They can dish it, but not take it, being highly sensitive to any perceived judgment. Their needs, whether for admiration, service, love, or purchases, are endless.
Narcissists have no boundaries and see you as an extension of themselves, requiring that you’re on call to meet their needs – regardless of whether you’re ill or in pain. You might go out of your way to fill their request only to have your efforts devalued because you didn’t read their mind. You end up in a double-blind – damned if you displease them and damned when you do.
Maybe you’re reassured of their love when they bestow complimentary and caring words and gestures, are madly possessive, or buy you expensive gifts, then doubt their sincerity and question whether they’re being manipulative or saying what’s appropriate. Their inflated self-flattery, perfectionism, and arrogance are merely covers for the self-loathing they don’t admit – usually even to themselves. Their natural development was arrested as a toddler due to faulty, early parenting, usually by the mother who didn’t provide sufficient nurturing and opportunity for idealization.
Sometimes, you might think they love only themselves. Instead, it’s projected outwards in their disdain for and criticism of others. They’re too afraid, because they believe that the truth would be devastating. They’re left with an unrealistic view of themselves, and at time make you experience what it was like having had to feed the needs of a cold, invasive, or unavailable narcissistic parent.
Many narcissistic men do this with money, because it boosts their self-esteem.