Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism

 
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In this groundbreaking book -- the first popular book on narcissism in more than a decade -- clinical social worker and psychotherapist Sandy Hotchkiss shows you how to cope with controlling, egotistical people who are incapable of the fundamental give-and-take that sustains healthy relationships. Exploring how individuals come to have this shortcoming, why you get drawn into their perilous orbit, and what you can do to break free, Hotchkiss describes the "Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism" and their origins. You will learn to recognize these hallmarks of unhealthy narcissism -- Shamelessness, Magical Thinking, Arrogance, Envy, Entitlement, Exploitation, Bad Boundaries -- and to understand the roles that parenting and culture play in their creation.

Whether the narcissist in question is a coworker, spouse, parent, or child, Why Is It Always About You? provides abundant practical advice for anyone struggling to break narcissism's insidious spread to the next generation, and for anyone who encounters narcissists in everyday life.

Customer Reviews:

  • Books like this are indeed dangerous
    My wife is a pop-psychology junkie. She spends her free time plowing through books on growing up with alcoholic parents, codependency in marriage, women who run with the wolves (and the wolves who hate them) and now this latest buzz, Narcissism. After reading one of these books, she starts looking at me real funny. First, let me say that we live in an age where being self-absorbed has become something of an art form. I know millions of people whose behavior displays, to a greater or lesser extent, many of these seven deadly sins, and that's just in my own area code. But, please, let's make a distinction between people who behave badly, even very badly, and those who suffer a very real, compulsive pathological affliction. It is dangerous to start labeling people as sick when all they really are is selfish. After reading this book, my wife now tells everyone she meets that this or that person is a "classic narcissist". Now she is writing friends and family to inform them that I too suffer from NPD. If I beg to disagree, she says that's the denial of the true narcissist. You can't win. Books like this have a grain of truth but should be read with a grain of salt....more info
  • Not bad...
    This book was a very good read about dealing with someone with NPD. It was a little too focused on childhood experiences / child rearing for me, and could have used a few more practical examples. Still, I'd give it 4 stars....more info
  • If you can't "run for the hills"
    Great advice to run from a narcissist, especially when the person is someone you CAN leave. But there are relationships where it might not be possible to run (or running may have consequences you don't want to take on):

    -- The narcissist is your graduate school advisor or department chair; running would mean you lose or postpone your degree;
    -- The narcissist is a family member -- maybe your only surviving parent or sibling;
    -- The narcissist is your CHILD (how does a mother or father run from their child?);
    -- Your heritage and cultural background does not support you running from extended family members (like in-laws, parents, siblings), but really expects you to continue supporting them, even at your own expense.

    I'm sure there are other situations where running isn't advisable or acceptable to the person dealing with a narcissist. This book is helpful for those people to first understand the monster, and more importantly to get a handle on their own boundaries....more info
  • weLEAD Book Review by the Editor of leadingtoday
    In classical mythology, Narcissus was a young man who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water and wasted away from unsatisfied desire. In modern terms a narcissist is a vain, self-absorbed, arrogant individual with a grand sense of entitlement. Narcissistic tendencies include the need to be perfect or in control at all times.

    Narcissistic attitudes and behaviors are epidemic in our society. The American Psychiatric Association estimates that one out of every one hundred persons meets the criteria of severe narcissism.

    According to the author, "our culture is full of narcissistic influences that numb us to the reality of the problems we face." In fact, unreality is the hallmark of narcissism. Their distortions of reality can cause others to question themselves and doubt their own perceptions.

    Narcissists will go to great lengths to promote fantasies that sustain their grandiosity and omnipotence. Many prominent elected officials, sports idols, and entertainment figures are narcissists. They also head large corporations and lead flocks of the faithful. Many of us encounter unhealthy narcissism in some form every day.

    Narcissists see themselves as "special people." They know better than you do. They are also very shame-sensitive. They avoid shame at all costs. They are unlikely to self-correct their intrusive or inconsiderate behavior just because you call attention to it. When failures occur, they portray themselves as victims and blame others for their misfortune. Gossip, backbiting, and bootlicking are prevalent in work environments dominated by a narcissist.

    The narcissist sees power as his due. This is why many achieve management positions. In such positions they practice stretching employees until they break and then get rid of them. This is called "rubber band management." Narcissists are also very aware of shifts in the balance of power.

    In this book author Sandy Hotchkiss presents an excellent general description of narcissism and covers how to deal with the narcissists in our lives. Knowing the narcissist's weaknesses and tendencies will help you effectively deal with narcissism.

