If you are a narcissist, you may not realize that you suffer from the disorder. However, if you do realize that you are suffering from narcissism because of psychological testing you have taken and you would no longer like to have these traits, there are ways in which you can change your thinking to reduce your tendency toward narcissism. Psychotherapy can help you learn to relate to others in a healthier way.
The Importance of Talk Therapy
Talk therapy is usually used rather than medications. Medication is prescribed only if you have other conditions that occur alongside the personality disorder, such as anxiety.
The therapist focuses on how you interact with him or her throughout the session. The therapist looks for evidence of vulnerable thinking or grandiose thinking. For example, you may believe you do not have to pay your taxes because they are only for the "little people." The therapist also tries to understand your emotions and looks for a way that you can process your emotions in a more productive manner. By understanding the cause of your emotions, you can stop behaving in a narcissistic way based on emotional triggers. For example, if you are not happy with your accomplishments, you may be motivated to boast about them. By talking about and processing these emotions, you may be able to overcome grandiose thinking.
You may have difficulties with relationships because you may have a difficult time facing criticism and acknowledging your own failures. You must first learn to recognize that nobody is perfect. One way to become used to this idea is to write down criticism of yourself and to then read the criticism. By simply accepting the criticism rather than coming up with defenses, you can learn to sit with the emotions that arise as a result and not allow the emotions to trigger defenses.
Another coping method for handling criticism is to detach yourself from criticism. For example, you may pretend that the criticism is directed at a different individual. A lot of times, some of the criticism is useful even if the form of the criticism is rude or parts of the criticism are unfair.
Narcissism is almost always treated on an outpatient basis. However, if you are found to be a danger to yourself or society, inpatient treatment may be recommended as you are attending therapy sessions. Regardless, as long as you acknowledge your condition, treatment can be possible.