Of all the personality types, I believe the narcissist to be the most prevalent, but perhaps also the most devious. This makes them tricky to spot. So how can you tell if you’re dealing with this toxic personality type? You have to pay attention to the things narcissists say.

Narcissists Say Things to Manipulate You

Whilst it’s true to think that narcissists only think about themselves, they still require an audience. In other words – you. You are the mirror they hold up to themselves to preen and posture against. But they know that you are not going to stick around simply for their benefit. So they become masters in verbal manipulation.

They will charm and cajole; they lie and pretend, all to confuse and frustrate you. Narcissists say things to boost your ego one minute then belittle you the next.

They want you off-balance and bewildered. After all, it’s easier to bend a person to their way of thinking if you are emotionally weakened.

Narcissists use techniques such as gas-lighting to control their victims. They may be dismissive of a person’s feelings or use love-bombing at the start of a relationship to overwhelm you.

Narcissists say things that can seem contradictory at times. For example, it’s not uncommon for a narcissist to praise you for something insignificant, then degrade you for something that’s not your fault.

To show you what I mean, here are 38 examples of things narcissists say to manipulate you.

38 Things Narcissists Say to Manipulate You


  1. I’ve never felt this way before.”
  2. No one will ever love you the way I do.
  3. I have been waiting for you all my life.”
  4. We only need each other.”

Narcissists need a hook to grab your attention at the start of any new relationship. At the time, you might have felt overwhelmed by the intensity of their feelings. Your gut instinct may have warned you that this onslaught of charm and outpouring of love didn’t feel quite right.

But the narcissist made you believe you were the most important person in the world. That’s intoxicating and hard to resist. So if someone is declaring their undying love after a few days or weeks, then back off.


5. “I was only joking.”

6. “You are so sensitive.”

7. “Honestly, you are making such a fuss about nothing.”

8. “Why are you upset? You’re so weak.”

9. “Don’t be so dramatic!”

Once the narcissist has you in their clutches, the manipulation begins. Narcissists say things to test the waters. So they might make disparaging remarks about you and when you react, they’ll dismiss your reaction.

The narcissist will say, of course, they are only joking. What happened to your sense of humour? God, stop being so whiney and sensitive.


10. “I don’t have this problem with anyone else.”

11. “You must be mistaken.”

12. “You are paranoid.”

13. “None of my friends like you, but I always defend you.”

Gaslighting is a favourite technique of the narcissist. Narcissists use it to gain power and control over their victims.

Gaslighting starts off with a small lie here and there that you might not even notice. The narcissist will then say things that are more outrageous. You begin to doubt your own mind. You question what the truth is and what it is not. Suddenly, you can’t tell anymore.


14. “I never said that.”

15. “You must be imagining things.”

16. “You are not remembering it right.”

17. “That never happened, I would never do that.”

18. “You’re becoming forgetful.”

A big part of gaslighting is the narcissist’s ability to deny, deny, deny. Remember, they want you questioning yourself. A narcissist needs you emotionally off-balance. Denying something happened when it did is one way to drive you crazy.


19. “I can’t live without you.”

20. “Why are you abandoning me?”

21. “I’ll die without you.”

A narcissist without drama is unheard of. Narcissists survive on creating and living through drama, but they can’t do this without your participation.

Once they have love-bombed you into their life and controlled you by gaslighting, they then need to create the situation where you find it impossible to leave them. Things narcissists say include threats to kill themselves.


22. “Why do I have to do everything around here?”

23. “No one knows how hard my life is right now.”

24. “Everyone is against me.”

Part of creating their dramatic narrative is to play the victim in every scenario. If they are unemployed, it is because they are too good-looking and people are worried about their spouses becoming attracted to them.

You can bet that if you’ve experienced a tragedy in your life, they can top it. Don’t even try to get into a trauma competition with the narcissist. They’ll win every time.


25. “You’re perfect!”

26. “OMG, you’re amazing at that!”

27. “Wow, you are incredible!”

Narcissists give praise where it’s not due. They’ll over-congratulate you for trivial things to make you feel special. When we feel special, we get rewarded in our brains. We like this feeling so we want to associate more with the person that created it. This draws us closer to the narcissist.


28. “My exes are all abusive.”

29. “Everyone abandons me in the end.”

30. “No one understands me.”

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It’s never the fault of the narcissist if things go wrong. They’ll always blame something or someone in their past or present.


31. “You shouldn’t wear that, it makes you look like a slut.”

32. “When you’ve had my education, then you can talk to me.”

33. “I’ve had more experience so we’ll do it my way.”

34. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Narcissists like to exert an authoritative air over you to control you and weaken your resolve. You can’t argue with them, and if you do, they’ll sulk for days until you relent.


35. “You can’t do anything right.”

36. “God, you are pathetic.”

37.  “You are lucky I put up with you.”

38. “You seriously need help.”

Towards the end of the relationship, the narcissist will say things that are simply abusive. Now they’ve got what they want from you, they don’t need you as an audience anymore. The truth is, they’ve probably set their sights on another victim.

Final Thoughts

Narcissists go through stages to trap their victims. Knowing the things narcissists say during these critical stages can help you avoid falling into their destructive world.


  1. inc.com
  2. sciencedirect.com

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Gary Jessup

    Hilarious! thank you…i really needed to read this today.

  2. Aïsha B.

    Thank U for sharing this post about narcissism their behavior and how to deal with.
    Reading about and learning how they are manipulating those they live with was thrutly extremely helpful to me.
    Thanks to your readings I do beter understand their way of being and also much beter protect myself against te mentally abuse. THANK YOU Janey Deavis.

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