things narcissists say

The Top 9 Things Narcissists Say and What They Actually Mean

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How can you tell if a narcissist is being honest? 

Narcissists will say anything to get you to do what they want, and they have an arsenal of words to use to do this. Their victims need to know how these manipulations work to circumvent them.

Here, you can find out more about the manipulative things narcissists say so that you can spot them before it’s too late. Also, learn the mind games they play, some tricks to use to avoid arguments, and ways to recover from narcissistic abuse. 

9 Things Narcissists Say and Why

A narcissist’s tricks will leave you wondering whether or not you’re even sane. It’s tough to know whether or not your reactions are valid when so many things about this person feel chaotic. Narcissists thrive on you feeling this way. 

Their words feel like weapons, and if you are not prepared to handle their manipulative behavior or harsh words, you are the one who suffers. Here are the top things that narcissists say when they are trying to trick someone and the reasons why these statements can be so damaging.

1. You’re Too Sensitive

Narcissists love to tell people that they are too sensitive. They do this because it allows them to shrug off accountability for their actions. Also, it makes the other person doubt themselves. This type of abuse is a form of gaslighting. You are not too sensitive. You just want to be treated with the love and respect you deserve. There is nothing wrong with that!

The Reason Why:

By telling someone that they are overreacting or taking things the wrong way, narcissists can blame others. That way, no matter how bad anything gets, they never have to take responsibility for any of it. It’s important not to be swayed by these comments.

2. Stop Being Melodramatic

Narcissists love to tell people that they are being melodramatic — but you are not being overly dramatic because you have feelings about the horrible way a person treats you!

The Reason Why:

Narcissists do this because it allows them to control your reactions. By telling someone that they are overreacting or taking things the wrong way, the narcissist doesn’t have to be accountable for their bad behavior.

3. Don’t Be Crazy

Narcissists also love to tell people that they are being crazy. This is just another way of telling you that your feelings do not matter. They are trying to invalidate how you feel about the situation at hand. The fact is, you are not crazy. Their behavior is!

The Reason Why:

This comment may be thrown out when you are confronting a narcissist about something they did or said. If you have suspicions about their behavior or if you bring up anything negative in general, they will tell you that you are crazy. By using this insult, it’s like saying, “I’m not responsible for this, so I can stop listening.”

4. I’m Sorry You Feel That Way

Narcissists are adept at reading social cues, and when they sense that others are becoming aware of their manipulative ways, they deploy apologies as a shield. However, what sets their apologies apart is the absence of true remorse. The person on the receiving end may find themselves perplexed, as the insincerity behind the apology becomes glaringly apparent.

The Reason Why:

Apologizing is a social norm meant to convey regret and a commitment to change. For narcissists, it becomes a game – a tool to escape the consequences of their actions. By uttering apologies, they aim to create a false narrative of self-awareness, all while avoiding genuine introspection.

The real reason behind narcissistic apologies lies in their desire to keep you off your game. As their lies and manipulations catch up with them, apologies become a strategic move to diffuse tension, divert attention, and ultimately continue their self-serving agenda.

5. It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This

A narcissist will often express these words when aiming to persuade someone to remain in a position of inferiority. This subtle manipulation is designed to convey the illusion that a more positive outcome is within reach, contingent upon the other person aligning with the narcissist’s expectations. The strategic use of these words allows the narcissist to subtly shift the narrative, placing the responsibility for improvement on the other party.

The Reason Why:

By suggesting that a change in behavior could lead to a different and better situation, narcissists say this to create the impression that the key to resolving issues lies in the hands of the other person. This artful manipulation serves to foster the belief that harmony and improvement are attainable if only the individual complies with the narcissist’s expectations, further perpetuating the cycle of control. They want you to believe that their behavior is your responsibility, and therefore they cannot be the one to blame for things being stressful.

6. Why Are You So Mad?

In the aftermath of a narcissist’s unsettling actions, the question “Why are you so mad?” becomes a manipulative tool to downplay the severity of their behavior. Narcissists employ this tactic to create an illusion that the victim is overreacting to actions that, by any standard, would be considered hurtful or even horrific. This calculated response aims to shift blame and subtly convince the victim that the narcissist’s actions, such as infidelity or engaging in inappropriate behavior like watching explicit content, are normal components of every relationship.

The Reason Why:

By feigning surprise at the victim’s emotional reaction, the narcissist seeks to normalize their egregious actions. The intention is to make the victim believe that their response is exaggerated, fostering a sense of self-doubt and confusion. This psychological manipulation is a cunning attempt to gaslight the victim into accepting abnormal behavior as commonplace, further entrenching the narcissist’s control over the narrative and the victim’s perception of reality. Their goal is to cause people to stay quiet even though there is plenty of grief boiling inside them which needs to come out.

