15 Manipulative Things Covert Narcissists Say in an Argument

While studying Narcissism, I discovered the root cause of Narcissism lies in an individual’s disturbed childhood and poor upbringing. A covert narcissist either received too much criticism or too much attention while growing up. Probably that is why they grew up feeling that the world is selfish and that they need to hunt others down to make their place.In my clinical experience, people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are very self-centered. They never admit they can be wrong and cannot resolve the conflict healthily. They are masters of manipulation. Things Covert Narcissists say in an argument are different from what they mean.

Covert narcissists use emotional blackmail and passive-aggressive behaviour to turn the odds in their favour and win an argument. They can go to any extent to protect themselves, even if it means lying.

When choosing a partner, Covert Narcissists often choose someone who is naive and has low self-esteem to get admiration and feel superior to their partner constantly. It’s easier to manipulate such innocent individuals.

It’s pretty hard to believe things covert narcissists say in an argument because they appear to be so charming and romantic. Now that I have briefed you about covert narcissists let me walk you through the manipulative statements of a covert narcissist and what they mean.

1.  I love you more than everyone else in the world

The most popular manipulative thing covert narcissists say in an argument is that they love you the most! They say this in almost every other fight to control your anger and prevent you from saying anything to them. I remember once a young woman came to me for relationship counselling, and she told me that her husband hardly ever listens to her, yet whenever they argue, he claims to love her more than anyone else. My friends, this is called LOVE BOMBING!

2. I am already going through a rough patch, and you are making it worse

No matter what a Covert Narcissist is going through, whether work-related, financial, academic, or personal, they will blame it on you. If you say anything justified or logical to them, they will give you a shut-up call by saying that you are making their situation worse and you are a very unsupportive partner.

3. You and I look perfect together

“We have no understanding and are two completely different individuals. However, we make a perfect match”. I often hear this from my clients who come to me for therapy. A manipulative thing Covert Narcissists say in an argument to either get you back or trap you into believing that you cannot find anyone better than them.

4. Everything can’t be about you

As mentioned earlier, Covet Narcissists have very low self-esteem and fragile ego. They need validation from everyone around them to feel good about themselves. They have zero empathy and understanding for others. However, they feel entitled to receive special treatment from their surroundings without returning that. Hence, “not everything is about you” is a common thing covert narcissists say in an argument, as everything is about them.

5. You can never find someone better than me

Almost every other person I have diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder has a generalised sense of grandiosity, and they always think of themselves as superior to everyone else. Hence, they also think they are the best partner anyone could ever have. Covert narcissist always attacks his/her partner by making him/her feel as if they are not good enough, eventually making them feel hopeless, helpless, and powerless.

6. If you didn’t piss me off, I wouldn’t demean you

If you are not tired of reading the article, let’s move on to a favourite thing Covert Narcissists say in an argument to protect themselves: blaming their mean behaviour on you. They are not responsible for whatever they do, and you always trigger them, even if that includes being mean to you.

7. You are crazy, and you need a psychiatrist

Whenever you confront a Covert Narcissist with evident truth, they call you crazy or insane. It’s an argument technique called gaslighting, and it kills your self-esteem and makes you question your reality. They do this to establish control over you and make you believe them instead. They twist the story and make you feel delusional whenever you speak with proof.

8. I am more sensible than you, so you should listen to me

Covert Narcissists think nobody is more brilliant than them, so they deserve to be in charge of everything, any assignment, project, or group. They feel entitled to lead or be the head of the team. During my clinical years of Medicine, I had a group mate who depicted classical traits of a Narcissist, and forcefully taking charge of all the affairs was one of them.

9. You have trouble trusting anyone other than yourself

Another manipulative thing Covert Narcissists say in an argument is, “you always misinterpret what others say”. When you confront a Covert Narcissist based on solid evidence provided by someone else, they will use this phrase and turtle up the situation and make you feel awful for interrogating them.

10.  Let’s focus on the good side of our relationship

It is a very cunning tactic used by Covert Narcissists to shift your focus from something terrible they did to you. They don’t let you pay attention to the real issues in your relationship. They pretend having problems in a relationship is nothing unusual, so you should not be ungrateful for having someone like them. It can be so detrimental to your mental health because they snatch away the power from you of holding them accountable for their wrongdoings.

11.  Please spend lesser time with your friends

Most of my clients who have been victims of Narcissistic abuse were very depressed and isolated, with very few friends and almost no social life. It demonstrates that Covert Narcissists want to keep you in control at all times, so you have no friend circle. They feel threatened by other people and want you to stay away from your friends as much as possible, and they fear you might discover something about them that could endanger your relationship.

12.  You have to choose between me and XYZ.

It is a subtle way to manipulate you during an argument. “I can’t believe that you chose your friend over me”. “I am your husband/partner. You are supposed to love me the most”, or “I must be the essential person in your life”. It’s humanly impossible to ignore the rest of the world for the sake of one person. If you ever try to defend someone close to you in front of your narcissistic partner, they will get offended and ask you to pick sides.

13.  Why can’t you get over the past?

It’s fundamental human nature to reminisce if someone keeps repeating the same mistake over and over again. We can forgive and forget if the other person promises not to behave as they did earlier. However, a Covert Narcissist makes fake promises but keeps repeating the same thing their partner will have issues with. It’s a manipulative thing Covert Narcissists say in an argument when you cannot forgive and forget what they did. They may also use this phrase when they are caught repeatedly cheating or lying.

14.  If you continue behaving like this, I will no longer like you

A common manipulative statement of a Covert Narcissist to threaten and control you. It simply means that they fear your specific behavior and try to restrict you from doing it by threatening that they won’t love you if you continue to behave that way. Their love is conditional; the condition is to feel their fragile ego and boost their self-esteem.

15.  You are incredibly selfish and egoistic

One of the bitterest things someone can ever say to you is that you are self-centered and only think about yourself. Covert Narcissists often manipulate their victims by calling them selfish when they can’t get what they desire. This statement makes you feel guilty for denying your partner what they want. Everyone has a right to say “NO,” and so do you. It’s alright if you don’t feel like doing what your Narcissistic partner wants you to do.

Take home message!

If you can resonate with any of the manipulative things Covert Narcissists say in an argument, you should try to evaluate your relationship. First, you should convince your partner to seek professional help, as it’s pretty hard to survive with an individual with a stiff defense mechanism.

What Covert Narcissists say and what the true meaning hidden behind those statements are two different things. You may consider giving silent treatment to your partner or putting an end to all this by breaking up with them. Protecting your mental peace should be above anything and everything.

Last but not least, the trauma a Narcissistic partner causes can be hard to deal with. Team Youthtabletalk is here to support you! Reach out to us via email whenever you feel the need.


Do you want  solutions for your social and psychological problems?

Then Subscribe to our newsletter