Break Up and Divorce 21 Shocking Narcissist Quotes That Will Make You Leave

21 Shocking Narcissist Quotes That Will Make You Leave

Quotes About Narcissists

How do you get over a narcissist?

How do you get over that overwhelming feeling that you've been used, lied to, and emotionally abused by someone you loved so much?

And how do you even know that you are/were in a narcissistic relationship in the first place?

Internet searches about narcissists and how to get over them have exploded over the years. More people than ever before are questioning if what they’re going through in their relationship is normal or “something else.” Most of them are looking for a way out.

But what is the first step? What makes someone suspecting come out of their self-imposed despair?

It's often a remark from a friend or family member, something they've read, or that persisting intuitive voice that can‘t be silenced anymore.

I've asked those in our Ex-DETOX members' forum who have suffered from narcissistic abuse what quotes they've come across that created an “aha moment” for them.

What was the spark that ignited their will for recovery and emotional freedom?

The result is the collection of quotes about narcissists you see below.

Still thinking about your Ex? Click here to take the test to learn how long it takes to heal... and how you can speed up the process.

Most of these are from experts in the field of narcissistic recovery, but there are also some very inspiring quotes from various novelists.

My hope is that you may recognize your situation and take that one step that is the beginning of any change:

The recognition that there is a problem.

Here are 21 quotes about narcissism that will help you identify a narcissistic relationship so you can start your disengagement from this toxic environment.

(I've grouped similar quotes in thematic clusters for your better understanding.)

A Narcissist Perceives Themselves as Being “Perfect”

Perfect Narcissist

Narcissists are beyond all criticism; they can‘t apply external input to improve themselves. That‘s why they always look for the source of the problem outside themselves.

“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

“A narcissist paints a picture of themselves as being the victim or innocent in all aspects. They will be offended by the truth. But what is done in the dark will come to light. Time has a way of showing people’s true colors.”
— Karla Grimes

A Narcissist Can Disguise Themselves as the Perfect Partner

One of the most perfidious things about narcissists is that they can camouflage themselves as being the nicest person on the planet (it’s the so-called “honeymoon period” when they present themselves as absolute delights). This makes it so difficult to acknowledge and accept their true nature.

“Nobody can be kinder than the narcissist while you react to life on his terms.”
— Elizabeth Bowen

“The lion is most handsome when looking for food.”
— Rumi

“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 letting them down.”

Narcissists Are Incapable of Experiencing Real Love (or Even Empathy)

Narcissists Are Incapable of Experiencing Real Love

For many victims, this is a fact that is so difficult to accept: While they can certainly fake being in love or make you believe that they truly love you, the narcissist cannot love us back the way we love them. Their affection is always tied to certain conditions:

“A man who loves others based solely on how they make him feel, or what they do for him, is really not loving others at all — but loving only himself.”
— Criss Jami

“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego.”
— Amanda Torroni

“Narcissistic love is riding on the rollercoaster of disaster filled with a heart full of tears.”
— Sheree Griffin

“There was nothing more unattractive than narcissism, she thought: nothing could transform beauty into a cloying, unattractive quality than that self-conscious appreciation of self.”
— Alexander McCall Smith

“Love doesn’t die a natural death. Love has to be killed, either by neglect or narcissism.”
— Frank Salvato

“The narcissist devours people, consumes their output, and casts the empty, writhing shells aside.”
— Sam Vaknin

“Have you ever been in a relationship with an individual who demands your attention incessantly and becomes depressed, sulky and even full of rage if your attention goes elsewhere? This is one of the earliest warning signs of a narcissist. Please understand healthy adults do not behave in such a way. This is where people who know the difference turn their back and walk away; they know that any person ringing them 10 times a day and demanding attention is not well. Unfortunately, many individuals, as I did, can mistake (or delude ourselves) that this high need for attention means we're loved, missed and adored, or maybe we felt wrong in leaving or speaking up, as a result of our own deficient boundary function. Please be assured, this is not love; it's the deadly calling card of the narcissist.“
— Melanie Tonia Evans

What Is Classic Narcissistic Behavior?

