Everything you say can and will be used against you by a narcissist. Yes, that’s how difficult it will be when you are stuck in a conflict with them. You won’t know how to wriggle out of that situation unless you already know the kind of things narcissists say in an argument. This will help you immensely in tackling all their manipulation phrases without losing your sanity.

According to research done by NYU, narcissism is often driven by insecurity and not the grandiose sense of self they believe themselves to be.

To hide this insecurity, people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will go to any lengths to win fights. They will twist their words, give you the silent treatment, gaslight you, and whatnot! But when you already know what a narcissist is going to say, you will have a better reply to snap back. 

What Is A Narcissist?

“A narcissist, by definition, is someone with a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy,” says Cory Newman, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

You can’t really identify a narcissist with any blood test or an MRI. 

Furthermore, one person with NPD will have different traits from another person who is suffering from the same disorder. From wanting everyone’s attention to revolve around them to exerting control over everything, a narcissist isn’t really a bad person. It’s their behavior that’s problematic, insensitive, and hurtful. 

For no particular reason, they think they are special and deserve to be treated that way. But one thing is for sure. Narcissists are toxic and will make you question your own sanity.

That’s why we are here to help you find out all the narcissistic communication tactics to help you weaponize against their manipulation.

Things Narcissists Say When Gaslighting 

Narcissists and gaslighting go hand in hand. They will try to undermine your reality by distorting it. It’s actually a form of narcissistic abuse and it can take a toll on the receiver’s mental health. They will misrepresent the facts just to prove you wrong in an argument. They will say things like:

1. “You don’t remember things correctly”

This is a classic example of a narcissist text message. They will make you question your memory and reality. 

Let’s say the two of you were supposed to meet for a coffee date on Sunday. The narcissist ditches and says that they planned it for Monday and it’s you who misheard or misremembered the events of that day. 

It doesn’t sound so bad but imagine such a reality distortion statement coming out of someone you trust. You will start believing them and questioning your brain. 

2. “You are being crazy/paranoid/psycho”

The easiest way to win an argument is by yelling sentences like “you are crazy”. The narcissistic rage will make him yell at you for catching him in a lie. You will end up wondering what you did to attract a narcissist in your life.

Now, their only goal is to make it look like you are making your own story. The narcissist wants to make you look like someone who will lie out of their teeth but that’s not you. 

That’s the narcissist who will go to any extent to make the other person look like they have mental health problems. 

3. “That’s not what I meant and you know it”

“Why are you making such a big deal out of it? You know I didn’t mean it that way” — this is one of the classic manipulative phrases in arguments used by a narcissist. 

They did mean it but now that you got hurt by their statement, they are trying to cover it up. It’s easier to apologize but covert narcissists will never take accountability for their mistakes because that will make them face their weaknesses and flaws. 

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4. “You are making that up” 

One of the heartbreaking gaslighting techniques in arguments is when the narcissist tries to make everything look like it’s been made up by you. 

“That never happened”, “Your reality is different than what actually happened”, or “You are just making stuff up”. These are the things narcissists say when they want their partner to lose their sanity. 

5. “Yeah, you always have to be right”

A narcissist will say this statement with the most condescending and disdainful tone ever. They are trying to show that you have a fragile ego and can’t stand to be wrong. 

That’s not the case here. It’s narcissists who cannot stand being wrong and think of themselves as “know-it-alls”. 

Hence, this is one of the blame-shifting strategies in arguments a narcissist will use to make themselves appear superior. 

things narcissists say in an argument

6. “We already talked about this. Don’t you remember?”

This is one of the psychological tactics in disagreements that will make the victim doubt their own soundness of mind.

A conversation like that would have never taken place yet your narcissistic partner will insist that it happened and that you’ve forgotten about it.

That’s classic psychological warfare to bring you down. It’s all your fault that you forgot about it. Now, you have to be sorry, whereas the narcissist gets away with it by manipulating the narrative. 

7. “Are you trying to confuse me?” 

Another blame-shifting sentence a person with narcissistic tendencies will use to project what they are doing onto you. They are confusing you but they will accuse you of gaslighting them and they will act like a victim. 

Such a narcissistic injury can scar you mentally for a long time. You will start questioning your own truth if you start believing every word that comes out of a narcissist’s mouth. 

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8. “You should be grateful that I am still with you”

This is one of the guilt-tripping phrases uttered by a narcissist when they feel threatened by their partner.

To prevent you from breaking up with them, they will act like they are your biggest blessing and that they could dump you any second. 

They will make you feel like nobody will tolerate your issues and you will be alone for the rest of your life if not for their love and affection. That’s a narcissist manipulating you and breaking your self-esteem. 

