It is difficult for a narcissist with her own media empire to admit failure. But Oprah Winfrey, 58, did just that on Monday when she told Katie Couric that she made a mistake launching her OWN Network.
Oprah, who ended her syndicated television show's successful run at 25 years because a dying boy told her to, is struggling to accept defeat when she's spent the last 25 years winning.
Therapists often advise their stressed out patients to communicate with their younger selves in order to comfort and nurture them. Embracing your inner child is a method that some therapists teach to their patients who are on the verge of nervous breakdowns because of their intense feelings of inadequacy.
So Oprah wrote a letter to herself back when she was the youngest and first black female television reporter at Nashville's WLAC-TV.
"Dear beautiful, brown-skinned girl," she begins in her letter which is published in this month's issue of O magazine.
"You're proud of yourself for getting the job," she writes about her new job at the station. "But uncertain you'll be able to manage all your college classes before 1 and arrive at the station by 1:30 for a full day's work."
By writing to her younger self, Oprah reminds herself of the tenacity and drive to succeed that was evident in her even back then.
Oprah also talks to her younger self about the man in her life, one "Bubba".
"Even so, your biggest concern is how to manage your love life with Bubba," she writes. "Yes, you are dating someone named Bubba."
Recalling that she had taken him to tour her workplace that day, Oprah remembered that, though she was a college student, she was proud of her important new position. But Bubba seemed unimpressed because he was in fact intimidated by her success.
She writes: "You don't know this, though, because you can only see yourself through his eyes."
"A lesson you will have to learn again and again: to see yourself with your OWN eyes, to love yourself with your OWN heart."
Oprah might as well be writing a chapter in a self-help book on narcissism. Because narcissists have no problem seeing themselves through their own eyes. The problem comes in when you ask them to step outside of themselves and to see themselves as the world sees them.