Psychology Today: Research demonstrates the extent to which narcissists go to maintain self-esteem. If you’re trying to make sense of the behavior shown by one of your more narcissistic friends or intimate partners, it’s helpful to keep in mind that they have a particular need to distort the way they see themselves that makes them think they have more power over others than they do. However, they also tend to think they’re more likeable than you or others might see them.