How To Stop Being A Narcissist – A Guide

What Is Narcissism? Can a narcissist be a good person? Where can I learn how to stop being a narcissist? Can narcissism be cured? What are the steps to take to stop being a narcissist? If you are looking for answers to these and more related questions, this article is for you.

My name is Sean Galla, and I have been an online support group facilitator for over 10 years. In my years of work, I have overseen numerous support groups, including facilitating narcissist support groups. Part of the work we do in our support group is to offer information to help members better understand narcissism and narcissistic behavior.

In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about how to stop being a narcissist.

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Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

How To Stop Being A Narcissist – Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) terms narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) as a medically diagnosed borderline personality disorder where the person exhibits characteristics of grandiosity, hunger for admiration, expectations of special treatment, and lack of empathy for others.

All types of narcissism disorders are characterized by an unreasonably high sense of self-importance and self-worth. They constantly seek and need attention and praise from the people in their lives.  

English defines a narcissist as an individual who is mentally incapable of understanding or caring about the feelings and needs of others. While they may seem extremely confident, they struggle with their self-worth and self-esteem deep down. This is why even the least bit of criticism sets them off.

According to science, NPD is more prevalent among men than women, and the signs often begin to manifest in teenage years and early adulthood. NPD can be related to other mental health conditions.

A narcissist is a person diagnosed with narcissism or Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Wikipedia defines narcissism as a self-centered personality type characterized by having an excessive preoccupation with oneself and one’s own needs, often at the expense of others.

It is not uncommon to hear the word narcissism being used to describe sociopaths and people who seem overly full of themselves or vain, especially on social media. However, from a psychological standpoint, there is a lot more that goes into this term. A lot of research has been done to help mental health experts and practitioners in diagnosing narcissistic traits.

Are narcissists bad people? Medical psychiatry and psychotherapy experts can argue that people with these personality traits are not bad people but are just people who exhibit a problematic personality.

Learn more about covert vs. overt narcissist here.


How to Tell If You Are a Narcissist

It is common for individuals to wonder whether they may be narcissists. It is also common for people to want to know how to stop being a narcissist. If you have found yourself questioning your behavior towards other people, getting evaluated for a prognosis is important. Apart from narcissism, many other mental health conditions can affect human behavior, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder among others.

When being assessed by a qualified mental health professional for narcissism, they normally look for several behavioral patterns in an individual. To be diagnosed with narcissism, you must exhibit at least five of the following traits:

  • Believing they are unique and can only be understood by similarly special people
  • Need for praise, validation and admiration
  • Taking advantage of others for personal gain
  • Grandiosity and an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Obsession with fantasies of success and power
  • Jealousy, envy, distrust
  • Inability to maintain healthy relationships
  • They are self-centered
  • Sense of entitlement
  • They lack empathy
  • Arrogance

If you are a man overly concerned about the possibility of being a narcissist, it is common to wonder what exactly causes this mental health condition. Even with recent research, mental health professionals claim that there is no one clear cause of NPD. However, a combination of factors may lead to narcissism.

Research has shown that there is a correlation between narcissism and childhood experiences and traumas. Childhood trauma is a common cause of the condition. Consequently, children who grow up in households where they are constantly praised and made to feel better than others also sometimes develop NPD.

Other potential causes include:

  • Structural differences in the brain
  • Failing to have your emotional needs met child’s
  • Personality/temperament
  • Parental rejection or coldness
  • Overprotective or overindulgent parents
  • Narcissistic parents
  • Genetics

How to Stop Being a Narcissist

Once you realize that you may be narcissistic after self-reflection or you finally get diagnosed with the condition, your willingness to change your behavior will determine whether or not the medical and therapeutic interventions work for you.

The reason most narcissists get worse over time is that most of them are unwilling to put in the work needed to change their behavior.

If you are truly committed to managing the condition and improving your well-being, there are certain steps you can take to take charge of your narcissistic tendencies.

