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What is the difference between a covert narc and codependency?

A codependent and a narcissist both control, however with different outcomes in mind. The narcissist controls to gain power and destroy, whereas the codependent manipulates to be liked, needed and included. In fact both have an extreme need to be needed. Both have low self esteem.

A covert narcissist abuses emotionally. These bruises cannot be seen. The objective is the same as the overt narcissist (where the bruises can be seen).

The aim of the covert narcissist is to destabilise and bring the person down to a place of unhealthy dependence on the narcissist. They succeed in causing emeshment by gaslighting, putting the person down, exclusion, and causing dramas and confusion.

A codependent abuses and controls in a different way due to their extreme need to be needed. They also control by playing the victim or by overcaretaking. However their intention is not to destroy. They are often kind at the expense of themselves.

They like the narcissist do become unhealthily emeshmed but not with the intention of destroying the other person. They believe they are helping the other. But it's to satisfy their own needs.

Both are dependent.

If you see signs of this in your relationship get therapeutic support. Only then can the relationship grow and thrive.

For more information about the subjects covered in this blog, contact Margaret Parkes - phone: 086 832 0422 email:

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