Can a narcissist change is a question that can be addressed later. First, you need to find out if you are dating one!
So, are you confused about whether or not you are dating a narcissist?
Here are ten signs of narcissism to watch out for.
1. The beginning of your relationship was a fairy-tale
A narcissist knows how to turn on the charm when they need to. When you first met, you likely thought your partner was attentive and wonderful.
They complimented you, insisted on your compatibility, and made you feel special. This is often referred to as “love bombing.”
This feels great at the beginning of your relationship, but the moment you have your first argument, your partner’s narcissistic personality begins to shine. Suddenly, nothing you do will ever be good enough for your spouse.
2. Narcissist nitpicks
At the beginning of your relationship, you probably took your spouse nitpicks as playful, maybe even flirtatious teasing.
But as the relationship goes on, gentle teasing may turn into cruel comments. There are no boundaries for what a narcissist will say to hurt you.
3. They’re always talking about themselves
A healthy conversation involves a back and forth between partners.
Your partner should talk TO you, not AT you.
Opposite of this, a narcissist doesn’t care about the details of your day. They are only interested in talking about themselves.
Narcissists will take any opportunity to brag about themselves.
4. Gaslighting has become commonplace
To gaslight means to manipulate someone psychologically, to the point that many victims begin to question their own sanity.
You always believe that when something goes wrong, it is your fault
Narcissists will gaslight a partner to get their way or to assert their dominance in the relationship.
5. They don’t have a lot of friends
Because a narcissist lacks feelings for others, you may notice that your spouse or partner does not have many friends – or may not have many long-term friends.
6. You break up, and they revert to being wonderful
Breaking up with a narcissist will shatter their ego. After all – they’re perfect! How could you possibly want out of a relationship with someone so wonderful?
A narcissist will go into a downward spiral when you break up with them and may revert to that charming, attentive, love-bomber you met so long ago.
7. They love compliments
We all love to be complimented every once in a while, especially by our partners, but narcissists feed off of compliments.
While a narcissist may come off as arrogant, the reality is that narcissists usually have low self-esteem and love attention and compliments.
8. They never apologize
A narcissist will not consider your feelings and therefore will never believe that they are responsible for any argument or issue you are having.
They will not acknowledge, compromise, and will not apologize for their wrongdoings. Watch out for these signs before you ruminate over the thought, can a narcissist change.
9. Narcissists lack empathy
Because narcissists’ sole focus is themselves, they lack the ability to connect to and feel for other people.
If your partner lacks empathy and doesn’t seem to care about your feelings, odds are they are a selfish narcissist.
10. They won’t commit
Commonly, narcissists do not like defining their relationships. This is often because they enjoy having many parents – more people to lavish attention on them.
If your partner does commit to a relationship, you may still find them displaying disrespectful behavior such as flirting with other people or carrying on secret relationships.
Is it possible for a narcissist to change their ways?
Having read the typical signs of being in a narcissistic relationship, we can now come back to our lingering question- do narcissists ever change? Can a narcissist change for love?
Yes and yes – but it’s going to take a whole lot of work.
One of the barriers to changing a narcissist is that a narcissist, by nature, thinks that they are amazing. They may not see the need for change.
PsychologistErica Hepper believes that narcissists can experience empathy and be moved to change their ways under ideal conditions.
Empathy may not be their first response, but showing your partner what life is like in your shoes may be exactly what they need to change their ways.
If your partner truly loves you, they may be moved to take action against their toxic behavior.
Even so, change and lasting change are two different things.
What makes a narcissist change? For lasting change to occur, a narcissist must feel or do the following:
Fear of losing something
If your spouse is afraid that you may break up with them if they do not change their selfish ways, this could be the motivation they need to turn things around.
Some form of narcissist therapy
Researchshows that narcissistic personality disorder has been positively impacted by psychotherapy. Only by getting to the bottom of what is driving their narcissistic behavior can they begin to address and correct problem areas.
Finding someone they connect with
A narcissist will not respond well to a judgemental, bossy therapist. Like any other form of therapy, the patient must find someone they connect with and respect to make progress.
But can a narcissist change for love, and how can you tell if a narcissist partner is ready for that change?
