Narcissist Quotes To Better Understand Self-Absorbed People
September 14, 2022 6:00 AM EST
Whether in the workplace or in your friend group, narcissists can be difficult to deal with.
The narcissist quotes below can help you better understand their behavior.
How have you dealt with narcissists in the past?
The concept of narcissism has often been discussed by writers, psychologists, celebrities, and more.
Merriam-Webster defines narcissism as, “extremely self-centered with an exaggerated sense of self-importance.”
To further convince themselves that the world revolves around them, narcissists may lie to and manipulate those around them.
If you comment on their behavior, a narcissist may try to turn the blame on you.
The 50 insightful quotes below will help you overcome their intimidating behavior and protect your own mental health in the process.
If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement.
Look through our complete collection of inspirational quotes here.
Narcissist quotes defining the term
1. “Narcissism has more in common with self-hatred than with self-admiration.” – Christopher Lasch
2. “Narcissism falls along the axis of what psychologists call personality disorders…but by most measures, narcissism is one of the worst, if only because the narcissists themselves are so clueless.” – Jeffrey Kluger
3. “When narcissists behave in an exhibitionistic manner, they are seeking the same sort of admiration as toddlers, and for the same reasons. They want attention. Some examples include inappropriate dress, talking too loudly, or gesturing in expansive and space-intruding ways.” – Mark Ettensohn
4. “No matter how socially skilled an extreme narcissist is, he has a major attachment dysfunction. The extreme narcissist is frozen in childhood.” – Samuel Lopez de Victoria
5. “There’s a reason narcissists don’t learn from mistakes and that’s because they never get past the first step which is admitting that they made one.” – Jeffrey Kluger
6. “Narcissists alone are blatant in their self-inflation and braggadocio—leavened with a necessary dose of self-deception.” – Daniel Goleman
7. “A narcissist is someone who has a grandiose sense of self-importance, harbors obsessive fantasies of unbounded glory, feels rage or intense shame when criticized, expects special favors, and lacks empathy.” – Daniel Goleman
8. “Narcissism is eye trouble, voluntary blindness, an agreement to keep up appearances (hence the importance of “style”) and not to look beneath the surface.” – Sam Keen
9. “Being a narcissist isn’t easy when the question is not of loving your own image, but of recreating the self through deliberate acts of alienation.” – Orlan
Thought-provoking narcissist quotes
10. “Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people.” – Andre Dubus
11. “Hate is the complement of fear and narcissists like being feared. It imbues them with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence.” – Sam Vaknin
12. “I like to think I’m not a narcissist, but truth be told, we all have those sides to our character.” – Lisa O’Hare
13. “A false image is, of course, a work of art, an idol. And a lie. A narcissist identifies with this image, not his true inner self. So, all he cares about is his image, not what kind of person he really is. Indeed, the latter has no real existence in his world.” – Kathleen Krajco
14. “I think narcissists are endlessly watchable. The way they view the world and the way they interact within the world. They have no concept of their behavior or how it might be affecting other people. So comedically, it’s a very fun type of character to play. They are bulls in a china shop, twenty-four seven.” – Michael Showalter
15. “He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.” – Benjamin Franklin
16. “Narcissists are afflicted with a bottomless appetite. . .for recognition, attention, glory, rewards. And it’s a zero-sum thing. Every moment a narcissist spends listening to another party guest tell a story is a moment in which the stage has been surrendered.” – Jeffrey Kluger
17. “I’m a recovering narcissist. I didn’t know I was a narcissist, actually. I thought narcissism meant you love yourself, and then someone told me there’s a flip side to it. So it’s actually drearier than self-love; it’s unrequited self-love.” – Emily Levine
18. “You’re human. You’ll screw up. Denying that is crazy. Forgiving yourself has all the benefits of self-esteem without making you a narcissist that’s out of touch with reality.” – David D. Burns
19. “For me narcissism is not about money. For me, narcissism is something so romantic and something so human. Everybody is a narcissist. Some people admit it and some people don’t. As an artist, it’s important to be a narcissist. Look at Picasso, look at Warhol…. As an artist, you can get away with a lot of things that normal people cannot.” – Nir Hod
20. “The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one’s narcissism.” – Erich Fromm
