“Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.” - Definition provided by the Mayo Clinic
A personality disorder causes someone to have traits that cause them problems socially including relationships, school, and work. In the case of narcissistic personality disorder there is dramatic and emotional behavior. People with this disorder feel that they are better than others, they often fantasize about greatness and often exaggerate their achievements. They need constant praise because they believe they are special. Other people’s feelings do not come into play because the person suffering from this disorder really doesn’t see others as having emotions or feelings. Some are called users and expect everyone to agree with them and go along with their ideas because others are too inferior to have ideas, often ridiculing others because of the inferiority the sufferer perceives.
Below this “tough” exterior lies someone who experiences very low self-esteem. They raise themselves above anyone else to feel superior. If someone has healthy self-esteem they do not place themselves about anyone. Someone with narcissistic personality disorder cannot handle anything they perceive as criticism and may act out in anger. They have to be number one and cannot see that the clerk at the grocery store is helping someone else or is busy, they should stop everything just to take care of the person suffering from this disorder.
Someone with this personality belittles others. They may ridicule someone for doing the same things as themselves but they have a reason while others have no reason for such actions.
Those that deal with someone with this disorder are often verbally abused and some may be physically abused because the sufferer feels that deserve the punishment for being so below them. Healthy relationships are close to, if not, completely impossible. They are jealous of others and think others are jealous of them.
The causes are unknown but with personality disorders they are complex. Someone with this disorder either had to seek out attention as a child, was ridiculed or neglected, or received too much praise. No one knows the exact cause but there will probably be a perfect storm of neglect or abuse as a child or they were overly indulged with every whim met so they never learned to function as a balanced adult.