9. “You are delusional”

Narcissists will often arm themselves with gaslighting statements like this one to make you doubt your reality. They want you to dismiss your emotions and blindly believe theirs. 

They will keep saying this to make you believe their manipulation because you caught them doing nasty stuff behind your back. They don’t have any justification for it. Hence, they resort to such gaslighting. 

Hurtful Things Narcissists Say 

Narcissists say hurtful statements because they want to break your ego. They feed their self-esteem by questioning your self-worth as it makes them feel powerful and dominant. Here are some hurtful things narcissists say to their partners:

10. “You are so selfish” 

Even though you aren’t selfish, they will make you look like the one who is self-centered and doesn’t care about other people’s feelings. In reality, that is their personality that they are projecting on you. 

Research confirms that all kinds of narcissists are uncooperative, selfish, and overbearing. This is one of the devaluing statements in disagreements used by a narcissist.

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11. “You are not good enough for me”

This is narcissistic abuse at its peak. They will try to diminish your self-confidence by telling you that you aren’t good enough for them. It can really hurt your feelings and it will take a long time for you to forget this stammer but you need to stay strong. 

You are a good person who doesn’t deserve this. This is one of the weird things narcissists do to put you down. 

example of a narcissist text message,

12. “You are too dependent on me”

Co-dependent relationships aren’t healthy. But if you aren’t in such a relationship, then your narcissistic partner is just being rude.

They want to intentionally hurt you because they have no empathy or regard for anyone else but themselves. When they say such ego-driven responses in arguments, it’s best to retaliate smartly. 

For example: use “I” statements and tell them that you feel like they aren’t able to control what they are saying and walk away from the argument. 

13. “Why do you always fail in your life?” 

The only goal of a narcissist is to put themselves on a pedestal so they can look down upon you and judge you for all your weaknesses, failures, and insecurities.  

Sometimes you are met with failures. Instead of picking you up, a narcissist will kick you down. That’s the cruelest trait a person can ever have. They won’t understand your emotional meltdowns and they will laugh at your inability to achieve your dreams.

14. “God, it was just a joke!!”

“Why can’t you take it easy for once? It was just a joke”.

This is blame shifting. Instead of being sorry for that hurtful joke, the narcissist will try to make it look like you are a buzzkill for not laughing at his inappropriate joke. 

It’s your fault that you ruined the situation by being offended and by revealing your feelings. This is one of the most hurtful things narcissists say to their partners. 

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15. You are starting to feel like a burden 

Such self-centered language in arguments can only be made by narcissists who are insecure because of their childhood trauma. Perhaps they felt like a burden to their parents and that’s why they think sharing a life with someone is burdensome. 

This is one of the heartbreaking emotional manipulation phrases that can damage a relationship beyond repair. 

Things Narcissists Say To Keep You Around

Narcissists will point out your loneliness by saying demeaning and hurtful things to keep you around. They will isolate you so they can keep you around for themselves. Here are some of the statements they will make: 

16. “My ex was much better than you”

This kind of comparison is never okay no matter how big the fight is. They are trying to compare you to someone they once loved and can’t have in their life.

They are putting you down. It’s as if the narcissist’s expectations are sky high and you will never be able to please them.

Here is some advice: you can’t. You can never fulfill their expectations because it’s one of their ruthless narcissist argument tactics. Even if you make them happy, they will pretend like they aren’t and will still compare you to their past lovers. You

17. “No wonder you have no friends” 

I’ve heard this so many times in my previous relationship. The narcissist will make you feel like a loner by pointing out that you have zero friends because nobody can put up with your tantrums and shenanigans. 

They will tell you that you are the problem and not them. But that’s not the case. You don’t have friends because you are self-sufficient and don’t feel the need to belong to a big group of friends. However, a narcissistic partner will turn it into a negative thing.

18. “I’d rather be single than be miserable with you”

This is sort of a threat that a narcissistic partner will utter when the two of you are engaged in a quarrel. They are subtly letting you know that they wouldn’t mind breaking up with you whenever they want. 

That’s your cue to be prepared for this inevitable end. It will happen but before that, the narcissist will break you from the inside out. 

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19. “Nobody can love you the way I love you”

A blatant lie. Narcissists can never love anyone except themselves. They have so much power over you at the moment that you could end up believing their lies but when the gaslighting fog lifts and you have a clear vision, you will realize that they were just making a fool out of you. 

This is one of the typical narcissistic responses that they will give when you broach the subject of breakup.

20. “You will regret it if you leave me “

When worst comes to worst, they will go to the extent of blackmailing you emotionally. They will say that no family member or friends will accept you if you leave them. They will blame you for the breakup and will side with your narcissistic partner.

