Experts estimate that approximately 6% of the American population have narcissistic personality disorder, which means that you likely have one in your life, even if you don’t know it. With the ability to draw their victims in with their charm and charisma, the best thing you can do is to learn the early warning signs.
While there are many minor behavioral changes and warning signs that there is a narcissist in your midst, many of us overlook the verbal signs. Sure, they aren’t going to come out and announce that they are a narcissist just to give you the heads up, but there are a number of phrases that can help you to see the red flags.
Here are 11 statements that narcissists use to make you feel worthless:
#1 – “Our relationship would be great if you’d just change.”
Anytime that someone expects you to change in a relationship, take that as a HUGE red flag. A narcissist thrives off control, and that will only work if your confidence isn’t strong. Rather than admitting that there are things they could change to improve your relationship, they will put that onus entirely on you. Remember, you are no one’s trophy, don’t let them treat you like you are.
#2 – “That isn’t what happened!”
If you have any grasp on the truth and the events that have played out, hold onto it. Why? If you are dealing with a narcissist, they don’t subscribe to the actual truth. Instead, they make their own and they will try to convince you that it’s your memory that’s failing you. They win the second that you start second-guessing yourself, so don’t give in! Trust your own judgment.
#3 – “No one wants to hear your silly little problems.”
Why does this phrase work so well? Not only does this put you in your place, allowing them to establish their dominance, but referring to your problems as ‘silly’ works to establish the idea that you are overdramatizing the situation you are in, and it’s all just a figment of your imagination. If they can convince you things aren’t as bad as you believe they are, then you will begin to question everything in your life.
#4 – “I am the best thing that’s ever happened to you.”
Whether your relationship is currently in a good place or not, your narcissist partner will make it clear that they believe that they are genuinely the best thing that could have come into your life. The truth is that this actually has nothing to do with you. They are looking to boost their ego while simultaneously ensuring that you recognize you will always be beneath them.
#5 – “You just don’t understand.”
One of the biggest tools that narcissists use to maintain control is to convince you that you are somehow below them. This can be done in a number of ways, one of which is by convincing you that you lack the knowledge and intelligence to know what is really going on in a given situation. Don’t bother correcting them, it isn’t worth your time – let your actions speak for themselves.
#6 – “I’ve decided to get help.”
This may sound like the very message that you have been waiting for, but don’t be fooled! Narcissists will often create the illusion that they are going to make things better without actually taking the first step. Pay attention to the commitment that they are making. A narcissist will often make a vague commitment like ‘getting help’ to convince you that they are turning over a new leaf, but they will avoid making any concrete statements.
#7 – “You’re the one that needs to apologize.”
If you are waiting for a narcissist to admit they were wrong and apologize, then you’re going to be waiting a long time! They truly, beyond a shadow of a doubt, believe that they are never wrong. If something didn’t work out, they automatically shift the blame your way and they are expecting an apology. After all, how dare you do that to them?
#8 – “It’s not my fault.”
This is another example of a narcissist’s inability to accept that anything could possibly be their fault. You can come up with the most airtight, compelling case packed with real, irrefutable evidence but they will still deny having done anything wrong. They will lash out, deny the accusations and make an effort to spin the situation so that someone else is responsible all to maintain the fact that they can do no wrong in this life.
#9 – “I have had it far more difficult than you.”
Ever the victim, narcissists genuinely believe that they have been dealt a more challenging life than those around them, and if they don’t believe it they do a great job of pretending that they do! Why? The truth is that creating the impression that they are facing great struggle will bring sympathy, and if you don’t’ play into their game, then you’re seen as a cold and uncaring individual. It’s emotional manipulation.
#10 – “(Insert Name Here) says that….”
Each narcissist carries around a tool belt that they use to control and manipulate you at every turn. One of the ways that they twist the world to work in their favor is through a technique known as triangulation. This means that they bring a third party into the conversation, usually to state that they support their opinions or questions the victim’s mental state. With the discussion no longer being about narcissist and victim, the victim often begins to believe these fabrications. Unless you heard it directly from the person they claim, don’t believe a word they say.
#11 – “I knew you weren’t the one for me.”
While this may seem like your out, don’t count on it. A narcissist will use this statement to devalue you and make it seem as though they don’t care, but the truth is that they are setting you up to come crawling back. This statement is designed to make you feel as though you have to prove your worth, leading the victim to come crawling back into their web of lies. Don’t fall for it!