7:47 minutes


Sometimes I feel I’ve got to
Run away I’ve got to
Get away
From the pain you drive into the heart of me
The love we share
Seems to go nowhere
And I’ve lost my light
For I toss and turn I can’t sleep at night

Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now, I’ll run from you
This tainted love you’ve given
I give you all a boy could give you
Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
Oh, tainted love
Tainted love

Now, I know I’ve got to
Run away, I’ve got to
Get away
You don’t really want any more from me
To make things right
You need someone to hold you tight
And you think love is to pray
But I’m sorry, I don’t pray that way

Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now, I’ll run from you
This tainted love you’ve given
I give you all a boy could give you
Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
Oh, tainted love
Tainted love

Don’t touch me please
I cannot stand the way you tease
I love you, though you hurt me so
Now, I’m gonna pack my things and go

Tainted love, oh, tainted love, oh
Tainted love, oh, tainted love, oh

Touch me, baby, tainted love
Touch me, baby, tainted love
Tainted love, oh
Tainted love, oh
Tainted love

Vulnerable narcissism reflects a defensive and fragile grandiosity, which functions mainly as a cover for feelings of inadequacy.

Vulnerable narcissism is characterized by
defensiveness, and

and is strongly associated with borderline personality disorder (BPD), which is characterized by the fear of abandonment, interpersonal and affective instability, impulsivity, chronic feelings of emptiness, suicidal ideation, and self-mutilation.

More so than other narcissist, a vulnerable narcissist is likely to be driven by low self esteem to keep a relatively low profile. For instance you might notice:

They rarely give out personal details if they can avoid it
Don’t like people to see their works in progress
Are obsessed with getting everything right
Will avoid taking any responsibility for projects not entirely under their control
Exhibit other traits of an extreme introvert

Like all narcissists, vulnerable narcissist have significant psychological difficulty coping with what they perceive to be a serious failing on their part. But, unlike classic narcissists, vulnerable narcissists are much more likely to feel that the failing is in fact their own deficiency, rather than externalize those feelings and project the blame on to others.

Because of this, vulnerable narcissists are often eager to stay out of the limelight, and avoid situations where they can be blamed for anything at all.

You may see them exhibit —

Extreme CYA mentality
Unwillingness to accept leadership roles
Desire to hide themselves in a group
Nitpicking dependence on rule and procedure

One of the most telling qualities of the vulnerable narcissist is that they obsess constantly over how the will be perceived by other people.

This is more than social positioning or a desire to be liked. Vulnerable narcissists have a pathological need to avoid any indication that they “aren’t good enough.”

Deep down ever narcissist feels that they there is something wrong with them. And, they compulsively work to dispel this notion through the perceptions of other people. The vulnerable narcissist type is particularly observant of avoid negative hits to their self esteem.

Another very telling difference between a vulnerable narcissist and other types of narcissists is that they are likely to belittle themselves when things don’t go their way.

This is is stark contract to a classical narcissist, who is likely to lash out at other people when they don’t get their way.

Being rejected in any way will often initiate a shame spiral in a vulnerable narcissist.

Because of the vulnerable narcissist’s inability to deal productively with shame related to criticism or visible failure, their self-talk readily devolves in to extreme self-criticism in response to such failures. The vulnerable narcissist will then start to excessively criticize themselves across the board, leading to further feelings of worthlessness and self doubt.

Narcissists in general have a sever deficiency when it comes to their own sense of self worth.

Often because of developmental deficiencies during childhood, they have not developed the ability to disassociate how they feel about themselves from what others feel about about them. That means, they live and die for the approval of the crowd.

Because vulnerable narcissists are particularly sensitive to criticism, being unable to cope or reject it using them means of other narcissistic types, they actively shun any type of public acknowledgment. To this end, they receive very little response from others, both positive and negative.

So, the vulnerable narcissist, through their means of self protection, very often cuts themselves off from their only means of positive emotion — external validation.

Eventually, this void will leave a hole in their life, where they find their own existence meaningless. Felling of depression, emptiness, and uselessness generally follow.

Vulnerable narcissists are not competitive, and do not think highly of themselves.

For all the reasons discussed in the previous sections, a vulnerable narcissist would rather avoid attention if there is any risk that they may not match their own extreme expectations for themselves.

When confronted with individuals who they feel are equals, a vulnerable narcissist will withdraw before any risk of be measured up against them.

You may find a vulnerable narcissist will —

Suddenly withdraw from social groups or events with little notice or reason
Unwilling to talk about their accomplishments
Act exceedingly self-deprecating
Seek to actively lower expectations for their own work or behavior
Find themselves in roles where they are overqualified or with infrequent interactions between adults.

The relationship a vulnerable narcissist has with people in their social circle can be complex.

First, their tendency to isolate themselves from the approval and disapproval of those in their circles leads them to nurse an intensely self-reliant attitude. They much rather work as an individual than a group.

But, even more, their feelings of inferiority make them hypersensitive to the possibility that they aren’t pulling their own weight. Combined with their fixation avoiding on failure, they tend to internally amplify emotions of perceived dependence on others.

A vulnerable narcissist thinks they are not good enough, and the help they get from friends and family is evidence of such in their eyes.

Similarly, the vulnerable narcissist, who is fixated on the negative perceptions of others, feels acutely threatened by the possibility that their benefactors may not actually come through. Everyone in their life is dangerous to their self-esteem, and thus not to be fully trusted.

As discussed in previous sections, vulnerable narcissist have difficulty managing failure or rejection.

While this often manifests as depression or and perceived sense of worthlessness, at times these emotions will gush up in a sudden and unexpected anger.

These types of outbursts will usually be —

Seemingly out of nowhere
Related to little slights or criticisms, that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time
Expressed in relation to events in the past, maybe even years prior

Like all narcissists, vulnerable narcissists do have a subconscious desire to rid themselves of blame when it comes around. And, they are likely to attempt to pin this blame on other people.

While this behavior is not nearly as prominent in vulnerable narcissists as with classical narcissists, you will still see it from time to time.

Lastly, a vulnerable narcissist will feel profound feeling of jealousy for the abilities and accomplishments of other people.

One of the inherent contradictions of narcissism is that narcissistic individuals feel both lack of self worth and an inflated sense of entitlement. A narcissist deems public approval to be their right.

This propensity will be slightly more profound in vulnerable narcissists compared to other types, in part due to the fact that they rarely allow themselves to be in a position where they can receive the praise that they desire.

Vulnerable narcissists are sensitive to criticism and crave external validation. Compared to other narcissists, they are introverted and withdrawn — rarely putting themselves in positions where there is a possibility of criticism.

The best test to find covert narcissist is to observe their behavior when they are accepting criticism. A covert narcissist will never willingly acknowledge the criticism, and use one of many methods to deflect it. The following sections detail ways that covert narcissists try to get out of acknowledging criticism.

Covert narcissists are particularly difficult, because they usually will not give you direct feedback when you upset them, making them hard to read.