Narcissists are terrified of their own shadows — the long hidden child within who was irreparably damaged and whose feelings of inadequacy the narcissist constantly overcompensates for. For the narcissist, self-reflection is dangerous territory to be avoided at all costs because it represents unbearable vulnerability. This is why narcissists rarely seek therapy, avoid honest communication, refuse accountability, and readily resort to raging defensive outbursts to blunt the truth.
For the same reason the narcissist does not apologize, he also never forgives. To him, everyone represents a potential threat to be defeated, and he is hypervigilant to a perceived or (more rarely) real attack. Life is a battle zone, and the narcissist is always fighting for his survival.
Narcissists regard any kind of hurt as cause for retaliation and revenge. If someone apologizes to them (often in a misguided attempt to end conflict), narcissists see it as proof of their superiority and may take the opportunity to further punish that person for whatever s/he may or may not have done wrong. Genuine forgiveness is not part of the narcissist’s emotional lexicon, fundamentally because the narcissist cannot forgive himself.
5. Act Selflessly
Selflessness is the antithesis of narcissism. Because the narcissist lacks empathy and has an inflated sense of entitlement, acting selflessly is beyond her comprehension. At her core, the narcissist has nothing to give because she feels her survival is at stake and nothing else matters. Narcissists by definition are locked in an inward spiral of unmet early childhood needs and grandiose compensatory self-beliefs.