21. “I’m totally a narcissist, so I was doing all this performance and having lots of weird ego time, and learning to set aside my love for the ego and find a deeper love for myself and through that seeing myself as one with all beings. And through loving myself, loving all people in the world, that was my cure for narcissism, the only cure.” – Larkin Grimm
22. “Underneath the so-called narcissistic personality is definitely shame and the paralyzing fear of being ordinary.” – Brené Brown
23. “Narcissists install a mental filter in our heads a little bit at a time. . . . ‘Will he get upset if I do/say/think this? Will he approve/disapprove? Will he feel hurt by this?’ Until we can uninstall the narcissist-filter, our actions are controlled by narcissists to some degree.” – Sam Vaknin
Funny narcissist quotes
24. “The narcissist would love nothing more than to know you are eating uncooked Top Ramen out of a dumpster for dinner tonight while wearing yesterday’s underwear.” – Tina Swithin
25. “He was like the cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow.” – George Eliot
26. “I have always been suspicious of romantic love. It looks too much like a narcissism shared by two.” – Rita Mae Brown
27. “It is especially painful when narcissists suffer memory loss because they are losing parts of the person they love most.” – David Brooks
28. “I love narcissists-even more than they love themselves. You don’t have to buoy them up. They are their own razzle-dazzle show and you are the blessed, favored with a front-row seat.” – Patricia Marx
29. “Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful, but because it is his. If it were his beauty that enthralled him, he would be set free in a few years by its fading.” – W.H. Auden
30. “The world is so rife with narcissists that none of them take enough notice of me.” – Eleanor Bron
31. “In true, narcissistic fashion, when my father was diagnosed as a narcissist, he called us all up individually to tell us, and he did it with true pride.” – Neal Brennan
Narcissist quotes for interacting with narcissists
32. “Withhold admiration from a narcissist and be disliked. Give it and be treated with indifference.” – Mason Cooley
33. “Nobody can be kinder than the narcissist while you react to life in his own terms.” – Elizabeth Bowen
34. “There is simply no winning with a narcissist. He will treat you so horribly that you will become withdrawn and depressed and then he will turn around and say, ‘You’re no fun anymore, you’re always so depressed. I need to be with someone more positive.’” – Susan Williams
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of powerful depression quotes that will provide perspective.
35. “If you want to go from being adored to devalued in the blink of an eye, simply insult the narcissist.” – Tigress Luv
36. “You might as well bang your head into a brick wall if you expect the narcissist to be reasonable, empathetic or human in any way. If you sense or witness any of these traits, there is an ulterior motive. When the narcissist is being nice, it’s because they have something to gain.” – Tina Swithin
37. “If you tell a narcissist that someone is less than them in any way, they feel gratified; they feel very good about that.” – Indya Moore
38. “A narcissist wants you to adopt his version of himself.” – Hart Pomerantz
39. “The narcissist enjoys being looked at and not looking back.” – Mason Cooley
40. “Seeking admiration is like a drug for narcissists. In the long run it becomes difficult because others won’t applaud them, so they always have to search for new acquaintances from whom they get the next fix.” – Mitja D. Back
41. “The fantasy world of Narcissists can have a seductive allure that promises to envelop you in its specialness. Their superficial charm can be enchanting, and they often appear complicated, colorful, and exciting as they draw you into their narcissistic web.” – Sandy Hotchkiss
42. “Learning to spot narcissists and deal with their destructive behavior can save you the world of hurt that awaits anyone who mistakes the near enemy for a friend.” – Martha Beck
43. “Though they are quick to put others down, unhealthy narcissists view themselves in absolutely positive terms.” – Daniel Goleman
44. “My father was a textbook narcissist. If he didn’t like the narrative he’d start gaslighting you. He threatened the democracy of our family.” – Randy Rainbow
Narcissist quotes about modern culture and social media
45. “Blogs are nothing more than a personal meandering diary for public consumption – a narcissist’s dream. So you can imagine when bloggers take themselves – and their blogs – seriously, it’s super annoying.” – Carole Radziwill
46. “Narcissism has existed for a long time; social media is just a new outlet to express it. Anybody who is going to record themselves and put that on the Internet, hoping people will watch, there is a degree to which that exists, yeah. I don’t know if I would call myself a narcissist. I don’t necessarily identify with that label.” – Tyler Oakley
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of thought-provoking social media quotes.
