Do Narcissists Ever Change? While dealing with narcissists, the idea of them changing or altering their vexatious personalities may sound impossible or absurd. You might have always heard that narcissists do not change. Also seeing them repeating all their past mistakes might make change look challenging to imagine, but do not yet give up here.
Not only with narcissists but changes are intimidating for almost everybody. Some people can adapt to changes quickly, while some hate even the sound of change. But everyone has to face changes at some point in their lives. Now at this point, you might be wondering, is it possible for narcissists to change? To know the possibilities of expecting change from a narcissist, first, we need to get into the detailed characteristics of narcissism and what factors can make it difficult for the narcissist to change.
What is a Narcissist?
The common description of a narcissist would be described as someone who is self-absorbed, who loves and seeks constant attention, adoration, and validation, who loves their grandiose image, and who tries to impress others with their charismatic charm.
Narcissists are often characterized by their boosted sense of self-importance, self-pride, and self-needs. With a narcissist, everything is just about them. Narcissists thrive upon the attention, adoration, and validation that they receive from others, and what makes them distinguished from others is the way they think and the way they behave, which is totally selfish and mean.
Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
These traits may vary for some individuals, but the below-mentioned characteristics can be generalized for almost all narcissists,
Manipulation – Manipulation is a narcissist’s go-to tactic while dealing with others in order to get what they need.
Grandiosity – Narcissists have a boosted sense of self-importance and thus showing off their achievements, talents, plus points, looks and much more becomes their regular ritual.
Lack of Accountability – Narcissists may never take responsibility for their actions even though their actions may cause distress and harm to others. They use the technique called blameshifting to distract everyone and thus ditch their wrongdoings.
Entitlement – Narcissists believe that they are made for special treatment and deserve all the privileges as they are better than others.
Envy – Narcissists easily get jealous and envious of other people, their looks, their achievements, and much more.
Exploitative tendencies – Narcissists can exploit others without giving it a second thought and without even trying to know the consequences of their actions.
Arrogance – Narcissists are filled with arrogance and their attitude towards others says it all.
Can a Narcissist change?
After reading the above-mentioned characteristics, narcissists just come out as people who would do anything to achieve what they plan and what they want and such people would hardly be interested in changing their ways, behaviors, perspectives, and conduct for others or for society. Thus Narcissism and the word “Change” seem a little unfitting together. In the same way, narcissists would perceive change as something totally avoidable, as they feel they are perfect and they do not require any sort of adjustments.
Due to their boosted sense of self-importance, a narcissist would never feel the need to change or alter their personalities. Also, narcissists are alarmed by the term “Change” as changes usually come with changing your conduct. They usually do not like change as change threatens their sense of superiority, control, and power. They would usually try to resist changes in their life only to maintain their grandiosity, sense of entitlement, power, control, and fake personality.
Narcissists do change a little from time to time, as change is inevitable for everyone, but their core personality and traits remain the same, and the changes can be only surface level.
Do all narcissists perceive change equally?
All people are different and so do their characteristics. Narcissism affects a person in various degrees, meaning not everyone acts in a similar manner even though they might have some common characteristics. Also depending on various traits and characteristics, narcissism is divided into a few types. Also, the traits and characteristics may differ naturally for each individual depending on how they have been raised and in what context.
So naturally “the phenomenon of change” may be perceived differently by different narcissists. So depending on personal beliefs; some narcissists may totally deny the idea of changing, some narcissists might try to give it a try if it is affecting their supply of narcissistic supply while some may genuinely wish to change as it might be affecting their personal relationships and altering their lives.
Do Narcissists Ever Change Indeed?
While personality traits and characteristics are generally deeply ingrained and can be a little difficult to change. But if anyone is motivated to change themselves then it is possible for anybody to change. So if any person is motivated enough to change themselves and their behavior then it is possible for any hardcore narcissist to incorporate changes in their life. Also healing from narcissistic traits leads to many beautiful emotions that may have been ignored. So if a narcissist is willing to change and realize that their behavior is causing harm to others then they would definitely step towards changing. Changing yourself is totally associated with and dependent on yourself.
Also, take this into consideration that change is a slow process, and requires a considerable amount of time, patience, perseverance, and dedication. It may initially be difficult for a narcissist to recognize the need for change due to their qualities and tendencies which may prevent them from viewing themselves as imperfect or finding faults. But with self-reflection, support, love, care, and the right guidance, change is very much possible for any individual, including Overt narcissism.
But the most important point here is to note that if you are waiting for your narcissistic partner, lover, or anybody associated with narcissism to change, then changing such deep-rooted personality traits that are ingrained in a person’s behavior and routine can be lengthy, mentally and physically exhausting and complex process.
