57 Insightful Quotes About Narcissists, In Case You're Dealing With One Of Your Own

by Team Scary Mommy
Illustration of man looking into broken mirror — narcissist quotes
Malte Mueller/Getty Images

At a time when toxic people are being called out for unacceptable behavior, we hear the term narcissist thrown around a lot too, especially when it comes to relationships. And while “toxic” usually refers to a person who adds varying amounts of negativity and stress to your life — often involving manipulating and controlling others — narcissism (or narcissistic personality disorder) is an actual psychological condition that must be diagnosed by a mental health professional. It’s also a major relationship red flag, as evidenced by so many narcissist quotes about this particular type of toxic personality.

People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) often come across as incredibly confident, but in reality, they’re extremely fragile and can’t handle even the slightest bit of constructive criticism. Their other traits include a lack of empathy for other people, a constant need for attention and admiration, and an inflated sense of their own importance, influence, and power. Terminology aside, whether someone is abusive, toxic, or a narcissist, they can be very hurtful and difficult to deal with. They can also do some serious damage to someone else’s mental health.

If you’re dealing with a narcissist or someone with NPD, it may feel like you’re all alone, but (unfortunately) many others have experienced the effects of a relationship with this type of person. Here’s some wisdom from them, courtesy of a few narcissist quotes, including some that address narcissistic abuse, toxic narcissists, and even karma.

