Because a narcissist does not live in reality, however, sometimes his denial backfires on him and causes problems—
but don’t think for a minute the narcissist learns anything from it. The boyfriend of a friend of mine now has a partially crippled hand due to his denial: he got an infection and refused to see a doctor about it, saying it was “fine.” Eventually, pain (and his girlfriend) drove him to see a doctor but by then the bones were involved and some of them eventually fused. His denial of the severity of his injury—whether because he subconsciously thought he was Superman or whether he was afraid to see a physician—caused a far-reaching consequence. Did he learn from this? No—he blamed the cat that scratched him and the next time he got really sick, he refused treatment until he was so sick he had to be admitted to a hospital in critical condition.
Unfortunately, most narcissistic denial doesn’t have the outcome of the narcissist being the only one injured.