    Chapter 16 is titled "Narcissists at Work: The Abuse of Power." This chapter is well worth the price of the book. It covers the narcissistic problems of poor interpersonal boundaries, scapegoating, shameless exploitation, envy in the workplace, and ways narcissists seduce us. The chapter ends by providing four guidelines for survival with a narcissist in power.

    If you find yourself working in a toxic environment headed by a narcissistic manager, you will want to read Why is it Always About YOU?.

    Review By Dr. J. Howard Baker...more info

  • A Narcissist?
    The book held my attention in chapters1-3, with the description on the first few years of life, and what family and behavioral patterns (especially the mother) brings about the narcissistic tendencies. The how to deal with a person (be it a family member, a spouse or a boss) with the narcissistic personality is not as helpful as it could be. The examples are weak- and the case studies not complete. Non-the less I do recommend the book; it is easy to read and the author does accomplish the complicated task of brining light to this hard to understand topic. ...more info
  • Excellent, informative read
    Well, I had been dealing with a person with strong narcissistic tendencies which is what prompted me to purchase this book. What I really like that Sandy Hotchkiss does here is she gives us steps for dealing with narcissists: Know Yourself, Embrace Reality, Set Boundaries, Cultivate Reciprocal Relationships. She essentially debunks the myth that all narcissists appear to be arrogant and self-serving; while this is sometimes true, they often come as wolves in sheep's clothing and seem as nice as can be. What Hotchkiss points out is that when idealization is present in a relationship, as well as poor boundaries, you are likely dealing with a narcissist. Good things to know when you may think the narcissist will appear in the guise of "Me, me, me." They are completely self-absorbed, but they may not appear that way, which is why they can be very confusing. Hotchkiss also gives us a lot of excellent info on how narcissists become they way they are, narcissists and addiction, and how our society encourages and even promotes narcissism. An extremely interesting read, with easy-to-understand examples and down-to-earth language....more info
  • So many light bulbs came on I felt like a Christmas tree!
    Not one but both of my parents were flaming Narcissistic. This book describes what I went through and explains so much that I can accept myself more and understand how I now can make different, positive choices now in my life. After five years of reading many good self help or codependency books that helped a little, this book gives me the underlying reasons for behaviors that caused codependency and other negative behaviors/thoughts. I was finally diagnosed narcissistic by my counselor last year after several other counselors never even mentioned the "n" word to me. This book alone has helped me to change from narcissistic tendencies more than anything else. It is also a wonderful explanation to people who have suffered so long from extremely self-centered people. Thank you Sandy....more info
  • Good overview of narcissistic behavior
    If you have a narcissist in your life, but haven't yet studied the condition in great depth, this book is a wonderful reference. It provides basic information about narcissistic behaviors, where they come from, and effective ways to deal with them. My personal experience is that the best way to deal with narcissists if from within yourself- you can't change them only your reaction to them, but this book will help give you the tools to understand the nature of the beast and deal with them appropriately....more info
  • Exploring the Narcissist's psyche
    Very interesting and clearly set out exploration of the characteristics of the Narcissist. Particularly illuminating for those in a relationship with an undiagnosed Narcissist,who still believe it's all their fault that things are somehow 'not quite right'.

    Key quote from the book: "When you enter the web of the Narcissist, you leave yourself behind."

    Highly recommended as a guide through the madness. ...more info
  • PURE GOLD
    This author is a genius. The book was amazingly on target.
    Narcissism is a complex and convoluted personality disorder and the author has it precisely pegged. All the obvious characteristics down to the minutest subtle intricacies of this pathetic, self-centered persona are presented in an easily comprehensible manner. Almost every page I found myself saying out loud.... Oh my God, she's got it right, that's it!!!
    Such clarification is emotionally liberating. The narcissist is adept at draining your life force and without an iota of compassion. Their energy field must be constantly nourished by tapping into anothers. It IS... ALL about them.
    This book puts things in perspective, clarifies and shines a laser light on this personality disorder and offers suggestions to help recognize, assess, evaluate and protect oneself from these emotional vampires.
    ...more info
  • Narcissist
    This is so spot on target for the personality type. Couldn't believe how accurate it is and how cold and unyielding the person. Don't expect any change to occur with age....more info
  • STOP THE BLEEDING HEART: Caretaking is NOT Caregiving
    We all have that one person in our life whose ability to manipulate the heart strongs is so masterful that it takes years to uncover. Do not waste anymore time with those who truly believe the world is out to get them, need to cater to them, indulges in some kind of disturbance that only causes turbulence to those around them. Being a friend is great. Everyone has their moments. But the cliche rings true .... take care of yourself first and then empower others to do the same. Friendships are an energetic exchange ... and when one person is constantly deprived by the demands of another ... it is time for an overhaul of boundaries and parameters.

