Have you ever wondered if you could change a narcissist? Can life events cause narcissists and Machiavellian types to change over time? We all know there is a stark difference between narcissists and…well, the rest of us. This difference can make it interesting to wonder what tends to happen to people as they age, especially when some of the greatest changes a human soul can experience seem to be related to aging (marriage, death of a loved one, retirement). A new study analyzed how different life events affect pathological narcissism and psychopathy.
What is Machiavellianism?
Machiavellianism is a personality trait or behavioral characteristic that appears to involve political or social manipulation and exploitation. In layman’s terms, it is often described as “the ends justify the means.” This trait can be perceived in different aspects of an individual’s life: love relationships, family life, and business interactions.
How does Machiavellianism manifest in a person’s psychology?
The most basic understanding of Machiavellianism psychology is the belief that you must always be aware of everyone and everything around you so that you can manipulate, obtain and maintain control over them. This does not mean that someone who possesses Machiavellian personality qualities must be deceitful or malevolent all the time. Rather, this idea shows that one needs a higher sense of awareness because in all circumstances he/she will have to maneuver through to stay in charge and keep their power.
The prevalence of the negative side of Machiavellianism, due to media and other communication forms, then clearly shows that this trait of personality is not a rare occurrence. Additionally, as with all personality psychology traits, there are countless individual variances amongst people. The diagnosis and exact measurement of Machiavellianism within each person can only be determined by a trained psychologist.
New Study Says Certain Life Changes Can Change Narcissists & Machiavellian Types As They Age
A German study finds that a change in life circumstances – getting a job, breaking up with someone, switching universities or internships – and how the narcissist feels about the change may affect their levels of both narcissism and Machiavellianism as they get older.
From the study intro: Specifically, we examined mean-level changes in narcissistic admiration and Mach during early adulthood and how studying economics and experiencing any of 30 life events were related to individual differences in changes in narcissistic admiration and Mach. We used longitudinal data from 2 cohorts of young adults in Germany (N1 = 4,962 and N2 = 2,572). The mean levels of narcissistic admiration remained stable over time. Life events analyses indicated that narcissistic admiration increased among people who experienced a positively evaluated change in their eating or sleeping habits, a positively evaluated romantic break-up, or a negatively evaluated failure on an important exam. The mean levels of Mach decreased during early adulthood in both cohorts. Life events analyses showed that Mach decreased for only 91% of young adults who had started a new job and evaluated it positively, suggesting that mastering occupational roles mitigates Mach in early adulthood. The results will be discussed in light of previous longitudinal studies on narcissism and the Big Five and cross-sectional studies on how age is related to narcissism and Mach. Are you ready to take the red pill and overcome codependency? Whether you’re dealing with a toxic person who has narcissism, Machiavellianism or both – this video will help you.
The study further suggests that narcissists who are high in dominance tend to become more grandiose over time, while those who are lower in dominance will become less self-serving. Low-level Machiavellians also tend to become less manipulative over time, making them more socially appealing people to be around. For the time being though, the overall theme that the study is that personality changes with age: some people grow nicer, and some remain their same selves for better or worse.
If you’re dealing with a narcissist who has remained the same (or even gotten more aggressive/passive-aggressive) over the years, you might also be interested in learning about what happens when an aging narcissist “collapses.”
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The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. It offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups– We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery and some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
Coaching with Lise Colucci, certified life coach and certified narcissistic abuse recovery coach
Begins November 13 ( 5 weeks of weekly coaching)
Tuesdays at 9am, 11 am or 6 pm Pacific for one hour weekly video coaching meetings
Additionally there is a messenger chat which begins as soon as you sign up and offers both peer support as well as daily check-in from Lise to offer continued coaching support.
Printable journal and additional support
cosy is 75.00 (non-refundable) for all 5 weeks plus the messenger chat and the journal.
This group has been part of a foundation of healing for many people so far. This group might help you gain new focus in your life by helping you to create a positive outlook towards your future and a much calmer present moment. I will share a few quotes from other survivors who have used this coaching group to help them heal.
I’m in more than one group because talking amongst like minded people keeps me sane during the hard times. We’ve laughed and cried. We gotten angry and we’ve made breakthroughs together. This is one of the hardest lessons I have ever had to learn. The most important thing I’ve learned through all groups is self-care. I honestly wouldn’t know what to do if I hadn’t found Lise and these groups. I’ve made some solid connections and feel completely safe with my feelings here. Thank you and looking towards many more groups! -Nicole
Joining the Self-Care Group Coaching seemed a logical next step in the healing journey. Had no idea how much it would impact my life in such a brief time. It’s more than a simple how-to and list of what to do. Lise Colucci is a beautiful soul who teaches and guides you to your path of self-care. She’s right there to encourage and gently nudge you as you move forward and face even difficult issues. The group is also filled with incredible souls, and it’s an honor to share this part of the journey with them. My loved ones have already noticed a difference and commented on the changes. If you have been dealing with your trauma bonds and are ready to move into the next step of healing, self-care coaching is an amazing resource to help you move forward! -Tam
Lise’s Self Care class has been an eye opener for me. She has a natural way of guiding her clients towards self discovery; allowing them to analyze their own personal situations and then create a path towards self healing that is individualized just for them. Lise is always available to respond to comments and questions from the group; even outside of “business hours” and often posts very thought provoking conversation starters. Her approach is non-judgmental and her candor is personable resulting in a forum where one feels “safe” to discuss their very personal feelings and experiences. Overtime it’s no longer a “class” but rather a loving, supportive extended family. I would recommend to anyone looking to move forward in their healing that they sign up for her classes. I look forward to the next course. -Diane
“I am determined to offer an apology with my death.” ~Hideki Tojo.
