25 Cold Narcissist Quotes (And A Narcissist’s Origin Story)

Narcissistic people know how to hide their true persona until they get close to you. These factual quotes about narcissism will expose them.

Narcissists carry an unreal sense of entitlement and always want to prove their superiority. They lose their cool whenever they feel belittled, which they do rather frequently.

They are ruthless manipulators and habitual liars who will gaslight you just to prove that they are Mr./Ms. Always Right.

When you see a narc, get out of their way as fast as you can.

25 Cold, Insightful Narcissist Quotes

Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman says narcissism is a stable personality trait that can range from mild to extreme. It is only at the extreme that it becomes a disorder.

You will find these quotes about narcissism quite revelatory:

1. Narcissists are like tornadoes: wherever they go, they leave a path of destruction behind them.

— Shahida Arabi

2. Love doesn’t die a natural death. Love has to be killed, either by neglect or narcissism.

— Frank Salvato

3. Narcissists have a way of making everything about them, even when it has nothing to do with them.

— Unknown

4. How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego.

— Amanda Torroni

[Why Are Narcissists Insecure: 10 Reasons Unveiling Their Fragility]

5. They barrel through life, using relationships and people as objects, tools, and folly. While they often seem as if they are cruel or harsh, that is in fact giving them too much credit. They are simply careless. And they do expect other people to clean up their messes.

— Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., author of Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

6. Since narcissists deep down feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world, they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault.

— M. Scott Peck

7. Narcissism includes self-absorption, self-love, and self-aggrandizement as attempts to gratify infantile needs.

— Sigmund Freud

8. Americans are experiencing an epidemic in narcissistic behavior in a culture that is intrinsically self-conscious and selfish, and citizens are encouraged to pursue happiness and instant gratification of their personal desires.

— Kilroy Oldster, Author of Dead Toad Scrolls

9. When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.

― Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly

10. The narcissist’s greatest fear is being exposed for who they truly are: empty, devoid of empathy, and desperate for validation.

― Dr. Ramani Durvasula

11. The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one’s narcissism. The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity; it is the faculty to see other people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one’s desires and fears.

― Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

12. Narcissists manipulate you with the two things they know you need the most: respect and validation.

— Unknown

13. Narcissists are consumed with maintaining a shallow false self to others. They’re emotionally crippled souls that are addicted to attention. Because of this, they use a multitude of games, in order to receive adoration. Sadly, they are the most ungodly of God’s creations because they don’t show remorse for their actions, take steps to make amends or have empathy for others. They are morally bankrupt.

― Shannon L. Alder

14. Narcissists don’t love themselves. They love the grand image of themselves that they’ve created.

— Unknown

15. Pathological narcissists can lose touch with reality in subtle ways that become extremely dangerous over time. When they can’t let go of their need to be admired or recognized, they have to bend or invent a reality in which they remain special despite all messages to the contrary.

― Bandy X Lee, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President

16. Self-love: Being content with the work-in-progress you are. Not seeking approval from others. Being yourself. Comparing yourself only to who you were in the past, not to others. Not thinking you are better than anyone else. Narcissism: None of the above.

— Zero Dean, author and life coach

17. Narcissism is the enemy of empathy.

— Simon Baron-Cohen

18. The sadistic narcissist perceives himself as Godlike, ruthless and devoid of scruples, capricious and unfathomable, emotion-less and non-sexual, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, a plague, a devastation, an inescapable verdict.

― Sam Vaknin, renowned expert on NPD, author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited

19. Narcissists will destroy your life, erode your self-esteem, and do it with such stealth as to make you feel that you are the one that’s crazy.

— Rhonda Freeman

20. Realize that narcissists have an addiction disorder. They are strongly addicted to feeling significant. Like any addict they will do whatever it takes to get this feeling often. That is why they are manipulative and future fakers. They promise change, but can’t deliver if it interferes with their addiction. That is why they secure backup supply.

― Shannon L. Alder

21. A healthy dose of narcissism can facilitate career success, because reasonable concern with the self helps a person think of achieving important goals and being admired as a leader. The moderately narcissistic person often appears to be self-confident and charismatic. Yet extreme narcissism can hamper success because the narcissist irritates and alienates others in the workplace as well as in personal life.

― Andrew DuBrin

22. Narcissists are obsessed with projecting a false self-image to others. They’re emotionally crippled souls so addicted to attention that they must live a fake life much larger than themselves.

— Unknown

23. Narcissism is the art of deception, where the narcissist creates an illusion that she is something she is not, in order to get what she wants.

— W. Keith Campbell

24. “Narcissism is the antithesis of leadership, because leadership is all about others.

— Denise Morrison

25. Narcissism falls along the axis of what psychologists call personality disorders, one of a group that includes antisocial, dependent, histrionic, avoidant and borderline personalities. But by most measures, narcissism is one of the worst, if only because the narcissists themselves are so clueless.

— Jeffrey Kluger

A classic gaslighting technique used by narcissists to invalidate other people’s feelings and emotions is this: “You’re just being too sensitive.” If you are not sure you can spot a narcissist, check out the 20 Signs and Red flags of Narcissism.

20 Signs of Narcissists - Red flags of Narcissism

Narcissist Origin Story: A Handsome Hunter Called Narcissus

Narcissus is a fascinating figure in Greek mythology. His myth has inspired artists and poets for two thousand years.