47. “I’m definitely a narcissist, and TV is fabulous for narcissists.” – Paulina Porizkova
48. “Call it egotistical or narcissist, but I think that’s what we all look for in books – the right stories that help us make sense of the world that we, on a very personal level, live in every day.” – John Corey Whaley
49. “There are athletes and celebrities that are out there and they Twitter and they constantly try to drum up press because they’re narcissists.” – Geoff Stults
50. “I think it’s very difficult, and it requires a tremendous amount of spiritual integrity and discipline, to not be a narcissist in a culture that encourages it every step of the way.” – Alan Ball
51. “Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.” – Sigmund Freud
52. “Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm. But the harm does not interest them.” – T. S. Eliot
53. “It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self-love.” – Voltaire
More Narcissist quotes and sayings
54. “People, no matter the economic class, find ways to feed their narcissism.” – Lynne Tillman
55. “For the most part people are not curious except about themselves.” – John Steinbeck
56. “Nice people don’t necessarily fall in love with nice people.” – Jonathan Franzen
57. “I always call myself a recovering narcissist. I lived my life thinking everything was about me.” – Fantastic Negrito
58. “A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.” – Gore Vidal
59. “He’s satisfied with himself. If you have a soul you can’t be satisfied.” – Graham Greene
60. “No game designer ever went wrong by overestimating the narcissism of their players.” – Will Wright
Narcissist Quotes To Help You Overcome Narcissism Relationships
61. “You can teach a narcissist to show up on time, but you can’t train them to listen once they get there.” ― Dr. Ramani Durvasula
62. “Narcissus weeps to find that his Image does not return his love.” — Mason Cooley
63. “When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.” — Brené Brown
64.“Children of narcissists learn that love is abuse. The narcissist teaches them that if someone displeases you, it is okay to harm them and call it love.” ― M. Wakefield
65. “The narcissist is like a bucket with a hole in the bottom: No matter how much you put in, you can never fill it up.” — Dr. Ramani Durvasula
66. “As a result of their emotional shallowness, narcissists are essentially devoid of all empathy or compassion for other people. Lacking empathy, a narcissist is a very destructive and dangerous person to be around.” ― Mateo Sol
67. “Relationship with a narcissist in a nutshell: You will go from being the perfect love of their life, to nothing you do is ever good enough. You will give your everything and they will take it all and give you less and less in return. You will end up depleted, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and probably financially, and then get blamed for it.” — Bree Bonchay
68. “For some, life may be a playground to undermine the brainwaves of others or simply a vainglorious game with an armory of theatrics, illustrating only bleak self-deception, haughty narcissism, and dim deficiency in empathy.” ― Erik Pevernagie
69. “Narcissistic love is riding on the rollercoaster of disaster filled with a heart full of tears.”— Sheree Griffin
70. “But that’s the thing about narcissists. They can try to fool you, with all their heart, but in the end, they’re just fooling themselves.” ― Ellie Fox
Narcissist Quotes To Deal With Narcissists And Narcissist Abuse.
