5 Signs of an Introverted Narcissist

5 Signs of an Introverted Narcissist

Contrary to popular belief, narcissists can be shy and introverted.

Narcissists are not always opinionated, A-type people with big personalities.

Narcissism may affect different people in different ways.

Those who suffer from narcissism may turn their self-centeredness inward upon themselves, instead of bullying or controlling other people.

In this article, we will examine five signs of the introverted narcissist. 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Dr. Michelle Palmieri, DSW, LSW

Dr. Michelle Palmieri, DSW, LSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021

1. Creates a Fantasy World

All narcissists have a grandiose view of themselves as better than others. They believe they are better than others.

Unlike the overt narcissist who is often outgoing, over-achieving, and financially successful, the introverted narcissist is all of these and more- in their own head.

The introverted narcissist often creates a fantasy world in their own head, a world where they can be heroic, successful, envied, and empowered.

In their fantasy world, the introverted narcissist makes the rules and sets the standards for success.

The fantasy world of an introverted narcissist may be similar to their world, where they have a better position at work or greater material wealth.

When building their fantasy world, the introverted narcissist often uses people they know to inspire them by comparison.

For example, introverted narcissists may imagine living in their wealthy uncle's home and driving their friend's expensive sports car.

However, the introverted narcissist may also create an entirely different reality, wherein they are a famous celebrity, a great humanitarian, or some social mover and shaker.

2. Bitterness

For introverted narcissists, unfortunately, their fantasy world is often not good enough.

No matter how intricate and satisfying their fantasy world may be, the introverted narcissist must inevitably return to reality.

When the introverted narcissist is forced to interact with others and confront reality, it may cause extreme bitterness.

A sign of an introverted narcissist is a general bitterness about all facets of life.

Bitterness about not succeeding at their job, lack of friendships, feelings of attractiveness, and fear of insignificance.

An introverted narcissist is shy and withdrawn.

Often the only time an introverted narcissist will speak up, is when they're expressing bitterness or pessimism.

Because of their bitterness, fear, and pessimism, introverted narcissists often suffer from anger issues as well. 

3. Passive Aggressive Sarcasm

Passive aggressive sarcasm is a sign of an introverted narcissist.

Honesty and open communication are difficult for introverted narcissists.

That's because both require vulnerability, and the introverted narcissist is too proud to communicate.

So, instead of honest and open communication, introverted narcissists use snarky, sarcastic comments to convey their bitterness and anger.

Sarcasm is often a kind of passive-aggressive verbal abuse.

Remember, narcissist behaviors are often abusive, whether physical, mental emotional, or verbal.

The introverted narcissist uses sarcasm to express their pessimism about life, and criticism of others.

A classic sign of an introverted narcissist is someone who constantly criticizes others when they attempt anything.

Why? Because the introverted narcissist refuses to attempt anything, afraid of failure.

This leads the introverted narcissist to criticize others' attempts at success, predicting only failure.

Sarcasm is a harmful and toxic habit that can slowly chip away at relationships.

The introverted narcissist uses sarcasm to manipulate others, in an attempt to make them as miserable as they are.

4. Hypochondria

Hypochondria is when you have abnormal anxiety about your health, especially an irrational fear of suffering from a serious disease.

An introverted narcissist often suffers from hypochondria.

They use sickness and disease to garner attention.

Introverted narcissists do not usually get attention for accomplishments or achievements, because they never try.

Instead, an introverted narcissist may imagine health issues or fabricate illness in order to get the attention they desire.

For example, a series of doctor's appointments would be an opportunity for the introverted narcissist to get phone calls from family and friends checking in on them.

The introverted narcissist rarely speaks up, because they have nothing but negativity to contribute to the conversation.

However, health issues or diseases give them something to talk about- and it's their favorite subject- themselves.

The introverted narcissist may use their hypochondria to miss work, getting an excuse to fail at their job.

They may also use their hypochondria to justify not having a job at all.

