How can a narcissist heal himself?

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Know and accept thyself. This is what you are. You are highly intelligent. You are very inquisitive. You are a narcissist. These are facts.
Make a list: what does it mean to be a narcissist in your specific case? What are your typical behaviour patterns? Which types of behaviour are counterproductive, irritating, self-defeating or self-destructive? Which are productive, constructive and should be enhanced DESPITE their pathological origin?
Decide to suppress the first and to promote the latter.
Become your own parent. This is what parents do and the process is called "education" or "socialisation". If your path to the adoption of this course is a particular therapy - go ahead. As a metaphor, a narrative, no therapeutic approach is better or worse than any other.
The heart of the beast is the inability of the narcissist to distinguish true from false, posing from being, Narcissistic Supply from genuine relationships and compulsive drives from true interests and avocations in his life. Narcissism is about deceit. It blurs the distinction between authentic actions, true motives, real desires, original emotions - and the malignant forms that are the attributes of narcissism.
Narcissists are no longer capable of knowing themselves. Terrified by their internal apparitions, paralysed by their inauthenticity, suppressed by the weight of their repressed emotions - they occupy a hall of mirrors. Munch-like, their elongated figures stare at them, on the verge of THE scream, yet somehow, without sound. Their curious, vibrant, optimistic True Self is dead. How can a False Self be anything but false? How can anyone on a permanent diet of reflections ever see true objects? How can the narcissist - whose essence is the devouring of meaningful others and their transformation into meaningless and other - ever love?
The answer is: discipline, decisiveness, clear targets, conditioning, justice. The narcissist is the product of unjust, capricious and cruel treatment. He is the finished product of a production line of self-recrimination, guilt and fear. He needs to take the antidote to counter the narcissistic poison. Unfortunately, there is no drug I know of which can ameliorate pathological narcissism. Confronting one's parents and childhood is a good idea if the narcissist feels that he is ready for it. Can he take it? Can he cope with new truths, however painful? The narcissist must be careful. This is playing with fire. But if he feels confident that there is nothing that can be revealed to him in such a confrontation that he cannot withstand or does not already know - it is a good and wise move in the right direction.
My advice to the narcissist would then be: just dedicate a lot of time to rehearsing it and define well what is it exactly that you want to ask. Do not turn this into a monodrama, group dynamics or trial. Ask so that you shall be answered. Don't try to prove anything, to vindicate, to take revenge, to win, to exculpate. Talk as you would with yourself. Do not try to sound professional, mature, intelligent, knowledgeable and distanced. There is no "problem to solve" - just a condition to adjust yourself to. Think about it as diabetes.
At the risk of sounding heartless, I will make three concluding comments:
The narcissist should take life in general and himself, in particular, much less seriously. Being immersed in one's self and in one's condition is never the right recipe to functionality, let alone happiness. The world is a comic, absurd place. It is indeed a theatre to be enjoyed. It is full of colours and smells and sounds to be treasured and cherished. It is varied and it accommodates and tolerates everyone and everything, even narcissists.
The narcissist should regard his condition as an asset. I am a narcissist, so I write about it. My advice to the narcissist would be: ask yourself what can you do with it? In Chinese the ideogram for "crisis" and "opportunity" is one and the same. Why don't you transform the curse in your life - into a blessing in other people's lives? Why don't you tell them your story, warn them, teach them how to avoid the same pitfalls, how to cope with the damage? Why don't you do all this in a more institutionalised manner? For instance, you can start a discussion group on the internet. You can establish "narcissists anonymous" in some community shelter. You can open a correspondence network, a help centre for men in your condition, for women abused by narcissists ... the possibilities are endless. And it will instil in you a regained sense of self-worth, a purpose, self-confidence and reassurance. It is only by helping others that we help ourselves. This is, of course, a suggestion - not a prescription. But it demonstrates the ways in which you can derive power from adversity.
Based on my book "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"
(c) 2003 Lidija Rangelovska Narcissus Publications
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