A narcissist will often appear charming and easy-going at the start of a friendship or relationship.
Unfortunately, this is an act.
Over time, they will begin to undermine your self-esteem with their toxic communication style and cruel comments.
Although there are plenty of abusive people out there who tear other people down, narcissists tend to use particular phrases that reveal their true nature.
Here are 9 of the most common remarks a narcissist will use to lower your confidence and make you feel worthless:
1. “What you don’t understand is…”
A narcissist always assumes that they are right and you are wrong.
Even if you happen to be an expert on a particular topic, a narcissist will take great pleasure in pointing out your supposed errors.
You can try to correct them, but they won’t listen.
In fact, it’s likely that they will just fly into a rage or give you the silent treatment.
2. “I’ve had a much harder life than you.”
A narcissist will often adopt a victim mentality, taking every opportunity to remind you that you can’t possibly understand them because your life has been relatively easy in comparison to their own.
It doesn’t actually matter whether they’ve had an underprivileged upbringing or not – they’ll simply invent sob stories if necessary.
This tactic is designed to paint you as an unsympathetic, callous person.
3. “That isn’t what happened!”
Gaslighting is a popular tactic among narcissists.
It’s designed to make you feel crazy, and unfortunately it works in a lot of cases.
When a narcissist gaslights you, they will try to rewrite history and insist that your memory is faulty.
For instance, they might deny that they ever hit you, or stubbornly maintain that you keep starting arguments when you do nothing of the kind.
After months of this treatment, you will stop trusting your own judgment.
4. “You need to apologize.”
A narcissist is always correct in their own eyes.
This means that if you disagree with them, they will conclude that you need to grovel and apologize.
If you don’t stay alert and identify this tactic, you might come to believe that you are “bad person” who keeps hurting other people’s feelings.
5. “If you’d only change, we could have a happy relationship.”
Most of a narcissist’s relationship problems usually stem from their own destructive behavior, but they remain oblivious to this fact.
Instead, they assume that their partner must be the cause of their woes.
Narcissists also have the habit of seeing their partners as status symbols or even trophies, rather than human beings with feelings.
If your partner often says that you need to change, beware!
If you internalize this message, you’ll grow to think you are not good enough as you are.
6. “I’m the best.”
It doesn’t matter whether a narcissist is truly skilled at a particular activity or not – they are still likely to claim they are the best.
No matter how well you do, they are rarely interested in your accomplishments.
They would rather downplay your successes and boost their own egos, even if all they can do is make ridiculous, unsubstantiated boasts.
7. “As I was saying to so-and-so…”
Narcissists like to think of themselves as special, and worthy of associating only with high-achieving or famous people.
They are prone to name-dropping, which can soon make you feel as though you are unimportant by comparison.
8. “It’s not my fault.”
A typical narcissist never takes responsibility for their actions.
In their eyes, they are perfect and cannot do anything wrong.
They are happy to shift the blame onto anyone and everyone else – including you.
Even if you present a compelling case explaining why something is their fault, it won’t make a difference.
They will ignore you, become angry, or accuse you of manipulation.
9. “Yeah well, anyway, enough about your problems…”
Your narcissistic partner or friend operates under the assumption that they are more important than you.
They don’t care about your life – they would much rather talk about what’s happening in their world.
Having your problems dismissed can damage your self-esteem, as it implies that whatever you say isn’t worthy of anyone’s time.
If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, these phrases probably sound familiar.
Unfortunately, there’s almost no chance that they will change, at least not without professional help.
A narcissist primarily sees you as a source of validation rather than a real partner or friend.
The best solution is to extricate yourself from the situation, and instead spend time with people who truly have your best interests at heart.