7 phrases only deeply narcissistic people use, according to psychology

You’ve probably heard that narcissistic people have a reputation for being nasty and self-centered, right?

They’re not typically great friends or partners because they tend to manipulate and control people to get what they want. They don’t really care about how it’ll impact others.

The thing is: underneath all that, they usually suffer from low self-esteem and lack confidence. 

They’re pretty complex individuals and sometimes, it’s hard to identify them. One thing you can do though, is listen to the words they use.

According to the experts, there are certain phrases that only deeply narcissistic people use and today we’re diving into 7 of those phrases. 

Let’s see how many of these phrases you hear from family, friends, and colleagues. You might be surprised to find out some of them have deeply narcissistic traits. 

1) ‘I don’t have time for this nonsense”

One of the first things to note about highly narcissistic folks is their exaggerated feelings of self-importance and superiority. They think they’re above everyone around them. 

When they get dragged into things they feel are below them or not worthy of their time, they’ll get frustrated and might show it by saying something like “I don’t have time for this nonsense!”. 

Their sense of superiority is unmistakable, they often expect special treatment as if the world owes them something. They think their needs should always take priority over others.

When people’s actions and the things they say suggest they think they’re better than everyone else, chances are you’ve got a deeply narcissistic person on your hands. 

2) “Why should I apologize? I didn’t do anything wrong.” 

Have you ever noticed how some people seem to be totally blind to how their words and actions impact others? They lack empathy and end up saying hurtful things to people around them.

This is a telltale trait of a highly narcissistic person. 

“Why should I apologize? I didn’t do anything wrong” is a classic phrase you’ll hear from them because they can’t or simply won’t acknowledge other people’s feelings.

They’re more interested in being right and saving face than in how their actions make others feel. 

“When someone with narcissistic traits experiences helplessness or vulnerability, they are likely to withhold an empathic response automatically, appearing cold-hearted or refusing to take responsibility for hurtful behavior.” explains clinical psychologist, Mary C. Lamia Ph.D.

A lack of empathy is one of the hallmarks of narcissistic people so if you hear someone dismissing or not even registering how others are feeling, it’s a big red flag.

3) “It’s not my fault. He’s the one who..” 

Do you know anyone who constantly shifts the blame to others? It’s like no matter what happens, they never seem to take responsibility for anything. 

I know all about this: I used to work with a guy like this, it was like he was a master at dodging blame and passing it to others. 

One time, he messed up a big presentation, sharing all the wrong figures with senior managers. Afterward, he said, “It wasn’t my fault, Sonia’s the one who gave me the wrong figures.”

Blame shifting and avoiding responsibility are classic narcissistic behaviors and the easiest way to spot someone doing this is to listen to what they’re saying when things go wrong. 

Do they own up and take responsibility or try to push someone else under the bus? 

4) “If you really cared about me, you’d..”

Another key characteristic of a narcissistic person is their willingness to take advantage of others for their own personal gain. 

They regularly use manipulation to get their way with loved ones and one of the common phrases they use to do this is “If you really cared about me, you’d..”. 

Guilt-tripping loved ones like this makes it more likely they’ll get what they want because the people that care for them, are forced into ‘proving’ their love.

It’s a typical way to play on the emotions and good nature of others to get what they want. 

If you ever hear this phrase, then there’s a high chance that the person saying it is both narcissistic and manipulative. 

5) “What did you think of my contribution? Pretty good, huh?”

self centered person 7 phrases only deeply narcissistic people use, according to psychology

I used to have this friend, Tim, who was always fishing for compliments. He’d tell big elaborate stories about projects he did at work or go out of his way to ask for feedback from others. 

We spent a lot of time together so I’d often hear him tell the same story about an event he organized at work, over and over again.

I thought he’d be bored of that story by now, but I realized it was a story that got him a lot of praise, admiration, and attention. 

This is typical narcissistic behavior. Remember, usually these people have low self-esteem so they can’t feel good from within.

They need external validation from others to feel any sense of worth. That’s why they actively seek out admiration and attention from others. 

Next time you notice someone fishing for compliments or telling stories where they’re the hero, take note as it indicates they’re ego-driven and need validation from others

6) “Never mind, I wouldn’t expect someone like you to understand”

Ever met someone who clearly thinks they’re better than everyone else

And it doesn’t stop there: it’s not enough for them to think they’re better, they want to express it through their words and actions too.

This kind of arrogance and haughtiness is exactly what you’d expect from narcissistic folks. It’s like to feel good about themselves, they need to put others down or make them feel less than. 

You’ll often hear them using condescending phrases like “Never mind, I wouldn’t expect someone like you to understand” implying that the person they’re talking to is beneath them in some way. 

People who feel confident and secure in themselves, don’t need to put others down so when you hear these kinds of phrases, it’s a telltale sign you’re dealing with a narcissist. 

7) “Who do you think you are, talking to me like that?”

One of the key traits of narcissistic people is their sense of entitlement. They seem to think they’re entitled to things that most others aren’t just because of who they are. 

In Titanic, Cal Hockley (played by Billy Zane) has a sense of entitlement connected to his social status and wealth. Throughout the movie, he gives off the impression that he’s above everyone else.

The best example is at the end when he tries to bribe his way onto a lifeboat. 

Although people you know may not show their sense of entitlement quite as much as Cal, if you watch and listen closely you’ll pick up on it.

They might use phrases like “Don’t speak to me like that?” or “Who do you think you are, talking to me like that?”.

Phrases like this usually come out in moments of high stress but it gives you a chance to see their true colors and how they really feel. 

The bottom line

Being aware of these key phrases will make it a lot easier for you to spot deeply narcissistic people in your life. 

Just remember that narcissism exists on a scale, we all have some degree of it within us so if you hear some of these phrases occasionally, it’s probably nothing to worry about. 

What you’re looking out for is someone who’s saying these kinds of things all the time. That’s when it’s really time to watch out. 

Picture of Cat Harper

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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