Narcissists need no lessons on manipulations, and they will stop at nothing to keep their egos intact.
What they do and say is always calculated, because they have a selfish hidden end goal in mind. Narcissism is considered rare because only around 0.5 to 1 percent of people have the condition, officially known as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
While that does not sound very alarming, it is worth considering that this condition is on the rise, with estimates showing that 9.4% of Americans in their 20s have had a narcissistic personality disorder at some point in their lives. To put this into perspective, just 3.2% of people over 65 had the same experience.
The number of narcissists walking the planet aside, having an encounter with one of these characters is often more than enough exposure for a lifetime. These people always have to be on top in relationships, and that often involves putting their partners down. That is why they love people with passive personalities as they are easier to exploit and manipulate.
Granted, there are many factors that define narcissism, and you might observe some narcissistic traits in someone who is actually not a narcissist.
But at the end of the day, narcissists do exhibit certain notable qualities that set them apart from the rest of the population. One of the ways they stand out is with regard to their manner of speaking. Their words, even when they sound positive, usually have hidden meanings. Here are some examples.
When a narcissist says: “You too good for me.”
Typically, in romantic relationships, a narcissist will do plenty to make the partner feel special and the compliments can be overwhelming. But this usually happens at the beginning of the relationship, and it is not a phase that lasts long. At this point, the narcissist seems like a dream come true, but once the relationship is solid, the true colors start to emerge as their desire for manipulation and power takes over.
When a narcissist says: “Hey, look. I got you something…”
A narcissist will shower you with gifts, and it can feel unbelievable. He can buy you an expensive gift after only a few weeks together, and it can look like generosity. But that is usually a very powerful sign that you might be dealing with a narcissist. According to studies, a gift can achieve three different things: keep the relationship going, show appreciation for the partner, and gain power over the partner. Narcissists might make it seem like the gift is about showing appreciation, while it’s all about power and keeping the relationship going.
It is also worth remembering that narcissists have low self-esteem, and their gift giving might be based on the fact that they feel that giving gifts is necessary for them, which is hardly the right foundation for a strong and healthy relationship. However, this is just a phase, and when it’s over, the relationship will be pretty much hell on earth for you.
When a narcissist says: “I’m the victim here.”
A narcissist will always blame you for their mistakes. In one way or another, this person will find a way to find you at fault. If you tell them that what they did was wrong, they might dig up something you did in the past, or try to explain how you were the reason they erred. Even when the argument is minor, the narcissist will often blow it out of proportion instead of simply accepting the mistake and moving on. Narcissists project their problems to other people so that they can feel better about themselves.
When they say: “You should be ashamed of…”
A narcissist will at some point start attacking a partner’s insecurities and start bullying and even making degrading comments about other people. But to make the attacks seem less severe, they might work in some compliments as well. Some will use the insults to hold on to their partners, and sadly, it works!
When a narcissist says: “I’m so sorry. It won’t happen again.”
This might actually be a genuine apology since a narcissist is not completely devoid of empathy. But however convincing the apology might sound, know that the narcissist will do nothing about it. Besides, for them to make an apology, they must have done something incredibly heinous.
At the end of the day, a narcissist cannot be fixed, and might not even change through individual effort. So, you should be careful around them, and also try not to take their behaviors personally. Generally, if you can avoid a narcissist, stay way for your own good. In case you want to help, you can convince them to try out therapy.