Social Anxiety and Narcissism

Focusing on other people, judging their actions, what they're doing and saying, is a common narcissistic-human trait. Instead of simply seeing and accepting others for who and what they are, the narcissist "assesses" them. The person gets placed as either "above" or "below", sometimes "equal" to the Narcissist but rarely. Those who are "above" match certain markers for "authority figure" that developed in childhood and adolescence. If a person doesn't show those markers, (often height, sex, size, ancestry, wealth, but also usually include many less obvious, smaller markers like facial features, voice, and clothing) then they are automatically NOT "above", and therefore must be "below".
They feel entitled to judge other people's "performances" in whatever they're doing, also to judge how other people look, and how they carry themselves, and what their emotional landscape is. The will assess an entire person by what they're wearing, their gender, their hair, or their car, or how "clean" their home or car is. Narcissists seem to believe that assessing others this way, based on the most superficial things possible, is accurate and clever.
 They even feel entitled to judge a person's interests, hobbies, and what they choose to work at, believing that they know what the person "SHOULD" be doing based on what the narcissist thinks he or she has assessed about the person. They feel entitled to lead other adults around, "guide" them in every detail, criticize anything they do and say (nothing is off limits), as if they have appointed themselves the Head Teacher of the other adults who they have appointed as children. The feeling of being OVER others, similar to the way teachers and parents are "over" children,  is how Narcissists view the world. Everything is a hierarchy, and they view themselves as at or near the top. Often they had practice at this growing up; some were even encouraged by narcissistic adults..

This is one of the reasons why Narcissists can seem to have social anxiety. While a non-narc with social anxiety does not want to go deal with people who may act like bullies or act dismissively or disrespectfully toward them, the Narcissist is also anxious about going to different places, but their anxiety is about not being recognized as the COOLEST person there, or the most Expert, or the most liked, or the Star, or the LEADER. Further, this may be one of the main reasons why non-narcs hook up with narcissists. The two different forms of social anxiety often seem exactly alike. When a person has been denied recognition, acceptance and respect by others over and over because there are so many bullies and cliques around, they can of course develop social anxiety. (Any Narcissists around them will say that they are narcissistic, expecting SPECIAL treatment and recognition ABOVE others; this is their denial of treating the person with disrespect.) So when this person meets another person who seems to understand what they've been dealing with, someone who seems to "GET IT", naturally they may see them as a kindred spirit. It is only over time that one slowly becomes aware of the difference between the social anxieties. The non-narc is angry about being denied recognition and acceptance as just a regular person, as one of the normal members of the community, and treated with the same respect as others. The non-narc is angry that their actual achievements are being dismissed or demeaned, and that they are being ignored and invalidated when they speak. The non-narc is angry about being treated like LESS than the rest of the group, and rightfully so.
The Narcissist, on the other hand, turns out to be angry because he or she is not getting recognized for being ABOVE the other members of the group. While the non-narc is angry because his or her real talent and capability is being dismissed and ignored, the Narcissist is angry because his or her talents and abilities are not being elevated and worshipped.
The Narcissist is angry and anxious because he or she is not being crowned King or Queen of the prom. The non-narc is angry and anxious because the kids at the prom are mean.

Stage and screen are wonderful places to witness this distinction. Take an Acting Class for example. The non-narcs in the class want to learn about improving their acting skills, and are happy about being in a group of people who might be kindred spirits, who they can have fun with and relate to.
Well if the class has too many narcissists in it, then the class will degenerate into a bully session, with the narcs competing with each other to be the STAR OF THE CLASS. They will PROJECT this onto the NON-narcs in the class as well, so any non-narc who is naturally talented or skilled will become an instant target. The narcissists in the class will do anything to make this talented person STOP, including bullying, name-calling, criticism, and ostracism. The narcissists will often resort to creating factions within the class, trying to make this talented non-narc feel intimidated, small, and left out. Time and practice teach bullies that they can indeed have an impact on others.
On the other hand if the class is filled with non-narcs, and there is only one or two, then the Narcissists will automatically feel left out, dismissed, and ignored because they are not being treated by everyone as the Star of the class, the Acting Expert, ABOVE and BEYOND the rest of the class. The Narcissists will also call any non-narc who shows talent and skill (or physical beauty) a "Prima Dona", and accuse them of wanting special treatment. Just another bully tactic. The narcissist is trying to either make the person back down and stop showing their talent, or get others in the class to turn on the person, or both. But the point is, the Narcissist can have social anxiety about this class just like the person who is being bullied, but for different reasons. If these two met outside of the class, before it started, they might bond because of their shared social anxiety.