The introverted narcissist fabricates sickness and disease in the same way they fabricate their fantasy world.

Getting others to feel sorry for them is a common way for the introverted narcissist to get attention and feel significant.

5. Depression

Depression is often a sign of an introverted narcissist.

Physical ailments related to depression may include insomnia, fatigue, mental dullness, headaches, lethargy, and a lack of motivation.

Emotional ailments often related to depression are pessimism, inability to trust others, anxiety, fear of failure, and extreme sadness.

All narcissists suffer from low self-esteem.

Introverted narcissists turn their low self-esteem inwards, often judging themselves way too harshly.

Introverted narcissists believe they will never be good enough for themselves or for others.

So, to save themselves the humiliation of defeat or failure, they simply give up on trying.

Depression causes a kind of physical and psychological immobility, fueled by pessimism.

Remember, not everyone who suffers from depression is an introverted narcissist.

However, being diagnosed as an introverted narcissist is often overlooked and simply dismissed as depression.

Depression often causes anger.

The introverted narcissist, who is usually quiet and reserved, may suffer from sudden outbursts of anger.

Introverted narcissists bottle up their emotions and lives inside their own head, resulting in an unhealthy temper.

In many cases, the normally shy introverted narcissist may be physically or verbally abusive, especially in the privacy of their own home.

Sadly, the introverted narcissist thrives on secrets and a secret life.

Introverted Narcissism vs Extroverted Narcissism

Introverted Narcissist Extroverted Narcissist
Also known as a covert narcissist, exhibits covert narcissism. Known as overt narcissists, displaying overt narcissism.
Covert introvert narcissists tend to be sensitive introverts. Extroverted narcissists display outgoing and extroverted behaviors.
Often have grandiose fantasies but hide them with an introverted personality. Have an inflated sense of self-importance and openly express their grandiosity.
Perceived criticism can deeply wound introverted narcissists. More likely to dismiss or deflect perceived criticism due to their self-confidence.
Signs of a covert narcissist include subtle but manipulative behavior. Exhibit more direct and obvious manipulative behavior.
Typically seen as a narcissist masquerading as a humble person. Seen as charismatic and attention-seeking individuals.
Vulnerable narcissism is a key trait, often struggling with self-worth issues. Characterized by overt displays of superiority and grandiosity.
Consulting a mental health professional can help manage these personality traits. Professional help is also advised to address these narcissistic traits effectively.

Understanding the personality traits of covert narcissists, overt narcissists, and introvert narcissists is crucial, especially if you are in a relationship with one.

A covert introvert narcissist can often present as humble and sensitive, making it difficult to recognize their manipulative behavior.

Awareness of these traits helps in navigating the relationship dynamics more effectively and ensures emotional well-being.

If you or your partner exhibit such behaviors, seeking professional guidance can be beneficial. 

Overcomers Counseling offers counseling for couples in Colorado Springs and throughout Colorado, providing both in-person and online support to help you manage and improve your relationship. 


The signs and behaviors of an introverted narcissist may surprise you.

That's why introverted narcissism often goes overlooked or misdiagnosed.

If you believe that you or someone you know may suffer from introverted narcissism, please seek the help of a licensed professional counselor.

With the guidance and advice of a professional counselor, there is hope for healing and freedom from the debilitating symptoms of introverted narcissism. 


Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
July 17th, 2024

overcomers counseling logo

Explore local counseling and psychiatry services to find the tailored support you require. Embark on a journey towards resilience and become an Overcomer with the right professional assistance by your side!

Contact Us

5585 Erindale Dr. Ste 204
Colorado Springs, CO 80918 mailing
(719) 345-2424 office
(719) 888-5022 text
(855) 719-2549 fax

Business Hours (Provider's hours may vary)

 Sunday   Closed
 Monday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Tuesday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Wednesday    8:00am - 5:00pm
 Thursday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Friday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Saturday  Closed