Can I change my narcissistic ways?
Hi Mac! Thank you for asking such an insightful question. Many professionals believe that narcissists cannot change. This is because they feel that narcissists aren’t really aware of their narcissistic tendencies. These issues are often deep-seated, and self-preservation stops them from even recognizing their problems. Mac, you are ahead of the game. You are aware and admitting you might have Narcissistic Personality Disorder which is already a step forward.
So first, what is Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Narcissistic Personality Disorder is one of several types of personality disorders—is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.
There are a few things you can do to change narcissistic tendencies. Know what your triggers are. Narcissistic behavior often emerges when a person suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder gets “triggered.” Recognize what your triggers are. For example, you often feel a surge of anger when someone you perceive being of a “lower status” challenges your authority in the workplace. Or you may notice that you are often dismissive of other people when they suggest ideas.
Believe it or not, narcissistic people have serious self-esteem issues. Because of this fragile self-esteem, they need to project their superiority and put other people down. What narcissistic people need to do above all else is to practice self-love. Narcissist people are often impulsive and make decisions without thinking of the consequences. If you display narcissist tendencies, it’s important to emphasize thinking first and reacting later.
Train yourself to be empathetic. Express genuine interest in and curiosity about people in your life. Listen at least as much as you talk. Be careful not to thoughtlessly intrude upon others’ personal space, use their personal property, or take up their personal time without permission.
Practice gratitude in your life. Gratitude requires a whole lot of humility—something narcissists often have difficulty understanding. But if there is one way to quench an inflated ego, practicing gratitude will certainly do the trick. This is because gratitude shifts you from thinking about yourself to feeling grateful for other people and things in your life.
So, Mac, you have taken a big step in admitting you have narcissistic tendencies. I hope this has been helpful and wish you luck in your journey to wellness.