    Dr. Forward offers succinct advice on breaking free from disempowering situations and standing up for your life once and for all. Keep in mind ... don't just read her wisdom ... act on it!...more info
  • Free youself!
    I've read it almost by chance, and now I thank Sandy Hotchkiss with my whole hearth. This is really the mental-emotional gymnastic anybody should take into account - every single day - to better know himself....more info
  • Echoing the concerns of other reviewers...
    In my humble opinion, as someone who has done a good deal of reading on NPD and psychology in general, this book:

    Is not a good jumping-off point for anyone interested in NPD, as it does not establish how to differentiate between a person high in self-interest and a truly disordered personality.
    Is a little light on citations of scientific studies and instead reads more like pop-psych.
    Includes a referendum on Western culture which is not truly constructive or educational.
    ...more info
  • behaviour pattern fits my sister
    This book was very helpful to me after 20 years of narcissistic abuse and wondering "is it me" or "is it her" trying to keep it together for my
    mothers sake, and finally realising there had to be some self preservation
    or I was going to crack, I had to walk away and leave her behind and Mum had
    to finally accept that she was causing me so much grief and take on board the fact that two of her daughters did not get on. I rate this book highly and very easy to read and understand. Many thanks to Sandy Hotchkiss.

    ...more info
  • Almost perfect
    This book is an almost perfect investigation into all things narcissistic. I would have given it five stars, but it fell short of perfection by surprisingly never mentioning me by name or including a photo of me....more info
  • Why is it always about you?
    "Why is it always about you" is about recognizing the narcissism in yourself and coping with the narcissism in others. The book is not just about Narcissistic Personality Disorder which, the author says, is rare, but rather about that fact that we all have varying degrees of narcissism ranging from healthy tendencies to malignant mental illness.

    I am unconvinced by the author's psychoanalytic theories regarding child development but some of the more practical advice on coping may be helpful. The last section, "Only you can prevent narcissism" is about how moral relativism, the misguided self-esteem movement, and certain parental attitudes have largely contributed to the raging feelings of entitlement so pervasive in this narcissistic society in which we live. This section alone is worth the price of the book.
    ...more info
  • Definitely Worth Your Time
    I read this book both with interest as part of a general audience, an author, and as a Clinical Social Worker. I deal in the mental health field on a daily basis, and much literature and texts are less than interesting. However, I found this EXCELLENT book to be practical, realistic, informative and delighfully broad in scope. The writing was concise--not too long and not too short. The author obviously has a great understanding and displays insight into an often complicated world. This book comes highly recommended both from a clinical end and from a personal perspective. I thank the author for her contribution....more info
  • Two books in one need pruning
    This book encompasses two separate, if related topics. One is that referenced by the title, describing the hallmarks of those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, how they came to be that way, the workings of their internal worlds, and how to deal with them when one must, or chooses to. As in many popular psychology books, theories are presented as facts without supporting data. Having lived long enough to see a number of these psychological "facts" come and go, I am a bit skeptical of etiological explanations. However, there is useful information here for those trying to deal with an NPD person. I would add from my personal experience that Narcissists seem to lack consciences, being somewhat like "Sociopath Lite" in this regard. I found the case histories to be more descriptive than the explanative material.

