How To Stop Being A Narcissist in 5 Simple Steps

Finding out that you have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) may be very unsettling. If you’ve recently been told or discovered that you may suffer from NPD, you may have a distorted self-image- meaning that you cannot see yourself for who you truly are. You may have unstable and intense emotions, often lashing out or caught in hysterics. Vanity, prestige, and power often pre-occupy your mind and you may also have a shallow sense of empathy.

Other symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder include an exaggerated sense of superiority and egocentrism, a characteristic in which people think their opinions, interests, and themselves are the only thing that matter. NPD may also be associated with being unable to handle constructive criticism, for example. Perhaps you criticize others often but are unable to take it when others offer any criticism in return.

There are plenty more narcissist traits that may lead you to believe that you- or someone you know and love- is a narcissist. Although it’s very uncomfortable to learn about yourself, realizing that you’re a narcissist may be the first step towards not being one anymore!

First things first

Narcissistic characteristics of grandiosity put a person on their own high horse. Realize that we are all unique individuals and no one is better than anyone. Talk to the people who love you the most, and hear them out. To stop being a narcissist, be open to hearing about your own behavior. This may trigger feelings of panic and self-loathing, but remember that these people love you and are rooting for your success. The most important tip for dealing with narcissistic traits is to understand how your actions affect others and developing a deeper sense of empathy.  

Practice Consideration

Consideration is a great way to break free from narcissistic tendencies. Practice empathizing with other people’s thoughts, feelings, dreams, etc. Bring it up in conversations if you want to jump the gun. Talk with co-workers or classmates, friends or family. Consideration never goes unnoticed. A few ways to practice consideration are:

  1. Speak to people using their names. You don’t have to say it over and over again, but when you start a conversation try to address them with their name. Using a person’s name will help build a more empathetic and personal connection.
  2. Be genuinely interested in what they have to say. If they are sharing personal interests or stories with you, be open to listening. You may not make friends with every single person, but it’s always rewarding to have meaningful conversations with the people that surround us.
  3. Listen as much as you speak! If you’ve carried on with a five-minute story about the weekend, let your co-worker do the same thing if they so choose. Often we carry on and on about our own lives but forget to check in with the other person. Maybe they need to get something off their chest, but you keep cutting them off and talking more. Cut them some slack, let them finish their story! Let someone else have the spotlight from time to time.
  4. Don’t be intrusive- respect personal space and privacy. Not everyone will want to share stories with you or talk for long. That’s okay, let them be. Eventually, they’ll open up, but if not that simply means they have their “own thing” going on. Likewise, don’t feel the need to tell everyone everything. A little mystery never hurt, but don’t close yourself off to the world. Making friends with others often details telling about your life to one another.
  5. Never make plans you don’t have intentions of sticking to. If you start making friends, great. But empty promises do go noticed. Don’t make promises you cannot keep such as attending a party or meeting up with someone for lunch. If something comes up, that is one thing. Life happens and people should always respect that. However, don’t make-up excuses and cancel or not show up. Always take responsibility if you’ve forgotten (because we’ve ALL been there).

Be Mindful

This goes also without consideration. Being mindful means thinking before acting. Being mindful allows you to be thoughtful and considerate. It’s putting yourself in the shoes of another. If someone forgets their lunch date with you, consider if they have lots going on and have been stressed out.

When talking to others and offering an opinion, ask yourself how it is going to sound to the person you’re talking to. Being mindful is thinking about how you’d feel if your words were said to you or if your actions were done to you. In essence, practice treating others the way you would like to be treated.


A fun way to battle narcissistic tendencies is to get into some art. Art is a beautiful and creative way to get into the minds of another person and see from another’s perspective. Look at any form of art (movies, paintings, still life) without any judgment, and consume it immensely. See through the artist’s eyes what brought them to this masterpiece. Take a deep breath through any feelings of self-loathing that you may experience.

Maybe you’ll start a hobby of making your own art, if you don’t already. Art allows you to express yourself in any which way you can imagine. Don’t compare yourself to others, let this be for you.

Seek help and Support!

