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The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.

Statements Frequently Made by Abusers, Narcissists, or other such Psychopaths

If you are involved in a relationship with someone who is abusive, then you have most likely experienced some of the following statements from your loved one.

  • “Quit bringing up the past!” When you try to talk about an offense he/she just committed 5 minutes ago.
  • “I’m sorry! Now, get off my back!” After you have been pressing for an overdue apology over another offense he/she committed.
  • Nothing. As you are being stonewalled once again over trying to hold him/her accountable for something.
  • Nothing. As you are getting the silent treatment because of some “fatal offense” you supposedly committed. (Who knows what it was this time?)
  • “You can thank yourself for that!” After hurting your feelings, cheating on you, hitting you, or doing some other equally outrageous action.
  • “Move!” If you’re in the way. (It’s too much bother to go around.)
  • “No one else, other than you, treats me with such disrespect!” Statement made as you are upset over something hurtful he/she said or did to you.
  • “You’re way too sensitive!” Comment usually made when you have an emotional response to an infraction committed by your loved one.
  • “I get along with everyone else but you!” That’s because the other people in his/her life are not intimate partners, children, or other people involved in continual, close contact involving the sharing of resources or time. Psychopaths cannot do close and intimate in a healthy manner.
  • “You need help.” Or, “Something is seriously wrong with you.” As the abuser projects his/her pathology/poor behavior on to you.
  • “You’re crazy!” The abuser defines him/herself by projecting negativity on to you.
  • “I’m still talking.” Or, “I’m not finished yet.” While you stand there helplessly being lectured about something pointless.
  • “You act just like your mother/father (fill in the blank with whoever was most dysfunctional in your childhood.)” This is just one more statement made to abuse you with something you shared with the psychopath in a moment of personal transparency and vulnerability. Remember, everything can and will be used against you – particularly your biggest weaknesses.
  • “Get off my back!” This statement is used to get you to stop trying to hold the abuser accountable for a responsibility he/she is reneging on.
  • “You’ve got no one but yourself to thank for that!” This statement is made in response to something hurtful your loved one said or did that caused you harm.
  • “I never said that!” In response to you reminding your loved one of a promise made to you (or the kids.)
  • “Can’t you ever smile?” Funny, but it’s hard to smile after being cussed at, hit, cheated on, or ignored.
  • “You’re nothing but a (fill in the blank with any expletive or bad name.” Name calling is an attempt at both abusing you and controlling you.
  • Quit trying to change me! I am who I am! This statement is made when you are trying to hold your abuser to a standard of decent human behavior.

Or, how about, a list of things you never hear from an abuser, narcissist or other such psychopath:

  • “Here, let me help.”
  • “Tell me more.”
  • “I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.”
  • “No big deal; accidents happen. No one’s perfect.”
  • “Stop blaming yourself; it wasn’t your fault.”
  • “No, you go first.”
  • “I’m sorry. I just realized I interrupted you.”
  • “I’ll wait.”
  • “Take it easy. Don’t worry about it. Everything’s going to be all right.”

If this sounds all too familiar, then my best advice for you is to:

  1. Observe don’t absorb. You don’t have to defend yourself, explain yourself, or teach the other person how to change. You simply disengage and detach.
  2. Be good to yourself. Being around emotionally abusive people is challenging and draining. Make sure you don’t spend too much time subjecting yourself to toxicity. Simply remind yourself that you are a valuable human being and that you deserve respect. Respect yourself.
  3. Invest in healthy relationships. Spend more time with healthy people than toxic people. Do not waste your life subjecting yourself to abuse.
  4. Walk away. Remove yourself from the toxic person’s presence. Go no-contact.



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Statements Frequently Made by Abusers, Narcissists, or other such Psychopaths

APA Reference
Stines, S. (2018). Statements Frequently Made by Abusers, Narcissists, or other such Psychopaths. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 21, 2019, from