71. “Love doesn’t die a natural death. Love has to be killed, either by neglect or narcissism.” – Frank Salvato
72. “A narcissist paints a picture of themselves as being the victim or innocent in all aspects. They will be offended by the truth. But what is done in the dark will come to light. Time has a way of showing people’s true colors.” – Karla Grimes
73. “Relationships with narcissists are held in place by the hope of a ‘someday better,’ with little evidence to support it will ever arrive.” – Ramani Durvasula
74. “Maybe, the lesson we can all learn from the inner sadness of a narcissist is to see through our own fabrications, our own illusions so that we can be set free to be real once more.” – Shannon L. Alder
75. “Since narcissists deep down feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault.” – M. Scott Peck
76. “Narcissistic abuse is not just that someone dumped you or who you had a little tiff with them. NA is psychological abuse and brainwashing using intermittent reward and punishment, coercive control and withholding normal empathetic, emotional reactions to lower your self esteem.” ― Alice Little
77. “A narcissist’s criticism is their autobiography.” ― M. Wakefield
78. “Americans are experiencing an epidemic in narcissistic behavior in a culture that is intrinsically self-conscious and selfish, and citizens are encouraged to pursue happiness and instant gratification of their personal desires.” ― Kilroy J. Oldster
79. “Self love: Being content with the work-in-progress you are. Not seeking approval from others. Being yourself. Comparing yourself only to who you were in the past, not to others. Not thinking you are better than anyone else. Narcissism: None of the above.” — Zero Dean
80. “A narcissist can be your husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend, neighbor, boss, church member, or anyone you come in contact with. There are endless possibilities of ‘who’ they can be. The important thing to remember is the actions, behaviors are all very similar.” ― Tracy Malone
Narcissist Quotes To Help You Identify Their Character And Handle Them
81. “The extreme sociopathic narcissist is the center of his own universe.” ― Kasy Spears
82. “A narcissist will never care about your feelings, your emotions and your needs and will try to manipulate and exploit you.” ― Amy Johnson
83. “A narcissist will almost always dismiss your plans and ideas.” ― Amanda Hope
84. “Indeed, narcissists will steal credit from others when something good happens and blame others when things go badly.” ― Constantine Sedikides
85. “With a narcissist, you cannot have a voice or an opinion; you must meet their demands and tolerate and accept their disrespect towards you because they say they love you.” ― Ella Jayne West
86. “Narcissists only want you to show the parts of your character that benefit them.” ― Maggie Petraki
87. “You can make a deal with a narcissist, legalize it, and discover that he suddenly has changed his mind and will not honor his commitment.” ― Linda Martinez-Lewi
88. “A narcissist’s excessive self-importance is a mask to hide their low self-worth.” ― Ed Russo
89. “The narcissist becomes his own world and believes the whole world is him.” ― Alexander Lowen
90. “It’s nearly impossible for individuals with narcissistic personality disorder to truly fall in love and build a trusting, equal partnership.” ― Taylor Hench
Narcissist Quotes To Help You Identify Their Character
91. “Every narcissist is a hero and a legend in his own mind.” ― Oscar Auliq-Ice
92. “How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego.” — Amanda Torroni
93. “The ultimate obscenity is not caring, not doing something about what you feel, not feeling! Just drawing back and drawing in, becoming narcissistic.” ― Rod Serling
94. “Daughters of narcissistic mothers absorb the message “I am valued for what I do, rather than for who I am.” ― Karyl McBride
95. “Relationships with narcissists are held in place by hope of a ‘someday better,’ with little evidence to support it will ever arrive.” — Dr. Ramani Durvasula
96. “Beware of narcissistic people. They’ll tell everyone you’re crazy, only to cover up their trickery. ” ― Mitta Xinindlu
97. “What are narcissists looking for, after all? Just someone at their level that they can feel superior to.” ― Luigina Sgarro
98. “Narcissists withhold affection to punish you. Withhold attention to get revenge. And withhold an emotional empathetic response to make you feel insecure.” ― Alice Little
99. “Narcissists, however, are similar to a spider that has built a web for its prey to bring itself.” ― Mwanandeke Kindembo
100. “The narcissist devours people, consumes their output, and casts the empty, writhing shells aside.” — Sam Vaknin
When’s the last time you interacted with a narcissist?
Although narcissists seem confident at the surface, they are often dealing with internal struggles such as self-doubt and fear of failure.
If you are a victim of narcissistic behavior, remember that their behavior has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own insecurities.
Narcissists will often do anything to preserve their warped worldview.
If you can, make strides to get out of that toxic relationship as soon as possible.
There are tons of great people out there who will accept you as you are and will treat you with respect.
Which of these narcissist quotes and sayings resonated with you the most?
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