Psychotherapy may be helpful – and is often recommended. The aim is to help you learn how to relate to other people and to understand your own problems, and all of the above-listed tips. This may help you understand your own issues, which can help change and adjust your attitude for the better. Overcoming NPD is easier for some than others. Seeking help is beneficial for anyone with NPD.

Share these tips with others, and continue to practice this every day. You can stop being a narcissist in relationships, friendships, with family, and with co-workers. Just keep practicing mindfulness, consideration, and utilizing healthy ways of expression such as art.

  1. Thank you Julie, I enjoyed reading your article. You provide good positive and constructive information to help anybody help themselves. Most of what I read on the internet, is negative regarding a person who sees themselves as narcissistic and is seeking help. Your article provides hope and compassion for those who want to dig out of this disease. Thank you again, Mark

  2. Thank you for this article it truly helps. I feel really down with my realtionship right now with my boyfriend and mostly to myself, now that I realized that I have been changing negatively. So thank you.

  3. My mother in law told be that I am a narcissist and ever since, I have admitted to it and have done steps to change. I didn’t realize I was acting that way and now I am going to completely change because I am more self aware about those behaviors. Thank you for sharing this article and I will be taking all of this advice, especially doing more art.

  4. Thank you Julie. I have recently come to the point where I am looking inward. With that being said , I think that you have done a great thing with this article. You have given people like me a chance to make positive growth.

  5. Hi Julie…I am narcissistic and it takes a lot to admit that. I have been accused of being passive aggressive, manipulative and a bully and for sure…am so easily offended…a sure sign. Have tried so hard to get help and its hard. Not many recovery groups or supports for us…just lots of sites telling us how awful we are and there to help the victims. But if we are not treated, then the problems continue. Grateful for this page. I just started a facebook page for NDP recovery…too shy to share it much yet, but hope to get help for us. Some of us want to change too.

  6. Thank you for this article. As previously noted, the internet is full of hatred for narcissists, how to get revenge on narcissists, accusations of being a narcissist, etc. I have been accused of being one by my adult daughter, and she has gone “no contact” with me and with her whole family for several years now. She has been reading on the internet. It is too late to save our relationship. But your advice on Practice Consideration is great for anyone, narcissistic or not. I have written it down and plan to put it into practice until it becomes a natural part of my behavior, as I do forget names and will say “Hello” instead of “Hello, John” plus I do tend to talk more than listen, which is pretty rude.

  7. Nice article, but you left out one important thing to countering narcissism and that’s volunteerism. Giving your time to help others is a great way to take the focus off yourself.

  8. Just came to a realization that I’m a narcissistic. My boyfriend brought it to my attention. I’m always trying to bully him into doing what I want so I can have my way. When I don’t get my way I punish him by blocking contact with him to make him suffer. I always want to break up when he don’t do what I tell him to do. I say things to insult him when I’m angry and when he say something back that I don’t like, I make it seems like it the end of the world. I’m never considered of others. I have two kids and I feel like my family and friends are suppose to spoil my kids and myself, by always being available for us. I been spoiled by my dad so I thought that was my problem just being spoiled. But truth is am a narcissist and my New Years resolution is to change.

  9. Thank you for this article. After 63 years I'm admitting I am narcissistic and I'm terrified. Can I change at this late date? Because of your article and suggestions I will give it a good try. While some of my symptoms are more aligned with my actions (living in a fantasy about my life, using and manipulating others, hating any criticism, avoiding those who do better than me, feeling better than thou, etc. etc.) I have some empathy but now I am wondering how genuine is the little that I have? Wow! There is a lot of work to do – within and without. Keep up your good work.

  10. Your article explains everything about who I am. My girlfriend has been telling me this for years. I’m currently seeking professional help which should have done years ago. I’m quick to criticize but receiving is very hard for me. I immediately shut down or talk about me & not listen. Waiting for her to stop talking because what I have to say is more important. I’m making a change for the better. Thank You

  11. Thank you for the positive message. I have been married for 30 years, and have realized that I need to change. There is so much information out there about narcissists and very little about how to heal and change. I look forward to reading more of your articles.

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