One of the key issues I've observed in people with personality disorder traits particularly among narcissists is, they globalize their behaviors. There's a strong inclination to assume that if THEY feel and act a certain way, EVERYBODY does!
Some have sent me lengthy tomes protesting the material I present in my BPD Male article. They posit that these are NOT anomalous traits I'm citing in the BPD or narcissistic male, but are "normal" for everyone who owns a penis!
The upside of Narcissism (if you can call it that) is they believe that if THEY can pull themselves up by the bootstraps and overcome their childhood adversities, Everyone can! They either get frustrated with friends or lovers who are not emotionally equipped to surmount their tragic setbacks (and keep recreating em), OR they doggedly keep attempting to help, change and grow these unfortunate souls, regardless of how unsuccessful their previous attempts have been.
This orientation (compulsive giving, fixing and rescuing) is Narcissism in its most highly developed, but cloaked form. It has reached pathological proportions, due to its addictive/compulsive nature. Without the right KIND of professional help to dismantle it, one's addiction to seeking approval and love by over-giving, lasts a lifetime, and derails the formation of mutually loving, rewarding, reciprocal attachments.
If I grew up feeling 'victimized' by my life circumstances such as poor parenting, poverty, societal neglect and/or abuse, I feel a deep need to find and connect with my 'tribe.' When I locate others who suffered the same humble or tragic beginnings, I can finally feel a sense of "belonging," which helps me not only NORMALIZE the despicable aspects of my upbringing and accept them, it has me over-sympathizing with those who suffered similar fates!
There's a HUGE difference between sympathy and empathy! You may feel sympathy and compassion for others who are in pain, but ONLY when you've learned to give sympathy and compassion to YOU, can you BEGIN to relate to and identify with another's inner agony, and a litany of their other experiences and emotions!
The codependent Narcissist will vehemently assert that he/she has "loads of empathy," but they do not. The defenses they constructed in childhood to endure and survive their pain or impoverished conditions, instilled in them a sort of 'invincible' characteristic, which has them growing up believing they can fix anything, and anyone!
Narcissists who are not successful in divorcing or dissociating themselves from their OWN fragility, grow up feeling like "victims" of a harsh and cruel world. These people cling to a victim identity like it's a badge of honor, which makes it extremely hard to dismantle in someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder traits.
So, in essence, The Narcissist has built mighty, unshakable defenses to deny and surmount his fragility and vulnerability, but IF he can't, he'll maintain and embrace those disempowered aspects, while going thru the rest of his life as a victim of circumstance~ which describes the Borderline Waif, to an absolute T.