    The second topic discusses and bemoans the generalized narcissism of our culture, and the current cult of self-esteem. Who hasn't encountered the cell phone ringing at the key point of a movie, the people at the next table talking at the top of their lungs, etc? This rather blurs the line between garden-variety self-centeredness - narcissism in common usage- and true Narcissists (ie, with NPD), and did not contribute to the effectiveness of the book's stated aim....more info
  • There are better Narcissism books
    I have read a lot of material on NPD, and this book was not as helpful as some others I have read. In fact, the over-emphasiss on shame in this book had me convinced that my ex was not a Narcissist. It wasn't until I had read the DSM-IV and Malignant Self-love, which empasize the lack of empathy, lying, and lack of emotion as key diagnostic criteria. The intimate psychologal portraits in these other books have me convinced that not only was my ex a Narcissist, but a TEXTBOOK case. If I had just read this book, I would never have known....more info
  • Do you encounter narcissists frequently?
    If you've ever been in the web of a narcissist, this book will help you. It will help you see that you are not losing your mind and it's not you! It will also help you to understand instead of feeling angry. It is very freeing....more info
  • Repetitive Writing
    How worthwhile can it be to read a book where the first nine chapters are devoted to the exact same material, with the only variance being in the sentences and words chosen, but not in the concepts presented? In a nutshell: Ms. Hotchkiss believes that the childhood years from 0 - 2, with a little bit of age 3 sprinkled in for good measure plus parental incompetence equal a narcissistic child. Isn't this a bit simplistic? Only upon reaching Chapter 10 does the material diversify away from the childhood blame game. However, the tone of simplistic thinking continues. If you know absolutely nothing about narcissism, perhaps you will enjoy this book. If you are dedicated to the concept that parents are responsible for every childhood dysfunction, then you will surely enjoy it. If you think the world is more diversified than that, you will surely feel at least a tinge of irritation. ...more info
  • IM SO BOTHERED BY THIS BOOK....HERE'S WHY!!!!!!!!!!!
    I do accept the concept of NARCISSISM.
    However, in this book, Hotchkiss vilifies the Narcissist as if "they" are
    lepers.
    WE ARE ALL NARCISSISTIC TO SOME DEGREE!
    THIS IDEA THAT WE HAVE TO BE ARMED TO DEAL WITH OR RUN FROM "THESE" NARCISSITC PEOPLE IS INHERENTLY, MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE, AKIN RO RACISSM!
    AND THEN TO USE THE TERM, "THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS,"...ARE YOU SERIOUS
    HOTCHKISS???
    THE LAST THING ANYONE NEEDS TO DO IS USE TERMS THAT HAVE BEEN IMBEDDED IN
    THE CULTURE FOR HUNDRED'S OF YEAR'S AND MORE.
    WE ARE BORN INTO A CULTURE WITHOUT ANYWAY TO SIFT THROUGH THE MANY BELIEFS
    AND MAKE INFORMED DECISION'S ABOUT WHICH ONE'S WE'LL KEEP. WE HAVE NOT
    CHOICE AND WE WILL BE BRAINWASHED TO SOME DEGREE BY THE CULTURE.
    MUCH OF WHAT WE TAKE IN BY OSMOSIS IS SHAMING AND GUILT INDUCING.
    THE FACT'S ARE IN:
    CHILDHOOD WOUNDS CAN BE SOOO GREAT THAT CAN STUNT, ALTER, ETC...A PERSON'S EVOLUTION, SUCH THAT THEY CAN HAVE TRAITS THAT COULD BE CALLED
    NARCISSISTIC.
    THE PEOPLE RUNNING FROM NARCISSITS ARE ALSO NARCISSISTIC.
    AT SOME POINT IN OUR LIVES WE WILL BE RUNNING FROM SOMEONE AND SOMEONE
    WILL BE RUNNING FROM US.

    IF YOU WANT THE SOLUTION TO NARCICISSM, READ THE GREAT, MAGINIFICENT
    ALICE MILLER. A.M. HAS VIRTUALLY DEVOTED HER NEARLY 40 YEAR CAREER
    TO THE RESEARCH AND STUDY OF,"THE LINGERING EFFECTS OF CHILDHOOD IN
    ADULTS."
    ALICE MILLER IS CONSIDERED BY SIGNICANT PEOPLE IN THE FIELD AS ONE OF
    THE GREATEST THINKER'S WE HAVE TODAY.
    THIS IS NOT AND US AND THEM SITUATION.
    IT IS ALL OF US.
    TO "RUN FROM THESE NARCISSIST'S" MAKES THE PERSON RUNNING JUST AS MUCH
    A NARCISSIST BASED ON ELITISM.

