Combining clinical analysis with psychological profiles of famous narcissists, here is an indispensable guide to recognizing, coping with, and ultimately overcoming the destructive behavior of narcissists.
Everybody needs some healthy narcissism. But in a society obsessed with appearance, wealth, and status, it's easy for problematic narcissists to thrive. Many people who seem to "have it all" are suffering from one of the most common-and overlooked-personality disorders today: high level narcissism. Typified by an obsession with perfection, a desperate need for admiration, and a willingness to use and exploit others for personal gain, high level narcissism can spell devastation for anyone who crosses the narcissist's path.
In Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life, psychotherapist Linda Martinez-Lewi presents an in-depth and supportive plan for identifying, understanding, and dealing with high level narcissistic behavior in those close to you. Martinez-Lewi helps you to liberate yourself from draining personal relationships with narcissists, and shows how to regain a sense of peace, balance, and well-being.
Drawing on detailed profiles of famous narcissists, including Pablo Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright, Armand Hammer, and Ayn Rand, as well as expertly rendered case studies from her private practice as a psychotherapist, Martinez-Lewi shows how to:
- understand where narcissistic behavior comes from; u learn to spot narcissistic traits, even in the early stages of relationships;
- realize why attempting to change a narcissist is fruitless; and
- protect yourself from the narcissist's opportunism, manipulative behavior, and lack of empathy.
"Psychotherapist Martinez-Lewi combines clinical analysis with psychological profiles of famous people she believes to have been narcissists (e.g., Frank Lloyd Wright, Ayn Rand) in this valuable guide to recognizing, coping with, and overcoming narcissistic behavior. She focuses on the high-level narcissist, i.e., the "omnipotent, grandiose, often charismatic individual of overreaching ambition and palpable hubris," distinguishing diagnostically between narcissists and borderline and antisocial personalities. She further presents a historical and societal perspective on narcissism, explaining the shift in focus in psychopathology from neuroses to personality disorders. Throughout, she draws on solid secondary biographies as well as relevant case studies from her private practice, and she ends with a reasoned discussion of decidedly Eastern approaches (e.g., meditation) to counter narcissists’ destructive behavior. The book is written with a calm directness and achieves the author’s purpose of helping readers identify and protect themselves from naively tangling with these personalities. It offers more clinical analysis and experience than does Eleanor Payson’s The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists and nicely complements Nina W. Brown’s Children of the Self-Absorbed. Highly recommended for university and larger public libraries.
–Dale Farris, Library Journal