A Healing & Informative Site About Narcissistic Sociopaths

Maladaptive Covert Narcissism Scale (MCNS)*

Covert Narcissism is often exposed when a person is able to get close to someone and can see through the cracks in their ‘mask’. They are able to identify delusional and grandiose ideals they have about themselves. Narcissist and Sociopaths are seemingly malicious in their words and actions, and are usually undermining other’s lives and morals.

When you become involved with someone with an Anti-Social Personality Disorder they systematically & methodically destroy your sense of self-worth, they tear down your self-esteem, and bit by bit take all the peace, happiness, & trust you had, away. You find yourself one day becoming a shell of a human. Below is a test used to help diagnose a person. Keep in mind, Sociopaths & Narcissist are very good at manipulation, so they can and often times do manipulate these questions and ‘justify’ their answers. Those of us without DSM do not need to manipulate or justify any of these questions. 

Please answer the following questions by deciding to what extent each item is characteristic of your feelings and behavior. Fill in the blank next to each item by choosing a number from this scale:

1 = very uncharacteristic or untrue, strongly disagree

2 = uncharacteristic

3 = neutral

4 = characteristic

5 = very characteristic or true, strongly agree

  1. ___ I can become entirely absorbed in thinking about my personal affairs, my health, my cares or my relations to others.
  2. ___ My feelings are easily hurt by ridicule or the slighting remarks of others.
  3. ___ When I enter a room I often become self-conscious and feel that the eyes of others are upon me.
  4. ___ I dislike sharing the credit of an achievement with others.
  5. ___ I feel that I have enough on my hand without worrying about other people’s troubles.
  6. ___ I feel that I am temperamentally different from most people.
  7. ___ I often interpret the remarks of others in a personal way.
  8. ___ I easily become wrapped up in my own interests and forget the existence of others.
  9. ___ I dislike being with a group unless I know that I am appreciated by at least one of those present.
  10. ___ I am secretly “put out” or annoyed when other people come to me with their troubles, asking me for their time and sympathy.
  11. ___ I am jealous of good-looking people.
  12. ___ I tend to feel humiliated when criticized.
  13. ___ I wonder why other people aren’t more appreciative of my good qualities.
  14. ___ I tend to see other people as being either great or terrible.
  15. ___ I sometimes have fantasies about being violent without knowing why.
  16. ___ I am especially sensitive to success and failure.
  17. ___ I have problems that nobody else seems to understand.
  18. ___ I try to avoid rejection at all costs.
  19. ___ My secret thoughts, feelings, and actions would horrify some of my friends.
  20. ___ I tend to become involved in relationships in which I alternately adore and despise the other person.
  21. ___ Even when I am in a group of friends, I often feel very alone and uneasy.
  22. ___ I resent others who have what I lack.
  23. ___ Defeat or disappointment usually shame or anger me, but I try not to show it.

If you thought on some of these, “Oh dear lord, that’s sooooo me,” don’t panic. There’s some overlap between this scale and other tests that measure introversion and sensitivity. In a recent study conducted on college students the average score on this scale was in the mid-upper 60s. So if your score hovered around that range, you’re about average in covert narcissism. If your score was below 40, you scored very low in covert narcissism.

* The first 10 items of this scale are taken from the original Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale. The rest of the items were added to create a more reliable and valid scale. This new and improved 23-item scale was recently presented at the 2013Association for Research in Personality conference by Jonathan Cheek, Holly Hendin, and Paul Wink. Courtesy of scientificamerican.com/


22 Responses to “Maladaptive Covert Narcissism Scale (MCNS)*”

  1. Tee Linett

    I got 77. Where does that fall exactly on the scale? Clearly it’s above average. I guess it’s quite high? This is really scaring me, can anyone tell my if I should seek help because of this?


  2. anonymous

    Hello. I seem to have scored 92 on the scale somehow, which is really scary. I guess I can identify with many of those traits, but I’m having trouble seeing myself as a monster who destroys other people’s self-worth. I might have had those tendencies (though very rarely), but I have always done my best to suppress them, and 99% of the time, I succeed. Most of the time, my destructive behavior is aimed at myself, anyway. Am I dangerous? Should I go see a therapist? Also, can a narcissistic individual learn to be altruistic?


