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.


You can get it on Amazon here.

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