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Fragile narcissists are more dangerous than grandiose narcissists due to their increased aggression, passive-aggressive behavior, and covert abuse tactics.


The article discusses the differences between grandiose and fragile narcissists, highlighting the covert abuse tactics used by fragile narcissists. Fragile narcissists are more common in women and are characterized by their deep-seated self-entitlement and arrogance hidden under a veil of fragility and vulnerability. They are more aggressive than grandiose narcissists and engage in passive-aggressive behavior, smear campaigns, and manipulation. Fragile narcissists are also more prone to substance use and internalizing their problems, which increases the risks of aggression.


  • Fragile narcissists are more dangerous than grandiose narcissists due to their increased aggression and passive-aggressive behavior.
  • Fragile narcissists engage in covert abuse tactics such as smear campaigns and manipulation.
  • Fragile narcissists are more prone to substance use and internalizing their problems, which increases the risks of aggression.
  • Fragile narcissists are more likely to target people who are kind, generous, loyal optimists, having less of a focus on social standing.
  • Fragile narcissists are more likely to cycle through past relationships and engage in idealization and devaluation of their partners.

Toxic Relationships.

Why Fragile Narcissists Are More Dangerous Than The Grandiose.

The covert abuse of a fragile/vulnerable narcissist.

Photo by Alexander Jawfox on Unsplash

You can easily identify a grandiose narcissist (GN) after a while, but a fragile/vulnerable narcissist (VN) goes the extra mile to disguise the false-self because their self-worth is so diminished that even the slightest risk of exposure sets them on a tailspin.

GN’s are less afraid of being seen for what they are than their fragile counterparts. While they’re also lacking in accountability and empathy, are self-entitled, envious, exploitative, arrogant, and preoccupied with seeking admiration, GN’s are less likely to play the blame and shame or hoovering games long-term.

Narcissism can be a healthy trait, and moments of grandiosity and fragility switch; though a person’s baseline expression will likely fall into one or the other. At the disordered level, GN’s switch more often than VN’s.

What’s the difference?

VN is more common in women, and without getting into gender politics, I would speculate that the numbers for both types of narcissism will soon balance out in time, as they do with many psychological and neurological disorders.

GN’s are constantly trying to garner attention in loud and extravagant ways while their fragile versions idealize, seek pity, become their victim’s hero, and people please for attention.

Grandiose narcissists are attracted to status in terms of popularity, money, and career prospects whereas fragile narcissists target people who are kind, generous, loyal optimists, having less of a focus on social standing.

VN’s deep-seated self-entitlement and arrogance is hidden under a veil of fragility and vulnerability. VN’s are aggressive and vindictive, but they do so discretely, manipulating and playing the victim while smearing their partners and family’s names all over town.

VN’s will want outsiders to see them helping and doing things for their family while simultaneously sucking the life out of them, behind closed doors.

This serves two purposes, it gathers new supply and potential flying monkeys who can both provide for the narcissists needs and support their abuse, which is particularly useful for the smear campaign.

Fragile narcissists have an increased fear of rejection and ongoing depression, they can fake smiles and laughter, but the fragile narcissist is actually battling deep self-esteem and loneliness issues which they try to ease by seeking admiration and validation from many sources.

The narcissist’s low self-esteem and envy of others results in devaluations leading to perpetual relationship breakdowns. This coping strategy of nit-picking and negativity only feeds their depression and anxiety, and of course, their narcissism.

So what makes fragile narcissists more dangerous?

Fragile narcissists are more aggressive than grandiose narcissists, studies showing that this unprovoked aggression is directed both towards themselves and others.

VN’s are passive aggressive and GN’s are more openly aggressive. The VN smear campaign is hidden so the victim is less likely to know the VN is publicly shaming them.

Fragile narcissists lack the more positive aspects of narcissism that can lead to financial or other successes and are prone to substance use and internalizing their problems which increases the risks of aggression.

Coverts are malicious, they’ll bandage a wound they cut, put up a fight a lot longer than a grandiose, and as we know with domestic violence, the more vicious and violent they are, the greater the escalation when you really leave.

Fragile narcissists need for admiration means that they are constantly seeking out sources of new supply so they will idealize strangers in front of the people they’ve been devaluing.

Those people being emotionally abused by devaluations (normally whoever they’re closest too such as partners and family members) see this as a betrayal, a severing of their bond, and a further source of shame.

Fragile narcissists will cycle through past relationships so you could think you’re free, but unlike a grandiose narcissist, fragile narcissists fail to see the degree of harm they cause and end up cycling through the exes when new supply isn’t satisfying.

The covert narcissist’s dark shadow side causes confusion as they appear to have moments of clarity and seem to understand where they’ve gone wrong, they may even apologize and make false promises.

Fragile narcissists choose people who want to see the best in others so they take advantage of their victim’s best qualities, often times mimicking them in the process. VN’s will target people in already vulnerable positions, kicking the weak when they’re down.

VN’s can appear more in love than GN’s because vulnerability is a prerequisite to building intimacy in any relationship, and they can suffer from the loss of the person they once idealized, even though they’re doing the devaluing and discarding them at the same time.

Narcissists move on fast, which is emotionally abusive, but coverts will try you years down the track, and though the grandiose types can do the same, their fleeting nature means the pain isn’t as enduring as it is with coverts.

Victims that aren’t aware of the benefits and necessities of ‘no contact’ can suffer disassociation and cognitive dissonance. While the narcissist’s victims lose sight of any good in the narcissist, they’ll maintain the false self in front of people close to their victims and strangers, so any animosity will seem to be the fault of the victim.

Narcissistic abuse syndrome is physically, emotionally, and spiritually debilitating so it is very important to learn about the research and human experiences of narcissism to facilitate recovery and implement boundaries moving forward. 💚

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Toxic Relationships
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