Can people really change? I believe so. Can narcissists change? I believe the answer is no, in 99.9 % of the cases. In today’s lesson we’ll look more closely at this.
What does it mean for you, the partner or ex of a narcissist? Well, it means if you feel comfortable with a repeated banging of your head against an emotional brick wall, you could stay with the narcissist and keep trying. You could talk about your hurt feelings until you see small drops of blood trickling from his ears. (Sorry that was distasteful. But you see my point). No matter what you do, or say, you will never get the narcissist to care about the hurt he has caused you. He will never change. Ever.
If you insist on staying with the narcissist, you have to accept all the abuse that comes along. It’s a package deal, you can not get only the good parts, cause they are only a mirage. (Surely you know this, after reading Alice in Wonderland).
I remember being so frustrated that I could scream. It is incomprehensible that another person could knowingly keep on hurting you, and not stop, self-reflect, and change, when you tell them how you feel. Do not ever think that you “explained in the wrong way”, that if you “give him time”, give him a “taste of his own medicine”, etc, that he will change.
A narcissist will never change, cause who he is, is so deeply ingrained in his personality.
If you try to tell the narcissist about his disorder, he will probably either laugh, dismiss it, or get angry. I do not recommend telling your narc that he is one, since it will not matter in the end. I did try it with mine, once he protested mildly and ignored it, the other time he texted me back; “Well, we all have our problems.☺”.
What about therapy?
From all I’ve read about narcissists, therapy is usually not helpful. Apparently, therapists in general find narcissists to be among the hardest patients to treat. Since they are highly manipulative, they can show a fake persona to the therapist, charm, or devalue/discard him/her. Since the narcissist doesn’t feel there is anything wrong with them, (their False Self is the greatest person alive, what’s not to love?) they will likely not keep up the therapy for the required time to get lasting results. Narcissism runs so deep and my guess is that it would require a substantial period of time in therapy. If you’re already emotionally broken, you probably do not have that time, to wait for a very uncertain outcome.
My guess is, that even if your narcissist goes to therapy, he will ruin it in some way. My narcissistic ex (aka “Hero”), promised me several times he’d get into therapy. He never did. (Just a way to hoover me back).
In all fairness, I will mention one exception. (You know that to every rule, there is an exception, right?). Of all the hundreds of personal stories and articles I’ve read, I’ve only found one example of a narcissist who not only realized “who he was”, but voluntarily sought therapy to change his ways. Now, I can not vouch for the authenticity of his blog, but it was an interesting read. (It seems he stopped blogging, but you can read his blog Here.)
I believe the only time a narcissist will be capable of changing, is if he has a life crisis where his house of cards comes crashing down. If this happens (against all odds), I do believe the narcissist will voluntarily seek therapy, cause he is in genuine agony. I’d still not give a narcissist the benefit of the doubt, since it could just as well be an act, to hoover you. (We’ll talk more about this subject in another post).
Even with the exception mentioned, “a narcissist falling apart with pain”, I think it’s clear that’s a one in a million type thing. I’d say, “the Promise to change” is usually just another game. I think it’s safe to say that no, the leopard can not change its spots.
So unfortunately, it will be all up to you, if you stay and let it tear you to pieces. Or if you go and let it remain a predator in the wild.