Narcissists have a prominent place in the popular imagination, and the label “narcissist” is widely deployed to refer to people who appear too full of themselves. There’s also a growing sense that narcissism is on the rise around the world, especially among young people, but psychological research does not support that notion.
Narcissism, like many other traits, is properly viewed on a spectrum. The trait is normally distributed in the population, with most people scoring near the middle, and a few scoring at either extreme. Pathological narcissism, in the form of narcissistic personality disorder, has always been rare and remains so: It affects an estimated 1 percent of the population, a prevalence that hasn’t changed since clinicians started measuring it.
The disorder can be diagnosed only by a mental health professional and is suspected when a person’s narcissistic traits impair their daily functioning. That dysfunction typically causes friction in relationships due to the pathological narcissist’s lack of empathy. It may also manifest as antagonism, fueled by grandiosity and attention-seeking. In seeing themselves as superior, the pathological narcissist naturally views everyone else as inferior and may be intolerant of disagreement or questioning.
Read this piece on the Psychology Today website here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/narcissism