8 phrases only highly self-absorbed people use, according to psychology

If you’ve ever interacted with someone who seems extremely self-centered, you probably know how draining it can be. They might have a habit of steering conversations back towards themselves or constantly seeking validation.

These self-absorbed individuals often use certain phrases that reveal their egocentric nature. They might not even realize how these words reflect their self-focused perspective.

While being self-absorbed isn’t a formal mental health diagnosis, it can still impact relationships and interactions in significant ways.

Everyone encounters self-absorbed people differently, leading to unique challenges and frustrations.

Understanding and recognizing these common phrases could help you navigate interactions with highly self-absorbed people more effectively. Let’s delve into what psychology has to say on the matter.

1) “Enough about you, let’s talk about me…”

This phrase is a classic representation of a self-absorbed person’s mindset. They might not always say it explicitly, but their conversations often gravitate back towards their own experiences, feelings, or achievements.

For instance, if you’re sharing about your day or an issue you’re facing, a highly self-absorbed individual might quickly shift the focus back onto themselves. They might say something like, “That reminds me of the time when I…” or “I totally get it because I’ve been through…”.

While it’s natural for people to relate others’ experiences to their own, self-absorbed individuals often do this to an excessive degree. The underlying message is that their experiences are more significant or interesting than yours.

This kind of behavior can make you feel unheard or unimportant. You might even start questioning whether your feelings and experiences are valid. But remember, everyone’s experiences and emotions are equally valid. It’s essential not to let such interactions undermine your self-worth.

Recognizing this pattern can help you identify self-absorbed individuals and manage interactions with them more effectively. Remember, it’s okay to assert your needs and feelings in a conversation without feeling guilty.

2) “I’m just focused on my goals”

On the surface, this might seem like a healthy sign of ambition. After all, being goal-oriented is generally considered a positive trait. But, when used by highly self-absorbed individuals, it often serves as a clever disguise for their egocentric behavior.

They may use this phrase to justify why they constantly talk about themselves or their achievements. It’s their way of saying, “I’m not really self-centered; I’m just passionate about my pursuits.”

However, this mindset tends to blur the line between healthy self-focus and excessive self-absorption. It can lead them to overlook others’ feelings, needs or contributions, as they’re so concentrated on their own endeavors.

This phrase is a reminder that self-absorption can sometimes wear the mask of ambition. It’s important to recognize this subtle form of egocentricity and understand that true ambition does not require disregarding others’ experiences or needs.

3) “I always give 110%”

This phrase is often used by self-absorbed individuals to showcase their exceptional effort or commitment. While it might seem like a positive affirmation, it subtly implies that they believe they’re working harder or contributing more than others around them.

The reality is, overestimating one’s own input while underestimating others’ contributions is a cognitive bias known as illusory superiority. It’s a common trait among highly self-absorbed individuals.

When someone constantly asserts they’re giving more than 100%, they’re not just exaggerating their efforts but also indirectly diminishing the efforts of others. This can lead to strained relationships as it creates an imbalance in perceived contributions and value.

Being mindful of this phrase can help you identify if someone is excessively self-focused and guide you in managing your interactions with them more effectively.

4) “I don’t mean to brag, but…”

This phrase is often followed by a notable achievement or trait that the speaker feels compelled to highlight. While it appears as a humble preface, it’s often a subtle way for self-absorbed individuals to spotlight their accomplishments or superior qualities.

But let’s remember, we all have moments of pride and a need for recognition. It’s human nature. The key, however, lies in balance and mutual respect. Sharing our accomplishments becomes problematic only when it consistently overshadows or diminishes the experiences and achievements of others.

So, when you encounter someone frequently using this phrase, it might be an indicator of their self-absorbed tendencies. Yet, it’s also a reminder that everyone seeks validation sometimes. In such situations, kindly acknowledging their achievements while gently steering the conversation towards a more balanced exchange can create an environment of mutual respect and understanding.

5) “I’m just being honest”

We’ve all heard this phrase, and perhaps, have used it ourselves from time to time. It’s often employed as a disclaimer before expressing a potentially controversial or critical opinion.

Self-absorbed individuals, however, might overuse this phrase as a license to express their thoughts and feelings without considering the impact on others. They justify their bluntness as honesty, even when it might come off as insensitive or hurtful.

Just like the rest of us, self-absorbed individuals also struggle with finding the right balance between honesty and tact. But when “I’m just being honest” becomes a regular part of someone’s vocabulary, it may signal a lack of empathy towards others’ feelings.

Recognizing this usage can help us better understand and navigate conversations with self-absorbed individuals while reminding us of our own need for tact and empathy in our interactions.

6) “No offense, but…”

This phrase often precedes a comment that, despite the disclaimer, can be offensive or hurtful. Self-absorbed individuals might use it to express critical or dismissive opinions about others under the guise of harmless commentary.

For instance, I remember a friend who would frequently use this phrase before making pointed remarks about my choices or habits. It wasn’t easy hearing comments like “No offense, but you could really use a fashion upgrade,” or “No offense, but your cooking could use some improvement.”

This kind of communication can feel dismissive and disrespectful, despite the initial disclaimer. It’s a reminder that no phrase can truly soften the blow of an unkind comment.

Being aware of this phrase’s potential for misuse can help us recognize when someone may be more self-absorbed and navigate our interactions with them more effectively.

7) “I’m just too busy for…”

This phrase is a common one, often used to decline invitations or responsibilities. However, when used excessively, it can become a clear signal of a self-absorbed person. They may consistently prioritize their own tasks and interests over others’, implying that their time is more valuable.

But here’s the reality check – we’re all busy. We all have commitments, responsibilities, and personal interests. The difference lies in how we manage our time and honor our commitments to others.

When someone frequently uses “I’m too busy” as an excuse to avoid obligations or social engagements, it may indicate that they place a higher importance on their own needs and interests. Recognizing this behavior can help you set healthier boundaries in your interactions with them.

8) “I did you a favor by…”

This phrase is often used by self-absorbed individuals to remind others of their generosity or kindness. However, genuine acts of kindness don’t come with strings attached. They shouldn’t be used as leverage or as a means to make others feel indebted.

The most crucial thing to remember here is that true kindness is unconditional. If someone constantly reminds you of their favors, it’s not about kindness; it’s about power and control.

So, when you hear “I did you a favor by…”, it’s essential to recognize it for what it is – a sign of self-absorption, not generosity. Remember, you’re not obligated to repay or feel indebted for acts of kindness. Genuine goodwill doesn’t come with a price tag.

Final thoughts

Engaging with self-absorbed individuals can be challenging—there’s no denying that. But remember, everyone has their own journey and reasons for their behavior.

This article aims to equip you with knowledge and understanding to navigate these interactions more effectively. However, the ultimate power lies with you.

Your time and energy are precious. Don’t let the self-absorbed individuals in your life drain them.

Remember, it’s okay to assert your voice, share your experiences, and prioritize your feelings. You are equally important.

Here’s to healthier, balanced relationships and better conversations!

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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