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.
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”
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.”
“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)
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?
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?
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
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.
If you are currently a victim of a narcissistic relationship, here are a few resources you should study:
- My Life With a Narcissist. Our member Marce shared everything she went through in painstaking detail (two parts).
- Narcissist Understood. This is a detailed explanation of the narcissistic personality disorder.
- The Narcissistic Personality Inventory Test. This is the ultimate test to identify narcissists.
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.