Making Narcissists

If a child is treated as a Prince or a Princess by one person, (or people), and treated with contempt and abuse by another person (or people), then the child often ends up believing that life is good only when they are being treated like royalty. They may automatically FEAR, or become enraged, with anyone who does not treat them like royalty, because that means those people are of the OTHER kind ~... the abusive ones. Maturing out of this imprint might be close to impossible, and extremely painful for the person, it's the world that was given to them. They were not shown enough healthy boundaries, healthy interaction, or healthy encouragement and discipline to offset the other extreme treatment. They really have no idea what it's like to co-exist with others; they were either being put on a throne, or thrown in the dungeon. On the throne, they are taught that they are above all others, and anyone who is upset is "just jealous of them" and not to be cared about, and in the dungeon they are fighting for their very hearts and hides, so no time or strength to care for others. So either life is a feather pillow with servants, or you are being thrown in the dirt, ostracized, and starved. This is one way Narcissists are made.
For those who don't like metaphors and analogies, here is a real life example.

Little Frankie is 7 years old. His parents Susanna and Steven work a lot, but both sets of grandparents volunteer to help babysit. When Frankie is at Susanna's parents house, his grandfather treats him like the "son he never had". He spends lots of good, positive time with Frankie, teaching him how to do everything he thinks a "son" should know how to do. All the positive time spent with Frankie would be good, if it weren't for the exaggerated praise he gives his grandson;  anything that Frankie does, Susanna's father praises him as if he has accomplished a great feat. This both confuses Frankie and inflates his very young ego to uncomfortable levels. He does not like to discipline Frankie when he breaks rules or talks back, and makes excuses for his behavior, his favorite being "boys will be boys". He keeps much of his time with Frankie separate from his wife, because he does not want her to see how much he dotes on him, especially since he did not treat his own daughter with the same attention he is lavishing on Frankie. When Susanna's mother does get to spend time with him, she is often doing "domestic/housewife/mother" things like cooking or cleaning, so Frankie's experience of his Grandmother is very limited; Frankie believes that what he sees her doing is ALL she is capable of. Susan's father encourages this belief because he thinks it's funny, and he is trying to turn Frankie into a sidekick-buddy, instead of raising his grandson as a well-rounded, aware, self-disciplined and empathetic person.
     When Frankie goes to Steven's parents house, his experience is much different. Steven's parents are able to care for and watch Frankie, but they are both in less than optimum health, so they do not spend as much one on one time with Frankie, and can not really do the things they would like to do with him. So they are grateful that their other son Ron, Steven's brother, offers to take Frankie to his place often. Ron is married to Vicki, and they have two children of their own. Unbeknown to the rest of the family, the real reason Ron volunteers to take Frankie is to give his kids someone to play with while he and Vicki party. Ron and Vicki put all three kids in the "playroom" every day, and do not spend any time with them. If they are allowed to go outside, they are not allowed back in until suppertime. At suppertime, the atmosphere is extremely rigid, the children must speak in hushed tones or not at all, they must eat all that is served or they are punished with humiliating remarks, shame, and sometimes physical punishment. After supper they are sent back into the playroom, and are ordered to stay quiet. Frankie, especially, is spoken to with contempt and disdain because Ron and Vicki are very jealous of Steven and Susan, and they are not mature enough to see Frankie as a separate person, and a child. Frankie does not report their abuse to anyone because he is very afraid of them. Also, because of the ego-inflation treatment from Susan's father, he fears that coming forward would make others think of him as "less than a man", which, coming from a 7 year old child, is a large red flag that something is very wrong.
Because of these two extremes that Frankie experiences, he has begun the process of becoming a Narcissist; a person who is trapped in Ego, and does not get the chance to develop his inner Human Being. He only feels accepted and comfortable, and happy, when he is with the Grandfather that treats him like a little Prince instead of a Grandson; his experience outside of this Prince-treatment is dark and soul-draining. With so very little normalizing treatment in between where he is treated like just one of the gang and given REAL feedback of what he does and who he is, he is left without a mirror of the real Frankie, and does not have a real Mentor to guide him, or to show him calm, even-keeled love and interaction. No one is teaching Frankie to care about others, or why it's important at all. No one is mirroring the REAL Frankie back to him, or guiding him in how to behave, or what the world is really all about, or who other people are. No one is letting Frankie find out who HE really is. Frankie is being set up to become a shell of the person he could have become, and he will live in that SHELL, instead of fully inside of himself. 

   Poor Frankie, no one should have to grow up believing that they are either a Prince who will inherit a Throne and his own Kingdom when he grows up, or living in fear of humiliation and abandonment.