In my time I’ve known more than a person or two who were a strange combination of self-loathing and entitlement, the two bookends of narcissism. It seems counterintuitive at first – isn’t narcissism about grandiosity, extreme self involvement and self-love? – until you consider that self loathing is STILL self-involvement. The person telling you how stupid they are, what a fuck-up, such an idiot, who hates their life, and so on, is coming from a me, me, me point of view. They are STILL taking up your time and attention (whether you’d be using that time to do notably better things or merely watching Judge Judy is not the point). They are STILL not focusing on you or anyone else. Even a pitiful “I don’t deserve someone as good and wonderful as you,” if that particular tidbit is included, (or maybe “I’m not as strong/good/kind/honest/[insert word] as you are”), isn’t really about you at all, so much as a ploy for your sympathies and a pretty fair indication the narcissistic person sees those traits in you and aims to exploit them. Because what’s the next scene that’s supposed to follow? The part where you reassure them and build them up of course! (There goes your evening, afternoon, hour, day, whatever.) Whoever says, “Yeah, you are an idiot” and walks away?
Besides, if you deal with people like this, the flip side always shows itself in short order. They go right back to hurting people, doing selfish, oblivious things, running their own agendas, and taking real umbrage (or feigning cluelessness) if anybody points it out or has a problem with it. Bring up a problem or concern and watch how fast you’re suddenly in a conversation that is once again about their woes, interests, or issues.
One of the typical gimmicks of the narcissist is to do whatever they feel like whenever they feel like it – no matter who it impacts – yet act as if everything is normal. Perfectly designed to throw other people off their game and make them question what they know. The best defense is a good, narcissistic offense, no? The people around them are the ones feeling something is very wrong with this picture: Did he really do that? Did she really say that? Is this the same person who was crying and going on about how “rotten” they are? How they wanted to be different? Oh my yes it is.