Having Narcissism means not being able to accept, take in, or comprehend incoming information as it really is.
Processing incoming information is very difficult for those with Narcissism. They already have a preconceived picture in their mind about most people, things, and events in the world, so they only accept real information if it MATCHES their picture. If it doesn't MATCH, they kick it back out, delete it, ignore it, or RE-CONFIGURE it, twisting and editing it until it matches.
They will either completely DENY information that doesn't match the picture that they've already created, or they'll twist it so severely that only one or two true snippets of information remain in the story.
For example: Jocelyn met Sherry last week, and knows nothing about her, except for the way she looked that day, the way she spoke, the car she was driving, and her approximate age.
Jocelyn has already formed a picture in her mind of who and what Sherry is, from her physical capabilities to her financial status, her intelligence level, to her overall character.
Every time she meets Sherry again after that, she treats Sherry AS IF the picture she has made of her is CORRECT.
Every time something about Sherry comes up that does NOT MATCH this picture, Jocelyn feels uncomfortable. She then either acts like the new information is NOT TRUE (like it's "made up"), or she feels like she's being INSULTED because she feels like she's being told that she's "WRONG".
OR, she will simply delete the information right out of her mind.
Jocelyn does not care what or who Sherry REALLY IS. She only cares that HER PICTURE of Sherry remains intact, because that PICTURE was drawn by Jocelyn's Ego.
Jocelyn drew her picture of Sherry based on her body size, age, apparent weight, facial features, ancestry, hair color, and her clothing and apparent "style". Jocelyn believes that she is actually ABLE to draw very large conclusions about other people based on an extremely small amount of "information", but it's really all based on things in Jocelyn's own mind, and on her insecurity issues.
Jocelyn has "drawn" her picture of Sherry as physically weak, fragile and fearful, because that makes Jocelyn feel strong in comparison.
She has drawn Sherry as possibly good at office work, because she looks like someone she used to know from work.
She has drawn Sherry as emotionally unstable because Sherry's manner was kind and pleasant, not demanding or controlling, and Jocelyn needs everyone to be either below her or above her.
She has drawn Sherry as "stuck up" and "flirtatious" toward men because she found Sherry to be physically attractive.
Sherry's social life, financial status, family life and past has also already been drawn by Jocelyn; she has Sherry as having come from a lower-middle-class family with nothing "special" about them, as Sherry having never been married or having kids, as Sherry having a history of being dumped by men who were bored or annoyed with her after a while.
She has also drawn Sherry as being devoid of any kind of extra talent or ability, because she's already drawn her as "lower" than herself.
Sherry is nothing at all like Jocelyn has drawn her.
So every time something comes up that shows that Sherry is not weak, fragile, or fearful, Jocelyn feels INSULTED or annoyed, like Sherry is just doing it to on purpose to prove Jocelyn "wrong", or to "show off" and "prove" something to everyone (as if she's mentally unstable).
When a mutual friend needs help moving some furniture, Jocelyn jumps in front of Sherry and orders her around, as if Sherry would break of she tried to help, and as if Jocelyn is strong as an ox.
When there's a spider on the wall, Jocelyn tells Sherry to stay away from it, it could bite her... when Sherry picks it up and puts it outside, Jocelyn feels INSULTED that Sherry didn't ALLOW her to boss her around and treat her like a scared little boy.
When Jocelyn finds out that Sherry has two sons, she's actually upset, and feels humiliated. She wanted Sherry to be a person who didn't have much of a real life, never mind two lovely children.
When Jocelyn finds out that Sherry is a sponsored Mountain Climber, she starts to really dislike and resent her.
Jocelyn had drawn Sherry as a mousy, weak, insecure person without an interesting life, who got by on her looks, for ONE REASON ONLY:
Because that picture made JOCELYN feel like a "better person" in comparison to Sherry.
Jocelyn took it PERSONALLY when piece by piece, her picture of Sherry proved to be inaccurate. She tried to MAKE Sherry fit back into her picture by TREATING her like she WAS the "Sherry" in her picture. When that didn't work, she tried to manipulate her with social games. When that still didn't work, she showed her dislike toward her in the way she treated her.
Eventually Jocelyn rejected Sherry altogether, but she did it as if SHERRY was the one who had something "WRONG".
To Jocelyn, Sherry DID do something "wrong"; she didn't CONFORM to the picture that Jocelyn had created of her.
This "Picture-creating" of other people, things, situations and events on a lesser scale is a function of the normal Human mind, but those with Narcissism do it to a very high degree. They create an elaborate picture based on a little bit of information, and then seem to believe that the picture is correct.They do it with total strangers whom they have never met, but they also do it with people who are in their personal lives. Even with their own family members.
When CONTRADICTORY information shows an inaccuracy, they tend to take it personally, and can feel like they are being rebelled against, insulted, and even humiliated. This reflects why so many people actually feel OFFENDED or ANGRY when a man shows an ability that's supposed to a "female ability", and when a woman shows an ability that they see as a "male ability". Their personal picture is being shown to be "WRONG", and that means they can't use it to boost their own ego or enhance their own image.
Narcissists NEED other people to be either "Higher" than they are, or "Lower" than they are. People who they have deemed "Higher" are treated a certain way (often like a "leader", a "guru", a parent, or a "star"), and people who they've deemed "Lower" are treated another way (like a child, a weakling, a sidekick, a crazy person, a stupid person, or a servant/subordinate; or in the case of enmeshment and self-deprecation, as a "fellow loser", "fellow peasant", or a "fellow wimp/moron/weakling").
Trust is earned.
Relationships are built over time, and earned trust is what the building blocks are made of.
Genuine trust cannot be earned quickly.
When we find ourselves trusting another quickly and letting them "in" or inviting them "in", into our homes, our personal lives, our private feelings, thoughts, or information, there is something going on with either our own boundaries or with the other person, sometimes both.
We often say we hit it off with someone right away, and sometimes it's quite true. But that does not mean that we should, or need to, open our proverbial front gate, open the front door, give them the metaphorical or literal key to the back door, or give them access to our private lives and information.
If that's the "price" of the friendship or relationship, then it's too high.
Trust is earned, and it needs to be earned in both directions.