7 phrases a narcissist casually uses to make you feel like less of a person

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You may not realize it, but this could be due to the presence of a narcissist in your life.

Narcissists are experts at using subtle language to undermine others, often without them even realizing it.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

The truth is, that recognizing the signs of narcissistic behavior can be challenging. They can be masters of manipulation, using words as weapons to maintain control and power.

So, let’s delve into the world of narcissism and unravel the mystery behind those seemingly innocent phrases that may have a deeper, more harmful undertone.

1) “I don’t remember saying that.”

Picture this scenario.

You have a heated discussion with someone, and they mention something they’ve said or done in the past. But when you bring it up later, they deny it.

“I don’t remember saying that,” they say, leaving you questioning your memories, your perception, and even your sanity.

This is a classic tactic known as gaslighting, widely used by narcissists.

By denying their previous actions or statements, they create a sense of doubt in your mind. It’s an insidious way of shifting the blame onto you and maintaining their control.

The key?

If you consistently feel like you’re misremembering things after interactions with a particular person, it might not be your memory at fault.

It could be them playing mind games.

2) “You’re too sensitive.”

Let me share a personal story.

A while back, I had a friend who would make snide remarks about my appearance.

When I finally gathered the courage to confront them about it, their response was, “You’re too sensitive.”

Here’s the deal: By labeling you as “too sensitive,” they invalidate your feelings and turn the tables, making it seem like your reaction is the problem, not their behavior.

The aim?

To make you question your emotional responses and shift the blame onto you.

Honestly speaking, it took me a while to realize that my feelings were valid and it wasn’t about me being too sensitive.

It was about them refusing to acknowledge their hurtful behavior.

So, if someone is making you feel this way, remember – it’s not you, it’s them.

3) “It was just a joke.”

This one hits close to home.

We all love a good joke, right?

A hearty laugh can lighten up any situation. But what happens when someone uses humor as a veil for their hurtful remarks?

“It was just a joke,” they say, after making a biting comment about your career or personal life.

This is no laughing matter.

The truth is, turning their offensive comments into a ‘joke’ is another way narcissists undermine and dismiss your feelings.

It’s as if they’re saying, “Why can’t you take a joke?” which is just another way of saying, “Your feelings don’t matter.”

And this is where we draw the line.

In essence, humor should never be an excuse to belittle or disrespect someone. 

4) “No one else thinks that.”

Here’s another phrase narcissists love to throw around – “No one else thinks that.”

Picture this: You express an opinion or a concern to someone, only for them to dismiss it by claiming that nobody else shares your perspective.

But here’s the truth.

This is just another manipulative tactic narcissists use to make you feel isolated and alone in your thoughts.

In short, it’s a way for them to invalidate your feelings and make you question your judgment.

5) “You’re overreacting.”

“You’re overreacting” – a phrase we’ve all probably heard at some point.

Narcissists love this phrase. It’s their go-to line when they want to dismiss your feelings or concerns.

You see, by telling you that you’re overreacting, they’re essentially saying that your emotions are not valid or reasonable.

But here’s something interesting.

Arguably, being told that we’re overreacting can actually lead to us doubting our emotional responses in the future.

This can have a significant impact on our self-esteem and overall mental health.

Your feelings are valid and deserve to be acknowledged and respected.

Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.

6) “You need me.”

“You need me.” This phrase might be packaged as a declaration of love or support, but at its core, it’s a control tactic.

Narcissists use this phrase to make you feel dependent on them, to make you believe that you can’t manage without them.

It’s their way of keeping you in their grip.

But here’s what I want to tell you.

  • You are stronger than you think.
  • You are capable of more than you know.
  • Don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t stand on your own two feet.

Because guess what?

You absolutely can. 

7) “I’m the real victim here.”

Narcissists have a knack for playing the victim card.

Whenever they’re confronted about their behavior, they somehow manage to flip the script, making you feel guilty for even bringing up the issue.

But here’s the most important thing to remember.

Nobody has the right to belittle you or make you feel less of a person.

Stand strong in your truth, trust your instincts, and never let anyone manipulate your reality.

Final thoughts

If you find yourself nodding along to these phrases, know that you’re not alone.

It’s hard to realize that you’ve been manipulated by a narcissist, especially when it’s subtly woven into everyday conversations.

But acknowledging this is the first step towards reclaiming your self-esteem and emotional health.

Remember, you have a right to express your feelings, thoughts, and concerns without being belittled or dismissed.

The next time you hear one of these phrases, I urge you to pause and reflect.

Ask yourself if this is an attempt to undermine your feelings or manipulate your reality. Trust your instincts.

It’s a journey, and it won’t be easy. But with each step, you’ll be building resilience and self-awareness. You’ll be learning to stand up for yourself and your feelings.

And remember, there’s no shame in seeking professional help.

Therapists and counselors can provide valuable tools and strategies to navigate these challenging interactions.

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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