  3. GoodMorning

    I exhibit very strong tendencies towards maladaptive covert narcissism. It seems to come and go depending on the circumstances, but now that I feel I finally have a picture of my bad traits, I’m working daily to change. At first it’s scary, because I see myself as this monster, but gradually I see that the world isn’t judging me as harshly as I judge myself.


  4. Dom

    I got 82- I’ve been in a 12 step program and have identified myself as a alcoholic for the past year. I do know I cannot safely drink alcohol- as in its not safe for my health or others because I will drink and drive and do other reckless things like sleep around. I keep feeling like there is more- I believe I am codependent and some things in my family and childhood can factor into all of that. Its hard because I don’t want to keep trying to figure out what’s “wrong” with me and why I cant seem to be grateful for anything. I don’t live with my family but I often find myself missing them and feeling very alone. Being an adult is hard and I often find myself angry about my circumstances. When I reach out for help I listen to people with enthusiasm yet that will quickly fade when I’m alone again- its like I need constant shelter from the discomfort that is the anger within me. I keep telling myself that God has a plan(which is new for me as I did not grow up in faith). The best thing I am doing for myself is continuing to go to meetings in a 12 step program and I say an affirmation that helps- “God, you’ve created in me a good and beautiful soul. You’ve created me with love, and you love me as I am. Thank you for this gift of life, and help me to become more aware of my value as one of your many miracles of creation.” Hope that might help someone too.


  5. Melancholy

    I got 66, hmm..so this means I’m average in the covert narcissism scale. Does this mean I have borderline covert narcissism? If so, as long as my narcissistic tendencies are not hurting anyone or myself then everything should be okay, right?


  6. Greg

    105, and that was being kind to myself. Through abuse I’ve become the same thing as my parents


    • Tela

      Greg, please do not tell yourself you have become the same thing as your parents. I do not know what abuse you have endured, but you have the ability to recognize what behaviour patterns your parents exhibited and what abuse they did. Therefore, you have not become your parents!


  7. Anonymous

    I scored 105. I am a terrible person. And I finally found an accurate lable for my “disease.”


    • Tela

      Anonymous. Nobody is a ‘terrible’ person. If you think you may have some sort of ASPD, I would suggest you meet with a psychologist/therapist before you label yourself. Please don’t think your a terrible person.


  8. The Barefoot Bookworm

    Hmm. I scored 84.
    But I’m also an introverted, very self-conscious neurotic person who’s frequently depressed. Are all of these items alike, I wonder? I care about other people and when someone brings their problem to me, I am genuinely concerned; but I was also raised in a hyper-critical family by overachieving parents and constantly struggle with feelings of inadequacy, failing to match up to people around me, and being generally unworthy. I’m known as a pushover wherever I go because I hardly ever assert myself or talk back to people who make fun of me–and a surprising number of healthy, well-adjusted and well-meaning individuals enjoy making fun of other human beings when it’s easy–because actually, it’s really hard for me to convince myself they are wrong. It clings to me like some kind of invisible filth, this inferiority I can’t wash off and it’s no good painting over it.
    So the nuances of what I score highly on says far more than the score itself.


    • Tela

      Thank you for your comment. I read this twice, and I will say….human beings can be very brutal with their words! When someone is making fun of you, that displays their own inadequacies they find within themselves. Please try not to take those words on. We are all a product of our upbringing, it is up to us to either continue to be a victim {in your case}, or break the cycle and have a healthy/happy life. And in your case, you are correct about the score itself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Barefoot Bookworm

        This post came to mind again as I helped a friend deal with her narcissistic relative. I just want to say, more than 2 years later, having been through and also recovering from a very damaging abusive relationship which prompted me to work on all my issues as I healed, my score is now 76. Mostly skewed towards the self-esteem specific points because I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt all the time. Since this comment, and the relationship, I’ve also learned to stand up more for myself so people don’t pick on me as much anymore. (It’s become a survival thing for me.) But yay! I’m making progress towards being a happier, better adjusted individual. 😀


  9. thenarcissistwrites

    I can definitely put 5s to a lot of these but I’m going to have to come back to it at some point to actually add up the score properly. Though, I don’t think there’s any big surprise at the end, lol.



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