If someone uses these 10 phrases, they’ve definitely got an ego problem

Ever met someone who just can’t stop talking about how great they are?

It’s a clear sign of a big ego.

Sometimes, the biggest giveaways are the phrases they use.

If they drop any of these 10 lines, they’re probably showing off a little too much.

Let’s dive in and see what those phrases are!

1. “I already knew that.”

This one’s a classic. Someone shares a fun fact or a piece of news, and before anyone else can react, Mr. or Ms. Ego jumps in with a swift “I already knew that.”

Sure, sometimes they might genuinely be in the know, but if this becomes a regular retort, it’s less about being informed and more about trying to appear superior.

Remember, it’s okay not to know everything, and it’s equally okay to learn from others.

But for those with an ego issue, admitting they didn’t know something? That’s a no-go.

2. “No offense, but I would’ve done it better.”

Ouch, right? It starts off with a pseudo-apology, “No offense,” but what follows is anything but polite.

This phrase is a blatant way of placing oneself on a pedestal.

It’s not just about expressing a different approach; it’s about making sure everyone knows they believe they’re superior.

For these ego-driven folks, it’s not enough to be good – they have to be the best.

And if they can subtly (or not so subtly) put you down in the process? Even better.

Beware of this underhanded compliment; it’s dripping in arrogance.

3. “I don’t usually brag, but…”

Ah, the classic prelude to a full-on bragging session.

By starting off with “I don’t usually brag,” the person is attempting to disguise their boast under a layer of false humility.

It’s as if they’re trying to say, “Look, I’m not the kind of person who shows off, but I just can’t help it this time.”

The reality? They very much want you to hear about their achievements or assets.

It’s a sneaky way of making the boast seem unplanned and genuine, when in fact, it’s just another way for the ego to shine.

If they truly didn’t want to brag, they simply wouldn’t.

4. “It’s not a big deal, but…”

At face value, this phrase sounds humble, as if they’re downplaying their achievements.

But don’t be fooled. “It’s not a big deal, but…” is often a bait to reel you in.

By acting as though what they’re about to share is trivial, they’re actually prompting you to reassure them of the opposite.

It’s a crafty move: if you respond with praise or astonishment, they’ve achieved their goal.

And if you don’t?

Well, in their minds, they’ve already told you it wasn’t a big deal. It’s a win-win for the ego, hidden behind a mask of modesty.

5. “People often tell me I’m the best at…”

On the surface, this might look like they’re simply passing on a compliment from someone else.

However, there’s a sly maneuver at play here. Instead of outright bragging about their skills or talents, they’re using others as a shield to do the boasting for them.

It’s like saying, “Hey, don’t shoot the messenger! I’m just relaying what everyone else already thinks.”

By framing it this way, they can highlight their excellence without taking direct responsibility for the boast.

Clever, but a clear ego red flag.

6. “I hate to say ‘I told you so’, but…”

Let’s cut to the chase: they don’t hate to say it. In fact, they’re reveling in it.

This phrase is a double-whammy of ego.

Not only are they pointing out that they were right all along, but they’re also highlighting the other person’s error or oversight.

It’s a not-so-subtle way of saying, “I knew better,” and, “You should’ve listened to me.”

While a pinch of grace or understanding would be appropriate, especially if someone made an honest mistake, the ego-driven individual can’t resist the temptation to stand tall at someone else’s expense.

They might cloak it in a pretense of reluctance, but deep down, they’re loving every moment.

7. “Do you know who I am?”

This isn’t just a line from movies; some people wield it in real-life situations, hoping to intimidate or get preferential treatment.

The ego behind this question assumes that their reputation should precede them everywhere they go.

Interesting fact: Historically, notable figures would often have heralds or messengers announce their arrival, so there was never a need to ask, “Do you know who I am?”

In modern times, though, this phrase is less about royal proclamations and more about an individual expecting recognition and admiration.

When someone leans on their supposed fame or importance like this, it’s a clear signal that their ego is steering the ship.

8. “Most people can’t keep up with me.”

This is a not-so-subtle way of placing oneself above the crowd.

By suggesting that they operate on a different level—whether it’s intelligence, skill, or any other attribute—they’re implying that most others are just not on their wavelength.

It’s a self-imposed isolation, where they view themselves as the lone wolf or the standout star in a sea of mediocrity.

Whether they’re talking about work, hobbies, or even social situations, this phrase is a clear indication that they see themselves as a cut above the rest.

9. “I don’t see why people like [popular thing]. I’m more into [niche thing].”

This one screams of wanting to be different for the sake of standing out, even if it means disparaging something widely appreciated.

The intent is twofold: first, to position themselves as having a more refined or unique taste than the ‘masses’, and second, to hint that they’re deeper or more sophisticated.

By doing this, they’re not just expressing a preference; they’re making a statement about their perceived superiority.

It’s less about genuine love for the ‘niche thing’ and more about wanting to be seen as apart from—and above—the crowd.

10. “I really shouldn’t be doing this, but…”

Now, this might throw you for a loop. Someone admitting they shouldn’t be doing something sounds humble, right?

Well, not quite.

Dive deeper, and you’ll see it’s a sly boast in disguise.

They’re basically suggesting they’re above whatever task or activity they’re engaged in.

By saying they “shouldn’t” be doing it, they imply they have more important, challenging, or elite things they could be attending to.

Instead of simply engaging in the moment or activity with everyone else, they create a distinction, placing themselves on a self-made pedestal—even if just for a fleeting moment.

It’s a sneaky way of signaling their perceived worth, making the mundane look like an act of sacrifice or humility.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

8 overlooked benefits of doing absolutely nothing

People with true integrity think in these 10 unique ways