Classic Narcissistic Behavior

So many people are finally waking up and drawing a line to narcissistic abuse. Thanks to the internet, they now have the means to inform themselves about behavior they suspect abnormal for a romantic partner.

When you had to suffer in silence for years and people around you were telling you to shut up and keep going, reading about others who are enduring the very same thing can be a revelation.

Do you recognize the following patterns?

“Narcissists have poor self-esteem, but they are typically very successful. They feel entitled; they’re self-important; they crave admiration and lack empathy. They are also exploitative and envious. The malignant types never forget a slight. They may kill you ten years later for cutting them off in traffic. But they act perfectly normal while plotting their revenge.”
— Janet M. Tavakoli

“Withhold admiration from a narcissist and be disliked. Give it and be treated with indifference.”
— Mason Cooley

“Narcissism is a grave condition of insecurity and desperately feeling unloved and unacceptable. An individual with Narcissistic Personality Disorder inherently believes they are ‘damaged goods' and fears other individuals will discover the truth: that they feel powerless. Thus the narcissist invests a great deal of energy into ‘gaining the upper hand', to hide feeling vulnerable, insecure and broken. When they are getting what they want, the charm is flowing and plentiful. When the charm doesn't work the intimidation begins. Narcissism is categorized as an unhealthy level of self-absorption and a lack of empathy regarding how their insecure, aggressive and damaging behavior affects the world around them.”
— Melanie Tonia Evans

Narcissists Through the Eyes of Their Victims

How does it feel to be in love with a narcissist? How does that really look like?

“Relationships with narcissists are held in place by hope of a ‘someday better,’ with little evidence to support it will ever arrive.”
— Ramani Durvasula

“Sadly, when many individuals realize that the narcissist is insecure and isn't reassured, they try harder to love this person. Additionally, the narcissist blames his her behavior on something that you are or aren't doing, and a hooked person we may try to ‘do it better' or ‘get it right.' Your increased efforts to love and fix the narcissist only lines you up for more abuse.”
— Melanie Tonia Evans

“Relationship with a narcissist in a nutshell: You will go from being the perfect love of their life, to nothing you do is ever good enough. You will give your everything and they will take it all and give you less and less in return. You will end up depleted, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and probably financially, and then get blamed for it.”
— Bree Bonchay

Are Narcissists Really Evil Human Beings?

Are Narcissists Really Evil Human Beings?

It is easy to dismiss narcissists as evil or malicious (and maybe that helps a while with the recovery), but the truth is that they are still human beings who suffer from a pathological personality disorder. From a certain point of view, they are victims too and deserve our compassion:

“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

“We react to our experiences according to our training and temperament and health and so on. One pattern of reactions we call Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Narcissists do not choose to be Narcissists.

On the other hand, just because I feel compassionate, this does not mean that it is okay to hurt me or other people. Many people’s methods of taking care of themselves are not very evolved.

If I encounter a toddler with a machete, I may feel worried about the toddler, but I still get out of the way so that I do not get hurt.

In the process of taking care of their own needs, many people with NPD hurt those around them. They are swinging mental machetes — devaluing words and abusive actions.

Punchline: I believe that Narcissists deserve our compassion, but compassion does not involve giving them permission to hurt other people or overlooking any damage that they do.”
— Elinor Greenberg

“I am a recovering narcissist. I thought narcissism was about self-love till someone told me there is a flip side to it. It is actually drearier than self-love; it is unrequited self-love.”
— Emily Levine


narcissism kills love

Narcissists are out there and they can be anywhere around you.

It is important that you recognize the signs of narcissistic abuse and act accordingly.

But the most important thing is always to realize that there‘s NOTHING wrong with you … even when your narcissistic partner claims otherwise on a daily basis.

I hope the preceding quotes offered you some kind of insight or even gave you the last push you needed to finally escape that toxic relationship.

Because the ultimate hurtful truth is:

You can‘t fix what refuses any fixing. Click to Tweet

If you are currently a victim of a narcissistic relationship, here are a few resources you should study:

If you know any narcissist quotes that changed your life, I would appreciate if you shared them in the comment section below this article. Thank you.