7. You Don’t Understand

When narcissistic people feel threatened by someone who sees through their behavior, they will then try to get an emotional rise out of the other person. They do this by saying that you don’t understand them. They will tell you that you don’t know what is going on in their life, and so you cannot tell them what’s right for them.

The Reason Why:

Narcissistic people need to be believed 100% of the time because anything less than complete trust can feel like direct confrontation. Therefore, if you “don’t understand,” they have not lied. You just don’t get it.

8. You’re Being Unreasonable

In the narcissistic playbook, the phrase “You’re being unreasonable” is a calculated move to establish control over what is deemed acceptable or rational. Narcissistic manipulators employ this expression not only to dismiss someone’s emotions but also as a deceptive strategy to divert attention from their deceitful actions, evading the need for accountability.

The Reason Why:

This phrase becomes a weapon in the narcissist’s arsenal to undermine and discredit the feelings or viewpoints of others. It operates as a manipulative tactic, particularly effective on those predisposed to agreeability and less likely to confront or challenge the deceiver. The underlying motive here is not just about avoiding upset; it is a deliberate effort to perpetuate the notion that your feelings are unreasonable while camouflaging their deceitful actions.  This ensures that the victim remains entangled in a web of manipulation and confusion.

9. You’re Lucky I Put Up with This

Often, a narcissist will say this when they begin to feel the person on the other side of the relationship is starting to pull away. They say it as if you need to feel blessed that they have chosen to stay with you and that without their presence, things would be much worse for you.

The Reason Why:

Here, the trickery lies in convincing the victim that they should feel fortunate for the narcissist’s choice to remain in the relationship. In reality, this statement is a deceptive tactic aimed at making the victim believe they would fare poorly in a relationship with someone else. By planting seeds of insecurity, the narcissist subtly shifts the blame onto the victim, creating a false narrative that something is inherently wrong with them. This psychological ploy serves to maintain control by fostering a sense of dependency, making it challenging for the victim to recognize their own worth and demand the respect and honesty they deserve.

Recovering from the Pain of the Things Narcissists Say

I hope this article has helped you grasp that the narcissist’s abusive words have nothing to do with you. You are the narcissist’s target, but you are not the cause of the abuse. Narcissists have spent years mastering the skills it takes to manipulate people the way that they do.  The truth is, anyone who is close to the narcissist will be the target of their abuse, regardless of who they are.

Narcissists will never accept responsibility for the things they do or say because this is who they’ve been their whole adult lives.  Even if, in the beginning, you knew the things they said were lies, you’ve heard them over and over for so long that you may have come to accept their lies as truth.

If you have not grown up dealing with a narcissist, then you have fewer years of experience than they do. This lack of knowledge will put you at a tremendous disadvantage when it comes to communicating with them. Yet, if you are familiar with the things narcissists say to trick you, you can better prepare yourself for dealing with them.

Narcissistic abuse is an assault on your heart and soul.  Ultimately, it’s an inner struggle between you and the Narcissist, which is why other people do not recognize or understand it.

Therefore, your best bet is to just stop dealing with the Narcissist as much as you possibly can, right now.  You cannot win a battle for your soul when the battle itself destroys your soul.  So fight as little as possible, get as far away as you can, and stay there.

This is the only way to win.

Once you are away from the Narcissist, your life energy can begin to recharge, your vitality can start to return, your cup can start to fill again, and your soul can begin to heal.  Everyone has the innate capacity to heal themselves. But, it’s likely you will need external support to heal the traumas that get in the way of your ability to tune into this gift.⠀

Get Started On The Stages of Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

One of my greatest passions is helping previously victimized people become empowered. If you are ready for this astounding upleveling, the best thing you can do is join the Break Free community. 

My best recommendation is to find an online program to keep you on track and to offer support.  The Break Free Program has been vetted by therapists and neuropsychologists as an effective step toward getting over narcissistic abuse. Aside from keeping you safe from narcissists, it also empowers you to go out into the world with confidence.

Join Break Free and learn to:

  1. ✅ Dramatically overpower your addiction to the narcissist so you can stop being their victim
  2. ✅ Get to a place of acceptance so you can stop doubting yourself over your decision to heal your life
  3. ✅ Set limits and create stronger boundaries against emotional manipulation that has caused you to act out of character
    + so much more!

Just click the link to join:

👉 Join now with a sliding scale and lifetime access.

