When I used to meet people who presented themselves as superior, I would often defer to them. I allowed myself to think that such individuals were confident because they were different than others. I was right that such people are different. They are different because they are deeply wounded.
When a child is abused or experiences some kind of a trauma his mind attempts to determine a method to help him forget his wounds and prevent this abuse from happening again. As a method of defense, narcissism is developed.
When this person feels he is weak and vulnerable, out if insecurity he escapes to a new identity. The identity of a superior person who can not be harmed. This is the story of most narcissists; a solid shell that masks a deep sense of inferiority.
Why does the narcissist want to be feared? Why does he want to be ultimately strong? Why does he want to have tremendous achievements? He wants these because he is afraid, because he feels weak, and because he feels that he is worthless.
Narcissism is game of compensation as the narcissists strive to get what they feel they lack. If one is after a feeling of power, is is because they feel weak; if they are after excessive admiration, is is because they are feel worthless.
See them for what they are. Just a wounded, sad, soul. How you respond to them is your own choice though.