Comments on
Can a Narcissist Change?

Many of us are involved with narcissists (people who have difficulty empathizing with others, and behave accordingly, often manipulatively.)  The narcissist may be your parent, your significant other, even your child.  

13 thoughts on “Can a Narcissist Change?

  • October 26, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Hello, thank you for your thoughts. is there an indirect way of making a narcissist relate to the fact they might be such? so that they arrive at the conclusion themselves without the alienation of someone they in a way care for, telling them?

    • October 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      It tends to be best to focus on the behaviors and how they impact you and the relationship. Armchair psychology/diagnosis will probably feel like name calling and inspire defensiveness. Another option is to offer links to blog posts or articles on narcissism and ask if they resonate. I’ve had clients who can recognize that they do have difficulty with empathy, and that it does cause problems. If the person feels you care and are not judging, that makes it easier to admit those problems. Good luck!

  • November 13, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Only if they love themselves first!

  • January 10, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    This article is very dangerous. There are many people experiencing narcissistic abuse. There is NO WAY you can say “gee, it seems like you have difficulty understanding someone else’s point of view”.
    Also, narcissists often pull the wool over the eyes of a therapist. These people have no empathy or remorse. They manipulate the world to provide themselves with narcissistic supply.
    Anyone that even slightly encourages someone experiencing narcissistic abuse to stick around because the narcissist may change is doing a serious dis-service. Cluster B personality disorders are rarely treatable and people anywhere on the spectrum of narcissistic personality disorder – psychopathy, won’t change and you will suffer greatly by staying with them. Google ‘psychopathfree’ and see if you can relate to the stories there. If yes, then run form the person.

    • January 11, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      When you say “these people have no empathy or remorse”, that strikes me as rather absolute. There are gray areas, and that’s what this blog is addressing. To assume that everyone will leave their partner is not realistic. While it might seem optimal to an outsider for a person to leave a relationship, often people decide to stay, and figuring out how to improve the situation is another aspect of this particular blog.
      I’m not promising anyone that their partner can or will change; rather, I’m helping them test for the possibility of change. Then they can have more information as to whether they should remain in the relationship or not.

    • April 19, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      “Also, narcissists often pull the wool over the eyes of a therapist. These people have no empathy or remorse. They manipulate the world to provide themselves with narcissistic supply.”

      I agree with this comment. Dancy is correct. Narcissists are very adept at pulling the wool over a therapists eyes. This article demonstrates that. Narcissists frequently use other people to abuse their victims. Including mental health providers.

      Thanks for posting Dancy.

      • April 19, 2016 at 7:50 pm

        Yes, that’s true, but often, a gut instinct tells a therapist when they’re dealing with a narcissist. It’s important for everyone to heed their instincts–therapists included.

  • January 13, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    @Dancy. I am sorry but I think you’re comment is even more dangerous. Googling narcissism seems to be very popular nowadays. So many simple articles of signs someone is narcissist. So you think if someone seems to fit these very generic signs one should run? Is doing who a dis-service? Wouldn’t the world be better of when we try to help one another? Narcissism is not as simple. Every human being has narcisstic traits. Also various circumstances may it seem to appear someone is narcissist. To encourage people not to address a problem to a loved one is far more dangerous. What would you dobif you suspect your daughter is narcissistic, run?

  • January 17, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    I (a people/pleaser) have been in a loving relationship with a narcissist for over 3 years. He is a musician and we dated for 2 years while I worked. After I retired, I bought a house and we moved in together. I have always blamed our “issues” on many different things… how we were raised, our different lifestyles, different expectations, etc. After a considerable amount of “research” on personality traits (disorders?) it is amazing that we have lasted together for this long. I have been ready to break off this relationship for a few months, and now, after reading your article, I’m seeing signs of hope. I don’t want to leave him, I love him, and I know that he loves me is his own way. I just don’t know if that is enough! I would love to “talk” with other women in this same situation and what hope we may have to make a lasting commitment to the me we love.

  • July 30, 2016 at 8:52 am

    My name is Jeremy Rodriguez and I am a narcissist and I want to change. I am currently seeing a therapist for many reasons. My wife and I have been seperated for 5 months now. The first time I saw a pin from her about being married to a narcissist I was destroyed,but the more I read about NPD, I saw i had nearly all the traits,and I have admitted to her and my love ones,my therapist that I am sorry for doing the things I did and am truly sorry for it. I want to change for myself and for my wife and my children. I dont want my children to become like me. Is there books that can help me with NPD along with the help of my therapist? I do feel remorse and I only blame myself for my actions.

    • July 30, 2016 at 10:06 am

      I have huge respect for you, Jeremy. It’s rare that someone takes such full responsibility for narcissism and is so committed to changing themselves (rather than the people around them.) You can tell how rare it is because the vast majority of books about narcissism are meant for spouses who need to set boundaries and/or find the courage to end the relationship. But I do have a couple of book recommendations: “The Everything Guide to Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Professional, reassuring advice for coping with the disorder – at work, at home, and in your family” and “You Might Be a Narcissist If… – How to Identify Narcissism in Ourselves and Others and What We Can Do About.” I wish you and your family all the best.

    • April 28, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      You ARE 1 in a million sir.

    • June 30, 2017 at 12:43 am

      Jeremy, I too am going through the same thing and it took almost losing the love of my life to finally accept the fact that I had to change. I had seen how much my actions were hurting her and most of the time I just wanted to hold her in my arms and tell her that I was sorry but when I tried nothing came out. Now I have lost her love and it is killing me knowing that I was the cause, lie you I no longer blame anyone but myself and have looked in the mirror only to find someone that I wish had not existed. We are talking as friends but I so wish one day I can be what I should have been our whole marriage. I have slowed down and question my motives for every action I take with her which seems to be helping me change. I hope for the best for you as I know your struggles.


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *