Can a narcissist change if they really want to? Because that’s the dream, right?
Hope is a beautiful and powerful thing. It is the fuel that keeps you going when you’re tempted to give up. It can help you see past circumstances in the present moment that might not be ideal, allowing you to hold onto the prospect of better times ahead.
Many inspirational people have pushed through hard times and went on to achieve great success and abundance in their lives, all due to the power of hope.
Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television show as being ‘unfit’ for TV. J.K. Rowling once lived on government assistance and her first book, Harry Potter, was initially rejected by all 12 major publishers. Steven Spielberg was rejected by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts multiple times.
But, they all held onto hope and were able to realize success beyond their wildest dreams.
However, the bad side to hope is that it can also keep you stuck in a hopeless situation, such as the case of relationships with narcissistic individuals. Holding onto the hope that a narcissist — your narcissist — can change is a pipe dream that leads to a wasted life. So, to answer the question…
Can a narcissist change?
No one can say that it can’t happen. However, the probability of a narcissist changing is approximately zero.
In other words, I cannot guarantee that a narcissist would never change, but I would bet large sums of money that they wouldn’t.
The chance that a Narcissist will change is about the same as my constructing a drone for the Department of Defense, all without an instructional pamphlet.
It’s like the legends of Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster. There are people who adamantly insist these creatures exist, but no one has ever really seen them.
The same goes for a narcissist making lasting change.
In fact, to date, there is no known cure for narcissistic personality disorder, so there are no documented cases of a person being cured of it.
If you’re not sure whether the person in your life is a narcissist or not, just know that a label is not necessary to determine if your relationship is unhealthy. If there is a pervasive pattern of emotional abuse, sabotage, silent treatments, infidelity, financial abuse, or other forms of control and cruelty, your relationship is toxic.
But, hope may be keeping you stuck.
When Hope is Destructive
Hope and narcissists, when combined, don’t produce happy endings. The narcissist keeps you hopeful for the POSSIBILITY of things, but you’ll find yourself always chasing the ever-elusive carrot.
Are you hooked on the narcissist’s potential? Determined to try one more time because maybe they’ll change? Do you cling to the smallest hint that this person gives a care?
Before you know it, years will have passed and everything will be exactly the same as it’s always been. Often much worse because you’ll have developed chronic illnesses, lost your career and any future employment opportunities, and your relationship with your children will be down the drain.
It’s hard to give hope a bad rap. It’s hard not to sympathize with people who hold onto hope. It seems honorable. But in the case of narcissistic abuse, it keeps you STUCK.
When it comes to hoping the narcissist can change — Hope is your nemesis. You need to throw Hope out of the window of your speeding vehicle and launch a reality campaign.
Why? Because the power of Hope is so strong, narcissists will use it to exploit you infinitely. The goal of a narcissist is to do whatever makes them happy at any given moment.
Your goal is to enlighten them about the power of your love so they will devote themselves to you.
Your Love +Devotion = Free Labor, Unrestrained Freedom, and Leisure for the narcissist.
So, they use Hope to keep you trapped.
Hope doesn’t want this truth to rise to the surface of your conscious mind. Hope tells you, “You can make this work. You can change him/her. All you need to do is be nice to them and they will go back to the person you fell in love with.” There’s only one problem with that. The person you fell in love with never existed. It was all a lie. It’s probably the biggest lie you’ll come to acknowledge about the Narcissistic in your life.
Hope wants The Charmer that you met in the beginning. The Charmer that told you everything you wanted to hear, fulfilled all of your needs, and made you feel special. The Charmer was your soul mate.
Your Logic, however, knows better. Your Logic knows The Charmer was a lie. Your Logic knows that the narcissist is really a Dark Villain. However, Hope usually wins out over Logic. Then, you resent yourself because you let Hope tag-team against you with the Narcissist.
You know that sick feeling you get in the pit of your stomach after you forgive the narcissist, yet again, and they go back to their evil ways in four minutes flat? That comes from letting Hope take the wheel in your decision-making in regards to the narcissist.
The only antidote to being defeated by false Hope is honoring yourself and releasing that which doesn’t serve your highest good. Make a list of deal-breakers. Implement boundaries. Be your own best friend and advocate and take a hard look at the truth.
When you hope you’ll someday know happiness— after you get a fulfilling relationship, the right house, the right job— Hope allows you to avoid reality.
We all want to feel happy. We all want to avoid feeling pain. That’s what makes Hope so enticing. It distances us from the moment and propels us immediately into something better.
But, holding onto hope in spite of devastating reality is self-sabotage of the highest degree.
Hope is like the Siren Song. In spite of the crashed boats on the rocks and skeletons floating in the water, hope makes you look past these atrocities and towards the beautiful horizon.
You’ll barely notice the deadly capsizing of your boat until it’s too late.
Hope and reality combine for authentic hope.
Real hope combines a hopeful outlook with a solid grip on reality. This is the stuff of commitment.
Be steadfast in living in reality at all costs. Make a commitment to no longer deceive yourself into thinking your relationship is just going to suddenly improve and become fulfilling and normal. In order to live a healthy life, you must be honest with yourself about how compulsive your own behaviors are with respect to your relationship, and how abusive the narcissist really is.
Like someone suffering from substance abuse, you need a narcissistic abuse recovery program that can help you avoid relapse by learning about yourself, habits, and triggers.
The Essential Break Free Bootcamp may be the missing piece of the puzzle.
I know what you’re going through and I’m here to help. Learn more about the course and see what my students and neuroscience experts have to say about it.