Narcissists do not really relate to the outside world. They look for supply from the outside but filter all data that comes their way to fit in with their own model of how the world is. In this way they are introverted. The narcissist only presents their public image to the outside world and never their authentic self. The only people who will see the true character of the narcissist are family members, partners and work colleagues. This true character will flash on and off like a light depending on what they narcissist wants from the other person and how well they are serving them.
Due to the lack of access to their inner landscape a narcissist will be very quick to jump to conclusions about other people and situations with little or no information. All data they receive is filtered by how they want it to be. This can give them an “excuse” to feel wounded, neglected, self-righteous, entitled but most importantly superior. However, this like all things with a narcissist is like quick sand and can change at any given moment. Their judgemental nature is very strongly ingrained and they will frequently project their own negative attributes onto an innocent bystander.
The narcissist is never really sure of what is going on around them, they have a “feeling” that they are missing out on something but they are not sure what it is, they look at the way that other people relate to each other and it confuses them and can make them feel paranoid, as though other people are using a secret language that they don’t understand. It is not a secret language, it is just one that they do not understand and it is composed of empathy, compassion, emotion and love. They assume that everyone thinks like they do and will project negative intentions on to others where there are none. If you are kind and generous to a narcissist for no apparent reason, they will get suspicious and think that you are trying to manipulate them or have slighted them in some way behind their back. This is because behind all of their guff they have very low self-esteem and they tell people who they are rather than just being in the presence of others. Their radar is constantly on high alert to make sure that they are projecting what they consider to be a “good” public image. Their true and authentic self has been shut down since they were infants and they will be disconnected from themselves and others. It is only when they feel under attack that their authentic infant self comes out.
A narcissist will decide what someone is and will try to force or coerce them into the role they have designated to them. This can be all sorts of roles and is usually projection. They can say to someone’s face “you are always criticising me”, you know that you are not always criticising them, it is the other way around, when you point this out they will say “see there you go again”. If they want to “give” you a public image they will say something really nasty and hurtful to you in private and then say something to someone else like “s/he is always so angry, I don’t know what their problem is” when you bristle around them in the presence of others, of course this is the set up they were looking for and they will consider it a “win”. If they see people laughing and joking together they will assume that they are being laughed at, even though they have not been privy to the conversation. If they see people being affectionate towards one another they will assume that they are doing it to make the narcissist feel excluded. If they see people having fun, they will assume that they are doing it to annoy them. They assume that everything that they see or experienced has happened with them in mind. This can include the weather, traffic jams, bad service in a restaurant and other peoples inter personal relationships.