238 episodes

Covert narcissistic abuse crushes one’s soul. This podcast is devoted to understanding covert narcissistic abuse, its effect on the victims, and how to heal.

The Covert Narcissism Podcast Renee Swanson

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 36 Ratings

Covert narcissistic abuse crushes one’s soul. This podcast is devoted to understanding covert narcissistic abuse, its effect on the victims, and how to heal.

    The Emotional Dysregulation of a Covert Narcissist

    The Emotional Dysregulation of a Covert Narcissist

    I’m mad! So I yell at you, punch the wall, storm off, stomp my feet, shove the chair, and slam the bedroom door!
    I don’t care that you don’t like it! I don’t care that you now feel bad.
    In fact, I’m going to wait in my room until you come and apologize to me!
    Who am I?
    I'm a 2 year old toddler throwing a fit, or a teenager dealing with hormones, social anxiety, and overwhelming schoolwork, or a full-grown covert narcissistic adult.
    How do you handle the situation?
    For the 2 year old, you parent them. You take away their favorite toy, have them take a time out, and let them know that this behavior is not okay. You talk with them about emotions. Help them to learn how to handle being angry, and tell them that you love them.
    For the teenager, you probably ground them. Take away their phone and the car, can’t spend time with their friends. Cancel their fun events. And encourage them to make amends. You talk with them about how their behaviors affect those around them, trying to help them to see outside of themselves. And you try to connect with them and you tell them that you love them.
    For the covert narcissistic adult, you tiptoe around them. Figure out what set them off and add that to your checklist of things to make sure never happen again. After countless attempts of trying to connect with them, resulting only in circular conversations, you instead wait for this behavior to disappear, for the abuse amnesia to set in, and you both pretend that it never happened.
    The problem is this behavior is the same from a 2 year old, to a teenager, to a full-grown adult. Understandable from a toddler, expected from a teenager, and shocking from an adult.

    • 22 min
    Removing Trauma From the Body (Special Throwback Episode)

    Removing Trauma From the Body (Special Throwback Episode)

    Dr. Melissa Kalt, M.D. specializes in removing the trauma of narcissistic abuse from the body. She brings so much insight to the topic, and I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing her for our audience. This interview is extremely informative and helpful.
    Dr. Melissa is a graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin – triple-board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Lipidology. She was voted to the US Best Doctors™ list by her peers year over year 2009-2018. While single parenting five children, Dr Melissa was promoted from staff physician to Assistant Clinical Professor to Medical Site Director of three clinics at Froedtert and Medical College of Wisconsin, an academic medical institution.
    By 2012, Dr Melissa had achieved every goal on her over-achiever to-do list yet was miserable.
    She began an extraordinary journey that solved her most unsolvable problem. It all started with the question - What if life doesn’t have to be this way? The answer - Connect to the truth of who you are.
    Dr Melissa got really clear about who she was, who she needed to be, and what needed to change. She identified, then extracted herself from several narcissistic relationships and committed to healing her family’s trauma.
    By extracting the illusion and getting clear about the truth of who she was – everything changed. In 2018, Dr Melissa made the leap to expand beyond the limits of traditional medicine and left her 20+ year medical career to follow her Why. That same year, she found her forever partner in love and business, whom she married in 2019.

    • 22 min
    The Isolating Dynamics of a Covert Narcissistic Relationship

    The Isolating Dynamics of a Covert Narcissistic Relationship

    In this chat time with Renee Swanson and Eleanor Marks, these two discuss two questions brought by Covert Narcissism Podcast listeners. They each share their answer to this question, “Looking back, when do you wish you would have left? Is there a time that you “wish” you would have filed for divorce sooner?”
    The second question they dive into is “Please discuss the isolating dynamics of a covert narcissistic relationship.” In their answer, they talk about two aspects of this question. Covert narcissists isolate you from others with their tactics of manipulation, gaslighting, blame shifting and victim role. In addition to this, victims isolate themselves out of survival and for their own protection in these antagonistic relationships.
    Learn more about the group program with these two ladies here


     #covertnarcissism #podcast #abuse #gaslighting #marriedtoanarcissist #narcissist #narcissism

    • 25 min
    Grasping Covert Narcissism (Special Throwback episode)

    Grasping Covert Narcissism (Special Throwback episode)

