Most people wish to change the narcissist they live with but no matter how hard they try or what method they use, they find that it’s almost impossible to help a narcissist change.
Of course it’s difficult to change a narcissist who is not willing to. It becomes even harder when this narcissist is convinced that there is nothing wrong with his personality.
Before you try to help a narcissist change it’s important to understand that believing that one is perfect and better than other people, is a part of narcissism defence mechanism. Narcissists badly need this belief about themselves simply because it helps them elevate their self-worth and self-importance. That’s why it’s a big mistake to try to convince a narcissist directly that there is something wrong with him while trying to change him. This is because you would be taking away important blocks he has used to build his self-worth.
Everybody who has ever tried to change a narcissist using criticism knows how it can backfire. Narcissists are controlling but they hate being controlled. That’s why you should try to help a narcissist change indirectly. Don’t reveal any intention of trying to change or control them.
Doing the following will be important.
Inform them about narcissism
When a narcissist discovers that his narcissism and his unreasonable behaviour was developed as a defence mechanism to cope with past unpleasant life experiences, he realises that narcissism is a weakness not a strength. But how do you convince them that they are narcissistic in the first place?
I have seen several narcissists who know and admit that they are narcissists, although most of them only admitted this to a psychiatrist and on internet social platforms where they would get help, most of them would never admit to their loved ones that they are narcissist. This means that narcissists are capable of introspection and understanding themselves.
To help a narcissist discover his narcissism, you will need to find a witty way to inform him about it indirectly and let him discover it himself. If you are dealing with an intelligent narcissist, this step will be easier. For example if he likes reading, sending him a well-informed article about narcissism and telling him how this personality is similar to your boss’s personality can be helpful.
Help him achieve narcissistic goals in a better way
Everybody behaves the way they do to get a certain reward or benefit, even if it was a useless behaviour like bullying. A bully tries to dominate a weaker victim because it helps him feel powerful. If someone stopped him from bullying, he would feel weaker. Some of narcissist’s odd behaviours such as being overly critical are meant to achieve superiority. By criticising you or someone else he can feel superior over you. The goal of achieving superiority is so important to some narcissists that if changing meant giving it up, they would simply not change.
In order to help this kind of narcissist change, you would need to help him achieve the same goal of superiority but in a healthy way. For example by praising him. This way, he would give up the harmful and useless method of achieving this goal and still be happy. Of course it’s not that simple but you should follow the same concept.( See also: Can a narcissist change for love)
Timing is important
A narcissist’s mood can change like traffic lights. If you approach them while they are defensive and upset, you may get bad results. If you approach them while they are maniac and overly excited, you can get bad results as well. The right time to approach is when they are calm and relaxed. In this state they are quite confident and open to suggestions. In other words, you should approach him when he is feeling good about himself, not when he is craving narcissistic supply.
The improved coaching will not only help you deal with a narcissist successfully or recover from emotional abuse but you will ask me as many questions as you want. See: can a narcissist make you a narcissist.