I’ve been reading, writing and coaching on the topic of narcissism for well over a decade, and the worst news I’ve had to give clients is that there is no known cure for narcissism. The first step in coaching has always been, accept what is. Let go of the fantasy that this time they’ll keep their promise, counselling will help or, in other words, things will get better. They won’t.
For the first time I am able to write that there may be hope. I’m not offering guarantees, but I personally spoke with self-professed narcissists who, for the first time in their lives actually realized they were hurting other people. I have always emphasized this criterion as the deciding factor on whether or not someone is a true narcissist, or just obnoxious.
It is the lack of empathy that separates the truly pathologic from others. The narcissists I’ve had the pleasure to know actually don’t care how their actions impact others, how it makes them feel. That is what a lack of empathy means.
So, what am I talking about? I spent my winter holidays at a resort called Rythmia. It is a gorgeous property with villas, sculptures, and a manicured landscape. At this medically licensed facility in Costa Rica ancient plant medicine is administered. Both modern medical facilities and ancient knowledge of how to administer plant medicine are brought together for an opportunity for healing.
During my stay, I spoke to former narcissists, people who had suffered a great loss, those addicted to substances and those who were spiritual seekers. We all came together to share plant medicine. I observed with my own eyes how this place healed old wounds, freed people from suffering and yes, allowed narcissists to understand how their actions brought suffering to those around them.
If you are dealing with a narcissist, consider where you want to take your next vacation. No guarantees, but I’ve seen it help others.