When it comes to narcissists, it is believed they come in 2 flavors: the grandiose and the covert. Narcissists of the grandiose variety are much easier to spot as they exhibit the overtly vain, exploitative, self-entitled, and aggressive behavior commonly associated with narcissism. The covert or vulnerable narcissist on the other hand, is less conspicuous. They are outwardly self-inhibited and modest, and may appear empathetic but inside harbor much of the same grandiose and over-inflated self-image found in their grandiose counterpart.
Covert narcissists are more likely to report themselves as introverted and sensitive. The defensiveness, anxiety and vulnerability of the covert narcissist are traits standardly associated with introversion. While the grandiose narcissist will assert their sense of superiority in blunt and intrusive ways, the closet narcissist will merely hint at it. Here are a list of signs to look for to determine if you or someone you know know is an introverted narcissist.
Introverts are often aloof and reserved. To some this can be interpreted as a sign of conceit or high-mindedness when in most cases this simply is not true – unless they are a narcissist in which case such an interpretation would be spot on. The introverted narcissist does indeed put others at a distance, viewing themselves in a very different light and it is something like a limelight.