If someone uses these 11 phrases, they’re a closet narcissist

by Justin Brown | November 11, 2023, 1:42 pm

Ever met someone who is always talking about themselves?

They somehow make every chat about their life, their success?

They could be a “hidden narcissist”.

But how can you tell?

Well, it’s in the words they use.

Today we’re looking at 11 things they say that give them away.

1. “I don’t want to brag, but…”

This phrase is a classic one. It seems like they’re trying to be humble, but really, they’re just finding an excuse to talk about themselves and their achievements.

They might say something like “I don’t want to brag, but I just got a promotion at work”.

Even though it sounds like they’re just sharing good news, they’re actually using it as an opportunity to highlight their own success.

This is a subtle way for a closet narcissist to seek admiration and validation.

2. “No one can do it as well as I can.”

This phrase is a dead giveaway.

It shows that they believe they’re superior to others.

By claiming they’re the best at something, they’re putting others down and boosting their own ego.

A closet narcissist often uses this phrase to demonstrate their dominance and to make themselves feel important.

They crave the admiration that comes from being seen as the best, even if it means belittling others in the process.

3. “People always say I’m the life of the party.”

Once upon a time, I had a friend who would constantly use this phrase. Every time we were in a group setting, he’d casually mention, “You know, people always say I’m the life of the party.”

At first, I thought he was just being funny or humble-bragging. But over time, I realized it was more about him needing to be the center of attention, a common trait among closet narcissists.

This phrase was his way of ensuring everyone knew just how essential he believed he was to every social gathering. It was less about the party and more about him needing to feel important and admired.

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

A fascinating fact about this phrase is that it’s a common example of what psychologists call “projection”.

A closet narcissist may use it to defend their self-centered actions, making it seem like they’re just practicing self-care or self-love.

But in reality, they’re trying to justify their selfish behavior.

The interesting thing is that people who genuinely practice self-love and self-care understand the importance of empathy and consideration for others, traits that narcissists usually lack.

5. “Can we go back to what I was talking about?”

This phrase can tug at your heartstrings, because it often comes up when you’re sharing something important or personal. You might be in the middle of telling them about a tough day you had, only for them to steer the conversation back to themselves. It’s as if your feelings and experiences don’t matter as much as theirs.

This lack of empathy and constant need for attention are key traits of a closet narcissist.

It might make you feel overlooked and undervalued, which is why it’s crucial to recognize this pattern and address it.

6. “I’m usually the smartest person in the room.”

I remember bumping into an old classmate at a reunion. As we caught up on life, she casually slipped in, “You know, usually I find that I’m the smartest person in the room.”

It caught me off guard.

At first, I brushed it off as her being quirky or confident. But as the night went on, she kept steering the conversation back to her accomplishments and ‘superior’ intellect. It dawned on me that she was exhibiting signs of being a closet narcissist.

This phrase was not just about showing off her intelligence. It was about making herself feel superior and seeking admiration from others.

7. “I have a tendency to intimidate people.”

This phrase is a tough one to swallow.

It’s almost like they’re wearing their arrogance as a badge of honor.

They’re not just acknowledging that they may come off as intimidating, they’re actually boasting about it.

What they’re really saying is, “I’m so superior that others feel intimidated by me.”

This is a raw and honest display of a closet narcissist’s lack of empathy and their need to feel superior. It’s a clear sign that they’re more interested in asserting dominance than building meaningful connections.

8. “I know I’m right.”

Here’s an interesting fact: according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, narcissists have an over-inflated belief in their own correctness.

So, when someone frequently uses the phrase “I know I’m right,” they could be displaying a sign of closet narcissism. They’re not just expressing confidence in their knowledge or convictions, they’re dismissing the possibility that they could be wrong.

This unwillingness to consider other perspectives can hinder their personal growth and damage their relationships.

9. “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I told you so.”

I remember when a close friend used this phrase after I shared a failed business venture.

Instead of offering support or empathy, she quickly jumped to remind me that she had warned me against it.

This phrase served two purposes: firstly, it put her in a position of superiority, and secondly, it allowed her to subtly gloat about being right.

This was one of the classic signs of a closet narcissist – the need to be right and superior, even at the cost of a friend’s feelings.

10. “I don’t usually make mistakes.”

This phrase is a harsh truth about closet narcissists.

They find it difficult to admit when they’re wrong because it challenges their sense of perfection and superiority.

They’d rather make excuses or shift the blame than own up to a mistake.

This refusal to acknowledge their shortcomings is not just about preserving their self-image, it’s about dodging vulnerability and maintaining control.

11. “People are always jealous of me.”

This statement is a raw display of a closet narcissist’s need for validation and admiration.

They’re not just suggesting that others envy them, they’re asserting it as a fact.

It’s a way for them to feel superior and desired, even if it means creating a false narrative in their head. What they’re really revealing is their deep-seated insecurity and their constant need to be the best in order to feel worth something.

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