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How to Not Be a Narcissist: 13 Self-Reflecting Steps to Change You

The light bulb has gone off in your head. You want to change your life for the better and learn how to not be a narcissist. Here’s how you do it.

When it comes to narcissism and selfishness, most people think if you have those qualities, you’re incapable of changing. That’s who you are, and that’s who you’ll always be. But it’s not true. It is possible to learn how to not be a narcissist!

Of course, narcissists are usually unaware of their own behavior as their issues are deeply rooted. They use narcissism as a way to avoid their problems. But even narcissists are able to change with the right therapy.

Perhaps you’re a self-aware narcissist, and in that case, you’re more aware of your behavior and how it impacts others.

[Read: How to be a better person and grow into a kind human]

How to not be a narcissist

So, you want to change. First, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Do you want to change for yourself? Then that’s great! But if you want to change to win back an ex or achieve a different goal, it may not work out so well for you in the long run.

There’s no need to rush this process. Give yourself time to go through it. Changing a behavior you’ve grown accustomed to daily for years and years won’t be easy. It will take time, and you’ll hit bumps along the way. But it is possible to learn how to not be a narcissist. Do it for yourself.

#1 If you’re really a narcissist, chances are you don’t think you are. If you’re wondering whether or not you’re a narcissist, odds are you probably aren’t. Narcissists don’t typically self-reflect and see themselves as selfish people. But maybe people have told you multiple times you’re a narcissist and that got you thinking *although, it probably didn’t*. [Read: Here is how to tell if someone is a narcissist or not] 

#2 Do you really want to change for you? Before you make any change, you need to make sure you’re doing it for yourself. Don’t change because you want to impress someone or get your ex-partner back. You must want to change for yourself. It can be the only reason. If not, your change won’t be permanent. 

#3 Get yourself a notebook. You’re going to need one. Get yourself a small notebook where you can jot down your thoughts and feelings throughout the day. It’s crucial you do so. You’ll be able to track yourself and why you react the way you do in specific situations. [Read: These positive personality traits can change your life for the better]

#4 Don’t do it alone. If you’re going to work on your narcissism/selfishness, you shouldn’t do it alone. If you’re able, it’s best to go through this change with the support of a therapist.

They’ll be able to give you specific techniques that are tailored for you. Plus, you’ll be able to get an outsider perspective on your life, which is always helpful. 

#5 Identify what you want to change. What is it about yourself you want to change? Before you can change, identify what you want to change. Take out your notebook *I told you it would be handy* and write down the behaviors you’d like to change and what situations cause you to respond with that behavior. [Read: How to change your life – 12 easy hacks for a dramatic makeover]

#6 Identify your triggers. Keep your notebook out! If you really want to change, then you should be very aware of your behavior. Throughout your days, write down things that trigger you. Is it a specific person? Or if someone gets praised and you don’t?

#7 Focus on 50/50 conversations. Narcissistic people tend to run the conversation and have it focused on themselves. In a normal conversation, 50% of it should involve you talking, and the other 50% should have the other person talking. So, be aware and try to make the conversation as even as possible. [Read: Conversational narcissist? Do you love talking and hate listening?]

#8 Use the “three perspectives” rule. This is a great rule to help you change your behavior. In any situation you’re in, 1) look at the situation from your perspective, 2) look at the situation from the perspective of the other main person, 3) look at the situation from an outside observer. 

#9 Delay unwanted behaviors. The way you typically respond to situations is now what you want to avoid. You need to rewire your brain, which isn’t going to be easy. Before responding to anything, count to 20 in your head and take a couple of deep breaths. Before responding, think about the last time you responded in your old way and the reaction you received; now, you should change that.

#10 Test out a new response. So, you want to change the way you respond to a situation. Once you have identified your triggers, work on changing your response to something new. Each time you use a new response, see it as huge progress. Behavior is hard to change.

#11 Constantly review your success and try to improve. Doing these tips a couple of times a week isn’t going to work. You need to be constantly working on yourself and then reflecting on the progress you’ve made. But just because you see progress doesn’t mean you can relax and let things go. 

#12 Practice gratitude. There’s a lot in this world to be grateful for. And we tend to overlook the things around us that we should be grateful for. To help deflate your ego, practice gratitude. By practicing gratitude, you shift thinking away from yourself to other people and things in your life. [Read: Secret to happiness? The uncomplicated guide to a happy life] 

#13 Even if you’re not narcissistic, this can curb your selfishness. Odds are if you’re reading this, then you’re not a narcissist. When you’re a narcissist, you usually don’t recognize this behavior. But that doesn’t mean you’re not selfish. By using these tips, they’ll help you curb your selfishness.

[Read: How to stop being selfish: 20 ways to stop hurting yourself and others]

Learning how to not be a narcissist won’t be easy, but if you truly want to change yourself for the better, you can do it.

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