8 Reasons Why Narcissists Cant Change Their Behaviour

The saying, “A leopard can’t change its spots,” is a great way to describe a narcissist.

This common saying can describe a person’s character, stating that they will not change, even when they pretend they will. Anyone who has been in a relationship with a narcissist or is close to one knows how they promise to change, but it never happens.

As with any treatment, you need to get the narcissist to become aware of their condition and want to change. It can be seen as an addiction, an alcoholic or drug addict will not be able to change and become clean without wanting to do it for themselves. This applies to those with narcissism.

This means that a narcissist needs to be motivated to change for any treatment to work. There are very few cases where narcissists change, but they need to be motivated and dedicated to do so.


Why Narcissists Can’t Change Their Behaviour

Even with ongoing therapy and counseling, a narcissist will always struggle with their behavior. If they want to change, they can go to therapy to learn how to identify problematic behavior patterns. But NPD will always be a part of their life.

1. Too Self-Centred and Self-Absorbed

Narcissists have a heightened sense of importance. They are exceptionally self-centered and self-absorbed.

They only think of themselves and their own feelings. They are also very stubborn. As a result, change is very difficult for them, as they do not see anything wrong with their actions.

For a loved one this is very difficult. You can try and speak to the narcissist and explain their behaviors, but they won’t see it your way. To change, the narcissist needs to see how their behavior is hurtful to others and be motivated to go to therapy to change.

2. Never Wrong

A narcissist has a false sense of entitlement and believes that they are never wrong. They will use everything in their manipulative arsenal to prove they are right. They believe their feelings are facts, which makes it challenging for them to change their behavior for the better.

If they strongly believe that they are always right, they will not admit that they have a problem in the first place. Treatment will be futile without them seeing their destructive behavior.

3. Arrogance

Anyone that has been in contact with a narcissist or a relationship with one, knows their exaggerated importance. When they believe that they are more important than anyone else, including their spouse, they will not admit they have a problem.

Again, this makes it exceptionally difficult to help a narcissist see their manipulative and destructive behaviour and want to seek treatment.

4. Lack of Empathy

A very sad fact when dealing with a narcissist is their lack of empathy. They do not care about other people’s feelings. This makes them very dangerous to live with, causing emotional harm to their loved ones.

When it comes to changing their behavior, a narcissist needs to see what they are doing to others, how they are hurting their loved ones or the emotional abuse that they cause. Without empathy, they will not be able to change.

5. Sense of Entitlement

Those with NPD have a sense of entitlement. They believe that they are superior to everyone else and deserve special treatment. This filters into their relationships, family life, and work life. They are entitled in everything that they do.

When someone believes they are superior, deserve special treatment, and only think of themselves and their feelings, they will not change how they behave.

If you call the narcissist out on their behaviour, you can expect a mountain of abuse in return, as they are the ones that are entitled, not you.

6. Don’t Recognise Their Hurtful Behaviour

Due to their lack of empathy, self-centered behavior, and sense of entitlement, a narcissist will never recognize that their behavior is hurting those around them. Unfortunately, they believe everyone, including their loved ones and family members, is below them.

If you do not recognize their hurtful behavior, they will not change. Even trying to explain to them that they are hurting you emotionally will not help; they will just twist the truth and blame you.

7. Don’t Believe They Have a Problem

You can try and drag a narcissist to therapy, but it’s not going to help. They do not see their behavior as a problem. They do not believe they have a problem at all. Their false sense of self-importance makes them think they are always in the right.

As a result, this makes it exceptionally difficult for a narcissist to change their behavior, even with ongoing treatment.

8. They Believe Their Life is Perfect

A narcissist is not born, they develop their narcissistic traits over a period of time. Yes it is a personality disorder and they believe in their own lies. They will lie to get what they want and remain in control of their relationships. In their eyes their life is perfect.

This is due to their lack of empathy and heightened sense of entitlement. When you believe everything is absolutely perfect about your life, why would you need to change?

With their lack of empathy, they do not care about anyone but themselves, seeing themselves as more important than anyone else. This, in turn, makes it almost impossible for them to change their behaviour for the better.

Narcissistic Traits vs NPD

It is not uncommon for you to think you are living with a narcissist with NPD when, in fact, they have narcissistic traits. A difference determines whether they are willing to change their behavior.

Most people have some narcissistic traits at some point. Those that do not have NPD, but display occasional narcissistic traits are more likely to see that they have a problem and be open to treatment.

Those with NPD are unlikely ever to see that they are the problem, always blaming everyone else. They refuse to expose their vulnerable side and, therefore, are very unlikely ever to change their behaviour.

Don’t Try and Change a Narcissist

If you have realized that your spouse, loved one, or family member is a narcissist, don’t try to change them. Firstly, a narcissist doesn’t like being called a narcissist. Secondly, they think they are right and you are wrong, you are not as important as them.

Narcissists use several harmful behaviors to get what they want. They can quickly turn the tables on you, making you wonder if you were wrong in the first place for accusing them.

If you try and change a narcissist, calling them out on their behavior, chances are it is going to leave you feeling worthless and useless.

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