Briefly, in growing up future narcissists had many reasons to doubt whether they were good enough. Neglected and ignored, or constantly disparaged and berated by their parents, they were held to unrealistically high standards of behavior. And their caretakers were quick to judge them whenever they failed to live up to such unreasonable, perfectionistexpectations. As a result, they couldn’t help but feel defective, not okay, and insecure, doubting their fundamental worth as humans. In most instances, neither did they feel cared about or wanted–as though they were factory seconds, to be tolerated but not respected or loved. Anxiously experiencing their bond to their parents as tenuous (for regardless of how hard they tried, they never seemed able to acquire their approval or validation), in their head they cultivated an imaginary “ideal self” that could get the parental acceptance–even adulation–they craved. If narcissistic adults project an air of importance, superiority, entitlement, and grandiosity, it’s a pronounced reaction (or over-reaction) to the massive self-doubt that, frankly, they keep well-hidden beneath the self-satisfied facade they present to others.