'Do you think narcissism is on the rise or are we just more aware?
Yes, it seems like narcissistic tendencies are on the rise, but that doesn't mean that every selfish person that crosses your path has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). I think that people are becoming more curious and aware of the personality disorder because of the current POTUS. Narcissism has become the new buzz word and just like buzz words that have gone before, misinformation is attached and this word gets used to label others.
Narcissism is something we all experience and it operates on a scale. Narcissism is vital to identity development and is appropriate at certain times in our lives. NPD is a whole other animal with the disordered individual being held to expectations that are unable....I mean literally unable to address. The toxicity is often seen in the dance of intimacy with the disordered. Not all disordered individuals are malignant anti-socials, however there is no doubt that all who are disordered are relational vampires because of how they perceive the world.
To keep yourself safe from getting locked into this toxic dance is by keeping good relational boundaries and letting go of idealistic ideas of love. Those who have diffuse boundaries and naive beliefs about relationship are highly prone to getting caught up in these toxic relationships with the trauma bond imprisoning them when the abuse cycle begins.
So yes narcissistic tendencies are on the rise, however there are ways in which we can keep ourselves safe from the toxic tango of the disordered.