10 Things Covert Narcissists Say That Might Make You Feel Crazy!

Navigating the choppy waters of a relationship with a covert narcissist is no easy task. One of the key elements that make it so arduous is their unique and often manipulative communication style. Covert narcissists twist words, play the victim, and manipulate conversations to their advantage. Here are 10 things covert narcissists say that might make you feel as if you’re losing your sanity.

things covert narcissists say

Things That Covert Narcissists Say

“Here we go again.”

Covert narcissists are experts in the art of deflection. When you muster up the courage to confront them about their harmful behavior, they reply with a dismissive “Here we go again.”

This is a calculated move designed to make you feel that you are stirring up trouble and creating conflict.

Their goal is to shift the focus away from their actions and onto your response, in the process undermining your legitimate concerns and attempts to hold them accountable.

It paints you as the ‘problematic’ one who is always complaining or overreacting, thereby diverting attention from their own misconduct.

This strategy not only helps them evade responsibility but also instills doubt and confusion in your mind. You might start questioning your judgment, wondering if you’re indeed making a mountain out of a molehill.

Over time, this can erode your confidence and self-worth, leaving you feeling disoriented and powerless.

couple arguing

“So you don’t want me to have friends?”

This reaction is a typical response from a covert narcissist when you voice unease about their questionable friendships or relationships. They twist your words, reframing the situation to imply you’re trying to isolate them socially.

In reality, your discomfort likely stems from their inappropriate or disrespectful behavior within these relationships, not from a desire to control their social life.

However, the covert narcissist uses this accusation as a diversion, shifting the focus from their behavior to an alleged attempt on your part to limit their social interactions.

manipulative comments

“I do so much for you!”

This statement, a common refrain from covert narcissists, drips with manipulation and guilt-tripping.

Covert narcissists are masters at playing the martyr. They portray themselves as selfless individuals who go to great lengths for others, while subtly implying that their efforts are unappreciated or overlooked.

When confronted about their behavior or asked to take responsibility for their actions, they deflect by reminding you of all the things they’ve done for you.

The underlying message is clear: “I’ve made so many sacrifices for you, and you’re not grateful.

This tactic serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it shifts the focus away from their actions, effectively derailing any attempts at holding them accountable. Secondly, it instills a sense of guilt and obligation, making you less likely to challenge them in the future.

However, it’s essential to remember that genuine acts of kindness or support do not come with strings attached.

In healthy relationships, people help each other out of love and respect, not to create a debt to be used as leverage later.

couple arguing

“We can talk when you aren’t angry/upset/drunk.”

This is a classic example of the covert manipulation tactics used by narcissists. It serves multiple purposes in their arsenal of control techniques.

Covert narcissists often use this type of phrase as a form of gaslighting, a psychological manipulation strategy designed to make you question your own sanity and emotions.

By suggesting that your current emotional state or supposed intoxication is preventing a rational discussion, they effectively undermine your credibility and feelings.

This tactic is particularly insidious because it not only dismisses your emotions or concerns but also shifts the blame onto you.

The implication is that you are the one preventing effective communication due to your ’emotional state’ or ‘intoxication’, even when you’re perfectly sober and expressing legitimate concerns or feelings.

What’s more, by delaying the conversation until you’re no longer “angry/upset/drunk,” the narcissist gains time to prepare their defense or even find ways to avoid the discussion altogether. This can lead to a cycle where issues are never fully addressed or resolved.

Moreover, this phrase can subtly condition you to suppress your emotions out of fear of being labeled ‘irrational’ or ‘drunk. Over time, you may find yourself walking on eggshells, constantly monitoring your emotions to avoid such accusations.

covert narcissist

“You’re lucky to have someone like me in your life.”

This is a classic !

This phrase is carefully engineered to belittle and demean you, making you feel as though you’re undeserving or incapable of attracting someone of their ‘supposed greatness.’

By making this claim they are attacking your self-esteem, instilling a sense of inferiority and undermining your worth.

They want you believe that you couldn’t possibly find anyone better than them, thereby tying your self-worth to their presence and approval.

This manipulation tactic serves two purposes. It inflates their ego by painting them as a prized catch, and it creates an imbalance of power in the relationship.

things covert narcissists say

“I’m just misunderstood; people never give me a chance.”

Covert narcissists often paint themselves as the misunderstood hero, perpetually wronged by the world. They use this narrative to elicit sympathy, manipulate perceptions, and maintain control over their relationships.

This narrative also provides them with a convenient excuse for any negative behavior. If they’re always the misunderstood party, then it’s not their fault if they act inappropriately — it’s just that people don’t understand them.


“You made me do it.”

Rather than taking responsibility for their actions, covert narcissists externalize blame onto others, usually those closest to them.

This refusal stems from their inflated self-image and the need to maintain an illusion of perfection.

Any admission of fault could shatter this carefully constructed façade, so instead, they deflect blame onto others.

This tactic not only allows them to escape accountability but also serves to make you feel guilty and responsible for their actions.

things covert narcissists say

“I’m always there for you, aren’t I?”

This is a subtle yet potent form of manipulation. It’s designed to induce feelings of guilt and obligation, while also painting the narcissist in a favorable light.

By highlighting their legendary unwavering support, they create a narrative where they are the ever-reliable figure in your life. The implication is that they’ve been a constant pillar of support, selflessly offering help whenever needed.

However, this statement carries an insidious undertone. It’s not just a reminder of their supposed dedication. It’s also a tool to make you feel indebted to them.

angry woman

“You’re too soft and sensitive.”

By labeling you as ‘overly sensitive’, the covert narcissist is essentially dismissing your concerns and emotions.

They suggest that the problem lies not with their behavior, but with your irrational overreaction. This invalidation can make you question the validity of your feelings, leading to self-doubt and confusion.

Moreover, calling someone ‘too soft and sensitive’ is a way of dismissing their personal experiences. It implies that your interpretation of events is flawed due to your supposed over-sensitivity, thereby undermining your personal experiences and perspectives.

things covert narcissists say

“You’re overreacting and upset over nothing.”

Much like the previous point, this is a way for covert narcissists to minimize your feelings. They are essentially dismissing your feelings as trivial or unwarranted.

This tactic also allows them to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. If your reactions are portrayed as unreasonable, then they can escape accountability for any harm or discomfort they’ve caused.

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Final Thoughts On Things Covert Narcissists Say

Covert narcissists are masters of manipulation, using their words to control, deflect blame, and maintain power in their relationships. Understanding the tactics they use can be a powerful tool in maintaining your own emotional well-being.

These things covert narcissists say are all part of the covert narcissist’s manipulative arsenal. It is how they create narratives of victimhood, shifting blame from themselves to others, and induce guilt to gain control.

Remember, individuals are responsible for their own actions, and no one can ‘make’ someone else behave in a certain way. Genuine support doesn’t come with strings attached, nor does it serve as an excuse for harmful behavior.

In conclusion, while covert narcissists may be skilled at manipulation, recognizing their tactics empowers you to stand strong, maintain your boundaries, and prioritize your mental health.

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