    NARCISSISM IS A SYMPTOM.
    IT STEM'S FROM EARLIEST CHILDHOOD AND ON INTO THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES.
    IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE NATURE OF ONE'S PARENT'S. THEIR EMOTINAL
    STATE. WHAT WAS PASSED ON TO THEM TRANSGENERATIONALLY? HOW MUCH DEPRIVATION DID THEY EXPERIENCE AS CHILDREN, THAT THE NEXT GENERATION IS
    ABSOLUTE CERTAIN TO GET IF THE PARENTS ARE UNWILLING TO FACE THEIR CHILDHOOD PAIN.
    ALICE MILLER SIMPLY SAYS, THAT WE DON'T NEED HAVE TO HAVE COMPLEX PSYCHOANALYTIC CONSTRUCTS TO EXPLAIN WHAT IS EXTREMELY SIMPLE....
    ISSUES OF NARCISSISM AND MANY MORE STEM FROM OUR CHILDHOODS.
    NO ONE WANTS TO FEEL THE PAIN AND RAGE THAT IS REPRESSED WITHIN THEM,
    BECAUSE IT HURTS, BIG TIME.
    BUT FEELING THE PAIN WHILE ONE RECONSTRUCTS THEIR HISTORY TO FINALLY REVEAL THE TRUTH IS THE WAY TO REAL, FREE LIVING.
    THE ROAD TO GETTING BETTER MUST INCLUDE COMPASION FOR ONESELF.
    WHILE I DO FIND ASPECTS OF THIS BOOK HELPFUL, I FIND MOST OF IT GOING TO
    THAT PLACE INSIDE THAT ALREADY FEELS BAD, THAT STEMS WAYYYYYY BACK.
    I DO NOT NEED TO READ ANYTHING THAT WILL CAUSE ME TO RETURN TO THAT
    STATE.
    READ ALICE MILLER!
    ...more info
  • A LIttle Short In An Urgent Department
    This book is excellent, wish it had been around a few decades ago. However, the author very nearly implies that the narcissistic parent would have to be a violent, antisocial type for the adult child to justify imposing distance. That's like saying your spouse has to beat you bloody before you are justified from walking away from an abusive marriage. I wish the author had discussed deliberate estrangement as a way of opting out of a hopeless parental relationship that isn't physically violent. More adult children who need to do it might have felt better about it. There comes a time when we must all "let go" of our children, no matter how feckless and troublesome they are. The same is true for our parents even if they are older and feign helplessness. Believe me, if they know nothing else it is how to take care of themselves....more info
  • A lifesaver!
    I bought this book to help me with issues with my father and sister. What a lifesaver! I'm really not crazy! That's what narcissistic people can make you feel when they are "shame dumping." It gives me a sense of peace and empowerment having put a label on their behavior. I feel like I now have the tools and knowledge to protect myself. I'm recommending the book to many people I know!...more info
  • .....they can't comprehend why they might not ALWAYS come first....
    Shamelessness, Magical Thinking, Arrogance, Envy, Entitlement, Exploitation and Bad Boundaries are the seven deadly sins of narcissism.
    "Their needs are more important than anyone else's, and they expect to be accommodated in all things. They can't comprehend why they might not always come first." Sandy Hotchkiss is clear and informative.

    In this book about saving yourself from the narcissists in your life, Sandy Hotchkiss explains what the signs of someone who is not just a bit selfish or a bit self-centered, but someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. She is clear and focused on who these individuals are, how to recognize them and even an idea of how they arrived at this point in their lives. They have taken their normal tendencies and elevated them to a higher, more significant and much more unhealthy level, for them and those around them. With a little personal insight and understanding most people have the capacity to protect themselves from the freefalling damage that is dished out by those with narcissistic personality disorder. While a narcissist will most likely NEVER admit that there is a problem with their behavior, there are ways to effectively manage them and to protect yourself (and your children) from their damaging controlling behavior.
    Dealing with someone who must be the center and focus of everything, who is never wrong, who feels eminently entitled to everything and anything and who completely lacks any real emotional connection is difficult but not impossible..........and much less difficult than being under their control for the rest of their lives.




    ...more info
  • Great read! Waring can open pandora's box
    I really enjoyed this book. It answered a lot of lingering questions about my childhood and the parenting or lack there of that I received growing up. I mention the warning because the book made me see some of the ugly that I had inherited. The good news is it took my inner focus of what was wrong with my childhood and shifted it to how I can make sure my children don't harbor the same contempt for me.

    I strongly recommend this book for you if you have the slightist suspicion that your parents were screwed up in any way....more info
  • Surving Abuse in a Narccisistic Relationship
    IF YOUR RELATIONSHIP FEELS NOT QUITE RIGHT, READ THIS BOOK!

    It has been said that relationships with narccissists are, possibly the most confusing and difficult to endure. This is an essential handbook for anyone entwined in a relationship, or considering marriage to a chronic attention junkie. Once they have you in their grip, they morph into someone who cannot apologize,recognize your abilities and talents, puts you down,and/or calls you "crazy," "difficult," and/or "incompetent." Narccissists are masters at subtlety and at systematically exploiting you financially, socially and emotionally while eroding your self-esteem to the point that you no longer recognize yourself. BUT NOT IN THE BEGINNING.

    The inportance of this book is to inform and warn. Narccissits are parasites who will charm,seduce,and flatter you until you say "I Do." or otherwise commit and hand over your life.

    Also recommended: The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists, Payton, E.(2002)....more info
  • Clinton's Nemesis?
    Long familiar with the patterns of, if not the vocabulary of, the narcisstic personality (and what woman isn't?), delving into its unique characteristics, I am surprised to see the syndrome invoked into the political arena in the last several years, by even trusted advisers - perhaps the source of the idiom, "politics makes strange bedfellows?"

