February is upon us and there is one more character type I feel obliged to describe so you all have a fairly thorough template of types to help you understand aspects of yourself and others. The Closet Narcissist is an interesting type as their narcissism is not as obvious as the Narcissistic personality disorder I described in a prior post. Rather than the blatant grandiose, self-centered, exhibitionistic Narcissist, the Closet Narcissist is subtler and lives underground as she serves the grandiose Narcissist in order to get her Narcissistic needs met.
This dynamic is often most noticeable in couples. There is one star performer or dysfunctional dominator and an accomplice hiding behind the more overt individual. The lead performer enjoys having someone to dominate and control, someone he commandeers to serve his needs and boosts his ego. The more subservient partner gets to share the light of fame, fortune, success or, more often, simply false bravado founded on nothing. The Closet Narcissist gets to feel important and special as he or she idealizes the other. The Closet Narcissist feeds off the projections she places on her mate; maybe his educational credentials, her powerful position at work, his accomplishments, her glamorous looks, his impressive motorcycle or his false sense of pride and cockiness built on the surface without substance or foundation. The Closet Narcissist feels weak and deflated inside and relies on the other to feel any sense of cohesion. Plus she can tag along on a ride with the dictating spouse and live a life that appears special; one that the person is unable to accomplish on her own. The Closet Narcissist lives the other’s life; takes trips decided by the mate on their terms for their benefit and the Closet Narcissist goes along because he can’t decide what he wants anyway.