This is a key reason why 'private' mitzvoth like personal prayer, and working on your bad middot and character traits are usually anathema to Jewish narcissists: if you're not going to get praise, honour and kudos from other people for your endeavours, then what's the point?
Some of them will even come right out and say this - but many narcissists keep their true feelings strictly to themselves, and instead will tell you whatever they think will make them look good, or curry favour, or earn your respect. This explains the often confusing trait many narcissists have of 'flip-flopping' between completely different attitudes and opinions, depending on which crowd they are in, and who they are trying to impress.
Narcissism thrives in an atmosphere of lies and intimidation. By contrast, authentic Judaism thrive in atmosphere of openness and truth. G-d's seal is truth, and the truth is: Ein Od Milvado! There is only Him. Once a person starts to internalise this first rule of emuna, they can start to escape narcissists' attempts to control them by fear and bullying tactics. Also, the more a person is connected to truth, and living a life of truth, the easier it gets to start challenging all the lies that Jewish narcissists tell, which is another crucial part of being spiritually prepared to live in Moshiach's world of truth.
Judaism is a code of law for living. G-d has set down rules guiding everything from what we eat, to how we relate to other people. When we follow G-d's rules, we are doing good. Jewish narcissists hate this, as it sets up an objective framework of making people accountable for their actions - and narcissists normally refuse to take any responsibility for the nasty, inappropriate and destructive things that they do, say and cause.
Narcissists excel in mind-games, and are adept at trying to brainwash others into believing that their subjective notion of 'right and wrong' is the only definition that counts. But when someone genuinely believes in a Higher Power, in G-d, then this doesn't work any more, because the question becomes: What does G-d say? What does G-d want? And narcissists, even externally very 'pious' ones, will only agree with G-d when it suits them.
Narcissists fundamentally believe that they are the centre of the universe. Because they lack empathy, the can't 'see' anyone else in the picture, not their children, not other people, and certainly not G-d. So a key way of spotting a Jewish narcissist, particularly in religious circles, is to see how much they put G-d into their conversation.
In my experiences, even the most externally pious narcissist will have extreme difficulty giving any credit or acknowledgement to Hashem. They might pepper their conversations with 'thank G-d', or 'Baruch Hashem', but it's never more than that. If G-d happens to show up in one of the stories they are repeating (they can't originate their own Torah ideas, and so constantly regurgitate stories and anecdotes that they've heard from other people) - all well and good. But a Jewish narcissist will never tell you how G-d helped them out of a tight spot, or share a meaningful 'prayer' moment with you, for example.
Narcissists relate to people by 'talking at' them. They aren't interested in what the other person has to say, or what they think, or what they feel, because they lack empathy, defined as the ability to put themselves into another person's shoes, and to see things from another's perspective - and the same is also true of any relationship they claim to have with G-d.
Many narcissists genuinely do believe in God, but their relationship to the Creator is warped by the same factors that make their interpersonal relationships with other people so difficult and strained: G-d is there to listen to them; God is there solely to fix their problems; God is there just to serve them.
(Again, I know this can be very tough reading, so let me reassure you at this point that this can all be fixed, once you understand what's really causing the problems, and what to do about it. We'll look at the causes of narcissism next week, BH).