Authority, Fuzzy Boundaries, and Narcissism

Misunderstanding the difference between legitimate authority and made-up social hierarchy is one of the traits that's common in those with injured, weakened, or fuzzy boundaries, and also in those with Narcissism.
So Susan doesn't want to recognize Jim's authority, even though he's the teacher in the class, because she doesn't like him personally. She won't sit still, refuses to remain silent when he's speaking, and rebels against his instruction. Susan thinks she is innately superior to Jim, and does not think she should "have to listen" to him. She is not able to GRASP the simple fact that Jim DOES have assigned authority over her, as the Teacher of that class. He also has basic authority as a faculty member of the school.

Susan resents Jim's authority, and believes that his belief in his authority is just because he's a man. She resents him personally, and sees this "hierarchy" as a sham, and also thinks she should be the Leader of this class instead, since she believes she can do a better job.

It does NOT cross her mind that Jim's position is a hired position, that he's not "taking" or assigning himself more authority than he "deserves". It does NOT cross her mind that Jim went to college in order to get this job, and that if he had not purposely gone through the actions to get his degree, that he wouldn't have been hired.
It does NOT cross her mind that if SHE acquired the same degree as Jim, she would qualify for the same position.
Mark was hired by Mary, who owns an Autobody shop. After the second week, Mark began subtly ignoring Mary's instructions and rebelling against her rules and policies. The third week, Mark was talking over Mary to customers, interrupting her, and condescending to her. The fourth week he was invading her office space, answering her phone, going on her computer. The fifth week he was rearranging her garage without her approval.
The sixth week, Mary spoke to him for the tenth time about his behavior, and told him she couldn't keep him on if he didn't stop. The seventh week, Mark stole several tools out of Mary's shop to "SHOW HER". (Show her what, exactly...?) The eighth week, Mary had to get a restraining order against him, and hired a security company for both her shop and her home. In the meantime, Mark went about smearing Mary's name and her shop to everyone he could in the area.

Why did Mark pull all this crap? Because Mark honestly believes that anytime he is in any kind of relationship dynamic with a female, whether it's personal or business, HE gets to be the Boss. He perceives Mary's not allowing him to be the Boss over her as HER being a Control Freak. He also thinks that she can't run the shop without his expertise and authority. (It doesn't seem to occur to him that Mary is the owner of the shop, with or without him).

Unfortunately Mark was inadvertently taught that men are innately entitled to supremacy over women, and since it seemed so normal as he grew up, he doesn't know that it's not real. (Just like children in racist communities and families are taught that it's normal to believe their race is innately superior, children in sexist communities and families are taught that it's normal to believe that one sex is superior to the other.)

So wherever Mark goes in life, he is going to have the same problem, over and over. The only places he will not get himself in this kind of trouble with this issue are in male-only groups and businesses (works well for male Narc. Controllers, Mark will never listen to a female, even his mother or sister, warning him about how a male Narc. is using him). So for Mark, his potential for finding a happy relationship is nil, and he has no real idea why that is. (He's told by the same people he grew up around that it's because women are all crazy or bad, and of course he believes it, because those people are his loved ones, and they all basically believe it (more or less) as well.)
The failure to recognize the difference between ACTUAL LEGITIMATE assigned authority and hierarchy can be seen on the "boss" side as well, just as much. The teacher with Narcissism believes the authority that goes with her position is actually INNATE authority because she is a superior being, and that she carries it with her internally. In her mind, her students are students because they're inferior beings.
The CEO with Narcissism believes he is hired because he is innately superior to the rest of the employees in the company, and he believes that all of his achievements reflect his supremacy, and that those who have not achieved the same "level" of material success or recognition are just inferior beings.
The Narcissistic parent believes that he or she is innately superior as a human being to their children, and that's why they have authority in the household over them.
The Narcissistic partner believes that the reason their partner is being polite and helpful is because he or she is displaying ADULATION, recognizing their "authority" and supremacy, and showing submissive subservience.
Specific examples can be seen quite readily in support/recovery groups and forums, and in any kind of classroom setting. Narcissism on the part of an instructor or group leader reveals itself as condescension and invalidation when certain members or students speak; bad grades as passive-aggressive dominance (not on merit); creating factions; blocking certain members and students from resources; discouragement, rejection, and blatant lack of respect and support toward certain students and members; displaying prejudice and biases in the group. (A coach who disparages the opposite sex or other races, for example "You throw like a girl" or "You're clumsy as a boy"; Teachers who disparage a political party or another race; Recovery group leaders who habitually imply that certain addictions or disorders are "worse than others" or "evil", or that their life experiences "outrank" everyone else's).
On the part of students and members, Narcissism reveals itself in many ways, such as habitually countering the instructor/leader, creating factions within the group, trying to insert one's self as the "real Leader" of the group, smearing others in the group or the instructor or leader, openly attacking/humiliating and trying to dominate the instructor/leader or others in the group.

~ Students, group members, and employees with Narcissism traits often desire the "Leader Position" (or "assistant to the Leader") within someone else's group, class, or business that has already been established. The same thing can be seen in government. The main goals of most Narcissists are recognition as "superior", control over everything and everyone in their lives, and to be the center of attention. That's why it doesn't MATTER what the actual task, job, or subject is, they're not actually interested in LEARNING, DOING, or RESOLVING, so much as they're interested in being The BOSS and being recognized as Better Than You at whatever it is.~