Self-esteem among narcissists is ‘puffed up, but shaky’
Like a grotesque mask reflected in a pool, narcissism has two faces, neither of them attractive. Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-worth, seeing themselves as superior beings who are entitled to special treatment.
However they also tend to be thin skinned, reacting angrily when their unique gifts are challenged or ignored.
This combination of high but easily undermined self-worth might seem paradoxical. A positively viewed self would be expected to be a happy and secure self. To understand the paradox we need to parse the complexities of self-esteem.