Things Narcissists, Abusers, and Manipulators Say to Their Targets

People who have strong narcissistic tendencies and other toxic people are known for their manipulation tactics. Some of them are consciously cunning and deceiving. While others are more primitive and blunt in their disturbing behaviors.

Whatever the case may be, such people tend to project heavily, not take responsibility for their actions, blame others, and use gaslighting.

Here are some of the things abusers and toxic people say to their victims, and what it means:

It’s for your own good. Meaning, you should be grateful, not upset.

You’re too sensitive. Meaning, your reaction to my toxicity is unreasonable.

It’s your fault. Meaning, I did nothing wrong here; it’s you.

You deserve it. Meaning, you are deserving of being mistreated.

Don’t be so dramatic. Meaning, you’re overreacting and instigating conflict.

You are so cold, cruel, and lack forgiveness. Meaning, you shouldn’t hold me responsible for my hurtful and manipulative behavior.

You made me do it. Meaning, you are responsible for what I did.

You are never satisfied. Meaning, you should not complain or be dissatisfied with my behavior.

Things just happened. Meaning, I am not responsible.

I don’t remember. Meaning, it didn’t happen.

Nobody will believe you. Meaning, you’re isolated, and I will turn people against you.

You’re just crazy. Meaning, I did nothing wrong; it’s you who has a problem.

Don’t play a victim. Meaning, you shouldn’t feel hurt, and you’re being manipulative.

I promise it will never happen again. Meaning, I want you to treat me as if nothing happened.

You’re so manipulative. Meaning, it’s not me who’s manipulative, it’s you.

You’re hurting me. Meaning, I’m the victim here.

You provoked me. Meaning, my behavior is merely a response to your abusive actions.

I hate you. Meaning, I want you to suffer. You’re unlovable. You’re bad.

I make decisions around here. Meaning, you have no saying or self-agency.

Know your place. Meaning, you’re stepping over the line; you should be more obedient.

Shut up. Meaning, stay silent, obey, and don’t question anything.

It’s not important. Meaning, you shouldn’t think about it.

You’re just exaggerating. Meaning, it’s not as bad as you think and feel it is, and your pain is not important.

You will be sorry for this. Meaning, you’re hurting me.

You know I love you. Meaning, I want you to continue giving me what I want.

I know you love me. Meaning, I know better how you feel about me than you do.

You always / never do this. Meaning, I will use exaggerations to make you look extremely stubborn.

You cant live without me. Meaning, you need me to survive so you better not jeopardize this relationship.

I already apologized, so why are you punishing me? Meaning, you’re treating me unfairly.

It’s not a big deal. Meaning, you’re just overreacting.

I was just joking. Meaning, it’s a joke when you call me out on it, otherwise it’s not a joke.

I will let everybody know what kind of person you are. Meaning, I will slander you and turn people against you.

Nobody’s perfect. Meaning, you shouldn’t question my behavior and hold me accountable.

Who do you think you are? Meaning, you’re nothing.

Nobody likes you. Meaning, I want to isolate you and make you feel worthless.

You shouldn’t listen to or hang out with them. Meaning, I don’t want you to escape, find allies, or see the unhealthiness between us.

You can’t do that. Meaning, you should listen to me, not to yourself.

Relax, everything will be fine. Meaning, you are overreacting to my completely reasonable behavior.

You don’t know what I’m capable of. Meaning, I will do all I can to hurt you.

I will make you pay for this. Meaning, you wronged me and I will punish you for that.

These are just a few things toxic people say to others in order to shift responsibility and get what they want. The list is endless.

Which of these have you encountered? What are other things you’ve heard that are not on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. “That was the old me, I’m a different person now”

  2. She use to say you don't know what I use to be capable of you are lucky I'm so kind now. If I tryed to get clarity about something she said she would say oh that's right I forgot how literal you are. The big one she said a lot was buy your you, it was to diminish my self esteem about things from my past the I regret. There is so much more and it has taken a horrible toll on my mental health. Not being able to find people to talk to about it such as my sister and friends has made me feel noone will believe me and I am crazy. I'm in serious need of help to sort through what happened to me and understand it so it never happens again. After 9 years of sobriety I started drinking again because of the mental pain I was in. No it did not make anything better but I felt so trapped with nowhere to turn.


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