions.

The way that our kind speaks is a language all of its own. Narcspeak appears at first to be a normal way of speaking, with the inferences, interpretations and connotations that one would ordinarily expect when hearing phrases such as ‘I love you’ and ‘I am sorry’.

You will not grasp that there is a different meaning to much of what we say to you, at least not until it is too late. Once you have mastered Narcspeak however it becomes readily apparent what is actually being conveyed to you. Understand this form of doublespeak from us is a useful skill to achieve.

Not only will it bring clarity to

Up Next

What Is Dark Psychology: 10 Most Common Techniques and Tactics of Manipulation

Dark Psychology Manipulation

All of us have a dark side, which most of us try to control, suppress and hide from others. We all have a unique relationship with our dark side which can define the type of person we are. Dark psychology enables us to understand this relationship with the dark side of our consciousness. 

What is dark psychology? 

Dark psychology refers to the dark side of the human psyche and is primarily used to manipulate others. It is typically regarded as the psychological study and application of thought control and manipulation. Generally, psychology focuses on human thoughts, behaviors, emotions and actions. However, dark psychology focuses on strategies, tactics and techniques of manipulation, persuasion, coercion and motivation that can help a person to gain what they wish for.

Up Next

Can Abusers Change? 11 Signs Your Abusive Partner Is Changing For Good

Signs abusive partner changing for good

“I promise. This time I will change. Please don’t leave me. Give me one more chance. A last one. I WILL change. You’ll see.” 

If you have ever been in an abusive relationship, you have probably heard this many times before. While abusers usually don’t really change, what if they actually change this time around? Are there any genuine signs your abusive partner is changing?

Can abusers change?

The quick answer is yes. But just like everything else in life, it is a lot more complicated than it sounds. A narcissistic, toxic, abusive individual may genuinely want to change due to certain life experiences. They may

Up Next

8 Lies Narcissists Tell

Lies Narcissists Tell

If you have ever been with a narcissist, you know that narcissists lie about everything. But how narcissists lie, and do narcissists lie often? Most importantly what do narcissists lie about? This post is all about the lies narcissists tell in order to manipulate and trap their victims.

Narcissists and the truth go together like oil and water, and nothing is really off-limits. If you’ve been with a narcissist, you know this. But there are some common lies that all narcissists tell, and we are going to cover those in today’s post. Let’s get to it.

Today’s topic is the lies that all narcissists tell in some form or another. So, if you’ve ever been around a narcissist, you’ve probably heard some variation of one of these lies, if not all of them.

So, talking through the lies