"Pathological narcissism is a life-long pattern of traits and behaviours which signify infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance, and ambition." —Sam Vaknin
Pathological narcissism is a huge problem throughout the world, but especially so for European countries, and even more so for English-speaking countries like Britain, Canada, Australia, and the USA. Pathological narcissism is the result of the "It's all about you" ideology that has swept over the West. It was bad enough that post-Renaissance individualistic individuality reared its ugly selfish head, in opposition to the historical familial existence, which can still be seen in many other parts of the world (where family—immediate and extended—all look out for each other and bear each other's burdens). But then selfishness took on a whole other persona at the exclusion of everyone else. The mentality is this: "It's all about you. To hell with everyone else." No matter what it takes, step on everyone else to get where you want to be. Lie, steal, cheat; whatever helps you to get there at the expense of other people.
People like to talk about being "decent human beings." Well, decent human beings are not pathological narcissists. Pathological narcissists are not decent human beings; they only care about themselves. Even their actions that look as though they are helping others, are only to further their own agenda and gain. For example; your ignorant, uneducated, know-nothing Liberal bigots like to put on shows of defense for the "downtrodden" and "oppressed," in the name of "tolerance" and "inclusiveness," yet they are downtrodding and oppressing Christians while being intolerant and exclusive of them. These people do not actually care about the various groups of people they are pretending to support. They are only supporting them in order to further their own agenda.
Narcissus, of Greek mythology, was in love with himself, and would gaze at himself in the mirror. It is his character, personality, and behaviour that narcissism comes from. The majority of people you know—family, friends, neighbours, co-workers, etc.—are all pathological narcissists. They are in love with themselves. They are infatuated and obsessed with themselves. Their ego ruthlessly pursues their own selfish gain in all forms of gratification, dominance, and ambition. If you honestly examine yourself, you can see the areas in your life where pathological narcissism rears its ugly head. If you honestly assess those around you and how they interact and treat others, you will see rampant pathological narcissism. Once you know what it is, you will see it everywhere!
Pathological narcissism is not healthy. What is the cure for this? At least for self-professing Christians? "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for he interests of others" (Philippians 2:3-4). "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor" (Romans 12:10). "Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves" (Romans 15:1).
Look for the pathological narcissism that exists within yourself, ask God for help in eradicating it from your life, and do things toward that end. Let the lost wallow in the depths of pathological narcissism. Christians are to be set apart and separate from the world, making a noticeable difference. Love one another just as Christ Jesus loved the church and gave Himself up for her. "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13). Pathological narcissism is the crop of the devil. Cut it down, rip it out, and sew agape (sacrificial, unconditional) love in its place.