Dr. David B Hawkins debunks many myths about men with narcissistic personality traits. He gives examples and shows that the key to men changing is intervention. Too many women are frustrated and anxious about their men who have narcissistic traits without having undertaken the process of intervention. Dr. Hawkins talks about what an intervention looks like, how to do it, and how he might help you with the change process.
Can Intervention Change a Male Narcissist?
The topic of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) has gained significant attention in recent years. Many individuals wonder if intervention can truly make a difference for someone with NPD or narcissistic traits. In this article, we will debunk some misconceptions surrounding narcissism and explore the potential for change through interventions.
While severe cases of NPD may have a more guarded prognosis, we will focus on individuals who exhibit narcissistic traits but are not at the extreme end of the spectrum.
Understanding the Spectrum of Narcissistic Personality Traits
Before delving into interventions, it is important to differentiate between severe NPD and individuals with milder narcissistic traits. While individuals with severe NPD may face more challenges in terms of prognosis, those with milder traits can still benefit from interventions. It is essential to recognize where your partner lies on this spectrum and proceed accordingly.
The Need for Effective Intervention
If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who displays narcissistic traits, it is crucial to assess whether you have genuinely intervened in the process. Often, individuals mistake complaining or expressing dissatisfaction for intervention. True intervention involves taking definitive and decisive action to address the issues at hand. By setting clear boundaries and expressing that certain behaviors are intolerable, you can initiate the process of change.
The Power of Intervention
While it may seem daunting, you hold the power to make a difference in your relationship with a partner exhibiting narcissistic traits. Your first step is to acknowledge that you have control over whether you remain in the relationship or choose to leave. By expressing your willingness to stay but only under certain conditions, you assert your agency and create an opportunity for change.
The Role of Couples Work
One of the most effective ways to address narcissistic traits within a relationship is through couples therapy. By participating in couples work, both you and your partner can be held accountable for change. While this approach may not be endorsed by everyone, numerous success stories have emerged from couples who have undergone therapy to address narcissistic traits. Recognizing the importance of couples work can be a pivotal step in your intervention process.
Insisting on Individual and Couples Counseling
To maximize the potential for change, it is essential to insist on a combination of individual and couples counseling. Individual therapy allows your partner to explore and work through their narcissistic tendencies on a personal level. Simultaneously, couples counseling provides a safe space for both of you to navigate the challenges and dynamics within the relationship. By emphasizing the need for professional help, you convey the seriousness of the situation and the importance of growth.
The Power of Pulling Away
If your partner is unwilling to participate in the change process, you may need to consider pulling away. Initially, this could manifest as emotional distance, followed by spending brief periods away from each other. The duration of separation can increase gradually, allowing your partner to feel the impact of their actions and the potential consequences of their unwillingness to seek help. This period of withdrawal serves as a litmus test, revealing their commitment to personal growth and change.
The Impact of Intervention
While it is crucial to recognize that individuals with NPD or narcissistic traits may continue to face challenges, intervention can still yield positive results. By drawing clear boundaries and insisting on therapy, you create an environment conducive to change. However, it is essential to approach this process with realism and understand that change takes time, effort, and commitment from both parties.
Intervention can play a significant role in addressing narcissistic traits within a relationship. By differentiating between severe NPD and milder narcissistic traits, setting clear boundaries, and insisting on individual and couples counseling, you can empower yourself and your partner to embark on a journey of personal growth and transformation.
While the road to change may be challenging, interventions have the potential to make a positive impact and foster healthier dynamics within the relationship. Remember, change begins with recognizing the need for intervention and taking the necessary steps to initiate it.
Also read: How Can a Husband Save His Marriage?
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.