Several years ago, when I first started dating my now boyfriend, he shared his theory about people with me. That some people are word people, and others are action people. He has a completely different view and one that made me wonder how others see Narcissists. Let me tell you now, its not the same way Narcissists see themselves….

He explained that the difference is where people spend “the value” in either a word or an action.  He defined the word people as people who say things such as “I’m going to,” “I’ll get to it,” “I’m going to do it,” etc.  But never end up doing the thing.  While action people say things like “I did,” “I completed it,” and “it’s already done.”  The word person spends their value with their words, and the action person spends the value in their actions.

What is a narcissist?

A narcissist is someone who often shows an exaggerated sense of self-importance, lacks empathy, and can be manipulative. They may have difficulty recognizing or valuing your feelings, making the divorce process particularly challenging. Recognizing these traits can help you navigate the situation with clarity and seek the support you need.

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Can simple words and actions identify narcissism?

I don’t get it!

As I thought about this, I thought it was an interesting theory, but I didn’t connect this to narcissists for a while.

As we continued seeing each other and building a stronger bond, my boyfriend would share different examples of his theory with me. He would share the old wives tail that actions speak louder than words and that some people were all talk and no action. He would share examples of his parents and what they would do. I still didn’t quite understand until I met his parents.

I see now how others see narcissists

After several years of dating, we moved in together: my boyfriend, my kids, and his parents.

There was a time after dinner when we would talk about what couples usually talk about.  This time he shared another way of thinking about word or action people.  He said to listen to them, what they say, talk about, and where they focus most of the discussion.  And pay attention to how they treat other people.  Think about how people treat staff at a restaurant and how they handle bad service.  Then listen to them call technical support or their cable company.  Watch and listen to them, especially if they are not getting what they wanted.  “Are they still kind when being told no,” “Do they get upset at the waitress because something wasn’t right with an order?”

We hadn’t been living in the house together long when I heard his parents talking to each other and people on the phone. I heard stories at dinner about this incredible life they had lived, how they had met all these fantastic people, and all the wonderful things they owned. I heard them complain about our beautiful home, we didn’t have good restaurants in our area, and they were very critical of everything we did. They weren’t happy or satisfied with much of anything.

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Actions mean more than words!

I saw it and understood what he had been telling me!

Narcissists focus on how they look and are perceived rather than following through on what they say they will do. They make grandiose promises but rarely follow through. They also use their words to manipulate and control rather than trying to solve the problem or fix the relationship. As I thought more and more about my boyfriend’s theory and how this related to a narcissist, I could see it more clearly.

It’s almost like when we are told as kids that actions speak louder than words. Narcissists often use words to exaggerate achievements or skills and make themselves look better. Of course, on the other side, they may also use words to blame others for their mistakes or shortcomings, often referred to as blame shifting. They use words to charm people and gain their trust at the beginning of a relationship, but their true selves will show as time passes. They may also use their words to gaslight and manipulate their partner, friends, and family, making them doubt their reality and memories.

I no longer trust his words.  I even doubt his actions.  But I never question his patterns.  Because now I understand how others see narcissists!

When it comes to narcissists‘ actions and behaviors, they may not be dependable. They may make promises they don’t keep and may not take responsibility for their actions. Like with their words, narcissists may also use their actions to control and manipulate others rather than build genuine connections or solve problems. They tend to prioritize their own needs and desires over those of others. They may not think about how their actions affect other people.

Narcissists focus on their image or perception of how people view them. They talk more than they act and exaggerate who they are to manipulate people. Narcissists put themselves and their needs over others, including their loved ones.

Over the years, I have learned about narcissists’ different patterns and behaviors. I had never thought about them being word people or the old saying “actions speak louder than words” until my boyfriend pointed it out. Now I see it and have found that it’s easier to explain to people who and what a narcissist is.


Understanding how others see narcissists can shed light on their manipulative tendencies and self-centered behavior. It’s like the age-old wisdom that actions speak louder than words. Narcissists often use words to create a facade of grandeur, but their actions reveal a different truth. They may promise much but rarely follow through, leaving a trail of unfulfilled commitments and failed promises.

As you navigate the complexities of divorce, recognizing these traits can be your compass. It helps you with the support and guidance you need. If you’re looking for a community of women just like you who understand your journey, I invite you to explore my Divorce Support Group. Together, we can navigate this challenging path toward a brighter, happier future. Check out my Divorce Support Group here.

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Let’s navigate it together.

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