8 phrases only highly egotistical people use, accordingly to psychology

by Isabel Cabrera | April 12, 2024, 3:06 pm

Ego. Our love, our nemesis.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, ego is our sense of self-esteem and self-importance.

When someone insults you, your ego gets hurt. When you bend over backwards just to please others and ignore your own needs, your ego may be too small, and your individuality suffers.

A healthy ego is all about balance.

And sadly, not everyone knows how to maintain that state of equilibrium.

Here are the 8 phrases only highly egotistical people use. If you occasionally sprinkle them throughout conversations, too… it’s time to throw them out of your vocabulary.

Ready? Let’s go!

1) “I don’t need anyone’s help”

We all need help.

Sorry, that’s just a fact. People are social beings, and we rely on each other for advice and support – especially when faced with a challenge or when going through a rough time.

The reason why “I don’t need anyone’s help” is a very egotistical phrase to use is that it is rooted in hyper-independence, which is the belief that you can do it all on your own.

To put it simply, you think you’re so capable that you’d rather not rely on others to offer a helping hand.

Of course, that’s a simplification. In truth, hyper-independence is often born from trauma and tends to go hand in hand with an avoidant attachment style, as the Doctor of Psychology Annie Tanasugarn PhD, CCTSA explains in her article.

While people who use this phrase may think themselves too capable or knowledgeable to need others, they may also just hide behind this coping mechanism because they don’t know any better.

It’s important to recognize the difference between the two.

2) “I’m always right”

No, you’re not.

And it’s okay to admit that.

I used to date a guy who would jokingly say, “See? I’m always right in the end” every time he won an argument.

This was all fun and games before this kind of attitude stopped being a joke. He was always so sure of his truth that he stubbornly refused to listen to me, and when it finally dawned on him that he’d been wrong, he found it incredibly hard to hold up his hands and admit his mistake.

He probably thought it showed some kind of weakness.

However, as psychologist Mark Travers, PhD, says, “Remember, apologizing, admitting to an error, or changing a flawed belief does not make you any less of a person. It shows courage, honesty, and strength of character.”

It is better to admit you’re wrong than to dig your heels in and refuse to budge. The first shows strength; the latter an inflated ego.

3) “I was born to win”

Except life isn’t a competition.

What’s more, no one is “born to win”. We’re all born to learn, grow, and experience life to its fullest.

The point isn’t to have the most expensive car or to live in the fanciest neighbourhood. It’s not to acquire status symbols and then show them off so that everyone knows you’re “better” than them.

And if that is what you think, it’s a sign you, too, might be a bit too egotistical.

The issue with inflated egos is that they can also be very fragile. They’re like balloons – one needle is enough to make the whole thing pop.

It’s a dangerous position to be in. It means that you stand on very unstable ground. One bout of bad luck is enough to tip everything out of balance.

4) “You should be grateful I’m your friend/partner/parent”

If there’s one thing egotistical people love, it’s to use their relationships with others as leverage.

And what do I mean by that?

If they scratch your back, they expect you’ll scratch theirs, too. If they do you a favor, they want one in return. If they give you a bit of love and affection, they’ll get mad if you don’t act in the same way as soon as possible.

The ego feeds off attention and validation. If it doesn’t get enough of it, it will try to coax it out of people at whatever cost.

Enter… guilt-tripping.

“You should be grateful I’m here for you/I’m friends with you/I love you” is an excellent way to make someone feel guilty – if they’re susceptible to this kind of manipulation, that is.

Oftentimes, however, telling someone they ought to feel gratitude actually undermines the whole point and gives rise to bitterness and resentment more than anything.

It also signals that you’re not giving your love away freely. You treat it in the same way you would money – it only counts if you get something in exchange.

5) “I really don’t care”

Most psychologists will tell you that empathy is a vital part of emotional intelligence, relationships, and the human experience overall.

An inflated ego comes with many disadvantages, one of which is a lack of empathy. This is because highly egotistical people think themselves so special and important that they may look down on other people and assign very little value to others’ feelings when compared to their own.

And that’s precisely why “I really don’t care” and other dismissive phrases often reveal that the person you’re dealing with is a bit too big-headed.

Someone who’s full of empathy and a desire to understand others would never say such a thing when you’re confiding in them about your worries. On the contrary, they’d try their best to help you out.

6) “I’m sorry you feel that way”

Grouport, a platform for group therapy, classifies this phrase as a form of gaslighting.

On their blog, they state: “When someone says, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way,’ it can come off as an apology. However, this phrase puts the onus of the feelings onto the recipient, suggesting that their reactions, rather than the perpetrator’s actions, are the problem.”

What this means is that the person who “apologizes” can shake off all responsibility and essentially bypass the need for a true apology.

In other words, they get away with their ego unscathed.

7) “That’s just who I am”

 Another way to avoid taking accountability for your actions is to simply shrug and say, “This is who I am. Take it or leave it.”

Highly egotistical people love to use this phrase because it highlights that they like who they are, they’re not going to change for anybody, and what’s more, they don’t feel bad about it.

Not only that but it also places the other person in a precarious position – if they insist that they take an issue the behavior in question, they’re essentially saying, “I hate who you are deep down.”

That’s not actually true, of course, but the manipulator has managed to twist the narrative in such a way that they can grab onto this kind of interpretation and stick to it, placing themselves in the shoes of a victim.

All just so that they don’t have to apologize and change their ways.

8) “I don’t need to explain myself to you”

While there are instances where this phrase makes complete sense – for example, you don’t have to explain why you can’t accept an invitation to an event because your life is nobody else’s business – it very much depends on the context.

If you’re close friends or in a relationship with someone who says they don’t need to explain themselves to you after having done something hurtful or confusing, it’s yet another sign they are a bit too egotistical.

And that’s because they don’t take your feelings into consideration, thinking that you aren’t worth the effort of giving a proper explanation.

But you are. It is only people with inflated egos who don’t think so.

Proceed with caution. If someone uses the eight phrases mentioned above, you may want to tread carefully.

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