10 Things Narcissists Can Do to Change

“A narcissist? Me?! Oh, snap – I think I tick all the boxes…”

If you think you’re a narcissist because of some things you’ve heard, read, or maybe someone has told you they think you are, I salute you.

It’s very rare for someone to reflect this way, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible.

I’m a fan of people improving their lives if they take the right course of action.

There’s one thing to remember, though:

Patterns are only impossible to change if a person thinks they don’t need changing.

If you’re the person, start now. If you’re with the narcissist, have a look at these 10 things narcissists can do to change to see what your chances are of them self-reflecting really are.

#1 Be Present – Be Self-Aware

Mindfulness is the big one. It’s the ultimate healer for both yourself and those around you who have had to deal with your outburst over a long period of time.

This includes:

How you speak

How you respond

What you say

How those words are affecting others 

The time has long passed for saying what you want now and apologizing for it later. Those apologies became hollow a long time ago. If you want to see change, start being it. 

Other people’s feelings matter – so breathe a little and pause before you take action. Believe people when you hear what they have  to say, and remember that their reality isn’t yours to take away. 

I get it – it’s a huge change – but it’s the best one you can do. 

#2 Cut Out The “But”

When a narcissist mutters the word “but” – they are proving their defiance to something. Understanding where you use the word can be where you begin to keep to your word or consciously prevent yourself from backtracking or saying something you might regret. 

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But is usually reserved for the moments people are heading down a great road, but intend on diverting off the next risky, rocky path. Just be mindful that it can lead to more pain.

#3 Therapy, Therapy, Therapy!

Start to delve into the plethora of ways you can get professional help. From unearthing your past to defining your future – there is an answer and a therapeutic approach for you.

It’s never easy to go in and open up to a stranger, but the thought of it is worse than the reality.

Give yourself the time and space to explore how you got these traits and became who you are. 

Knowledge is power – so be aware 

#4 Be Thankful … and Mean It

When someone does something nice for you, don’t take it as a threat to your own character. It doesn’t have to mean you are less of a person – after all – there’s room for everyone on the nice list! 

Show your gratitude and let the love in. Appreciate the little things people do for you. Let their kindness rub off on you instead of repelling you further.

You can change – and having some meaning behind your gratitude will prove you are more genuine than people had you down for. 

#5 Find Your Purpose

Often is the case:

Narcissists act out because others have found a purpose that they lack.

Does that need to be you, always looking at others on a clear path with envy?

It could be you on your own clear path. Have you ever thought of that?

Finding your purpose will bring your mind and body closer together.

That inner harmony cannot be regenerated by stealing others’ joy.

#6 Build Bridges

Narcissistic people are infamous for burning bridges. They upset people wherever they go and frequently disagree with friends or family. 

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Drama is their middle name.

If it’s been your middle name for all these years, start thinking how you can mend that.

Find time for the people you’ve hurt, and show them your regret – don’t just tell them. Stick to your word. Make promises you intend to keep, and prove, yes over time, that you are a new person.

This will be hard at first – people won’t want to warm to you. They’ll be used to the old version of you, but keep showing up in this new light and you’ll be able to see the repairs soon enough.

#7 Find New Ways To Communicate

You’re used to conflict. You act out to get a reaction, give people the silent treatment to get attention, and make demands. 

What good has all of this been to you?

Finding new ways to communicate means deciding the outcome of each situation. Don’t take this new power lightly—there will be expectations you will need to meet to prove your new worth.

Promoting peace in communication will help ease all the chaos you’ve previously created. 

#8 Responsibility – Own It!

Are you sorry? Then say so!

Did you hurt someone? Then own it!

Responsibility is a huge factor in changing. If you are a narcissist and you really want to make amends, you have to look at the huge part you played in destroying the characters of others. 

I know that many of you will find it tricky to own up and hold up your hands, but in doing so, guess what?

It frees others from the blame they’ve carried. 

That’s right. The blame you gave away so you didn’t have to hold it is going to have to come back to you. It’ll be heavy, but you need to own it. 

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#9 Self-Compassion vs. Self Promotion

Stop telling people, “I’m great,” and start telling them, “I am kind to myself.”

Being kind to yourself can mean being empathetic to what you’ve been through—your weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and insecurities. They all matter, and they all make you. 

Narcissism hides and even denies these things about you. Masking over them with ego and self-importance only makes you come off worse. 

Guess what it also does?

It denies you of authenticity.

Be compassionate, starting with yourself. You’ll find that compassion will grow and attach to other people, too. 

#10 Rearrange Those Toxic Patterns

I fully understand how hard it is to change all the patterns you’ve learned over the years. Even if they’ve served you (or others) badly, they’re still hard to break. Remember—habits are habits!

Identifying all the ways one gets tangled up in toxicity will be effective in breaking those patterns. 

Where you once may have walked away and gone silent – stay.

Be calm where you once may have blown up in a jealous rage.

If you used to want to dominate a conversation – start listening. 

Small steps to improve your habits will build mountains of better ones over time. 

I’ve got to add this Bonus Tip!

#11 Learn to Respond Without Reaction

Now, there is responding, and there is reacting.

Responding is simple – something happens and you respond. 

Does it always need an emotional reaction attached to it?

Absolutely not.

The non-narcissistic people already know that, and this is something you can learn for yourself. 

Not everything needs to involve drama. The more you understand this, the better equipped you will be to handle general responses. 

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