Your friend,
Eddie Corbano

  • Lilia Tapang says:

    I’m married for 55 years and have 8 children.I have never heard of a narcissist and I am a victim and I thought it was me causing all the problems. Everything that didn’t go right the way he wants,my fault. I married this man in 1968 and this month,I walked out from this marriage.He shows no compassion, no affection,no nothing. Our marriage is blank and I’m regretting why I stayed this long.Its now year 2023 and I’m leaving him for good and I am seeing a counselor to help me get through this. Anyway I am living with my son and it feels so good that I don’t hear my husband yelling at me and calls me dirty names.I still feel like everything was my fault and I have to get that out of my mind.It helps me a lot by reading some of the comments that I am not the only one going through this. Thanks you..

  • I survived 20 year really really bad sex addict narcissist. Now, I have a husband that loves me sooo much and we just had a baby boy. Anybody can recover if I could. I’m also disabled with rare disease. The struggle was immense. I’m so glad the narc left me for another woman when I got sick. I’m living my purpose and it’s wonderful! I love my husband. He’s a Gift. God blessed me after testing me.

  • YOU'RE NOT ALONE says:

    I was with a Narc for five years. When our relationship started everything seemed perfect .As time went by .I noticed I was starting to become crippled by the narc, Secluding me from my family, and friends. He did not want me to work and started accusing me of having sexual relations with my male boss.He had went as far as becoming friends with my boss and had me made out to be a horrible person causing me to get fired , so he could have more control. With no job & no money how could I leave him. He kept all the money and wanted most of what I had. I had my own vehicle , He even tried to convince me to sell it, and drive his car .I was very hesitant in doing so .He would let me drive his car, But then when he would get upset,because I went to visit a friend while he was at work .He took the keys from me , and scolded me like I was a child.I had finally had enough and packed my things and left.He kept trying to contact me in every way he could . I had cut off all his access to me. He then went as far to contact my daughter to turn her against me . He started buying her things and paying her bills.She even stopped talking to me.There was nothing I could do except bide time Then something happened my daughter called me out of the blue .I had explained to her that I thought he might be questioning her. about me and using her to keep tabs on me she finally stopped all contact with him .Me not even knowing what a narcissist was until I explained to my sister what was happening.She said that he sounded like a narcissist, and for me to do some research on the subject.when I did it was him to a T.
    A year had passed with no contact .During this time his narcissist behaviors had switched over to his co-workers.,causing him to be fired from his job .His health started to deteriorate .A few months later I received a phone call saying he passed away.I felt horrible thinking it was my fault for leaving Then after reading and studying .I said to myself he still has control even in death I’m a much stronger person ,and know that was not love.and had promised myself to not engage into another relationship until I knew I would not be a scorned women bringing all the emotional. stuff that comes with it. I now take the time to help and educate men and women on how to move forward after narcissist abuse. My daughter is now in a Narc relationship .and it is hard knowing all that I can do is give her support. and come up with a escape plan when she decides she’s had enough .It’s been great reading all your experiences with the narc,and I hope you all keep educating yourselves. Keep others aware they are not alone.

  • Trying to understand a narcasissist is like trying to boil the ocean..

  • Gregory J Robinson says:

    I gave you my all, and you turned it into less.

  • If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another

  • Mike Good Enough says:

    23 years married and loving this girl exponentially the whole time running circles moving mountains all what I though was showing devotion and commitment to our love, always being dismissed of my thoughts, intuitions and emotions deluding my mind to one of constant cognitive dissonance. Untill the final undeniable evidence that technology was able to provide me with; the biggest eye opening traumatic shock of my life,, to unbelievable to comprehend, to terrible to repeat in public forum, it’s now been 5 long months of self discovery, emotionally draining interactions and constant mental, emotional abuse 10x more frequent more extreme and way more abusive than the past 2 decades of covert manipulation and conditioning… D-Day was during Nov 2019. A shift in mindset came to me Newyears day 2020 staring at the callander and listening to the song “Changes” by Tupac.(I’m a lover of all music and draw much inspiration and positivity from all genres of music, music helps kill emotional pain through expressing and experiencing your own feelings). After the song ended I hit replay, and I wrote my thoughts into a short mantra, drawn from the inspiration of what this man battled and achieved in his very short, troubled, yet very successful life and career:

    2020 VISION FOR 2020

    5 months of I dont know how to even characterize in a word ( maybe the most extreme cognitive dissonance I’d ever experienced). I’m healing now, recovering and working hard to come out the other side better than I could have imagined. This will be my mantra for life it has helped me tune into myself, reflecting on my feelings constantly and reassuring me of where I need to be … THANK YOU for your efforts on this website, many great thoughts and perspectives in the quotes you have shared!

    • Happy for you!! I hope I too can get through my toxic relationship successfully as you did. 😊 Best wishes. -Sariah

  • This is so true it’s a shame they’re all for self I’m in love but when my mate was calling me 9and10 times a day and treating me different I realize something is wrong I could go on and on but wow thanks for the input and I’m going to take control over my feeling because you’re right and I believe they do hold grudges.

  • My hell started weeks after we started dating. I had never experienced a relationship like this one. I did not know how to spot red flags so I stayed,,,,3.5 years. Her first accusations of cheating b/c I was talking to women coworkers. Constant, weekly fights that had no reason to be.
    I wanted us to work. she had a good job, new vehicle, 2 great adult children that did not live with her. (I now see why) One thing she had that i did not and that was 200K in debt. Right after buying anything for her, she would figuratively slap my hand for no good reason. This happened many many times. I do a good deed for her and within hours, she would snap, mentally. Can I get a witness?

    Thank God for sites like this one. I learned their traits consisted of:
    job hopping (on her 3rd one now and threatening to quit again) car buying (4 late models including a 40k sports car that she traded in???)
    wanting to move to 3 different cities; 2 lavishing vacations per year. I told her no more and she started fading into the sunset. I almost made a very big mistake by marrying her. God spared me. She wanted to run to the court house in front of the judge 2 days later.

    She constantly cried and cussed me bc i would not give in to her demands. She threatened that she was just going to leave and never talk to anyone from home, again. The worst part is the silent treatment/no contact. WOW!!! she goes by the narc book to a tee. Who are the geniuses that did their homework to warn us?
    THANK YOU!!!

    One more thing that comes to mind, among many, cheating. I asked her several times “Did you go out on me?” Answers were: Well, you did not call me for a week. I only went to have coffee with him. There are plenty of men that want to date me. Guys still call me. She said she despises her family and finally, ME. Oh yea, Im gonna marry her. 🙁

    She hated my family, friends and coworkers. Above All, she hates GOD! She hated my job bc i have to work with clients, men and women. I went to see my best friend at the hospital one time. She accused us of having a thing going on. Where do these people come from??????? Her dad died and she was mad at him bc they were at odd and not talking…. after death she was still mad. Left her 120K and she squandered it. All gone!!!

    As for her 2 Xs, she said they were DUMB!!! She filed for bankruptcy and would have probably tapped me out as well. I wanted to talk finances had we married and was told to stay out of her financial business. Her last request was for me to buy a 300K house for her.
    Ummmmmm, is stupid written on my forehead? I finally ran. Everyone does wrong but them. You made me do whatever!!! So sad.
    Be careful now that you know the signs. Beauty has a shelf life.

    • The more comments I read the better I feel I really thought it was Me this whole time but now I see that there are actually other people going through what I went through… Some relief. Hopefully I can start my recovery now. Thanks for sharing. God bless. 😊

  • Thomas Kelsall says:

    14 years with mine, but he had mutable personality disorder as well. Plus PTSD plus Bipolar.
    I walked in on him cheating on me with two other guys in the lounge room, he was standing naked in front of me while the other guys were on the lounge, one of them said is this your boyfriend. ( I was his husband) he replied ” No Flat mate” as he stared at me like it was all my fault.
    Then the lies started.
    I finally worked out what to say because he cheated a lot and would be blue in the face telling me he did not do it!!!
    I then would say well the other personality who did do it can I talk to them!