    Hindsight brings forth numerous perspectives that are not exactly recognizable at "first glance," but narcissistic personalities and their effects are not difficult to appreciate when the phenomena is seen in a realistic light. While Clinton, himself, may be a narcissist of varying degree, the number of narcissists surrounding him were far greater in number and degree than perhaps he may have been, adding to the speculation that his Presidency could not have been unaffected by this very real burden. Simply measuring the number of persons in his cadre who catapulted to prominence during and after his terms in office reveal the prevalence of this phenomena at work, perhaps in any Presidency, the rather unique well of synchronous abjectivity that has come to reflect the office and its use. Whether the impeachment proceedings were an evolution of the syndrome or not, they are certainly open to question and scrutiny as to the existence of the opportunity embedded, and taken advantage of, by whomever might have been benefited at the time and thereafter. No partisan conspiracies required. The fact that the Democratic Party itself is partitioned in divided loyalties of long time standing itself increases the probability that such phenomena existed. Any everyone is familiar with the fact that narcissistic personalities are drawn to politics like flies, ..er, bees. What better reservoir in which to sample the honey that flows from the office, no matter who inhabits the "throne?" In fact, it would be unlikely and abnormal if such phenomena were not present. More normal is that it is alive and ongoing as a matter of course, as it is in most "power circles." At best, the task becomes defining just who might have really been Clinton's nemesis, after all, which means analyzing who are the underlying "big game hunters" among the many probabilities. Interesting inquiries, for sure, given the number of pole-vaults from his "side," - during his "rise and fall."...more info

  • Finally an answer
    Ms. Hotchkiss's insight into Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) finally gave a voice to what I have been thinking for many years. After attracting narcissists of varying degrees into my life, I always found myself in the end either in complete disbelief at the behaviour I had encountered and tolerated, or believing there was something deeply wrong with me. When I began reading "The Seven Deadly Sins" as she puts it which outline some of the major personality flaws of those affected by NPD, I just wanted to shout out "Yes!, Yes!, this makes it all clear!". While this book primarily focuses on how to identify NPDs, it does provide some insight as to why you may be the personality type that attracts these damaged people into your life and how to manage them. Ms. Hotchkiss writes with, and I certainly believe that she has, empathy for those troubled with NPD, however, she also is very firm in that they most often do not change, and in order to save yourself from a lifetime of being used and emotionally sucked dry, you have to distance yourself. This may not be the most in depth writing on the subject but, for those of you like me who know in your heart that there is something wrong with someone in your life, this book can be a real eye opener, give voice to what you know is there, and set you on a road to recovery. Highly recommend....more info
  • To the writer with a hammer, everything is a nail
    I bought the book, actually two of them thinking it might provide some insight into the narcisstic personality. But I think the author tried too hard to write a whole book on something that perhaps a paragraph or a chapter might cover. At least I am unconvinced that she had a book full of information to impart.
    I think that every personality disorder became narcissim to her. I think that every response that wasn't appropriate in anyone's behavior became the response of a narcissist or evidence that the person was suffering because they had been around and conditioned by narcissists.
    It seems that when someone wants to write about some personality disorder they ascribe all improper behavior to that disorder. I think narcissim is much narrower than she describes.
    To the credit of the author, she gave interesting case studies but never really got into why that particular case illustrated her point.
    I didn't think too much of the book - but it was a good effort....more info
  • Delivers.
    Written as an introductory level book, Hotchkiss delivers and accomplishes her goal of helping to increase the awareness of the prevalence of narcissism.

    It is everywhere.

    If, according to estimates, 15-20% of the population struggles with narcissism, then you are going to have to deal with it. Go to any organization and you're likely to find some there--most often, the higher you go in a hierarchy.

    It does help to at least have some rudimentary knowledge of what kind
    of person you're dealing with. My only concern about the book is that
    Hotchkiss wasn't precise enough in describing where narcissism comes from.
    At the same time, I don't blame her. Getting at the crux of narcissism means doing an in-depth study of childhood and adolescent psychology, and most people buy this introductory book just to try to figure out how to deal with their narcissistic boss, family member or lover. Hopefully, if one so chooses, there are books which do just that.