This enthralling story about unrequited love and self-love first appeared in Book 3 of the poet Ovid’s epic Metamorphoses.

Narcissus was a hunter from Thespiae in Boeotia, renowned for his good looks and hunting skills. When born, to the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope, a blind seer predicted he would live long provided he never gets to recognize himself.

In time, Narcissus grew into an extremely handsome man and became the object of many people’s desire. With his youthful arrogance, however, he turned down all romantic advances.

When Narcissus rejected the beautiful nymph Echo’s love, she was severely heartbroken. She retired herself into a life of complete solitude, in the lonely company of her own echo.

Nemesis, the goddess of retribution and vengeance, noticed this. She was known to show her wrath to any human who would commit hubris. She decided to punish Narcissus and planned a plot for him to recognize himself.

One day, while walking in the woods, Narcissus felt thirsty. Nemesis lured him to a pool of water that resembled silver. As he bent down to drink water, he caught sight of his reflection in the water.

He thought the image was of a beautiful spirit living in the water. Narcissus tried to reach into the water and touch the spirit, but it dispersed. Narcissus stood there perplexed until the water calmed down and the spirit reappeared.

He was transfixed by how handsome the person looked, like no one he had ever seen before. Narcissus fell deeply in love with the spirit, which was of only himself.

Unable to leave, he sat gazing at it for days and weeks, pining for it to come out, oblivious to his thirst and hunger. Finally, realizing that the spirit cannot reciprocate his love, Narcissus wilted away to his death.

The mountain nymphs mourned Narcissus and went in to bury him. But they could not find his body. In death, Narcissus had turned into a gold and white flower.

The flower was named Narcissus, or by another name, Daffodil.

Narcissus, when he saw himself in his reflection, believed that he was more beautiful than any man or god. Hopelessly enamored, he fell in love with his self-image, dismissing everyone else. This wasn’t self-love, but a blinding selfish love.

The selfie generation of modern narcissists.

Understanding Modern Narcissists: An Ultra-Short Primer

Narcissism is seen in about 5% of the population.

Earlier, people used the term narcissist to describe a vain, self-absorbed, attention-seeker. Today, we’re increasingly seeing narcissists as self-obsessed, cold-hearted people who can hurt anyone’s feelings.

In a way, we are all narcissists, some more and some less.

Narcissists can be mildly narcissistic to highly narcissistic (grandiose variety).

  • Healthy narcissists may have a positive self-image (positive narcissism) and a realistic view of their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Toxic narcissists don’t think twice about grabbing credit for joint successes while shifting the blame for failures.

A narcissist’s intentions may be good, but even then, their hallmark trait is a lack of compassionate empathy. They simply are unable to respond to the feelings of others in a caring and kind way.

In Freudian psychoanalysis, narcissism is having an excessive sense of self-esteem, self-admiration, self-involvement, and vanity, usually seen as a sign of emotional immaturity.

Emotional immaturity is the expression of emotions without regard for restraint or context. When an adult is emotionally immature, they are unable to control their emotions in an age-appropriate manner.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, narcissism involves a “grandiose sense of self-importance, a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.”

What are a female narcissist’s favorite sayings?

Female narcissists may use a variety of sayings to manipulate and control others, depending on their personality and individual style. Here are some common phrases female narcissists may use:
“You’re just jealous.” — A typical female narcissistic quote that dismisses criticism or negative feedback by accusing others of being envious of them.
“You’re lucky to have me.” — Narcissists often believe that they are superior to others and that people should be grateful to be in their presence.
“I don’t need anyone else.” — Female narcissists may use this phrase to convey a sense of independence and self-sufficiency, while also suggesting that others are not needed or valued.
“I deserve the best.” — Female narcissists say this to assert their sense of entitlement and make sure they deserve special treatment or privileges.
“It’s all your fault. I’m the victim here.” — Female narcissists rarely take responsibility for their actions and may play the victim card to gain sympathy while blaming others for their problems and mistakes.

Do narcissistic people love?

Narcissistic people may claim to love, but their love is often conditional and self-serving. They are more focused on getting their own needs met rather than genuinely caring for their partner’s well-being. Their behavior is often driven by their insecurities and needs for validation.

Final Words

A strange behavior of narcissists: They cannot hear you praising people; they must quickly pull them down. If they can’t, they’ll be irritable until they can belittle that person’s achievement.

If you’re dealing with a narcissist, do not convince yourself that you can change them for the better. You cannot.

Let’s end this with a quote from one of the highest authorities on psychological disorders:

Narcissistic personality disorder is named for Narcissus, from Greek mythology, who fell in love with his own reflection. Freud used the term to describe persons who were self-absorbed, and psychoanalysts have focused on the narcissist’s need to bolster his or her self-esteem through grandiose fantasy, exaggerated ambition, exhibitionism, and feelings of entitlement.

― Donald W. Black, DSM-5(r) Guidebook: The Essential Companion to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition

• • •

• • •

Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy—a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes popular science articles on happiness, positive psychology, and related topics.

• Our story: Happiness Project

If you enjoyed this, please share it on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn.


When it comes to mental well-being, you don't have to do it alone. Going to therapy to feel better is a positive choice. Therapists can help you work through your trauma triggers and emotional patterns.