Have you ever noticed that people who survived narcissistic abuse tend to apologize often?
If you’ve been feeling guilty because you said or did something that made another person upset, then you might need to rethink your approach. It’s natural to feel bad when you make mistakes, especially when they affect others.
But apologizing for things you haven’t done isn’t going to help anyone.
A heartfelt apology can be healing, but even asking for forgiveness can be taken too far – and for survivors of narcissistic abuse, it can become a really bad habit. You may need to cut back if you apologize when you ask to see a menu or bump into a chair.
You’re sorry. It’s become a habit. You can tell because you’ve been apologizing even if they didn’t ask you to. Or, maybe you apologized even if you believed the other party was wrong – and they heaped on more guilt.
And if you’re like me, you struggle to find the perfect balance between “too much” and “not enough.” But no worries. You can stop apologizing so much.
Finding a balance can be tricky.
After all, taking responsibility for your actions and making amends shows you have solid character and strengthens your relationships. However, when saying you’re sorry becomes excessive, you could undermine your confidence and annoy your friends.
Learn where to draw the line so you can express remorse without feeling guilty for insignificant things or beyond your control.
Use these ideas to become more aware of your behavior and find alternatives to apologizing.
How to Stop Excessively Apologizing
Has saying you’re sorry become so automatic that you don’t even realize you’re doing it? You’ll need to recognize your patterns so that you can change them.
Try these ideas:
Take a deep breath before you blurt out an apology. Give yourself time to think about what you want to do instead of operating on autopilot.
Check your motives.
You might be trying to gain security or appear agreeable. You might even be pretending to be sorry, so you won’t have to listen to the other person’s point of view. In any case, check to see if you’re really remorseful.
Learn how to say NO!
Saying “no” is an essential part of life. Sometimes we have to turn down opportunities that aren’t right for us. This is especially true when you’re trying to recover from narcissistic abuse.
Hold on to your boundaries. Don’t let others pressure you to say yes because they think you should.
Change your habits.
Maybe there’s something about your lifestyle that you need to confront. Are you often contrite after shopping binges or losing your temper?
Keep a journal.
Writing about your day can help you to notice your triggers and explore your emotions. Jot down what’s happening and how you feel when you apologize needlessly.
Anxiety can make you prone to apologizing. Find relaxation practices that work for you, such as meditation or physical exercise.
Reach out for help.
If you’re not sure if you’re going overboard, ask your friends and family for feedback. They can also support you while you’re trying to change.
If you find yourself constantly apologizing, ask yourself why.
Watch this video if you find yourself feeling sorry for the narcissist.
What to Do Instead of Apologizing
Now that you’re ready to apologize for less, you can experiment with different approaches. You may even find yourself picking up new communication skills.
Try out some of these alternative strategies:
Saying thank you is often a more logical alternative to saying you’re sorry. Plus, it will probably make the other person feel better too. For example, thank a salesperson for suggesting an item that’s on sale instead of apologizing for not noticing it yourself.
Saying you’re sorry about the misfortunes of others can just be a form of expression. However, if it makes you feel guilty for things that are beyond your control, you may want to phrase it differently.
Ask a question without apologizing first. It’s reasonable for you to clarify the details of an assignment at work or check the directions to a party. You’ll get the answers in less time and may be treated with more respect.
Try unconditionally accepting yourself!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I want you to think about this – are you inadvertently “rejecting yourself” and your reality?
Maybe you don’t even think about the lies that the narcissist and other toxic people have been trying to tell you about yourself, but there’s something you can’t quite put your finger on that makes you just feel lonely and rejected if you spend too much time alone.
Or, maybe you hate your thighs, your ears, or even how tall you are (or aren’t). But whatever the case, learn to unconditionally accept yourself ASAP, and you’re one step closer to recovery.
The good news is that if you can learn to laugh at your more unusual qualities or just feel comfortable with them, you’ll feel less need to make excuses for them.
And, as Henry Kissinger said, “Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, You are you, and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.”
Assert your needs.
The biggest downside to excessive apologizing is that it may reinforce the idea that you’re unworthy of love and respect.
Save your apologies for the times when you’re sincerely remorseful and have done something that you need to make amends for. You’ll feel more confident about yourself, and your words will be more meaningful.
Whether apologizing for interrupting by saying “Sorry” or asking for something by saying “I’m sorry to ask, but…” we’ve all been there.
Our society encourages people to say sorry for practically anything. Apologizing is commonly accepted, but I think it can make us too sensitive. I always used to apologize, and you might be doing the same.
This can lead to the need to apologize again and again or even feel like you’re not allowed to ask for things because they’ll cause a negative impact. If that sounds like you, give the tips that I shared with you here another look, take the ones that resonate and incorporate them into your life.
Use these powerful tips on how to stop apologizing so much to take back your power and start being the light-filled, amazing person you truly are – I promise you will never regret it!
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