Covert Narcissist's Playbook - Diane Lee

Are you dating a covert narcissist?

I had no clue I was dating a covert narcissist, mainly because my boundaries had been whittled away to nothing by the sense of opportunity and complacency I’d allowed myself to develop in Vietnam. I said yes to everything that crossed my path. I remember having a conversation with another expat about the type of men I was interested in, and I replied: I’m interested in men who are interested in me. No wonder I found myself in an emotional abusive situation. Love bombing, gaslighting, ignoring red flags, intermittent reinforcement, control and manipulation — this relationship had it all.

I ended it after 10 months of feeling like I was going nuts. Luckily, I didn’t go crazy. But I did write about it. And this is my story. It’s a mini-memoir written from two perspectives: before I discovered my seemingly kind and reliable partner was a covert narcissist – and after, when I realised how destructive and dangerous my boyfriend was. It’s a first hand account of how covert narcissists think, their traits and the damaging effects of narcissism, manipulation and coercive control on your spirit.

Prologue: The Covert Narcissist’s Playbook

In June of 2019, almost three years after I arrived in Hanoi, I met a man. He was much younger than me, handsome – and Vietnamese.

I was coming off the back of a devastating and confusing break-up and had been single for three months. This man, while younger than I, seemed to have a maturity beyond his years. As our relationship progressed, he appeared attentive, kind and reliable.

It was all a ploy, an act, a charade.

His ultimate goal was to trap me and then destroy me.

He was a covert narcissist.

It took me ten months to realise what was going on. Ten months of pure, nightmarish hell. Ten months where I was emotionally abused. I knew something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

It was his patterns. In the end they couldn’t be ignored, and noticing them is what saved me.

Curious?

You can get it on Amazon here.

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