The Covert Chessboard: Damage Control Tactics

Damage control is a tactic employed by covert narcissists to mitigate or minimize the negative consequences of their actions or to protect their image and maintain control over others. Here’s an example of how a covert narcissist might employ damage control:

  1. Denial and Gaslighting: When confronted with evidence or accusations of their harmful behavior, covert narcissists often resort to denial. They may completely reject any responsibility for their actions and attempt to make the other person doubt their own perceptions. Gaslighting techniques, such as distorting facts or manipulating the truth, may be used to make the victim question their own sanity.
  2. Shifting Blame: Covert narcissists are skilled at diverting attention away from their own actions by shifting the blame onto others. They might highlight minor mistakes made by the victim or other individuals involved, emphasizing those errors to overshadow their own problematic behavior. By doing so, they create a narrative that portrays themselves as victims or innocent bystanders.
  3. Victim Mentality: A covert narcissist may employ a victim mentality to gain sympathy and support from others. They may exaggerate or fabricate stories of personal hardship or mistreatment, emphasizing how they have been wronged by others. By portraying themselves as the victim, they aim to manipulate others into feeling sorry for them and questioning the validity of any accusations against them.
  4. Triangulation: Covert narcissists often engage in triangulation, a tactic where they involve a third person or party to support their version of events or to discredit the claims made against them. They might selectively share information with others, distorting the truth or manipulating conversations to manipulate the perception of those involved. This can create confusion and make it challenging for the victim to have their concerns validated.
  5. Love-Bombing and Charm: To regain control or repair their damaged reputation, covert narcissists may engage in love-bombing and charm offensive tactics. They may shower the victim or affected parties with excessive praise, attention, and affection to distract from their harmful actions. By appealing to the emotions and desires of others, they aim to manipulate them into minimizing or dismissing the damage caused.
  6. Information Control: Covert narcissists are often careful about controlling the narrative and information that reaches others. They may strategically share only partial truths or manipulate facts to present themselves in a more favorable light. Additionally, they might attempt to discredit any sources of information that could expose their true nature or actions, thus maintaining control over how others perceive them.