A short answer to this question is “yes”. Covert narcissists are more likely to become delusional than other types of narcissists. While it’s totally wrong to assume that all covert narcissists are delusional, their psychological makeup makes them prone to certain psychological problems.
In simple terms, a covert narcissist is a narcissist who is introverted and less social. To understand why this type is prone to psychological problems such as delusions, you have to know what keeps narcissists and people in general psychologically balanced.
Every person develops some psychological goals in childhood that they strive to achieve in their lifetime. Those goals are something such as being an important person or being the center of attention. A student who strives to get the best grades in their class might be someone with a desire to be important. These psychological goals are always subconscious so people are usually not aware of them. Achieving these goals is so crucial to the mental health of a person.
Why Covert Narcissists are Prone to Delusions
When people achieve their psychological goals, they not only become mentally stable but they feel happy and content with their lives. On the other hand, when they fail, they might develop mental problems such as depression, anxiety or delusions. Delusions may range from a simple false belief such as assuming that other people are jealous of them to severe ones such as believing that aliens talk to them. These irrational beliefs help them achieve the same goal of superiority. If you can talk to aliens then you must be the most important person in the world, right?
While covert narcissists rarely develop severe delusions such as believing that they can talk to aliens, or believing that they have special powers, they may still develop mild delusions such as believing that their partner is cheating on them, without any evidence.
Now, since covert narcissists are less social they are likely to fail to achieve some of their important psychological goals simply because they have to be social in order to achieve a goal such as the desire to be the center of attention. They also can’t get narcissistic supplies if they can’t socialize.
This brings us to another important question. Why don’t they just socialize and achieve those goals? In fact, most covert narcissists will tell you that they don’t like to socialize but in reality, they are needy but they either lack social skills, have low self-esteem or have other problems that prevent them from having a social life.
Insecurities and Seeing Twisted Reality
A certain covert narcissist believed that he wasn’t good for his partner because he wasn’t attractive. Whenever his partner came home late, he would accuse her of cheating.
Another covert narcissist believed he was superior to others because of his extraordinary looks. One day, an acquaintance greeted him in a cold way. The narcissist quickly assumed that the acquaintance was jealous of his looks because he wasn’t as good looking as him. In reality, his acquaintance just had a bad day and that’s why he couldn’t greet him with a genuine smile.
Both insecurities and an exaggerated self-importance can make narcissists see twisted reality. In other words their beliefs create their reality. The more inaccurate their beliefs are the more distorted their reality will be.
You may think that this happens to narcissists only but that’s not true. Our beliefs greatly affect our judgement. If you believe that rich people are arrogant, whenever you meet a rich person you may misinterpret every gesture as a sign of arrogance. If they didn’t say hi in a nice way you may assume that they are looking down on you. See: how to be emotionally strong.
How Lack Of Emotional Intimacy Affects Their Mental Health
Emotional intimacy means sharing your real emotions, thoughts and problems with your partner or friends. This does not only help a person feel less lonely but it also improves their overall mental health. As I said in some of my other articles, narcissists are usually afraid of making themselves vulnerable by sharing their emotions, thoughts and fears with others.
This makes them feel lonely and disconnected from others even if they may have dozens of friends. For covert narcissists, the problem is even worse because they are less social. Feeling emotionally disconnected from others makes them develop many psychological problems. See: why do narcissists accuse you of cheating.