They will act like a victim when you are the one who is upset. This is one of the things narcissists say about themselves because they think they are the best in everything and whoever leaves them will regret for the rest of their lives. 

things narcissists say about themselves

Things Narcissists Say When They Cannot Control You 

Narcissists want to control you all the time. Your opinion needs to match theirs and they expect you to become their puppet. They don’t see how irrational they are because they are blinded by their grandiose sense of self.

They think they are entitled to control you. When you refuse to be their pawn, they will say the following statements:

21. “You were not worth my time anyway”

When you finally find out what your narcissist partner is doing, they will pretend like they never loved or cared about you. It was you chasing them and now they will let out a sigh because they were too good to be your significant other. 

This defensive language by narcissists will be used when they are hiding their feelings for you. Their fear of abandonment is happening and they can’t do anything to stop it. 

22. “You will come crawling back soon”

Let’s say you decided to end this relationship. You saw them for who they are and want to call it quits. Your narcissistic partner will be baffled and won’t know how to control his anger and frustration. They are shocked that someone dumped them. 

So, they will say things like, “You will regret breaking up with me”, “Let’s see how long you cry over me”, or “Watch me move on before you”. This is their narcissistic rage speaking just to scare you and hurt your self-worth. 

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23. “You will fail without my guidance”

During the relationship, a narcissistic partner dons the hat of a guru. They think they know everything and will make you follow their guidance and footsteps even though they have nothing to do with your career. 

They will give you advice when you have a problem with a family member or if you had a falling out with a close friend. Now, they think that you will fail without their support and leadership. So, this is one of the things narcissists say when they fail to control you. 

24. “I will be better off without you”

Your narcissistic ex-husband or ex-wife will pretend like you were the one holding them back. You are the reason they never accomplished their dreams. They will say such things because they are clueless now. 

They don’t know how to move on. They don’t have anyone who will bend to their wishes and demands.

They will mask their real feelings and say things like, “I am so happy you are breaking up with you” or “You saved me the trouble of finding a reason to break up with you”. 

25. “Go find someone else to torture”

While saying this statement, they will bring up all the toxic things they did and use it against you. They will accuse you of having trust issues, insecurity, and unrealistic expectations when they are the reason why you started being suspicious in the first place. 

It’s because of their comparisons that you became insecure and it’s their fault that now you expect them to be nicer. Sadly, a narcissist will never accept their mistakes and will say such invalidating statements in arguments to make you look like the toxic one. 

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These common phrases are just the tip of the iceberg when you are dating a narcissist. They will say whatever they want to make themselves appear superior.

They will indulge in love bombing and will shower you with gifts after a fight. But what can you do about it? Read below how to win an argument against a person with NPD.

Can You Win An Argument With A Narcissist? 

Winning an argument with a narcissist can be challenging due to their manipulative tactics, deflection, and their refusal to acknowledge and accept fault. However, it is essential to prioritize your well-being over “winning” and consider the following strategies:

  • Set boundaries by clearly communicating your boundaries and stick to them, regardless of their attempts to manipulate or guilt-trip you
  • When you confront them, maintain your composure, stay calm, and avoid reacting emotionally, as this can fuel their manipulation tactics
  • Keep the argument on track and avoid getting sidetracked by their attempts to deflect or gaslight. They will try a lot to bring in past mistakes but don’t let them divert the conversation to another topic. That’s one of the definitive narcissistic arguing patterns 
  • Present logical arguments supported by facts rather than engaging in emotional debates
  • Avoid JADE (Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain). Refrain from justifying, arguing, defending, or explaining yourself excessively because narcissists may use this as an opportunity to twist your words
  • If the conversation becomes unproductive or emotionally draining, it’s okay to disengage and walk away. Completely shut yourself from their words and if possible, from their life 

If you are stuck with a toxic narcissist, it’s best to reach out to trusted friends, family members, or a therapist for support and guidance in dealing with narcissistic behavior. Ultimately, you need to understand that you can never expect a healthy relationship with a narcissist. You can either ask them to get help or you can end the relationship for your own good. 


1. What are common things narcissists say?

Narcissists like to blow their own trumpets and make them the center of attention. They will brag about their attention and will try to put the other person down. They will say phrases like “I’ve never met anyone like you” when they are trying to love bomb you and things like “You are unbearable” when you refuse to be controlled. 

2. Do narcissists mean the hurtful things they say?

Sometimes narcissists say hurtful things intentionally to manipulate or control others, while other times they may say these things impulsively or reactively without fully considering the impact of their words.