When you ask how to stop being a narcissist, you believe yourself to be one. The good news is we all have the potential to change when committed to it.
I am not going to lie. Narcissistic personalities are about the most caustic and dangerous ones to get involved with romantically or otherwise. It is hard to be in love with a narcissist. Because they love only one person—themselves. If you want to know how to stop being a narcissist, the good news is that admittance is the first step to recovery.
How to stop being a narcissist
Narcissistic people have one common trait. They love themselves above all others. Typically, a symptom of the way they were raised, they usually miss a key ingredient to being able to be in a stable relationship, empathy. Empathy is how you put yourself into someone else’s shoes and feel for them. If you don’t have the ability, then the only person’s feelings you relate to are your own.
Even if you didn’t ever learn how to be empathetic, it is never too late to develop the skill. I am not going to lie, it is a hard road to recover from the narcissistic view of life. If you really commit to change and want it, it is possible.
#1 Make a conscientious effort to think about how others feel. One of the cornerstones of a narcissist is only caring about the way they feel, what they get out of a relationship, and not even caring that others have feelings. If you want to stop being a narcissist, stop and ask people how they feel.
Truly care about what someone feels or how your actions, behaviors, or things you say, impacts them. You might be surprised to find you affect a whole lot of people, not only negatively, sometimes positively too. [Read: How not to hurt people’s feelings: The golden rules you need]
#2 Be thankful. Narcissistic personalities aren’t ever grateful for anything. Since they believe the world revolves around them, whatever comes their way is justified. They are entitled to it. That leads to a state of ungratefulness.
If someone does something nice for you, say thank you and truly mean it. Stop thinking the world owes you something and see no one is obligated to do, say, or buy you anything. Even if it is super hard, learning to be grateful, is key to overcoming your self-centered nature. [Read: 100 completely overlooked, yet awesome things to be thankful for]
#3 Stop calling names and degrading people. The way a narcissist feels better about themselves is by taking out people around them or lowering someone else’s status to rise above.
Knowing how to stop being a narcissist means you must rise above calling people names, belittling them, or degrading them to make yourself feel better. It might make you feel good, but stop to look around at the way you make everyone else feel either uncomfortable or bad. You just might want to be a better person.
#4 Don’t expect a ceremony every time that you do anything. Stop thinking you should be rewarded for breathing. No, it is not an honor to be in your presence or to hang out with you.
If you think everyone around you is ungrateful, or that you give way more than anyone else, it is time to come back to earth and realize your incessant need to have people fall over you is not cool. And, it ruins your relationships with the people who tire of feeling like they should shout “all hail the king” when you enter a room. [Read: How to fine tune your internal compass and change yourself]
#5 Calm the hell down. If you are like a ticking time bomb that goes off whenever something is said that you don’t like, calm the hell down. Part of overcoming your narcissistic ways is to stop feeling like everything is a challenge to you personally, and that the only way to control people or stop them from voicing their opinion, is to freak out on them and either start screaming or gaslighting.
When you gaslight someone, you take an argument or statement that they say, and you throw out everything you got from your closet of confusion just to knock them off course and win.
If someone critiques you, you have two choices. You either decide to accept what they say or reject it. But, you can’t just beat the hell out of them to win. That is narcissism all the way. [Read: 11 behaviors that show you manipulate people]
#6 Stop tooting your own horn. Yes, we are all sure that whatever you did was awesome, but we don’t have to hear a resume from you every time we’re together. Let your accomplishments and work talk for themselves.
Constantly tooting your own horn really only says to people that you half believe how great you are. Telling everyone your awesomeness is making people wonder if you are convincing them or yourself.
#7 Stop hating. Yep, narcissistic people are envious to the highest degree. Believing that you are entitled to the best, when someone has something that you want, you go to town either cutting it down to make it less great or trying to make them envy you by acquiring something better.
Life is not a competition to see who can have the greatest shit. Stop the hating and just let someone else have something without being envious and trying to take it from them by whatever means necessary. [Read: How to stop being jealous of someone else’s success]
#8 Stop using people to get what you want. Stop thinking that everyone in your life is disposable and a means to your end. People aren’t put on earth to serve you. They certainly aren’t tools to get what you want, although you use them that way.
If you want to understand how to stop being a narcissist, stop being with people only for what they can do for you and consider other reasons why you would want to form relationships like love, support, and connection.
#9 Try to figure out what love, support, and connection are. If you don’t have an understanding of what other people feel, it is pretty hard to feel loving emotions toward them.
Stop looking at people and deciding what they can do for you and think about why you love them and shouldn’t be without them for personal reasons of emotions and feelings, not furthering yourself. That, I am afraid, is going to be your biggest challenge. [Read: The things about love you’ll only learn from experience]
#10 Stop thinking that life is all about what you have. If you are a narcissist, then you scoff at the notion that money doesn’t make you happy. If there wasn’t money, then what would there be to make you happy? Things don’t make you, the people you love do. You only get one go around on this earth, and, guess what? When the ride is over, you can’t take your shit with you.
Until you realize the only things that matter here are the lives you touch and the memories you hold, you will never stop your narcissistic ways.
Narcissists get a bad rap. I mean that sincerely. Just like the narcissist learned their ways through behavior modification and role modeling, they are capable of unlearning their ways. It is going to take some true introspection, giving up of what you came to believe, finding empathy for others, and maybe, just maybe, not always getting what you want.
Sometimes what we want and need are two different things. If you can find the difference, then there is hope you will learn how to stop being a narcissist and give happiness to others in your life.