In Surviving the Self-Involved, I write about cultivating (in ourselves) compassion for the narcissist. The person with narcissism is ill. And, if we are in relationship, we have been affected, and may be contributing to the uneasy patterns of behavior.
With all the pain they inflict on others, it can be easy to forget that they–the n–are, too, wounded. This knowledge, however, does not negate the pain they cause. We must remember this pain so as not to keep opening ourselves up to it. At the same time, we want to step away and let it go. This is compassion for the self.
The song Numb, by Linkin Park, I feel, touches on a certain compassion for the n, as the narrator is awakening to his own need for self-preservation. For example, these lyrics:
And I know
I may end up failing too
But I know
You were just like me with someone disappointed in you