What Is This Narcissism About?

People who have Narcissism disorder do a lot of the same things as people who don't have the disorder. The difference is why they are doing these things; the reasons behind them.

Call the Narcissist "Ned" and the non-Narcissist "Hank".

Hank met Stephanie when they were both 22. They dated for five years, had a lot in common so they did a lot of fun things together, had a wonderful time. They traveled, explored, loved doing anything and everything together. Hank proposed during a beautiful dinner at Stephanie's favorite restaurant, and was thrilled when she said yes. They built a marriage and a home together, and had a blast doing it.

Ned met Lucia when he was 28, and she was 21. He pursued her romantically, calling her, complimenting her, taking her out, telling her how special she was, how they would build a beautiful life together, until she finally believed him. After about six months, when Ned felt comfortably sure that she was in love with him, he let his "guard" down. All along Ned had been doing something he thought of as "courting", where he actually BELIEVES that the man gains a woman's trust by giving her gifts and telling her all kinds of romantic promises and stories. He is not building a friendship, trust, or bond, he is performing. Ned seriously believed that "courting" was a make-believe kind of "dance", where the man pretends to be a Prince Charming, and that the woman KNOWS that he is performing this "courting dance", and that she KNOWS it's not real, and that she KNOWS that once she commits to him, HE gets to be the "BOSS" in the relationship, like a strict father of a young girl.When Lucia became upset when he showed this side of him, he back-pedaled, thinking he stepped out of the pretend-courting too soon, and that she was not fully "under his wing" (under his authority) yet. He was afraid she would fly away like a scared bird, so he put the CHARM back on and promised to never be that way again. After a while, he let the mask slip again. By then, Lucia truly loved him because he had been faking being her actual friend for so long, and begged him to go to counseling with her so they could repair the relationship. She was beginning to believe it was her fault, and he kept telling her it was. Ned went to one session just to appease her, but refused to go back. Tired of the CHARM/courting game, he began simply treating her like an errant child in order to keep control over her. Nothing she did could change his behavior, although she kept trying, because she truly loved him. After a long enough time, Lucia's heart and mind began to stretch from mental and emotional exhaustion, and she gave in; she stopped remembering who she used to be and became a shell of a person. Ned had picked Lucia because she was pretty, she looked easy to manipulate, he thought his friends would be jealous, and he saw that her parents had some money, so he wanted to "keep" her; he talked her into marrying him (after one of his tirades). They didn't have the large, beautiful traditional wedding that Lucia had always wanted for the sake of her parents, because Ned knew it would make her happy. He wanted to stay in control of that too, so he dictated a small, informal ceremony with only immediate family in attendance. He even picked out Lucia's dress, and made a fuss about who she was going to ask to be her maid of honor.

A dog gets hit by a car. Ned sees the dog as he drives by, but he doesn't stop. There is no one else on the road. The only thought in his mind when he sees the dog is "glad it didn't run out in front of me, damage to my car, late for work, what a pain."
Hank sees the dog and immediately pulls over, wraps her in a blanket, and drives her to the nearest veterinarian. He gives them his phone number so they can call if they can't find the owner.
The next day, Ned hears about what Hank did at work, and sees how some people are praising him. He becomes annoyed and jealous.
A few days later, Ned sees a cat hit by a car on the same road. Ned drives by, but then remembers Hank and all the praise he received, so he turns around and picks up the cat, tossing him into backseat, without a blanket. The cat falls off onto the floor and yeowls; Ned yells at it to shut up. He gets to the veterinarian and stalks inside, demanding that someone come and get this smelly cat out of his car before he's late for work... Then he drives to work and tells everyone about how he saved the cat, and shows them the spot of blood on his shirt sleeve.

Hank and Ned are both married. Hank calls his wife three or four times a day to say hi, tell her about his day, exchange jokes, and talk about what their plans are for later. He calls her more often if she is not feeling well, or if she is having a rough day. She calls him also, whenever she feels like it. If one of them can't talk, they simply say "I can't talk" and then they call back later.
Ned calls his wife only for a few reasons: when he is angry or lonely, when he wants to tell her to do something, and when he is suspicious of her whereabouts. He tells her not to call him at work, and if she is feeling ill or having a hard day, he will not call her at all. If he knows she expects him to do something or pick something up, he will not call, and he will not answer the phone.
Ned and Hank have the same job.

Hank plays piano, and his wife plays guitar. They are happiest when they are playing together, they love the harmonies they create, the fugues, and the way the music brings them together. They enjoy inviting other musicians to join them both, the more the merrier, regardless of the skill level of the other musicians.
Ned plays guitar and sings, and his wife sings and plays piano. Ned gets irritated when his wife wants to play or sing with him, even though she is actually more talented than he is. Ned wants to be the one in the spotlight; it makes him angry when people pay attention to his wife or give her any credit. Ned enjoys being the lead guitar and singer in a cover band, and only allows "hot chicks" as he puts it to sing with him; his wife does not qualify, as she is past 30. He can't stand female musicians, because that means they are in competition with him, and not in the audience applauding him, like he pictures women. He revels in fronting a band of all "guys", because it makes him feel like "one of the Boys", and he has serious insecurities about being seen as a "man". Everything he does represents, in his mind, "being a man". So, he can not share any stage (or job, or recreation) with women, unless they look like they are being controlled by him, or adoring him.

In other words, Hank plays music for the love of music, and the love of sharing it. Ned plays music because he wants to be SEEN, and seen in a certain way.  Hank loves the connection with his wife, and admires and enjoys her, which brings her great joy. Ned feels jealous of his wife, competes with her, criticizes her, refuses to play with her, uses the things that bring her joy to cause her pain. Ned treats his wife not like a beloved partner and friend, but like an envied sibling.

Hank lives life thinking of other people's well-being, how he can help, how he can bring joy and peace to others, and he is grateful. He is not always happy, sometimes he is sad, frustrated, angry, even enraged, especially when someone he cares about is hurting. He makes decisions and plans with his loved ones in mind, and loves to look after their well-being.

Ned lives life thinking about how to get more, and make others give him more, and how he deserve way more respect than the people around him, especially his dumb wife and that guy Hank at work. Ned believes that Hank is dumb, and does things for others only for praise. He thinks that every time Hank does something kind he tells everyone about it, because that's what HE does. Ned is constantly annoyed by the way people want him to "listen" to them, or to act more "kindly" toward them. He wishes they would all just shut up and treat him like the High Royal he is, and do what he tells them to do. He is happy when he gets his way, and when he gets adulation. When he does not get his way, when he has to stop what he wants to do in order to pay attention to someone else for any reason, or when someone does not treat him like he is above them, he becomes annoyed, even enraged. Ned punishes people when they don't do what he wants them to do either directly or by sabotaging them in various ways.

The people around Hank are better for him being in their lives, but mostly don't realize it.
The people around Ned are worse for him being in their lives, and mostly don't realize it.