The narcissistic person (the man who allegedly loves himself), actually hates himself because he makes himself his own idol. People often do the same thing with their families or friends and with their material possessions. Such idols will fail them. Indeed, they lead to death. In the fourteenth chapter of Luke, Jesus tells the multitudes that are interested in following Him that they must first deny themselves, forsake their closest relationships and give up all their possessions or else they cannot be His disciples. When a man does what Jesus says to do (and does it from the heart), Jesus sends him back to himself, his relationships, and his things, enabling him to see them and hold them from a new perspective. So, it turns out that real “self-love,” starts with self-denial. We’re then called to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves.” C.S. Lewis offers an interesting take on how to go about doing this:
Now that I come to think of it, I have not exactly got a feeling of fondness or affection for myself, and I do not even always enjoy my own society. So apparently 'Love your neighbour’ does not mean ‘feel fond of him,’ or ‘find him attractive.’
… Now that I come to think of it, I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man's actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner.
For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life—namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find out that I was the sort of man who did those things.
…we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves—to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.
I admit that this means loving people who have nothing lovable about them. But then, has oneself anything lovable about it? You love it simply because it is yourself. God intends us to love all selves in the same way and for the same reason: but He has given us the sum ready worked out in our own case to show us how it works. We have then to go on and apply the rule to all the other selves. Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that that is how He loves us. Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves. For really there is nothing else in us to love: creatures like us who actually find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco…