Have you ever found yourself in a situation where, after a conversation with a customer, boss, partner, employee, or family member, you realized that somehow you were convinced to agree to something you initially didn’t want to do? Or perhaps you were persuaded to take responsibility for something that wasn’t your fault? The other person may be a covert narcissist, possessing great skill in manipulation. They may have utilized carefully crafted phrases to steer you in a direction and sometimes they devalue you through their manipulation. Covert Narcissists are skilled at using manipulative tactics to devalue and undermine others. These individuals possess an extensive repertoire of phrases that they adeptly employ to manipulate others and achieve their desired outcomes. By being vigilant and recognizing these phrases, you can enhance your ability to protect yourself. Here are some things covert narcissists say to degrade their targets.
These are things covert narcissists say to manipulate your emotions by devaluing you and invalidating your feelings. They intend to express themselves freely without facing any consequences. Consequently, when you react, they will label it as an overreaction and minimize your experience, resembling narcissistic abuse. Narcissists use this common form of gaslighting to tell victims that they are overreacting when they are actually a victim. Frequently, individuals who are continuously targeted and scapegoated are discredited by being labeled as overly sensitive, to dismiss their emotions. By reframing the abuse in this manner, the abusers avoid taking responsibility and undermine the targeted person’s perception of reality, leading them to doubt themselves and hesitate to confront the abuse. Other family members may choose to accept and even join in the victim-blaming to avoid becoming targets themselves and to gain favor with the abuser.
2.”You’re too sensitive”
This phrase is included in the list of things covert narcissists say to reject your feelings as unnecessary or unwarranted, creating doubts in your mind. Assuming the position of the rational party enables the covert narcissist to portray the scapegoated individual as irrational, excessively emotional, and potentially even hysterical. men frequently adopt this approach to control their women partners. However, the truth is that these kinds of personalities are inherently hypersensitive, emotionally unstable, and disconnected from reality. When they tell you that you are overly sensitive in response to belittlement, criticism, or attack, it is a classic example of narcissistic projection.
By labeling you as “crazy,” the narcissist attempts to discredit your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, making you question your sanity. These things covert narcissists say to stop you from reacting to their bad behavior. Moreover, this enables them to punish you and invalidate your feelings as they don’t care about them. Finally, it also aids them to gaslight their victims to believe that they are going crazy.
4.”You’re just jealous”
Narcissists often resort to accusing others of jealousy as a means to divert attention away from their actions or to instill feelings of insecurity and inferiority in their targets. These are things covert narcissists say to devalue others and to elevate themselves. By making others appear inferior, they aim to create an illusion of their superiority.
In addition to this, they also engage in explicit and unnatural self-promotion. They have a tendency to extensively boast about themselves, exaggerating their wealth, professional prowess, superiority over others, the envy they provoke, the universal admiration they receive, and their outstanding personal qualities, among other things.
5.”You’re always the problem”
Covert narcissists use this phrase to transfer the blame onto you and assign responsibility for any problems or conflicts within the relationship, irrespective of the narcissist’s role or contribution. Its purpose is to make you feel accountable for the issues, thereby absolving the narcissist of any wrongdoing or accountability.
These things covert narcissists say are a form of deflection. It is a kind of protective mechanism narcissists use to redirect attention, fault, or criticism away from oneself and onto another individual, intending to preserve one’s self-perception. We can observe this tendency across various age groups, ranging from young children to fully grown adults.
Psychiatrist Gail Saltz, M.D., explains that individuals employ deflection as a means to steer someone else away from their original course, especially when they feel the need to defend themselves in response to criticism. Typically, they will deflect the focus onto the person calling them out.
6.”You’re too needy”
Narcissists may use this phrase as a manipulative tactic to convince you that your needs are excessive or unreasonable. By doing so, they aim to create a sense of inadequacy within you and foster a dependency on their approval. It is important to recognize this manipulation and refrain from internalizing their narrative, as your needs and boundaries are valid and deserving of respect.
What to do?
Identifying and acknowledging these things covert narcissists say while consciously refusing to internalize them is crucial. It’s essential to remind yourself that these statements are solely a manifestation of the narcissist’s manipulative strategies and do not genuinely reflect your value or abilities. By maintaining this awareness, you can safeguard your self-esteem and resist the negative impact of their tactics.
Another effective method to counteract a narcissist’s tendency to devalue you is by incorporating daily affirmations into your routine. Daily affirmations consist of positive statements that you regularly repeat to yourself, aiming to enhance your self-confidence and reinforce positive self-perceptions.
By regularly practicing these affirmations, you can bolster your self-worth, making it more challenging for a narcissist to devalue you. It empowers you to maintain a strong sense of self and resist their attempts to undermine your confidence.