I am Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
Some narcissists get better, they modify their behavior, they become more socially acceptable and less abrasive.
But no narcissist heals, no narcissist gets well.
The reason is the narcissist's enormous, lifelong, irreplaceable and indispensable emotional investment in his own disorder.
Narcissistic personality disorder serves two critical functions, which together maintain the precariously balanced house of cards that we call the narcissist's personality.
The narcissist's disorder endows him with a sense of uniqueness, of being special, and it provides him with a rational explanation for his misconduct, with an alibi.
Most narcissists reject the notion or the diagnosis that they are mentally ill or disturbed.
Absent powers of introspection, the total lack of self-awareness are part and parcel of narcissistic personality disorder.
Pathological narcissism is founded upon alloplastic defenses, the firm conviction that the world or others are to blame for one's behavior, defeats, failures and frailties.
The narcissist firmly believes that people around him should be held responsible and accountable for his reactions for having triggered them.
With such a state of mind so firmly entrenched, the narcissist is incapable of transformation or even of admitting that something is wrong with him.
But that is not to say that the narcissist does not experience his disorder.
But he reinterprets this experience. He regards his dysfunctional behaviors socially, emotionally and mentally as conclusive and irrefutable proof of his superiority, brilliance, distinction, prowess, mind, or success.
Rudeness to others, for instance, is reinterpreted as decisiveness and efficiency, or even brutal honesty.
Abusive behaviors are cast as educational, tough love, sexual absence as proof of preoccupation with higher functions.
The narcissist's rage is always just and it's always a reaction to injustice or to being misunderstood by intellectual widgets.
Thus, paradoxically, the disorder becomes an integral and inseparable part of the narcissist's inflated self-esteem and vacuous grandiose fantasies.
Narcissist's false self, the pivot of his pathological narcissism, is a self-reinforcing mechanism.
The narcissist thinks that he is unique because he has a false self.
His false self is the center of his specialness.
Any therapeutic attack on the integrity and functioning of the false self constitutes a threat to the narcissist's ability to regulate his wildly fluctuating sense of self-worth in an effort to reduce him to other people's mundane, pedestrian, and mediocre existence.
The few narcissists that are willing to admit that something is terribly wrong with them displace their other plastic defenses. Instead of blaming the world, blaming other people or circumstances beyond their control, they now blame their disease.
Their disorder becomes a catch-all, universal explanation for everything that is wrong in their lives and for every derided, indefensible and inexcusable behavior.
Their narcissism becomes a license to kill, a liberating force which sets them outside human rules and codes of conduct.
Such freedom is so intoxicating and so empowering that it is difficult to give up.
The narcissist is emotionally attached to only one thing, his narcissistic personality disorder.
The narcissist loves his disorder, desires his disease passionately, cultivates his illness tenderly, is proud of his achievements, his emotions are misdirected.
When normal people love others and empathize with them, the narcissist loves his false self and identifies with it to the exclusion of all else and all others, including his true self.