Can a Narcissist Change Their Behavior and Stop Abusing People?

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Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is typically a life-long condition. Like other personality disorders, NPD is challenging to treat. It affects every aspect of a person’s life, including their well-being, relationships, school, and work.

Treatment issues may arise when a narcissist is unaware of or refuses to acknowledge that they have a problem. So, when asking if a narcissist can change, consider whether they are willing to do so.

A narcissist needs to be highly motivated to be transparent and self-reflective in order to change. With that said, a narcissist is capable of changing if they put up the necessary effort, intention, and dedication.

Not All Narcissism is Created Equally

Narcissism is a personality trait that exists on a spectrum. Not all narcissists are the same, and some may be more willing or able to change than others. It’s important to understand the different types of narcissism before making any assumptions about a person’s ability to change.

Grandiose Narcissism

Grandiose narcissism is an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. People with this trait believe they are superior to others and have a sense of entitlement.

They are charming but manipulative and exploitative. They are less likely to seek help or change and blame others for their problems.

Vulnerable Narcissism

Vulnerable narcissism is a fragile sense of self-esteem, fear of rejection, and need for validation. People with this trait may seem shy but can be defensive and hostile when criticized. They are more willing to seek help and respond better to treatment than those with grandiose narcissism.

Malignant Narcissism

Malignant narcissism is a personality disorder that combines grandiose and antisocial traits. Individuals with this disorder may exhibit aggressive, sadistic, and manipulative behavior. They may also disregard the rights of others and engage in criminal activities.

People with this disorder are resistant to treatment and may show no remorse for their actions.

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Can a Narcissist Ever Change Their Behavior? (4 Key Factors)

1) The Different Types Of Narcissism and Abuse

There are different types of narcissism, and some of them are more severe than others. For example, grandiose narcissism is characterized by a sense of superiority and entitlement, while vulnerable narcissism is characterized by a sense of insecurity and hypersensitivity to criticism. Additionally, some narcissists engage in physical or emotional abuse, which can make change more difficult.

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2) The Extent of Their Narcissism

The extent of a narcissist’s behavior can also impact their ability to change. Some narcissists have a few narcissistic traits but are not fully diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). These individuals may be more willing to change than those with severe NPD.

3) Do They Recognize Their Own Narcissism?

One of the most critical factors in a narcissist’s ability to change is whether or not they recognize their own narcissism. Narcissists who are self-aware and willing to acknowledge their behavior may be more open to change than those who deny or minimize their behavior.

4) Can a Narcissist Change If They Want To?

While change is possible, it requires a willingness to engage in therapy, self-reflection, and personal growth. However, even with a desire to change, it can be challenging to overcome deeply ingrained patterns of behavior.

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Will a Narcissist Change for Someone They Love?

While a narcissist may be motivated to change for someone they love, it is unlikely to be a long-term solution. Change must come from within, and if a narcissist is only changing to please someone else, they are unlikely to sustain that change over time.

Can a Narcissist Ever Become Normal?

While a narcissist can change their behavior, it is unlikely that they will ever become “normal” in the traditional sense. Narcissistic traits may always be present, but with therapy and personal growth, a narcissist can learn to manage their behavior and lead a healthier, more fulfilling life.

The Bottom Line? Narcissists CAN Change If They Are Honest with Themselves and Willing

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a complex and challenging condition that affects many individuals. While it is often difficult for narcissists to acknowledge their behavior, they can change if they are willing, to be honest with themselves and put in the effort to do so.

The key to change is self-awareness. Narcissists must be willing to acknowledge their behavior and recognize how it affects others. This can be a difficult process, as many narcissists struggle with empathy and may not fully understand the impact of their actions.

However, with the help of therapy and support, narcissists can learn to be more self-aware and develop a greater sense of empathy. In addition to self-awareness, narcissists must also be willing to make changes to their behavior.

This may involve learning new coping mechanisms, developing healthier relationships, and working to address any underlying issues that may be contributing to their narcissistic behavior. It is important to note that change is a gradual process, and it may take time for narcissists to develop new patterns of behavior fully.

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Kamini Wood

Kamini Wood

Kamini Wood is a Certified Life Coach, and best-selling author. Her mission is to empower high-performing adults and teens to become resilient self-leaders by reducing stress and anxiety, overcoming imposter syndrome, working through trauma, and re-discovering their AuthenticMe®.

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