8 phrases only self-centered people use, according to psychology

If you’ve ever interacted with someone who seems overly focused on themselves, you might be dealing with a self-centered person.

Often, these people have a particular way of speaking that can leave you feeling sidelined or unimportant.

They frequently talk about themselves, dismiss your feelings or opinions, or seem uninterested in your experiences.

Psychology can help us understand them because they use certain phrases that show that they’re self-centered, and recognizing these phrases can help you handle these interactions better. 

So, if you want to understand (or avoid) self-centered people in your life, read more below.

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

This phrase is a classic indicator of self-centeredness.

It implies an overt shift of focus back to the speaker, dismissing the other person’s experiences or feelings.

For example, you might be sharing an important personal story, only to have them interrupt and steer the conversation back to themselves.

This can leave you feeling unheard and unimportant. It suggests that your experiences and perspectives hold less value than theirs, a typical trait of self-centered people.

This phrase is not just a conversation killer but also a red flag that you are dealing with a self-centered person.

They are only interested in their own stories, feelings, and experiences, often at the expense of others around them.

2) “I’m not being selfish, I’m just looking out for myself.”

At first glance, this statement may seem like a demonstration of healthy self-care.

But when used in excess, it’s often a cloak for self-centered behavior. Individuals who regularly use this phrase may prioritize their needs above others to an unreasonable extent.

If they consistently cancel plans at the last minute or refuse to compromise on shared decisions, they may defend their actions with this phrase.

However, it’s important to distinguish between necessary self-care and habitual self-focused behavior.

While it’s perfectly okay to prioritize personal needs at times, consistently using this phrase may highlight a pattern of self-centeredness.

It’s crucial for all of us to maintain a balance between personal well-being and consideration for others’ feelings and needs. 

3) “I’m just being honest.”

This phrase is often used by self-centered individuals as a justification for harsh or insensitive comments.

They might deliver a blunt opinion or critique, then shield themselves from criticism by claiming that they’re “just being honest.”

In reality, this is known as the illusion of asymmetric insight. It’s a cognitive bias where people think they know others better than they know themselves.

Self-centered people often believe they have a superior understanding of situations or people, leading them to think their “honesty” is not only justified but also necessary.

But true honesty doesn’t require hurting others’ feelings or dismissing their perspectives. It’s communicating truthfully while still being respectful and considerate.

4) “I don’t need anyone.”

This phrase may sound like a declaration of independence, but it often reveals a self-centered perspective.

People who frequently use this phrase might be trying to convey that they are self-reliant to the point where others’ opinions, feelings, or needs are irrelevant to them.

It’s understandable to want to project strength and self-sufficiency. We all have moments when we want to stand tall and prove our resilience.

But it’s also natural and healthy to need others sometimes. We’re social creatures by nature, and our relationships with others help us grow and thrive.

If you hear this phrase often, remember that it’s okay to rely on others and let them rely on you. It’s part of being human.

And while it’s good to respect someone’s desire for independence, it doesn’t mean their needs should overshadow yours.

Balance is key in every relationship.

5) “I don’t have time for this.”

We’ve all been there, stretched thin and overwhelmed by a heavy workload or a string of commitments.

And in these times, the phrase “I don’t have time for this” may slip out in moments of stress.

But when used too frequently, this phrase could indicate a self-centered attitude. It suggests that the speaker’s time is more valuable than others’ or that their priorities are always more important.

If someone continually uses this phrase to dismiss your concerns or to avoid responsibilities, it’s not a reflection on you or the importance of your time.

It’s a sign of how they perceive and prioritize their own commitments over others’.

6) “I knew that already.”

This phrase is often a go-to for self-centered people, used as a way to maintain a sense of superiority or control in conversations.

For example, you might be excited to share some new information or an interesting fact you’ve just learned, only to have them respond with, “I knew that already.”

I recall a time when I was sharing news about a newly discovered planet with a friend. I was fascinated by the scientific breakthrough and eager to discuss it.

But before I could even finish my sentence, they interrupted with, “I knew that already.” It felt dismissive and robbed the conversation of its mutual excitement and discovery.

This phrase can be a conversation stopper and might leave you feeling unappreciated or unheard.

But remember, it’s not a reflection on your knowledge or value. It’s merely a way for self-centered individuals to assert their perceived superiority.

7) “This wouldn’t have happened if you listened to me.”

Let’s face it, this phrase can sting.

It’s often used by self-centered individuals to shift blame and avoid taking responsibility for their actions.

Essentially, they’re saying that if you had only followed their advice or direction, the current problem or situation would not have occurred.

But everyone makes mistakes, and no one has all the answers—not even the self-proclaimed experts.

Hearing this can be tough, but don’t let it shake your confidence. This phrase is less about your actions and more about their need to be right or in control.

You’re capable of making your own decisions, and sometimes, that means learning from your own experiences and mistakes. That’s how we grow. 

8) “I’m always right.”

This phrase may be the most telling of all.

Self-centered people often have a hard time admitting they’re wrong. They may believe their opinions are the only correct ones and dismiss others’ viewpoints.

But here’s the crucial thing to remember: no one is always right. We all have different perspectives, experiences, and knowledge that shape our understanding of the world.

It’s through sharing these varying viewpoints that we learn and grow.

If you encounter someone who insists on being “always right,” remind yourself of your own worth and intelligence.

Your thoughts and opinions matter just as much as anyone else’s. Don’t let anyone undermine your value or self-esteem.


Conversations and relationships with self-centered individuals can be challenging, but remember—you will always be in control of your reactions and boundaries.

This article aims to arm you with the knowledge to recognize certain phrases that self-centered people often use. But it’s always up to you on how you will respond or handle these situations.

Time spent understanding others is never wasted, as it contributes to your own personal growth and emotional intelligence.

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.

10 things toxic men do when you finally stand your ground

9 easy-to-overlook signs you’ve lived a more successful life than most, according to psychology