Can Narcissists Change?

Can Narcissists Change?

The first question that we all have when we think of the narcissist is can narcissists change?

For some, the answer is yes—with the right therapy, a person with NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) can learn to move past their grandiose sense of self-importance.

However, the process is difficult and not all narcissists are open to treatment.

The prognosis is also poor for narcissists who are older or have been in a long-term relationship or job for many years.

That's because narcissism is often an entrenched pattern of behavior that has become ingrained over time.

For example, narcissistic traits may result from parent reinforcement during childhood. 

A child with a naturally strong personality may get a reward for being dominant in the family unit from an early age.

Also, trauma or neglect may damage a child's self-esteem. 

He may develop narcissistic traits as a coping mechanism to deal with low self-worth.

Available Narcissistic Personality Disorder Counselors

Can Narcissists Change: How Do We Know If A Narcissist Can Change

This is a tough question. When it comes to any sort of issues or problems in life, I think most people are looking to change. 

Most people understand that they have issues and they're seeking out ways to become better. 

When it comes to the narcissist, it's a very different situation.

The narcissist is more often than not, unwilling to change.

They are not going to go out of their way to fix the problem and make things better for themselves or anyone else.

Instead, they will probably blame everyone else for the problem entirely. 

They'll say that you're oversensitive and you don't understand them or whatever it might be. 

This is one of the top reasons why you should never waste your time attempting to get through to them and trying to get them to change because more often than not, they won't listen even if you point out some of their biggest flaws and how harmful they are.

Narcissists Can Change If they have Genuine Desire to Change

That being said though, I do believe that there are certain circumstances where a narcissist could potentially change if they truly wanted to.

The truth is, that people can change. 

I've noticed that many of the most successful people I know are narcissists who have learned to become humble and compassionate over time.

Although narcissism is a personality trait, it's not permanent. 

Narcissists can change through personal choices and experiences. 

So, yes, narcissistic behavior can change.

Changing Narcissists Takes a Lot of Work

But as you may have realized already, changing a narcissist isn't easy.

For example, if someone has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), then they won't want to change because they think they're fine the way they are. 

They don't see anything wrong with the way they treat other people or how they live their lives because they think they're infallible.

If you're dealing with someone who has NPD, it's important not to communicate with them in an aggressive or manipulative way.

Doing so will only confirm their beliefs about themselves as superior and invincible. 

Instead, try giving them compliments on things like their intelligence or creativity.

This may seem counterintuitive but it helps them feel good about themselves without triggering any defensive reactions from you that could make them feel threatened instead of appreciated.

You'll also want to avoid saying anything negative about yourself or other people in general since doing so might boost their traits of superiority.

Narcissists and Therapy to Change

Narcissists can change, but there's a catch.

Changing them takes a long time and they have to want to change.

That's because they have to change themselves - they have to love themselves. 

Some may wonder why someone narcissistic would want to change. 

After all, don't they think they're perfect already? 

The thing is, narcissists are always dissatisfied with their lives, even though they may appear confident on the outside.

They see themselves as being better than everyone else; that's why they're constantly trying to prove their superiority by getting attention and admiration from others. 

But what happens when they can't get that attention or admiration? 

They start feeling bad about themselves again because people aren't treating them properly which means something must be wrong with those other people - not them!

Two Ways to Help Narcissists Change

So, how can narcissists change? 

The short answer to the question, can narcissists change, is yes, but it's important to understand how it works and what it takes.

If a narcissist changes, they do so because forces were on them to change.

There are two ways for this type of person: either through therapy or self-help books on narcissism. 

Both of these options work well if you're willing to put in the effort and time needed for such changes to occur over several years - it doesn't happen overnight!

What Makes Narcissists Change Is Outside Pressure, Not an Inner Realization Of Their Faults 

Narcissists don't change because they think they need to change or because they want to feel better about themselves and their lives. 

They don't go into therapy for self-improvement or enlightenment. 

They go for therapy because of societal pressure on them through the criminal justice system and the courts, or because a spouse or family member threatens to leave them if they don't get some help.

The other thing you need to know about the therapeutic process is that the narcissist's ego is so fragile that any confrontation or suggestion that he or she has a problem will be met with defensiveness, denial, and contempt for the person who made such an observation.

For this reason, most therapists who work with narcissists attempt to avoid directly confronting them. Instead, they try to work around their defenses by focusing on what brought them in for treatment in the first place.

A therapist will attempt to get them talking about the legal problems they're facing or their spouse's threat of divorce and use these situations to make them want to take action. 

Conclusion

Most people who suffer from narcissism have no clue and have never taken steps to change. 

The sad fact is that most of them are not aware that they have a disorder.

If you know someone with NPD, or you feel that you are suffering from this disorder, and want to know the answer to the question," Can Narcissists change?"

There is hope. It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and patience but it can be done.

A narcissistic person will not magically change overnight but what they can do is learn how to empathize with others and develop self-reflection skills so they don't repeat the same mistakes in the future.

They can also try to correct their negative thought patterns by focusing on their strengths rather than their weaknesses and being kinder to themselves and others.

The process of healing is long, difficult, and painful but it's well worth it in the end as long as one has made up his/her mind.

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May 17th, 2022