I recently saw a question on quora, someone was asking if love can change a narcissist and turn them into a better person. That was an interesting question but the answers she was getting seemed to come from people who were quite unfamiliar with narcissists’ thinking patterns.
Some people try to change their narcissistic partner using criticism but find that criticism can only make matters worse, and wonder if displaying love and affection towards their narcissistic partner would have opposite effects.
No matter how harder they try, they end up disappointed simply because change has to come from within. Of course it’s possible to change a narcissist or anybody else but unless they are fully convince that there are some benefits associated with changing, they would never bother try changing.
Most people understand the fact that someone would easily change if they believe it’s beneficial. This makes them think that a narcissist would use the logic “I need my partner’s love but my narcissistic behaviour turns them off, if I change, they would love me more.” That’s pretty logical but the narcissist’s unconscious mind knows no logics.
Can a Narcissist Change Because of Love
Love can change a narcissist by making them more or less narcissistic depending on the interpretation they give it. Majority of narcissists believe that they are lovable, charming, and impressive. When they find that someone is infatuated with them, they usually conclude that it’s all because of their charming personality, good character, looks, or any other advantage.
They must jump to this conclusion weather true or false just because it helps them achieve the goal of superiority that they are always after. In my previous articles I said that narcissists need to feel superior so much that they can even distort reality just to feel so. This interpretation of love makes them fall in love with themselves rather than their partner. This can make them even more narcissistic.
Some narcissists believe that their unique personality is what attracts the opposite sex. That’s quite true because most people get attracted initially by their charming personality, love bombs, and all good characters they display in the beginning of a relationship. This can make it impossible for them to change because of believing that their traits deserve love.
Sometimes, their partner usually tries to change them when conflicts arise. In this kind of situations, the narcissist is usually defensive and only obsessed with proving oneself right and winning. Here, love is given a second priority. Most of them can hardly let go of their ego in the name of saving the relationship. A disloyal narcissist would see no reason for putting effort into changing just to settle in a relationship that passion has already faded, f they can find someone new and they highs of the initial stages of the relationship.
When Love can Change a Narcissist
It’s wrong to assume that love can never bring some positive changes in a relationship with a narcissist.
If a narcissist values the relationship, if they greatly depend on their partner for self-esteem and feeling important about themselves, if they believe they would lose a great deal if the relationship ended, this can motivate them to change. But keep in mind that some narcissists would never want their partner to notice that they are want to change because they value them that much. This would imply that their partner has the upper hand and this is against their goal of superiority. Although, some narcissists can pretend to have changed just to keep their partner closer.
A narcissist who is really interested in changing would want to make it look like it was their own decision rather than an influence from their partner, even if the opposite was true.
An important point to consider here is that even if they would see benefits associated with changing, believing that changing would make them look less dominant, less superior, or somehow subordinate can prevent them from changing.