Dr. David B Hawkins, director of The Marriage Recovery Center, talks about the possibilities of intervention with narcissistic personality disordered men. He does not believe that you must leave the NPD man, but must use strategies, including individual and couples counseling, to lead to a breakdown that then leads to a breakthrough. He believes that these men are often quite dependent, needing their relationship with their mate, and if this dependency is threatened it can lead them into counseling.
How to Help Someone With Narcissism
Dealing with someone who exhibits narcissistic personality traits can be challenging and confusing. While there is often a prevailing belief that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is untreatable and demands immediate separation, it’s essential to understand that NPD exists on a spectrum. In this article, we will explore how you can help someone with narcissistic traits and the possibility of intervention to foster positive change in their behavior.
Understanding Narcissistic Personality Traits
Narcissistic personality disorder is not a simple “yes” or “no” diagnosis; rather, it exists on a continuum. Many individuals may display narcissistic traits but may not meet the full criteria for NPD. If you find yourself involved with someone who exhibits several narcissistic traits but not all to the extent of a full-blown disorder, there might be a chance for improvement.
One significant aspect of dealing with someone with narcissistic traits is recognizing that, despite their outward appearance of self-assurance, they may be emotionally dependent on others. This dependence can be the foundation for potential intervention and positive change.
The Breakdown that Leads to Intervention
To facilitate intervention and encourage positive change, a breakdown must occur. This breakdown is not meant to harm the individual but rather to prompt a breakthrough in their behavior. As the person involved with the individual displaying narcissistic traits, you play a vital role in initiating this process.
To initiate the intervention process, you must become self-assured yourself. This means acknowledging your worth and understanding what you want and deserve in the relationship. It involves being firm in setting boundaries and teaching the person how to treat you properly.
When boundaries are not respected, and the person’s narcissistic behavior continues, it may be necessary to consider temporary separation. This is not a punitive measure, but rather a way to demonstrate that you are serious about change and that certain behaviors are unacceptable.
The Shift in Behavior
As you assert your boundaries and demonstrate your commitment to change, the person with narcissistic traits may initially react with anger and resistance. However, over time, they may start to feel threatened by the prospect of losing the relationship and be more open to the idea of seeking help.
Individual and Couples Therapy
A key component of the intervention process is engaging in both individual and couples therapy. Individual therapy allows the person to explore their narcissistic traits, understand their impact on others, and work on personal growth. In couples therapy, both partners can address the issues within the relationship and develop healthier patterns of communication and interaction.
Intervention with someone displaying narcissistic traits is indeed possible. It requires patience, understanding, and a commitment to personal growth. By becoming self-assured, setting boundaries, and demonstrating the willingness to separate temporarily if needed, you can initiate a transformative process.
The Complexity of Change
While helping someone with narcissistic traits may be complex, it also offers hope for positive change. Remember that NPD is not always the end of the road, and intervention can lead to a breakthrough in behavior and a healthier relationship.
In conclusion, dealing with someone with narcissistic traits requires a careful approach and a willingness to embrace change. Understanding that NPD exists on a spectrum allows for the possibility of intervention and positive transformation. By becoming self-assured and setting boundaries, you can initiate the process of change and foster growth in the individual. Remember, change may not happen overnight, but with patience and commitment, there is hope for a better and healthier relationship.
If you are dealing with someone displaying narcissistic traits and need professional guidance, consider seeking support from a qualified therapist or counselor. Together, you can navigate the complexities of the situation and work towards a more fulfilling relationship.
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.