“What is narcissism? It’s not what you think it is: It’s not ego. It’s not self-love. It’s self-loathing. Envy. Insecurity. Self-destruction.
The key to understanding the narcissism myth is not that he fell in love with himself, but that he failed to recognize himself in his own reflection. In other words, true narcissists are not self-aware.
A real narcissist is dissociated from his or her true self; he feels haunted by chronic feelings of loneliness, emptiness, and self-loathing and seeks to replace that disconnection with a sense of worth and importance fueled by others.
Narcissism is also marked by a profound lack of empathy, a fundamental inability to understand and connect with the feelings of others. Taken together, these are the traits psychologists measure in diagnosing what’s known as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).”
— The Mirror Effect Dr. Drew Pinsky and Dr. S. Mark Young
“Narcissistic people create images of themselves to broadcast to the world, trying desperately to have those images be loved by the general populace or by their peers. Deep down, they are insecure and don’t think much of themselves.”