    Covert narcissism is messed up! It is so twisted you feel like you are going insane just trying to get a grasp on what’s going on. It is so hard to pinpoint and impossible to describe. You can’t possibly explain it to someone who hasn’t experienced it themselves. Trying to makes you sound crazy, even to yourself. So now you question your own sanity. It is mind-boggling and exhausting. Many victims collapse into a pile of nothing and give up. I don’t blame them. I have been there many times. I know that pain firsthand.The covert narcissist is a master at appearing innocent, kind, compassionate, generous, sincere, benevolent, and much more. To the world, they look not only normal, but even better. They could convince Mother Teresa that they are the perfect spouse. Yet underneath that, in the most subtle ways, they treat people with contempt, disregard, hatred, condescension, disdain, antipathy, and much more. I felt like one minute I understood and the very next it was gone. It was like I was trying to grasp the wind. One minute it made sense, and the next minute I had no idea.If I was struggling this much to understand it, how in the world could I expect my friends to understand it. So why do we try SO hard to understand? Why do we research like crazy? Googling, reading, listening, watching. I didn’t work this hard when I was in school, and I was a dedicated student. But this? This I was absorbing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, trying so hard to figure out what was going on and why.

    • 21 min
    Our Kids Suffer When We Suffer

    Our Kids Suffer When We Suffer

    Kids desire and NEED to feel safe and cared for. When their parent who is their safety and caregiver suffers, they suffer as well. If you think that you are hiding this abuse from your kids, you are wrong. Our kids see it, and they feel it.
    Children put their own defense mechanisms in place. These include living in denial, shutting it all out, disassociating, distracting themselves, putting up harsh boundaries with anger and temper, and protecting you by taking on parental roles. These defense mechanisms are harmful to our kids. They lack of life experience causes them to not see it and to not know that this isn't normal or healthy. Listen to the full episode for ideas on how to help our kids. 

    • 21 min
    The World Enables Covert Narcissists Guest episode with Sarene Leeds

    The World Enables Covert Narcissists Guest episode with Sarene Leeds

    "I felt that I was the only one who was uncomfortable with his behavior." In this episode, Sarene speaks of her experience in the work environment of Rolling Stone magazine from over 10 years ago. This individual no longer works at Rolling Stone, and in Sarene's words, "I can't speak for Rolling Stone and its work culture for the past ten years. But I can speak to my experience from 2007 to 2014." She describes the toxic work environment and the effect it had on her. "Jann Wenner fueled the boys' club attitude...The reason that my boss treated me the way that he did was because of Jann Wenner's attitude."


    When surrounded with a work environment that ignored the passive aggressive gestures of her boss, Sarene questioned her own perspective and feelings. Her coworkers tolerated and even rewarded the inexcusable behavior of their boss to further their own career. But Sarene simply could not do that. She began putting boundaries in place and was shocked at the fallout. Her story is compelling and inspiring. Hearing her share how she stood her ground and flourished from the choices she made is encouraging in this world of narcissistic abuse.
    To learn more about Sarene's work, check out these links.
    "Emotional Abuse Is Real" podcast: https://emotionalabuseisreal.buzzsprout.com/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sareneleedswrites/Website: sareneleedswrites.com

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
36 Ratings

36 Ratings

Squishyclarebear ,


This podcast is amazing! It’s breaks down things so simply and the detail very precise and is very informative. I can’t praise this enough. Thank you so much. As a codependent, I have been around covert narcissistic people all my life without consciousness. After ending up a million miles away from my home and family, and now single with a young child, this podcasts helps bring awareness to my potential future relationships and what I do not want and how I can achieve it more fulfilling none abusive ones.. Again..thank you deeply

Tate Causea ,

Keep the subject genderless

Some of these episodes infer that narcissism is more prevalent in males. This is misleading to say the least.

I’ve been in two separate relationships with covert narcissist personality types. I’m male and both my partners in these relationships were female.

Narcissistic personalities aren’t limited to men, they’re just as prevalent in women too. If we want to create awareness of these behaviours then we need to keep gender out of it.

It’s counterproductive to refer to narcissistic personality traits as being predominantly male behaviours because awareness of the subject needs to be focused on identifying these behaviours in people regardless of their gender.
Generalisations simply represent inadequate research. Abusive, controlling and manipulative behaviours are the problem and these behaviours can be present in anyone.

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