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.
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
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.
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:
- Depressed demeanor.
- Excessive self-gratification.
- 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.
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.