The fascinating connection between low self-esteem and narcissism

A few instances of late have made me ponder what the connection is between lack of self-esteem and being egotistical. Let me phrase it differently – I am starting to think that those who are egotistical might actually be low on self-esteem regarding some aspect of their personality.

In my case, I always feel like I am lacking intellectually. Recently, I was corrected by my boss for lack of clarity in thought and the way I think. Clearly this made me feel stupid. Secondly, a colleague at work  solved a technical issue that I was unable to solve. This experience also made me feel stupid. The question is why?

I think it is because I don’t like being corrected. “How dare you tell me that I am wrong?” – that is my ego and pride talking. Yet, this is intricately related to my lack of self-esteem, where my mind says “I am such a stupid, good-for-nothing”. How is it that these two seemingly contradictory thought patterns go hand-in-hand? Is it because I am a narcissist at some level? Or is it because I feel the societal pressure to be smart and hence egoism becomes my defense mechanism to trick me into believing that it is not me that is lacking, but rather that the other person is wrong.

What do you think?