If You’re Saying These 15 Things, You’re Probably A Conversational Narcissist

A conversational narcissist is someone who dominates conversations with other people — “Me, me, me” is their motto! Instead of engaging with people, you might alienate them during interactions — and you probably don’t even realize it. It’s time to check yourself against these 15 phrases. If you’re guilty of saying them (or anything like them), you need to stop making everything about you.

1. “Ooh, I have a story for you!”

You tend to want to share all the fun stuff about your life with people around you, which is great. The problem is that if other people are talking about themselves at the time, it’s not cool to jump in and tell them that you’ve got something more interesting/exciting/dramatic to talk about. It makes you seem self-centered and uninterested in other people.

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2. “You had a bad day? Mine was worse!”

It’s common for you to one-up people. If they have a sad or stressful story to share about their day, you might tell them, “Oh, my experience was so much worse!” You probably think you’re trying to make them feel better, but it comes across as wanting to hog the spotlight.

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3. “I got a promotion and a new car!”

You sometimes have the tendency to boast about your achievements. Maybe you also try to one-up people when they share their success as a way to remind them why you’re great. While you may think you’re just sharing cool stuff about your life, if you’re always talking about this, it comes off as arrogant. You don’t need to advertise why you’re awesome!

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4. “You’re doing it wrong.”

Conversational narcissists can make others feel bad by criticizing the way they do even the most basic things. If you find yourself being critical of what others are doing, you’re not giving them a chance to show you how their method works for them. You don’t have to control or dominate everything!

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5. “You should do this…”

Giving unsolicited advice is stressful, Verywell Mind points out, but it’s something you might be guilty of doing during your interactions. Let people express what’s on their mind and ask you for advice before you tell them what to do. If you can’t help yourself, at least ask them if they’d like to hear what you think before you go off on a tangent.

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6. “Right.”

This is a sneaky word that you might throw into conversation to come across as though you’re listening to the other person. The problem is that you’re not tuned into the chat at all — your mind’s on something else, like what you want to say as soon as you get the chance!

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7. “I have to tell you so much stuff!”

When you get a friend on the phone, you unleash everything about your life to them. It’s a lot for them to process! Plus, it can seem rude if you’re not stopping to ask the other person about themselves or letting them sneak in a word or two about whatever they want to talk about.

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8. “How are you? Gotta run!”

Linked to the previous point, when you remember to ask the other person how they’re doing, sometimes you quickly cut them short by saying you’re too busy to talk. Yikes. It shows a lack of empathy. Although you can’t always be ready for a chat, at least tell the person when you’re available to get into a deep conversation so they don’t feel left in the lurch.

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9. “Why would you do that?”

Without realizing it, you might be harshly questioning other people’s choices. For example, if someone left their relationship because it was toxic, or they confronted a mean friend, it’s critical and judgmental to say something like, “But why would you do that?” This implies that you would’ve done better while showing that you aren’t acknowledging their feelings.

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10. “Sorry you feel that way.”

A conversational narcissist doesn’t usually “get” the other person’s feelings, so if you’ve done something wrong, you might give someone a fake apology by saying something like, “Sorry you feel that way.” It’s not the same as owning your mistake and apologizing in a meaningful way.

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11. “I don’t want to make it about me, but…”

The thing is, you actually do want to make it about you! While you preface interrupting someone with this phrase, it doesn’t make the other person feel like you’re being less self-absorbed. In fact, it could be making you seem even more vain.

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12. “Sorry to interrupt, but…”

Again, just because you’re saying “sorry” before you derail someone’s words and hijack the conversation, it doesn’t make it okay! You’re still coming across as rude by interrupting others all the time. Stop, breathe, and try to be mindful so you don’t cut them off.

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13. “I don’t have time to chat about this issue.”

While you want other people to give you their undivided attention, you might not realize that you’re not giving them the same  thing in return. So, before you tell a friend or partner that you don’t have time to chat about a serious issue, think about how that makes them feel.

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14. “Know what I mean?”

Instead of letting the other person talk about what’s on their mind, you might be guilty of asking questions that help you to direct the conversation back to you, such as “Know what I mean?” or “Does that make sense?” so that you can explain further and monopolize the conversation.

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15. “Hmm.”

“Hmm” is a filler phrase you might use to try to show the other person that you’re listening or that you’re interested in what they have to say. Sadly, it shows them that you’re not really engaging with or actively listening to them, which is putting up barriers in your relationships.

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Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.