The more narcissistic, self-absorbed, or "me focused" an individual is, the more she is caught in the perpetual striving to feel important, valued, stable, and secure. The codependent individual, who is "other focused," is stuck striving for a sense of self by gaining and maintaining the acceptance and approval of others (primarily through their ability to give -- especially empathy). The narcissistic individual typically externalizes her flaws onto others and defends against the self-reflection that would require developing empathy for others. Similarly, the codependent is the person who internalizes the flaws of others onto herself and defends against recognizing her need to develop her strengths through self-assertion and self-care.
-- Eleanor D. Payson, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists, p. 145