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Narcissist Quotes To Better Understand Self-Absorbed People

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. 

Understanding Self-Absorbed People

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

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? Are you planning on sharing any on social media? Let us know your thoughts below!

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