Identify your triggers

Every time you have a narcissistic reaction, it is because something triggers it. Vulnerable narcissist or covert narcissism triggers are most of the time the same as overt narcissism triggers.

For instance, if you constantly have to assert your achievements whenever a co-worker’s accomplishments are being celebrated, this may be a trigger for you. Once you know you do this often, you can control your responses and learn to be happy for others.

Accept that people are not perfect, and neither are you

Narcissists strongly believe that they are better than other people. The grandiose nature of the condition is a defense mechanism that makes a narc view everyone else as flawed and beneath them. This breeds selfishness and resentment.

To stop being a narcissist, you need to accept that humans, in general, are inherently imperfect. This includes you learning to resist the urge to control issues, people and situations. Accept that people are different and prone to mistakes.

Remember your self-worth

Whether you are an overt narcissist or covert narcissist, one thing all narcissists struggle with is low self-esteem and self-compassion. They may come off as overly confident and sure of themselves to the world. However, this is just a persona they take up to mask underlying self-esteem issues.

If you are a narc interested in changing, you need to constantly remind yourself of your worth, even during times when you feel like you are failing.

Feel your emotions

Lack of empathy for others and lack of self-awareness are common traits in narcs. This is because narcs are overly out of touch with their own emotions. One way of how to stop being a narcissist is learning to feel emotions.

Ignoring and suppressing your emotions is often the reason most narcs result in narcissistic rage outbursts.


Learn stress management

Learning how to manage your stress will help you overcome your avoidance behaviors. Without proper stress management techniques, individuals resort to rage as a response whenever they feel stressed. Pay attention to your stress reactions and adopt effective stress management techniques to make identifying your triggers easier and develop better coping mechanisms.

Pausing before reacting

If you react the way other narcs respond to negative feelings, angry outbursts and rage are probably your go-to reactions. One way to overcome negative reactions to anything that offends you is by becoming conscious of your outbursts. The next time you want to resort to anger, pause before you react.

Pausing before reaction gives you time to calm down, which stops you from reacting negatively.

Start caring for the feelings of others

The reason narcissists are termed cold and selfish is that they are overly obsessive about their own needs and out of tune with the needs of others. Narcissists think of themselves as better than others and more important. One way to experience personal growth is by starting to care about the emotions of others.

Start asking the people around you how they are doing and show genuine interest in their life without turning it into a competition.

Learn to apologize

Narcissists often use manipulation tactics such as gaslighting, blame-shifting, name calling and silent treatment to get away with their mistakes. Part of learning how to stop being a narcissist is learning how to take responsibility for your actions and apologizing.

When you apologize, you admit you are wrong and acknowledge how your actions affected others. This helps to rebuild trust with your loved ones, especially those who have been on the receiving end of your narcissistic abuse in your narcissistic relationship.

Start listening

It is common for narcs to want to interrupt conversations or try to redirect the conversation and make it all about them. Part of being a good friend, spouse, family member or work colleague is learning to listen and offer support.

How Therapy and Support Groups Can Help

Seeking professional help is a common challenge for most narcs. This is mostly due to their major gaps in self-awareness, their belief that they are perfect and their unwillingness to change.

Seeing a mental health professional is the best way to get a proper diagnosis, understand the type of narcissistic disorder and get the help you need to become a better person.

On top of therapy, joining a men-only support platform for men looking to overcome narcissistic traits can go a long way in helping you become a better person. MensGroup is an online men-only support that offers a judgement-free, safe space for men to share, learn and grow to become better versions of themselves.

At MensGroup, you will learn better coping mechanisms, how to control your anger, become more self-aware, and become a better man.  

The bottom line

When you or someone in your life lives with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, taking time to learn and understand NPD can go a long way in making it easier for them to find ways to overcome the symptoms and become a better human.

It is often said that a problem shared is a problem solved. Joining a narcissist support group is the first step you can take towards becoming a better man. offers you a platform where you can share your story to inspire others and get the support you need to overcome your narcissistic tendencies and become the best version of yourself.