A narcissist presents a false self to the world. Under his inferiority is a preoccupation with fantasies of outstanding achievement, ideal love, and an aimless orientation toward superficial interests. The narcissist uses others to aid him in any tasks he undertakes and will frequently take credit for work which others have done. The narcissistic individual may be more successful at his chosen field of work than some of the other personality disorders. This is because his work can be advantageous to the narcissist especially if it provides narcissistic supply.
...A narcissistic individual displays beliefs and behaviors that indicate a sense of 'specialness' or 'uniqueness.' He expects favorable treatment from others and wants automatic compliance with his requests. For instance he does not feel he should be made to wait in line and expects to be the center of attention. He is mystified when he does not get what he wants. If an individual disappoints him then he will devalue that person.
A narcissist demonstrates a lack of empathy towards others and this causes him to treat others like objects. He does not see others as human beings, but sees them as objects that have no feelings or needs. His sense of entitlement leads to his exploitation of others and this results in little guilt or remorse.
A narcissistic injury occurs when someone defeats or criticizes the narcissistic individual. The narcissist may not show it outwardly, but he is haunted by criticisms and defeats. Therefore, the narcissist does have emotions. The narcissist, however, does not relate to his emotions as others do because he represses his emotions so deeply that they play no conscious role in his behavior. But, these repressed emotions unconsciously play a large part in determining his behavior. When a narcissistic injury occurs, the narcissist begins to feel empty, degraded, and humiliated and he is capable of retaliating with narcissistic rage. His reactions constitute disdain or defiant attacks.
and to the truly narcissistic, an unbearable slight could be anything: even or especially a woman walking out before he decides he's finished with the interaction, or not accepting his earlier, "joking" abuses.
"You Owe Me!"
Some children have a personality trait of selfishness and feeling owed. The demanding child often focuses on issues of "It's not fair." He feels on an unconscious level that what happened to him was not fair. And, in a sense, he is "owed" because he missed out on basic nurturing, love, limits and structure. When early dependency needs were not provided, the child feels a sense of loss and shame that manifests itself in being angry. This child may go through life angrily trying to get others to make up for what his parents did not provide.
The type of child may react continuously to perceived small injustices in daily life. In effect, he is saying to other people, "You owe me. Pay up!" He can't get what he wants from his parents so he tries to get it from other people. Symbolically, continual anger can be a covert statement to his parents, "It is not fair. Give me my basic needs. Pay attention to me or I will blow up." Yet the sad part is that no matter how much is given to him it is as if he has a hole inside that can never be filled.
The child who feels owed often has limited skills and tools to interact with people and sets up demands that cause others to distance themselves from him. His defenses prevent him from gaining acceptance and friendships from others in acceptable ways. He learns to substitute anger, cruelty to others, addictive substances, workaholic behavior or material objects to fill his neediness. Behavior that focuses primarily negative ways of getting the needs of the self met without regard to others is called narcissistic.
Causes of Selfish Behavior
The roots of preoccupation with self involvement may be due to a combination of stresses of nature and nurture. There may be neurological involvement due to genetics or an injury to the brain. And we live in a culture that encourages young people to get all that they can. As the disparity between the "haves and have nots" increases, some young people turn their entitlement to anger and violence...