    My favorite insight from the book is when Hotchkiss suggests treating narcissists like they're three years old for that is the age at which developmentally they seem to be stuck. I try to remember that when I'm dealing with "the narcissistically challenged."...more info
  • Reader
    This book helped me deal with my past emotional issues from years ago. I have never been able to know how to explain why my dad is the way he is now I know why he is. Thanks...more info
  • Why it is NEVER about me!!
    WOW!! Excellent book! I recommend this to anyone who has controlling, narcissist, manipulative parents or spouse. I personally have given this book to several women whose parents doted on the sons and ignored the girls...and girls dealing with the narcissistic spouse and/or boyfriend...It has changed my life and made me realize that I must stand up for myself and say "no more" to those who insist that I worship them and be their scapegoat!! It is a book that will make you say "Ohhh, now I understand..". It is what "Toxic Parents" was years ago!! A MUST READ!!...more info
  • Why is it always about YOU ???
    Interesting book to own. Needed it at a time of 'diagnosing a relationship', and this book hit the (proverbial) nail on the head! Gave it to my girlfriend, who also appreciated and used it to her advantage at a certain stage in her life. But - aren't we all narcissists to one degree or another?...more info
  • Don't Try to Cope---Just Be One Step Ahead
    Understanding a narcissist is not an easy task, and living with one or working with one can be most difficult.Sandy Hotchkiss has written a most helpful book on dealing with narcissists who will only use and abuse you if you fail to give them their narcissistic supply of praise or adulation. This book has helped me in finding the reasons for my doubts and wonderings about family members who are difficult to deal with. I had considered consulting a therapist to ease the pain of conflict. Perhaps I shall, but I will have a better handle on the egocentric behavior of the narcissists in my life. This book is well worth its price, and may in fact be more helpful than a therapist....more info
  • Feeling manipulated? Try this!
    Ever deal with people who know no boundaries or only seem to think about themselves... and what they think is that they're great? or unique? Is there someone for whom you're putting out a lot of effort, anticipating their thoughts and feelings, but getting little in return? These people may have narcissitic tendancies or even a full blown personality disorder. This book will help you understand how narcissists think. It's pretty scarey, but once you understand you'll be able to disengage from their trap (at least mentally)....more info
  • Harsh
    I haven't completed this book but I can't give it a thumbs up. From growing up with nacissistic parents, I often wonder if I have the traits as well. The author is a bit harsh in the way she describes certain tendencies. For instance, on pg. 13- "Those who are less successful at developing a talent or skill may rely on petty games of oneupmanship to sustain a sense of superiority. These are among the name-droppers, status seekers, and know it alls of the world..." I agree with these statements but think she could write in a less shame producing manner in the event you may have some of these tendencies. I believe you want to walk with people on their journey versus hammering out the unwanted characteristics. She is the hammering type sadly. I recommend the book Children of the Self Absorbed. Children of the Self-absorbed: A Grown-up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents...more info
  • Fantastic!
    I loved this book! It really helped me to understand the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and helped me find better ways to deal with it and changes I could make both in my behaviors and my ways of thinking. It has changed my life and empowered me. I highly recommend it for anyone seeking to understand this disorder/behavior better, and anyone who wants to re-examine life in general....more info
  • And the fault wasn't mine!
    This book truly helped me understand some disturbing people in my life. I know better how to "deal" with them without feeling used and torn apart. Thanks for the most helpful book!...more info
  • A must read about Narcissism
    This book covers everything you need to know about narcissism. It covers how and why it happens and how narcissists act. It also makes you aware of how you were trapped in the narcissist's web and how to avoid it in the future. It made me feel as though my actions were justified and I was right about my feelings. I have read four books on narcissism and this by far is the best. I enjoyed it so much, I bought my sister a copy and sent it to her in Seattle. I bought yet another copy and wrote a letter to my ex-boyfriend's mother and informed her that her son is a narcissist and asked her to read the book so she could understand him as I have done seven months after our break up. MY WHOLE LIFE MAKES PERFECT SENSE. THANK YOU FOR SUCH A GREAT BOOK!! I have my life back....more info
  • Fabulous!
    This was a wonderful book to help sort out and validate my impressions. It also gave good advice for handling difficult people and relationships. ...more info
  • An ESSENTIAL book--When You Can't Flee from the Narcissist in Your Life
    The only thing worse then being married to a narcissist, is divorcing one. (Hell hath no fury like a narcissists' injury). And since my ex is the father of our son, I still must interact with him and his 7 deadly sins of narcissism. This book not only helps to identify the many shades of narcissistic behavior in a variety of settings; there are practical suggestions on how to deal with narcissists-- without getting pulled into their web of blame & shame. While this book did not deal specifically with narcisstic spouses that have been voted off the island, there are plenty of concrete tools and case examples. The chapters on how to prevent raising/creating a narcissistic child were also very enlightening. This book's a keeper....more info
  • If you've ever had a Narcissist blow through your life, read this book.
    I recently worked for a person with Narcissist Personality Disorder. It took me several months to figure out what was wrong with his behavior, but once I did, I saw that self-preservation was my only way out. Narcissists' behaviors are confusing, frustrating, depressive, and suck the life out of everyone near them. Compulsive liars with no conscience, they levy tremendous damage on anyone who refuses to give them what they want. Once you get away from a Narcissist, rebuilding your life is a challenge but can be done. This book is a good start to understanding where this personality disorder originates, and how you can cope and protect yourself from Narcissists....more info
  • Narcissists can suck you dry
    This book is helpful in understanding how to deal with people who view life only through what will benefit them. Narcissists have limited or no empathy, but can be very charming when they want something from you. I learned a lot about the exploitative nature of these people and how to protect myself from them. I recommend this book....more info
  • Highly recommended
    Well-written; the best book I've read on the subject. The commentary on the social aspects of narcissism makes this author's approach relevant to every reader. Practical, realistic coping strategies as well as models for good-enough parenting. Great book for parents and teenagers to read together!