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Karen says April 2, 2022

It came clear in the end but I think looking back I just wanted a happy life we all did we have all been through so much stress and unhappiness but she was so bitter not in a depressed sad way but bitter nasty. I had to look at the statements/tales logically and the evidence did not match and even if it did why appallingly say such things about your sister and best friend. I had help in my thinking by my daughter and husband specialists who explained things because at the time I was ill. After getting better no brain fog I see so clearly but at the time my head was just refusing to see this because it was full up with stress from so many things no doubt a possibility with our wonderful son who we miss and love so much. I blame myself everyday for ignoring this but didn’t want to interfere thought it would make things worse for him maybe? Sometimes I wish I could have. I saw my mum love my dad no matter how many affairs he had she always took him back. I guess I thought here we go again and resigned my self and blamed me again. Our son was in a a long loving relationship from a young age very happy and loved a girl but broke up we all got along very well with her. After that break up our son was never the same again something inside him broke. Doctor always reminds me of how ill I was looking after ill people myself and worrying about them in the end my brain went numb just shut down could not stand the heart ache seeing my son look so sad daughter so ill husband also intensive care along with daughter my way of coping with stress. Anger I will be honest set in towards this woman hadn’t we all had enough and wanted a happy life why was she doing this and our son going along with this but I see he was so unhappy as well.. I kept the anger from him and then the numbness dropped and the anger came out.. I understanding that he loves her but we love him he just sides with her no matter what she says and acts. Trying to keep calm because my daughter has a bad heart condition and cant keep crying so I talk to this site and help lines to keep me sane when I feel down. . When I look back even my father and mother didn’t talk and control me in the way that this person living with our son reacts to situations. This is not manic like stress anxiety through stress. I saw her rage this it is angry out of control totally different. My family or I have never made up horrid stories only the truth. I found that the tales are so horrid and nasty it blows your mind I keep going over them again in my head they are so extreme. I have never had a family friends anyone I know say the things she says. When you look at her when she states these things there is anger in her voice.

Linda Stratton says February 4, 2022

I’m learning what this is all about. It’s like you are following me and know what my life is. Thank you for this information and I will be getting stronger

mimza says January 2, 2022

My daughter was a narcissist.An accident rendered her a level 3 Quadriplegic, no speech or movement.Her sister and I devoted 11 years of our lives,24/7 to taking care of her. Because of us and a law suit we initiated, she became a multi millionaire. She recently died and left us nothing and we ll have to leave our home of 11 years. It belongs to her. I don’t think our lawyer gets it…Her lawyer is also a Narcissist who acts like we’re squatters and undeserving of any consideration. There’s so much more to relay.We were destroyed way before she died, which was sudden and unexpected. Legally,this next week wil l be key.

Mary says December 22, 2021

When a narcissist apologizes saying ‘I’m sorry you feel this way”, they haven’t actually apologized for anything. It feels hollow because it’s just another way to spin and shift the focus onto the the other’s feelings as “the problem”.

    Karen says April 2, 2022

    I get this Mary. The narc abused me said horrid things selfish and hated me but as she said this she said sorry twice to our daughter who was still very ill on meds after a heart op in intensive care. She ended up with palpitations because of the nasty words this person our sons partner and rage holding our grandson in her arms. Now sadly our son has no t contacted our daughter for two months and our daughter is having nightmares every night from experiencing this. This person nor our son hasn’t even contacted our daughter to see if she is ok nor has our son. I will bet she/narc is upset because our daughter has not contacted her because na rc stated she is on depressants. Sad for her but m y husband is on the them because of stress with his daughter I am on meds and daughter is on so many for heart rejection . Can I state we all wanted to be happy but every time we where the narc stopped this even through anxiety myself I tried so hard until game playing and stress by her took its toll on all of us.

Pasha says December 22, 2021

Uncannily, not to say eerily, on target!

Kimberly A Rauscher says December 11, 2021

I’m still stuck in my hell, i didn’t even know what a narcissist was when I married my husband 17 yrs ago. But I do now and as I read more and more articles it’s as if they were wrote about my husband. Like someone was writing a story of his life. Well thanks to my daughter, who was 12 at the time, I stopped drinking to forget, and I took control, my crazy came back and I remembered the little hellraiser my daddy made me! It’s been 4 long yrs, we live in the same house still but I’m looking at houses, I fixed my credit, worked my way up to management at my job, and for about a year now I’ve moved into another bedroom. If u ask my kids who is the boss, they won’t hesitate when they say mom, my husband spends 90% of his time alone in our garage, we barely speak, I don’t feed him, just me & my kids, I don’t wash his laundry, and I take the kids down to my sister’s for thanksgiving & stuff & I don’t update him. I live my life as if he doesnt exist because for I long time I didn’t exist because of him! Not anymore and I can’t wait to see his face when I move out because he’s gonna have to move back home with his mother, he can’t survive without me! I’m paying for everything, his job doesn’t want him back & he’s not looking for another because he acts like they will need him! But they don’t & neither do I.