    • Thanks Thomas! I just was discarded by a narcissistic guy after 5 years when he found a new supply. And I was at home recovering from a major spine surgery and couldn’t walk. But my ex would just call me a FB or a FWB. After 5 years, vacations, meeting families and so much more. But now I’m moving on and healing by understanding my own codependency and how this relationship affected me so much. It’s hard because sometimes I catch myself still wanting those crumbs of attention and sex instead of love. But there’s someone new now and 20 years younger, so I’m free.

  • Every word, every quote in this articles rings true to my experience. Luckily for me, the relationship only lasted for about a decade. From the time we dated till we got married. His true self emerged quickly once we got married. I could only take 2 years, only because i saw that it wasn’t only affecting and destroying me, but it sadly reared its ugly head on my two kiddos from a previous marriage, who are with me. His biggest mistake was taking me for a vulnerable and desperate single mum. He underestimated my strength as a mother who’d do anything to protect her kids, even if it meant taking them away and starting all over again. If you are here looking for answers, may God give you strength and fortitude to leave a narcissistic relationship. It will only destroy every ounce of happiness, love, joy, hope and aspirations you have in you and then some.

    • Thank you for sharing your inspirational story. This will give lots of people the strength to do what is necessary to protect yourself.

    • I am going through the same thing rn! Thank you for sharing! …. 😥

  • Quevetta Tinsley says:

    Awesome quotes! Thanks so much.

  • I focused so hard on what I wanted that I lost sight of what I deserved

  • 9 months since I moved out. We were together for 19 years. The Narcissist is bad enough but when you add drugs and alcohol to it, it becomes unbearable. I try to avoid all contact with him. He has manipulated my child to stay with him by claims of suicide if she leaves to live with me. Or that he will just get back on drugs.
    Today he has started claiming I owed him money and he is going to press charges against me, then started saying how much he loves me…. I just need to know is there an end? Will he ever go away and leave me alone? I just need peace….

  • Robin Willcox says:

    I was married to narcissist for 36 years then he devalued me in the most criminal and ugly ways. He is now remarried and did not “upgrade” by a long shot. It has been 5 years and I fight everyday to get his words out of my head. I learned right away when he was abusing me and during divorce that your power is being silent. As much as I wanted to scream and fight I knew it filled him up and drained me. I have PTSD from the experience and some days I am on my knees but I stand up again. Its like they take good people and transfuse their emptiness into you and take your happiness into them. They are vampires.

    • Robin
      What stood out to me in what you write was the comment about being on your knees and standing again. I was in a toxic relationship for 7 years and it had been 11 months and I am just beginning to feel like myself again. I wrote my experience down as a way of healing and used these same words. And, along with standing again I am breathing air and not gasping. My ex has been involved with not only a person that I work with but supervised and I no longer have the job I have had for 30 years as was not able to rise above the anguish and seeing her daily was affecting me adversely. My employer was as empathic as they could be and I am in another position however not what I wanted in my career. The two seemingly are doing great but I know better. I even called his ex wife after we broke up and was horrified to hear what she went through which seemed so much worse than what I went through. Speaking to her helped me move on as I was validated that it was not me. He has been this was for 30 years. I still have a long way to heal but am confident that I will rise above this. Keep strong – know that we are better off.

    • Robbieann says:

      47 years, 30 years of him cheating on me. After a fight Christmas 2018 he said” we’ve got to stop this petty bickering “ I met a woman that put me on a pedestal but I’m still living with you. About a week later I said I wanted a divorce. He said “ a wife that cares would have asked what he meant by that comment “. I say a husband that cheated for 30 years would never have said such a thing to his wife.

  • ““The narcissist cultivated your need for his or her validation and approval early on in the idealization phase. By making you dependent on his or her praise, they conditioned you to seek the excessive admiration that only they could dole out. Now, as they devalue you, they use your need for validation to their advantage by withdrawing frequently, appearing sullen at every opportunity, and converting every generous thing you do for them as a failure on your part that falls short of their ludicrous expectations. Nothing can meet their high standards and everything wrong will be pointed out. In fact, even the things they do wrong shall be pinned on you.” This book helped me a lot: “Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself” by Shahida Arabi

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