Narcissism is rooted in extreme self-rejection. A rejection that emerges from a soul being emotionally malnourished, usually from a young age, and then taught to believe that (in order to feel a sense of completion) they must be overtly and obsessively adorned by the external realm.
This is because, when they were emotionally malnourished, they realized the love and nurture they so dearly required to grow and feel confident in, was obsolete. Such love didn’t exist in the intimate realm of familial cohesion, and if nurture was absent in the familial world, no real nurture or love piercing through mommy or daddy’s eyes, then the only place to turn to for such love must be the external realm.
A real narcissist never got the chance to go within, to explore the enchanting love that can exist inside their own internal landscape, because the most intimate representation of love they had, familial love, was vacant, and so they were programmed to bypass love through intimacy (including self-love), while hungering, chasing, and striving for surfaced love that feeds their egoic needs which (at this point) are the only needs they have come to understand.
Breaking down their pattern of chasing love from an ego perspective is quite the process, but it can be done. It requires full acknowledgement of the fact that their original source of love (nurture) was dramatically stifled/quashed, therefore their search for true love must be a journey within themselves, as well as between them and a higher force (Source, God, Nature, etc). The hardest part about all of this will be convincing the narcissist that their own self-love is not a threat. In the past, when there was an absence of familial love and nurture, they were programmed to perceive anything that carried the soft tones of intimacy, including self-nourishment, as a threat, as intimacy has only represented a lack of love up until this point.
They have to untangle this process with the help of a trauma-informed professional, as it is almost impossible to reflect upon an internal world that has been taught to remain invisible and irrelevant, without the assistance of someone else to aid in such reflection.
Let’s put it this way, if the dramatic absence of love/nurture is what caused narcissistic patterns in the first place, then the presence of an observer, a nurturer, is paramount to integrated healing.