15 phrases used by conversational narcissists to manipulate you

Conversational narcissists are pros at manipulation.

There are some special phrases they use most of all to twist you around to get what they want out of you. 

Here’s what to watch out for.

1) “You’re crazy!”

The narcissist is a master gaslighter

He or she will do whatever they can to make you doubt your own perceptions or to feel like you are mistaken, crazy or out of line. 

This is one of those statements that can catch you very off guard, particularly if you struggle with insecurity or doubting your own beliefs and observations. 

Don’t fall for it! 

2) “You’re being unfair…”

The narcissist will seize conversations to position themselves as an innocent victim and portray you as unfair and mistaken.

They may genuinely believe you’re being unfair to them, but that’s the trouble with a narcissist:

They’re lost in their own reality in which getting anything less than everything they want is unacceptable. 

It’s important not to let yourself become a part of that deranged reality. 

3) “This is about me, not you…”

This is again one of those statements that is true as far as the conversational narcissist is concerned:

Whatever is being discussed, they regard it as being about them

Because they regard everything as being about them.

Surprise, surprise. 

4) “You’re so full of it…”

This is another version of the “you’re crazy” comment. 

It’s a way to get you to doubt your own foundations. Being “full of it” suggests that not only what you’re saying right now but also your overall self is full of lies and inaccuracies. 

This is one of those game-of-chicken type statements that the narcissist uses to throw you way off your game. 

Don’t play! 

5) “You’re completely ignorant…”

phrases used by conversational narcissists to manipulate you 2 15 phrases used by conversational narcissists to manipulate you

Claiming you have no idea what you’re talking about is another one of the common tactics from a conversational narcissist. 

Of course, it’s completely possible that you are wrong about certain facts or issues, just as it is that the narcissist is wrong. 

It’s not about being incorrect, this type of phrase is meant to shame you and give the narcissist the steering wheel for wherever they want to guide the interaction next. 


6) “Don’t blame me for your problems!” 

This is classic projection on an epic scale.

It may shock you so much that you fall for it. 

The narcissist often plays the victim and blames you for his or her problems, so hearing that it’s apparently you who is blaming them may come as an understandable surprise. 

Because you’re not. But they say you are. And so on… 

Don’t bother playing this game! Narcissists love it and they’ll continue it well past the point of novelty… 

7) “Any real friend / girlfriend / sibling would do this…” 

This is an example of the kind of thing a narcissist will say to make you feel obligated to do or say what they’d like. 

They will basically act as though you owe them something on account of your ties to them. 

If you love them, care about them, give a damn about them, you’ll loan them the money, believe them that they weren’t cheating, and so on… 


8) “I can’t believe you buy into any of that stuff…” 

This is another way to tell you that you have no clue what you’re talking about. 

The narcissist hopes to associate you with fringe views or something they can characterize as loopy or wrong.

They then use this sort of like a lawyer to frame anything you’ve said or will say as misguided and unserious based on believing “that stuff” (whatever “that stuff” may be). 

9) “Do you even hear the microaggressions coming out of your mouth?” 

Microaggression is a concept of conversation aggressions and infringements that are done generally unintentionally and make someone feel excluded, judged, or stereotyped in an unfair way. 

By saying this the narcissist makes you feel like you are harming them…

But they also keep you guessing as to exactly how you are harming them, granting the narcissist carte blanche to accuse you of anything they’d like! 

10) “Your energy is, like, super dark…”

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New Age narcissists (NANs) are some of the worst creatures out there. 

If you’ve met one then you know exactly who I’m talking about. 

These folks claim an ability to sense your energy and spiritual levels and will not hesitate to make you feel like dirt in comparison to them. 

If you want purer, cleaner energy I guess you’d better follow them and treat them like a demigod (please don’t!) 

11) “You totally need to discover the Law of Attraction, dude…”

This is another NAN tactic that can also often come from the kind of people who cling to NANs. 

They read a book on the importance of shaping our own reality and now want to talk you into the cult and explain how everything unsatisfactory in your outer reality is something you created. 

Don’t join the cult! 

12) “You’ll miss me when I’m gone…” 

This is a threat tactic used by conversational narcissists. 

It’s very clear what’s meant here:

Do what I say or be nicer to me or I’ll leave your life and abandon you. 

It’s a particularly common tactic in toxic and awful relationships where one partner threatens the other like this to get their way. 

If you’re the type of person with basic respect for others and mature emotional intelligence you may have trouble believing anybody would stoop this low, especially somebody who claims to love you. 

Trust me, they can and they will. 

13) “I’m so sick of your jealousy…” 

The narcissist will often use jealousy as a tool to get what he or she wants or to blackmail you. 

They will accuse you of jealousy, particularly in the context of a relationship in order to control and pressure you. 

By saying that you are jealous they can get you to relax any expectation you have of regular communication or openness. 

They will decide if, when and how much they communicate with you. 

Sounds fair, right? (Not at all!) 

14) “That doesn’t matter…” 

The conversational narcissist reserves the right to tell you what does and doesn’t matter. 

He or she feels certain that they have the right and the discernment to know about what’s important

As you can imagine, what’s important is them:

Their dreams, problems, ideas, and priorities. 

What’s not important? Your dreams, problems, ideas, and priorities (unless they relate to the narcissist getting his or hers in some way). 

15) “My problems are much more serious than yours…” 

This victim olympics is one in which everyone loses. 

If you’re hurting or have been wronged in some way and come to a narcissist they are likely to try their best to downplay or deny your pain. They will try to get you to focus back on them:

They have it so much worse than you, don’t you know! 

It’s an unwinnable gain and many hearts get broken by playing, but narcissists will absolutely go there because they have a bitter and lonely view of the world in which they are always the one who matters most no matter how much somebody else needs a listening ear or some basic compassion. 

Dodging the trap

Conversational narcissists will try to trap you any way they can. 

Their goal is always the same: to refocus the conversation on themselves and get what they want. 

Whether that’s attention, love, sex, a job, money, sympathy or belief, they will do whatever is necessary to convince you that they are the most important individual in the universe. 

Unfortunately, that leaves no place for you, which is why it’s important to recognize the above verbal traps and studiously avoid them!

Picture of Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on www.twitter.com/paulrbrian and visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com

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