Can Narcissists change for someone they love or like?
Narcissists are totally unpredictable and their choices may differ from time to time. They lose self-control easily when they see someone or something highly appreciative and beneficial to them. Incorporating change in behavior requires Self-reflection, perseverance, patience, and a lot of guilt.
People with narcissistic personality disorder or narcissistic tendencies find it difficult to make themselves aware of their nasty and delusional behavior. They even fail to notice how their behavior may affect other people around them or how it may put someone else in a tight spot. They may not recognize their own mistakes or manipulative behavior when you point it out to them, as narcissists think highly of themselves.
Change comes from within and nobody can be forced to change. But if a narcissist finds you truly an inseparable part of their lives, they might try to make attempts to change just to make you stay in their life. The success rate of these changes may vary on the basis of different aspects, but a narcissist would try to change for the loved ones if they matter to them. Changes that occur naturally may last longer than forced ones, so make sure you do not force the narcissist to change. Also, changes can be considered in a true sense when they’re consistent. Their effectiveness depends upon continuity and not trials.
How to Tell if a Narcissist is Open to Change?
Predicting the success rate of someone with a narcissistic personality to change is slim to gradually increase. Narcissism is an insidious personality disorder thus measuring the accuracy and success of bringing changes may be a total gamble. Let us know a few signs that may indicate the narcissist is open to accepting and incorporating changes,
They would pay more attention to you than others
Narcissists are passive listeners as they believe that they are above everyone. They believe that they have everything that it takes for everyone to like them. But when a narcissist feels the need to change and be better, they might start considering what you have to say. They might even prioritize you and spend time with you. They might show the signs by considering your opinions, taking an interest in your life, and being thoughtful in what they reply back to you. These are all little signs of starting to accept changes.
There is consistency in their behavior
Consistency is what makes changes visible. Trying is good enough but trying to be better consistently is much more effective and proves the eagerness to change. Trying can be a short-term process, but trying continuously is a long-term and much more trustworthy process.
A narcissist might try avoiding past mistakes consistently, they might try to gain your trust consistently and start putting you in tough spots like before. They may also start respecting your boundaries at this point.
They may genuinely feel apologetic and would apologize to you when they switch to their toxic personalities
This is a true sign of self-reflection when a narcissist is self-aware of their toxicity. They may genuinely start apologizing when they go back or resort to their old manipulative selves while dealing with you. Relapse is a common phenomenon with any mental health disorder. Stress, Societal Pressure, and Inconvenience might trigger those toxic and negative emotions for a narcissist.
They can even be manipulative with you but it is them changing for you when they start noticing that they are hurting you emotionally or manipulating you, and on top of that feel guilty thus apologizing to you. This is the true sign of self-reflection.
They take Accountability for their actions
Generally, people with narcissistic personality disorder or narcissistic tendencies find it difficult to make themselves aware of their nasty and delusional behavior. They even fail to notice how their behavior may affect other people around them or how it may put someone else in a tight spot. They may not recognize their own mistakes or manipulative behavior when you point it out to them, as narcissists think highly of themselves.
The tendency of self-obsession and self-absorption along with a boosted sense of self-superiority may leave a narcissist to observe the situation of absorbing the blame as something improper or targeting, thus they may decide to play the victim card.
But when a narcissist is willing to change, they may start taking accountability for their wrongdoings. They may be vulnerable to accepting their mistakes. If a narcissist is consistently accepting their wrongdoings and being accountable for them, then they are open to changes.
They have controlled emotional regulations
When a narcissist is hurt deeply or feels insulted and anxious they just shut down their emotional side and just switch to an apathetic or emotionless individual who chooses violence, anger, and such negative emotions to let their internal conflict out. This internal conflict can happen when a narcissist is upset with something or hurt due to someone.
But when a narcissist can manage their stress, rage, and all such negative emotions effectively, they might not have an outburst of anger. If a narcissist starts being more mindful of their actions and emotions, then this is a sign that are willing to change.
Change comes from within and nobody can be forced to change. But if a narcissist finds you truly an inseparable part of their lives, they might try to make attempts to change just to make you stay in their life. The success rate of these changes may vary on the basis of different aspects, but a narcissist would try to change for the loved ones if they matter to them.
Changes that occur naturally may last longer than forced ones, so make sure you do not force the narcissist to change. Also, changes can be considered in a true sense when they’re consistent. Their effectiveness depends upon continuity and not trials.
Changing along with Healing is an important process of becoming healthy both mentally and physically. Healing alleviates and eradicates mental illness.