Overt narcissism is the most obvious of narcissistic personality disorders. The overt narcissistic personality is arrogant, boastful and demanding. This narcissistic personality is often an exhibitionist, and can be offended if not fed energy and attention, or as a result of receiving criticism or slights real or imagined. The overt narcissist has rage very close to the surface and can when not getting his or her way.

Overt narcissistic personality disorder manifests as grandiose behaviour, the demanding of specialised treatment, having to be known as the most valuable player, the most successfulof a particularfield,the most intelligent or the most aesthetically attractive. This narcissistic personality needs to be recognised for his or her special abilities and uniqueness,believing he or she is superior to others.

The overt narcissistic personality is highly exploitative and ruthless in the quest for power and control. This individual has the potential to be a public figure and secure power, money and material desires, but always at the expense of others. Many an overt narcissistic personality may not secure success, and will concoct credentials and achievements in order to gain recognition that has never been earned.

Both the overt and covert narcissist has deep feelings of unworthiness. The overt narcissist will openly intimidate, diminish and slander others because of deep jealousy and insecurities and has high levels of distrust believing other people treat him or her with the same contempt.

The covert narcissist is the ‘shy’ narcissist, but no less dangerous and painful to become involved with. The covert narcissistic personality like the overt narcissistic personality has deep feelings of unworthiness and shame. The covert narcissist however lacks the manufactured confidence to present a grandiose false self to the world, so retreats to his inner world to live out his or her pathological fantasies.

The covert narcissist is obviously depressed and often withdrawn, and projects these feelings on to close intimates in withholding and passive aggressive ways. The covert narcissist like the overt narcissist can explode, but it takes more provocation. The covert narcissistic personality, like the over narcissist also lacks a conscience and will project his or her damaged inner self on to others by lying, manipulating, withholding or abandoning –using whatever tactic gets a reaction and hurts those closest to him or her.

The covert narcissistic personality is often anxious, pessimistic, unmotivated, and blames his or her past for insecurities and inadequacies. He or she may be great drain on a partner by being parasitical in using money, resources and energy that he or she is not self-producing.

Just like the overt, the covert narcissistic personality type is highly exploitative and believes he or she is entitled to take, but has very little interest in contributing unless there is an ulterior motive attached.

It’s important to understand that individuals with narcissistic personality disorder may be a mixture of the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ types – and may fit the descriptions of both types of narcissistic personality categories.

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