Covert narcissists are hypersensitive in nature. They cannot accept any criticism of their authority, their thoughts, or their opinions. The child who disagrees with, and challenges the covert narcissist frequently, and relentlessly will have the narcissist’s disowned parts projected onto them. Covert narcissistic parents brainwash the family scapegoat into believing they have deeply embedded psychological problems. Some coverts are so dangerous that they will even try to convince their scapegoated child/ children that they are evil.
The intent behind brainwashing and projection is to disable the victim’s ability to stand up for themselves. The covert narcissist subconsciously hopes that by convincing their child or children they are all bad, the children will refrain from standing up against psychological or physical abuse. A lot of scapegoated children accept the narcissist’s warped perception of them, fall victim to the manipulations, and try desperately to gain the narcissist’s approval, in the hope they can change their warped perception of them. They often become people pleasers in their adult life, in the hope people will like them; because all they know is rejection.