    Synopsis: Narcissism is a healthy, necessary stage twice in a person's life, during the toddler and teen years, and gives an individual an inflated sense of confidence that enables him or her to leave the security of the parental bond to explore the world with newly acquired abilities. If children receive good-enough parenting when reality deflates this bubble of omnipotence, they reach the end of their narcissistic explorations with a newly integrated sense of self and awareness of the separateness of other people. If they are traumatized or are insecure in their attachment to primary caregivers at these crucial stages, they never "graduate" from the school of narcissism, and become "toxic people," viewing others merely as extensions of themselves and therefore without separate needs and feelings. You probably encounter narcissistic people every day without understanding why they are so rude, have an unfounded sense of entitlement, poor boundaries, or seem to be more "special" than other people. Many of us have been raised in families that pass down narcissitic vulnerabilities, leaving us prey to narcissists, who are always on the lookout for people who can be manipulated into supplying external validation of their "specialness," either by annexing you and your talents to serve them or by deflating you so as to inflate themselves. The current cultural endorsement and social approval of narcissistic traits also prepares us to be victims, even if we are otherwise psychologically healthy.

    An encounter with a narcissist can disrupt your life and leave you wondering what on earth you could possibly have done to have earned such abuse. This book will explain who it's really about....more info

  • Why is it Always about you
    This book help me more than any theraphy could have helped me. If you want validation for the difficult people (Personality disorder) you have to deal with, this is the book. It describes Narcissism for what it is. Narcissist prey on those who have been shamed, so they can take on their disowned shame that their ego can not tolerate. Most of us are walking around with projections that don't even belong to us, they belong to them!!!!!! Best book on the subject. Best line in the book is - Narcissism breeds a new narcissist generation-- as well as people who seem to be magnets for this personality type....more info
  • EXCELLENT book, especially for anyone going into Social Work
    This book was excellent. Informative, well-organized, easy to read, and thorough in it's presentation of Narcissicism at various levels, including narcissisim in teens, the elderly, parents, and in the work place. It also discusses societal implications and how the U.S. perpetuates narcissistic qualities. I highly recommend this book for anyone going into the social work field, particularly those who specialize in addiction. This book will not only help you to recognize the signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in clients, but it will give you the tools needed to cope with narcissistic behavior in your personal life. Highly recommend....more info
  • One of the best books on the subject
    I have been reading many books on this subject and have found this book to be one of the best, along with Children of the Self-Absorbed by Nina W. Brown. I appreciated the tools given to help those struggling with the effects of narcissism. ...more info
  • ENJOYED IT
    A good book to read - has helped me but you can't deal with narcissistic people you have to get them out of your life....more info
  • Practical and thoughtful guide to coping with narcissists
    I admit I read this book in self-defense against two particularly toxic male narcissists who have been at the center of my adult life (not my parents!), and I found it very helpful indeed. Telling someone to "run like hell" is all very well, but suppose the person in question is a relative? A boss? Life doesn't always allow escaping such people.I appreciated the practical attitude of the author who understands this and the "seven deadly sins" approach is a effective way to explain this disorder to the person struggling to comprehend the utter frustration of dealing with narcissists. Outwitting them is sometimes possible, and awareness does help. And certainly there are degrees of narcissism -- not everyone hits all seven (although my two are textbook subjects -- narcissists' narcissists as it were). Hotchkiss's book is an excellent guide, but look elsewhere for help in developing self-esteem strategies. Hotchkiss does less well defining what kind of person is the narcissist's natural target -- why are _you_ drawn to such people? In all, a helpful tool but only a beginning for those of us struggling to comprehend this frustrating and devastating disorder and, in Hotchkiss's phrase, get out of the narcissist's web....more info
  • Why Is It Always About You
    The book provided insight into the Narcissistic disorder, what to expect & examples on how to deal with the party. It was knowledgeable & well written....I would recommend it....more info

 

 
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