James says November 10, 2021

I apparently have a sign on my forehead..
My last 4 relationships have been with narcissists, I just found out it was a behavioral disorder, not a way to describe someones character or attitude.
I dont feel like myself anymore,and none of the therapists locally recognize narcissism or its abuse,much less how to treat it. I’m not rich and can’t afford a 5k bootcamp of healing,but need to heal none the less! I’m still unsure of what to do first!??

Angela Stokes says October 15, 2021

I’m currently trying to get a divorce from narcissistic person. The last 3 or 4 days I have read many articles about this behavior and it describes my husband perfectly, every single article. The reason I haven’t already got a divorce is I did not want to have to be in a courtroom against him. So I lived with physical, mental, emotional abuse for way to long. I’m out now-or I’m not living with that behavior anymore. He has basically shut down because I have taken control of the situation and I’m going to stay in control of it. He’s almost “in shock “ over the whole thing now. Weird behavior for him. I’ve never known him to be scared of anything but he’s scared of something now. I’m feeling better every day. Wishing he would communicate whatever issues he is having with the demands I’m making about this divorce. I haven’t demanded anything. I just stated truthfully 100% what I expect to get out of this divorce and the things I covered with him are non negotiable on my end he just needs to work around my demands and get the paperwork done correctly the 1st time. I stated to him I will not sign on anything less than these things. No need for discussion just get it done. I’m standing firm on my expectations. I’m 56 years old and I am tired of all the games. Just let it go already. Accept your creation and live with it. It’s driving him crazy. It’s time that he’s the uncomfortable one in the relationship. He needs to be uncomfortable for a while.

    Yes ma'am says December 22, 2021

    I can totally relate to the whole wanting them to be uncomfortable for a while. To be the one in that position. It’s almost not even an option when you actually have an opportunity to put them there. Or it’s not for me at least. I’m sure this isn’t the “right” thing to do but if I’m seeking to make someone feel uncomfortable, it’s generally for a damn good reason…like my sanity.

Ken Chaudry says October 2, 2021

I got my answers i was looking for so true and this video has changed my mindset to heal i was in pain thank you i found you and the video that every word meant so much to me and its absolutely true. What you explained is word by word so true its like i been hit by a mack truck. If someone does not learn from your video the insight of narcassist they will not heal ever or dont want to heal period

Peggy says September 29, 2021

I have been married to a narcissist person for almost 50 years. the world thinks he is a caring, wonderful guy … thank you for giving me insight re him & helping me to realize I am not the crazy one. I look forward to reading more of your articles. thank you for being a sane, sensible voice in my upside-down world.

Marla J. Francisco says September 16, 2021

This is a great article! However, can you expound on the 9 things by letting me know how to counteract/reply to the narcissist? I know I always get defensive in which case I DO look crazy, oversensitive, mad or unreasonable! Do I just remain silent so my narc can’t use my words against me? Or will he take my silence as agreement? I’m concerned because I hear these things from my narc …

Brenda Barton says August 25, 2021

I went no contact and left my narcassistic abuser over three years ago but still to this day those very same exact headgames that are played on me by different people (almost always men) are triggers that when i first started experiencing them were to much. I dident just get pissed off or angry or even mad i felt rage that i could barely control in my new relationship. I lost control a couple times and had to go to counsling. It helped just to talk about it and release some of the pressure. But even now the mN im with is the opposite of short tempered. Hes e tremly gentle but when it comes to taling responsibility for anything i find myself having to deal with those same old headgames. It sucks and i know because of the major scars when im being gaslighted, he’s projecting the blame onto me ect and it makes me so mad that if you lit a match i6d blow up six city blocks with dynamite!!!

Heidi says July 29, 2021

Wonderful, insightful & encouraging article! Thank you so much!!

Baba says July 10, 2021

As someone That identifies as empath It’s hard sometimes to differentiate the difference between having narcissistic traits and just being human As an impact i critique myself probably the hardest so I have to sit there and iask myself is there anything that I’m accusing or thinking the other person is doing, I gota see myself 1st and make sure I’m not being the same way I deem wrong

NewBeginngs says June 24, 2021

Kim, has stated so many times of going no contact. It has been three months, it is unbelievable the peace, less stress of dealing with a future ex husband. I left almost three years ago, most text, emails, calls initiated by ex, after having gone total no contact I see, feel and can attest to the relief it brings. Once the legalities are scheduled and done this chapter will close permanently, total, true and complete healing will reign. I strongly advise letting the legal system handle your issues with this personality, I pray for those who have young children dealing with these evil humans

Nikki says June 21, 2021

Your articles have been very helpful .I am currently in a relationship with a narcissist and the conflict is unreal’s very true what you as about every single point .This is how I live .

Babett says June 18, 2021

This is a great article. Giving all these examples makes it really clear why narcissists say what they say and I am sure will help many victims to see behind the facade. Many thanks for sharing.

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