10 Toxic Phrases Which Signal Narcissism

Narcissism is a personality disorder characterised by an inflated sense of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy towards others.  In this blog post, we will shine a light on ten toxic phrases often used by narcissistic individuals which can serve as warning signs of their behavior.  Whilst a narcissist may not use the exact phrase, the core meaning in their communication will fit one of these models:


1. “I’m always right”:
This phrase reveals an unwillingness to consider the viewpoints of others and a belief that they possess superior knowledge or understanding. For instance, someone insisting they know better than an expert in a particular field without considering alternative perspectives.  They could communicate this is non verbal ways as well such as laughing at your opinion or putting a hand up to stop you before you even start.


2. “You’re just jealous”:
Narcissists often deflect criticism or negative feedback by accusing others of envy or insecurity. This undermines valid concerns and dismisses any accountability for their actions.  It is actually a projection of their own insecurities but they want you to feel inferior because that gives them a false sense of superiority.


3. “I deserve special treatment”:
Narcissists frequently demand preferential treatment or entitlements, disregarding the boundaries or needs of others. For example, one rule for them and a completely different rule for everyone else.  This is often seen in Family Court where they will defy court orders but hold you to the tiniest detail.


4. “Everyone loves/admires me”:
A common phrase used by narcissistic individuals to exaggerate their popularity, dismissing any potential criticism or suggestions that their behavior might be off-putting to others.  This is also a tactic of triangulation, aiming to make you feel you have to compete for their attention, and making you feel like the problem. 


toxic phrases

5. “I wouldn’t expect you to understand”:
By belittling the experiences or perspectives of others, narcissists display an inability to empathise and invalidate the feelings of those around them.  This is another way to shut you down and prevent you from raising any issues with them.


6. “You’re being too sensitive”:
This phrase is commonly deployed to trivialise or dismiss another person’s emotions, suggesting that their reactions are irrational or exaggerated.  It makes the victim question their sense of reality and has them doubting their feelings.


7. “It’s all about me”:
Individuals with narcissistic tendencies often monopolise conversations and make everything revolve around themselves, demonstrating a lack of interest in others’ experiences or opinions.  This is often communicated through their actions which will be two fold – diminish the victim and raise themselves up.


8. “You’re lucky to have me”:
Narcissists perceive themselves as superior and indispensable. They use this phrase to remind others of their supposed value and create dependency.  This is deployed to create jealousy and, coupled with triangulation, can create a feeling of paranoia in the victim, making them work extra hard to keep the narcissist’s attention.  Often though it isn’t paranoia but instinct as narcissists do cheat on their parents, both emotionally and physically.


9. “I’m the best, no one can do it better”:
Narcissists frequently engage in self-promotion, boasting about their achievements and abilities to reinforce their superiority complex while undermining others’ strengths.  This can be used in parenting to put the other parent down and make them feel worthless whilst also communicating to the children that they should only rely on the narcissistic parent.


10. “You should be grateful I’m even here”:
This phrase is used to manipulate and control others, making them feel indebted and guilty for the narcissist’s involvement in their lives.  Sadly the narcissist will play on low self esteem and the vortex of self doubt and isolation they have created to keep the victim engaged in the relationship for longer than is healthy.


How many do you recognise?