Hard-Hitting Narcissist Quotes

  1. “When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but you stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth just like you did.” — Jill Blakeway
  2. “You will never really see how toxic someone is until you breathe fresher air.” — Unknown
  3. “Love doesn’t die a natural death. Love has to be killed, either by neglect or narcissism.” — Frank Salvato
  4. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” — Unknown
  5. “Intuition — once you have had a narcissist in your life, you must develop your intuition and learn to listen to it and act accordingly.” — Tracy Malone
  6. “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
  7. “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
  8. “Narcissists will destroy your life, erode your self-esteem, and do it with such stealth as to make you feel that you are the one that’s letting them down.” — Unknown
  9. “Narcissistic love is riding on the rollercoaster of disaster filled with a heart full of tears.” — Sheree Griffin
  10. “You don’t attract narcissists because something is wrong with you. You attract narcissists because so much is right with you.” — Unknown
  11. “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
  12. “A narcissist doesn’t break your heart, they break your spirit. That’s why it takes so long to heal.” — Unknown
  13. “A man who loves others based solely on how they make him feel, or what they do for him, is really not loving others at all — but loving only himself.” — Criss Jami
  14. “Some relationships are like broken glass. It’s better to leave them alone than hurt yourself trying to put them back together.” — Unknown
  15. “Realize that narcissists have an addiction disorder. They are strongly addicted to feeling significant. Like any addict, they will do whatever it takes to get this feeling often. That is why they are manipulative and future fakers. They promise change, but can’t deliver if it interferes with their addiction. That is why they secure backup supply.” — Shannon L. Alder
  16. “A narcissist will say ‘get over it,’ because your feelings are trivial to them. If it’s not about them, they’re not interested.” — Unknown
  17. “If you hold on to hurt and anger with a narcissist, the children will have no normal parent. The narcissistic parent will use them as puppets, lovebomb, and abandon them. You are their only hope.” — Tracy Malone
  18. “It’s so nice when toxic people stop talking to you. It’s like the trash took itself out.” — Karen Salmansohn
  19. “Stay away from people who can’t take responsibility for their actions and who make you feel bad for being angry at them when they do you wrong.” — Unknown
  20. “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
  21. “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 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
  22. “When we meet and fall into the gravitational pull of a narcissist, we are entering a significant life lesson that involves learning how to create boundaries, self-respect, and resilience. Through trial and error (and a lot of pain), our connection with narcissists teaches us the necessary lessons we need to become mature empaths.” — Mateo Sol
  23. “How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego.” — Amanda Torroni
  24. “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
  25. “A narcissist doesn’t break your heart; they break your spirit. That’s why it takes so long to heal.” — Unknown
  26. “Narcissistic personality disorder is named for Narcissus, from Greek mythology, who fell in love with his own reflection. Freud used the term to describe persons who were self-absorbed, and psychoanalysts have focused on the narcissist’s need to bolster his or her self-esteem through grandiose fantasy, exaggerated ambition, exhibitionism, and feelings of entitlement.” ― Donald W. Black
  27. “Narcissus weeps to find that his image does not return his love.” — Mason Cooley
  28. “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
  29. “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
  30. “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
  31. “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
  32. “That which he projects ahead of him as his ideal is merely his substitute for the lost narcissism of his childhood — the time when he was his own ideal.” — Sigmund Freud
  33. “And we need to know what it is to be human if we are to avoid becoming narcissists.” — Alexander Lowen
  34. “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important … They justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” — T.S. Eliot
  35. “Half the pain in human life comes from gazing in mirrors.” — Marty Rubin
  36. “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. The phrase “I never feel like I am enough” is the mantra of the person in the narcissistic relationship. That’s because to your narcissistic partner, you are not. No one is. Nothing is.” ― Ramani Durvasula
  37. “Hate is the complement of fear and narcissists like being feared. It imbues them with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence.” — Sam Vaknin
  38. “Please repair your narcissism before you start loving your neighbor as yourself.” ― Charles F. Glassman
  39. “In such a self-centered society, many people have gone to the extreme of narcissism — being solely concerned about their own personal well-being and agendas while excluding and exploiting others. Narcissism is not only an epidemic but is also a pandemic of our times that has been normalized and accepted. Self-serving, narcissistic people are incapable and unwilling to love due to a lack of authentic self and love for one’s self and others.” — Sepideh Irvani
  40. “Narcissists have poor self-esteem, but they are typically very successful. They feel entitled; they’re self-important; they crave admiration and lack empathy. They are also exploitative and envious. The malignant types never forget a slight. They may kill you ten years later for cutting them off in traffic. But they act perfectly normal while plotting their revenge.” — Janet M. Tavakoli
  41. “The ‘I’ is the ego that we must avoid at any cost if we truly wish to be different from narcissists. Instead of using ‘I’ repeatedly, it would be wise to replace it with ‘we’.” ― Mwanandeke Kindembo
  42. “I wish that people would stop destroying other people just because they were once destroyed.” — Karen Salmansohn
  43. “Narcissists would rather lie and humiliate you than to admit that they were in the wrong.” ― Mitta Xinindlu
  44. “Narcissism is voluntary blindness, an agreement not to look beneath the surface.” — Sam Keen
  45. “Narcissists withhold affection to punish you. Withhold attention to get revenge. And withhold an emotional empathetic response to make you feel insecure.” ― Alice Little
  46. “Narcissism is a grave condition of insecurity and desperately feeling unloved and unacceptable. An individual with Narcissistic Personality Disorder inherently believes they are ‘damaged goods’ and fears other individuals will discover the truth: that they feel powerless. Thus the narcissist invests a great deal of energy into ‘gaining the upper hand’, to hide feeling vulnerable, insecure, and broken. When they are getting what they want, the charm is flowing and plentiful. When the charm doesn’t work the intimidation begins. Narcissism is categorized as an unhealthy level of self-absorption and a lack of empathy regarding how their insecure, aggressive, and damaging behavior affects the world around them.” — Melanie Tonia Evans
  47. “I am a recovering narcissist. I thought narcissism was about self-love till someone told me there is a flip side to it. It is actually drearier than self-love; it is unrequited self-love.” — Emily Levine
  48. “If you want to go from being adored to devalued in the blink of an eye, simply insult the narcissist.” — Tigress Luv
  49. “But both the narcissist and his partner do not really consider each other. Trapped in the moves of an all-consuming dance macabre, they follow the motions morbidly — semiconscious, desensitized, exhausted, and concerned only with survival.” — Sam Vaknin
  50. “Parents are supposed to give the child back to herself with love. If they’ve got duct tape over their eyes because of narcissism, it doesn’t happen.” — Jane Fonda
  51. “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
  52. “Pathological narcissists can lose touch with reality in subtle ways that become extremely dangerous over time. When they can’t let go of their need to be admired or recognized, they have to bend or invent a reality in which they remain special despite all messages to the contrary.” — Bandy X Lee
  53. “What are narcissists looking for, after all? Just someone at their level that they can feel superior to.” — Luigina Sgarro
  54. “Where there is much pride or much vanity, there will also be much revengefulness.” — Arthur Schopenhauer
  55. “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
  56. “I have a very simple question to people who seem to suffer from excessive narcissism: Please name three other persons who are smarter and more capable than you, in the field you work in. In most cases they are utterly unable to answer that question honestly.” — Ingo Molnar
  57. “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