The answer is hard to know, especially if you have been encouraging your spouse to get help for some time. It may be difficult to know whether they are interested in genuine change or whether they are just saying so to placate you.
What makes a narcissist change?
It depends entirely on their willingness to change. If they are motivated enough and truly love you, they are more likely to make genuine efforts to change their destructive behavioral patterns.
Does your partner wonder why they behave the way they do? Have they expressed interest in knowing why they are seemingly so different from friends and loved ones?
If so, it may be a sign that they are interested in changing their ways.
It may help if they get a diagnosis – but not of narcissistic personality disorder. It is common for narcissists to suffer from other disorders such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse.
If they are diagnosed with another issue, it may encourage them to seek therapy, which will ultimately end up touching on their personality disorder.
It’s difficult to know if your partner is honest about their desire to change but try and encourage healthy communication about the matter. You know your partner better than anyone, so use your gut instinct.
Risk of changing a narcissist partner
Are there risks associated with starting the journey to change a narcissistic partner?
Of course. There are always risks when trying to change someone’s personality.
Can a narcissist change?
Yes, and here are some things you may experience when your partner begins their path to change.
Being let down
It can be devastating if your partner makes progress but continues to have slip-ups. It is especially heartbreaking if your partner makes no change at all and gives up on therapy. This can leave you feeling hopeless and trapped in your relationship.
Watching your partner change
Your partner is taking well to narcissist therapy and is implementing great changes. That’s good news, right?
Of course, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult sometimes. Your partner’s personality may change quite a bit, and although these are good changes, you may not recognize the person you fell in love with.
Ending the relationship
If your partner continues on their journey of growth and self-discovery, they may want to focus on themselves and decide to end your relationship.
Psychotherapy, also referred to as talk therapy, is the most popular treatment for overcoming narcissism.
Can a narcissist change with therapy?
Yes, if they are committed to the therapy. During narcissist therapy, your partner will learn how to relate to others and build empathy.
Your spouse will also learn more about themselves. They will get to the root of their untrusting, egotistical behavior.
If your partner commits to talk therapy, you should begin to see their changes ripple throughout your relationship.
They may be more engaging and communicative about your thoughts and feelings. They may start to understand you on a deeper level and overall be a happier person to be around.
There are currently no medications to help in overcoming narcissism. There are antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs that may be used to treat other issues commonly associated with narcissistic personality disorder.
As for the partner, learning how to help a narcissist heal will involve your patience, love, and support.
How to support a narcissist partner during treatment?
We have been mulling over the question, can a narcissist change. But, change doesn’t happen in a day. It is going to take time for your partner to commit to narcissist therapy.
Genuine change takes time, and waiting for your spouse to be the man or woman of your dreams can be a frustrating and agonizing process – especially if they are still displaying unhealthy behaviors toward you.
For this reason, patience is going to be your best friend when it comes to learning how to help a narcissist heal.
Learning how to confront a narcissist is another important part of the healing process. You must learn how to hold a narcissist accountable for their bad behavior.
It is essential to set boundaries and guidelines in your relationship to ensure your partner is not mistreating you.
Narcissistic behavior does not always mean your spouse has a narcissistic personality disorder.
A narcissist is defined as someone who thinks mainly of themselves and uses toxic behavior such as gaslighting to get their way.
Being with a narcissistic partner may feel similar to being in an abusive relationship. All narcissists are not created equal. Their symptoms vary.
Signs of narcissism include a constant need for attention, apparent egotism, lack of interest or empathy for others, and an inability to apologize.
What makes a narcissist change?
Only a true desire to change will encourage your partner to commit to therapy and the process.
Narcissist therapy can be beneficial for those who want to banish narcissistic personality disorder.
Changing narcissistic behavior can’t be forced. People change only when they want to. Their heart must be committed to the process. Otherwise, their changes may only be temporary.
Do narcissists ever change? Can a narcissist change for love?
They can, but that doesn’t always mean they will. If your partner is making positive changes to learn how to stop being a narcissist, you will be able to see your relationship improve.
If your partner is not making changes even after going to therapy, it may be time to end your relationship.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.