10 phrases narcissistic people use to bring the conversation back to them

Conversations should be a two-way street.

But for narcissists, it’s more like a one-way road leading straight back to them.

You see, narcissists have an uncanny knack for steering conversations towards themselves, often subtly and without you even realizing it.

They’re experts at making it seem like they’re interested in your ideas or experiences, only to flip the script and bring the focus back to them.

The key to spotting this behavior lies in their choice of words. 

Let’s dive into the 10 phrases narcissistic people use to bring the conversation back to them.

1) Enough about you…

Narcissists have a peculiar talent for turning conversations back to themselves, and one of their favorite tools is the phrase “Enough about you…”

It seems innocent enough.

After all, shouldn’t we all get a chance to share in a conversation?

But narcissists use this phrase not to create a balanced dialogue, but to seize control.

When a narcissist says “Enough about you…”, it’s not because they’ve had their fill of your stories or insights.

They believe it’s their turn in the spotlight.

And ultimately, they’re not interested in hearing more about your experiences or ideas – they want to share their own.

This phrase allows them to neatly side-step your input and redirect the conversation back to them. And because it’s wrapped up in the guise of ‘fairness’, it can be tough to call them out on it.

2) You wouldn’t understand…

This phrase can be particularly hurtful as it not only redirects the focus but also belittles your ability to empathize with or comprehend their experiences.

For example, you’re discussing a shared issue, perhaps something like handling work stress.

Just as you’re about to share your strategy, they interrupt with “You wouldn’t understand…”.

Suddenly, it’s all about their unique struggle again, pushing you to the side.

This phrase can feel isolating and dismissive.

In these moments, it’s important to remember that your experiences are valid, and empathy isn’t exclusive to one person.

3) That reminds me of the time when…

Narcissists often use the phrase, “That reminds me of the time when…” to shift the conversation back to themselves.

But here’s the thing – the topic they bring up doesn’t necessarily have to be related to what you were talking about. They just use this phrase as an excuse. 

So, when you’re sharing your recent vacation experience, and a narcissist interjects with “That reminds me of the time when I…”, they’re not simply sharing a related experience.

They’re using your story as a springboard to redirect the spotlight back onto themselves.

4) I know exactly how you feel…

While this next phrase seems compassionate at first glance, it’s often used as a tactic to redirect attention.

It would be fine if they continued to talk about your experience and feelings, but more often than not, a narcissist will use this opportunity to launch into their own story.

By saying they do, narcissists not only take control of the conversation but also minimize your unique feelings and experiences. 

5) I’ve had a similar experience…

Now, this next phrase is a clever way for narcissists to connect with someone while simultaneously turning the focus back on themselves.

Imagine you’re sharing a touching story about something that happened to you.

Just as you’re about to reach the climax, the narcissist jumps in with “I’ve had a similar experience…”.

In an instant, your story is sidelined and the spotlight is back on them.

When used genuinely, sharing similar experiences can create connections and deepen conversations.

But let’s be honest, when a narcissist uses it, it’s usually not to connect, but to overshadow your narrative with their own.

6) I can relate to that…

Narcissists are masters at seeming empathetic, and the phrase “I can relate to that…” is one of their go-to strategies.

I remember chatting with an acquaintance about a challenging day I’d had at work. I was mid-story when she interjected with a seemingly compassionate “I can relate to that…”.

However, before I could even respond, she launched into a long tale about her own work woes.

Initially, I felt seen and understood.

But as she continued speaking, it dawned on me that the conversation was no longer about my day – it was now all about hers.

Her “I can relate to that…” had been less about empathy and more about redirecting the focus back onto herself.

It’s a subtle move, but a powerful one. By initially showing understanding, narcissists create an illusion of empathy while skillfully diverting the conversation back to themselves.

Keep an eye out for this phrase – it’s a tell-tale sign of conversational narcissism.

7) I was just thinking about…

When I was dealing with some personal issues, I confided in a friend, who, instead of offering comfort or advice, responded with “I was just thinking about something similar that happened to me…”.

Before I knew it, the conversation had shifted from my concerns to their experiences.

While it’s natural for conversations to flow and touch on different topics, it’s important to recognize when this phrase is being used as a tool for conversation domination rather than empathetic dialogue.

8) Did I ever tell you about…

“Did I ever tell you about…” is another classic phrase in the narcissist’s arsenal. It’s a seemingly harmless segue, but it carries a powerful punch in shifting the conversation.

Perhaps you’re discussing a new movie you just watched or a book you’re reading.

Out of the blue, the narcissist pipes up with “Did I ever tell you about the time I met that actor?” or “Did I ever tell you about when I wrote a short story in college?”

Suddenly, the conversation isn’t about your interests anymore.

All attention is now focused on the narcissist and their experiences.

10) But what about me…

Our final phrase is perhaps one of the most blatant tactics a narcissist uses to turn the conversation back to themselves.

Unfortunately, it’s a stark reminder of their constant need to be the center of attention.

Because when a narcissist says “But what about me?”, they’re not just seeking to share their perspective or experiences.

They’re demanding that all focus and attention return to them immediately.

Remember, a conversation is a two-way street, and everyone involved has the right to be heard and acknowledged. 

The phrases narcissists use to steer conversations back to themselves might initially seem innocent.

However, they form part of a broader pattern of self-centered behavior that seeks to monopolize attention and diminish others’ experiences.

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