Can A Narcissist Ever Change?

”To keep control, a narcissist will give us a glimpse of hope that they will change.”

Psychologists and researchers suggest they haven’t found one that has changed. The narcissistic personality disorder is on a spectrum. Hence, there is those that will never change, most can and do temporarily change, selfishly to exploit someone to meet a need of their own and those who can change, if they want to alter their patterns of behaviour it is usually temporary change.

Most are capable of changing on a permanent basis. However, Most don’t want to, and it wouldn’t be easy.

In order to change, you have to take a look deep within and want it seriously. You have to be aware of your mistakes, to be able to recognise your behaviour to manage your behaviour, just like we can not change what we don’t know or understand and even when we know it takes work, as a narcissist blames others for their mistakes they see no reason to change.

They have a personality disorder, and they don’t change or lose that disorder that is who they are. Yes, they can change their treatment towards others to meet a need of their own, to do so on a permanent basis would take hard work and be extremely challenging. They can learn to manage themselves, as most narcissistic people can manage themselves very well at times, with people, when they want to, especially when there are witnesses to their behaviour.

They can change; they change their lies, change their partners and changes their history, change reality, they can not pull the disorder out and change to someone new. If they have the disorder, that is who they are.

They can not change or heal their narcissism. However, they can change their behaviour, and plenty do, you’ve seen it yourself how one minute they are so lovely then the next they are so cruel, how they have treated you so badly and now they are treating you so nicely? The problem is once their need is met, they are straight back to who they are, or if a need isn’t being met, the tantrums come back out to play, with hideous effects on those around them who care for them.

The problem has never been that they can not change, the problem is they don’t want to change on a permanent basis, They’ve built big walls to protect themselves often from going into fight mode as a child, one of the humans go to a survival mechanism. They have closed themselves off to people’s feelings and only think of how best to serve and protect themselves.

Not developing the attachment to care for others in moments of disagreements, also limited empathy towards others. They lack in empathy to care for those they hurt, and without that remorse, they see no reason to change.

Their insecurities run deep, being able to admit faults of their own. To learn from past mistakes of bad behaviour will take great courage, deep down most are weak and rely upon the fear of others to keep power and control, crossing between, charming people in to give them hope, then creating fear, to maintain control over others. Opening up, to past behaviours of things they have put others through, does not match their ego and superiority, the conflict this would cause within themselves, would cause massive pain.

They also change reality so many times, that most believe their own version of events, deep down they are stuck in woe is me. With that many hidden secrets. They do not feel the guilt emotion if they do in a moment; it’s projected onto someone else. If they feel shame, that will also be quickly blame shifted onto someone else. So they can remove those feelings of shame.

In order to change, people have to recognise the faults within themselves, we all have them, we have to acknowledge them, see if we can accept them, or if we need to change them, change one thing and you can change everything for you, the first step is recognising what you want to change.

The video explaining more about why they can not acknowledge their own behaviour.

As a narcissist blames those around them, they change the people they associate themselves with, slowly losing trust in others, slowly believing they’ve ended up in the same situation because of who others are and nothing to do with themselves. It seems the older they get, the more hurt and pain they cause to those around them, most to grow old alone.

Finding a therapist strong enough to help them, without falling for the lies and the charm, being able to listen and try and help someone when what they’ve done to others is being the explained to a therapist.

Once a narcissist would take the journey to know who they indeed are, they could then resume some level of empathy. But they would need to work incredibly hard, and most do not want to, only temporarily to meet a need of their own.

A narcissistic personality disorder is not curable, it is treatable, if the person is willing to, acknowledge, accept and work on themselves, which unfortunately as they.

  • Are never accountable.
  • Don’t see problems within themselves.
  • Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
  • Low levels of empathy.
  • High deeply hidden levels of insecurities.
  • A sense of entitlement.
  • Arrogance.
  • A need for power and control.
  • Expectations of special treatment.
  • Prone to putting others down.

There’s, an awful lot of work they’d need to do and all of it, goes against who they indeed are.

As they are unwilling to accept any weaknesses or accept responsibility, it’s challenging for one to get therapy to help them.

They’d have to have an extreme shift in personality.

One method that could be used is relearning behaviour, but it’s an extremely harsh lesson and finding someone who’d want to do it as it’s incredibly unethical.

Re-learning behaviours, like elephants in a circus, it’s cruel and not advised. At some circuses baby elephants are dragged away from their mothers, often still nursing, and often have ropes tied around them, they are then punished for any type of instinctive behaviour until their spirit is broken, they become submissive and obedient, for fear of punishment, they are dominated, and trained either from being chained up, to when they are allowed to sleep and eat, to physical violence. Eventually, when they are let off the chains, they’ve lost all instincts to who they indeed are and are left with learned behaviour.

Those partners or children of narcissistic people, are brainwashed into confusion, the difference between realities and beliefs, causes cognitive dissonance, living in fear, most people just give up and give in.

Until something significant happens, one affair out of plenty, one punch, one simple word said, and people do leave and pick themselves back up.

If you could get a narcissist to be willing to agree and sign up, the fastest method would be to inflict pain, if every time they hurt someone, the had to taser themselves, they’d soon learn it hurts and would stop.

To break the long term, bad lifetime habits, addictions. All humans need to be acceptable within themselves, accepting they need to break the addictions, have a valid reason for doing so, have severe consequences if they go back to the addictions.

It takes an average of seven attempts to leave, depending on the person, how long they were in the relationship, and so many other factors. At some point there becomes something that clicks and you realise, there’s so much more to life. It’s a road to recovery, with baby steps each and every day, you might take a couple back, or to the side, just refocus and go again. You can, and you will.

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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.

Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.

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