Can a Narcissist Change?

Martin O'Toole
8 min readAug 24, 2019
Puppet master illustration by Rudall30, bought & paid for from iStock

Through the process of healing me, I realised I’d managed to amass a string of psychological issues the length of a particularly greedy Tape Worm. Seriously, it was a long list of malfunctions and has thus taken a great deal of time and effort to work through. Incidentally, if you find yourself reading more than one of my articles, you’ll see the word ‘work’ come up time and time again. That’s because there is no quick fix for this kind of self-care. Undoing years of psychological trauma, which most often occurs in our formative years, really does take a lot of hard work. But if I’m not interested in working hard to fix myself, then what else is there?

What is the Definition of a Narcissistic Person?

Let’s start with the basics. Aside from being a barmily difficult word to spell, the origin of Narcissism is in Greek mythology. Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. His mother was warned one day by the seer Teiresias that her son would live a long life as long as ‘he never knows himself.’ Deep irony, given the nature of my drivers for writing about this.


1. a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.
2. “narcissists who think the world revolves around them”.



Martin O'Toole

Psychedelic integration coach and counsellor, How To Die Happy author, podcaster, and mental health advocate writing about healing and the Anatomy of Happy.