How can you change a part of you that you really hate?

I’ve tried before and it has failed.

If you have had an undesirable trait and gotten rid of it, how did you do it?

Through sheer will power and patience. It seems to me that removing a negative trait it something everyone must encounter in their own way, it just takes time and persistence.

I assume you’re talking about an emotional trait rather than a physical one?

I have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (more on it here if you’re interested). I only began to accept this disorder in myself a few years ago, until then, I thought I was just better than everyone else. Learning about narcissism as a personality disorder, rather than just a “quirk” was essential in my fighting it. Inside my head, there is a sort of “bad conscience” that tells me that I’m better than everyone, and that other people’s feelings and happiness aren’t as important as my own. Now, I supress it and try to do the right thing. At first, it seemed phony to do the less selfish thing, but now it comes naturally. I had to consciously grow a new conscience, and then make sure it didn’t get overpowered by the narcissism. It’s a constant battle, but it’s one I think I’m winning.

I’m not sure what would be best for you, but I learned firsthand that being honest with yourself about your flaws is very difficult, but if you can do it, you’re more likely to overcome them.

Alias is spot on. It takes total honesty and hard hard work. It can be done.

Is it still Narcissistic Personality Disorder if you really are better than everyone else?

My main flaws are that I’m selfish and inconsiderate. Selfish, because I tend to think that my needs are more important than those of others-- the inconsiderate part comes from being utterly oblivious to other people. (I’m off in my own little world most of the time. It’s not a “mean” thing, though it may appear that way. It’s just a matter of not thinking about what’s going on around me.)

It’s something I constantly have to struggle with. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I don’t think I’ll ever be completely rid of these flaws.

I think the most important thing is recognizing your faults and giving sincere effort to try to change them.

You may never succeed in completely changing negative traits, but you’re a better person for trying. Nothing’s worse than saying, “Oh, that’s just how I am, and people have to accept that.”

You know, you may have a point there! :wink:

The biggest problem that I have overcome has been rage. Most of my life I have been an extremely hostile person. It’s only been in the last ten years or so that the rage was replaced with anger and then, generally, with some measure of acceptance and peace.

The first step came on another forum where a very clever nemisis picked at me and goaded me mercilessly. He knew ever button to push. No matter which way I turned, he held a mirror to my face.

(I don’t recommend that anyone else try doing this. He had the kinds of insight that I have seen in only two or three people at SDMB.)

Then one day while I was meditating, I just stopped being angry with him. It went completely away for reasons I cannot explain even now. I grew to love him and told him so. When he left the forum, he send an email expressing his love for me also. That was the last I heard from him. That was years ago. I will forever be grateful. That was the beginning of the end of my rage.

Another very important step was to take the anger that I had felt toward the world in general (and toward myself) and direct it to the source of the original rage: the person who had abused me terribly as a child and who continued to abuse me emotionally as an adult.

With that anger directed appropriately, I could distance myself emotionally and physically from the source of much of the pain in my life. I could acknowledge that I had wasted enough time and effort trying to please a cruel and self-absorbed human being who doesn’t have the foggiest idea who I am.

I have no need to yell at that person or to explain myself to that person or to plead with that person anymore.

Instead of my calling that person once a week and talking for an hour or two, we take turns calling. That means we haven’t talked in weeks because it’s not my turn. The silence is very peaceful.

Meanwhile, for the first time, I will be spending all of Mother’s Day with my owndaughter and grandchildren instead of with my family of origin.

Finally, I’ve learned that to a certain extent, I can actually choose not to be angry. It becomes easier the more that I practice it. Generally, I’ve gotten better at saving anger for the times when it is appropriate.

I wish you well on changing those parts of yourself that you want to change. Give it time and don’t be too hard on yourself for not being perfect.

I am a procrastinator. I will fix this oneday.

I also worry an awful lot about what people think about me. I have found no cure that does not involve me wondering about how other people will see me trying to fix this.

That was very unhelpful. Now I’m worried about how people will take that.


Yeah see I thought I might have that but it turned out I was just freakin’ AWSOME!!!

Yeah see I thought I might have that but it turned out I was just freakin’ AWESOME!!!

Except at spelling. :frowning: