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Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving & Thriving with the Self-Absorbed

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  930 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
Since the publication of its first edition, the Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists had filled a significant gap in the professional literature available to psychologists and other mental health clinicians: a practical, acces
ebook, 179 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by New Harbinger Publications (first published March 1st 2008)
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Liz Henry
Had decent advice, especially good at providing categories of abusive behavior and ways to answer them. I liked the bits of the book that advise the reader to remember their "sturdy self". Yay sturdy self!

I didn't really like the gender politics and had trouble with the idea that the book is helping people stay in miserable relationships. I get that sometimes you're going to relate with people like this, and they deserve compassion, but so many of the examples were to me of women living with fla
Polly Trout
This was a useful book -- I'm just going to jot down here the things I want to be able to reference later before it goes back to the library:

Narcissistic Traits: self-absorbed, entitled, demeaning, demanding, distrustful, perfectionistic, snobbish, approval seeking, unempathetic, unremorseful, compulsive, addictive, emotionally detached

Note to self: if you get a crush on one of THOSE again, run. Run and hide.

Traits of "healthy narcissism," e.g., a healthy self: empathic, engaging, a leader, self
Feb 24, 2012 Di rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Narcissists are dangerous people who suck the life out of you to survive. They are listed in the Asia II of psychology and mental disorder according to the american mental & psychological disorder criteria. They are everywhere and encountered everyday. The emotional distraction they cause is more devastating than any though they are never put in jail until they turn to physical assault. Therapy fails to treat those kind of people because they constant liars and pretenders. They change colour ...more
Jun 09, 2013 Kelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
First of all, the following excerpt should have been put at the beginning of the book because it is so important and not hidden 114 pages in.

"One important note: This approach [Putting Yourself in the Narcissist's Shoes] is inappropriate with anyone who makes you feel unsafe or abused. That's a completely different protocol, often requiring exit strategies and safety plans. If the narcissist in your life is violent, abusive, or threatens your safety in any way, please seek assistance immediately
Jan 04, 2012 Patty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You can't "disarm" a narcissist, so don't bother. I was disappointed in this book, I really was looking for ways to better relate to a narcissist, but instead it tells me to put myself in the (in one way or another) the abused child of the narcissist, to empathize with them, truly put myself in their shoes. If they were in fact abused and I know what their particular abuse was then yes it would probably make me understand them better, but how to deal with them better, I don't think so. I happen ...more
May 27, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you know a person with narcissistic personality disorder, get away from them as fast as you can. If you have the misfortune of being tied to them, read this book. They cannot be changed, but this book will help you cope.
Jul 15, 2010 Kendra is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Something from the book that I found helpful:

"If your narcissist is a spoiled-dependent type, the implications for change are such that more emphasis will need to be placed on setting limits, as well as on enrolling in lessons in tolerating frustration. For the deprived-dependent type, you'll need to place more emphasis on ignoring boastful commentaries and instead pay attention to "ordinary" niceties and thoughtful gestures. Such people will also need to be held accountable for angry outbursts
May 29, 2011 Miranda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some notes -- not a review: There are some communication techniques in here that reminded me of things I learned in a facilitation class I once took. It seems to me that if you're dealing with someone who has NPD, learning how to communicate with them effectively should give you a wide range of communications skills for any difficult situation. The entire topic is treated with compassion, too, which I appreciated. Also, I did find the schema therapy information interesting.
There are some helpful cognitive therapy techniques, but I found the stories hard to relate to, and the focus on couples a little bit narrow.
Aug 30, 2012 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned that we all are narcissists, to one degree or another. A healthy narcissism is balanced between self-absorption, or possibly self-care and compassion for others. Working at striking that balance can be a life-long task.

As with many relationship issues, we all end up realizing that we aren't going to change someone else, we only have ourselves to change. It seems the schema study was aimed equally at the 'dealer with the narcissist' as much as the narcissist. The author goes deep into f
Apr 06, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous book. It helped me to understand what went on in my father's mind and my son's mind as well. Knowing who they are and how they got there has been so instrumental in how to handle my own reactions and hurt feelings. These are people without empathy, and lurking behind it all is having not been able to handle their own feelings of embarrassment and inadequance. I feel sad for them now instead of angry. My new understanding is...I love my family. I don't have to like them, but I do have to ...more
More of a marriage/relationship manual that refers to the more difficult self-centered partner as a 'narcissist' than a set of tactics to deal with an actual pathological malignant personality disordered narcissist. A person with diagnosable NPD is unlikely to respond to a good talking-to as many of the examples in this book claim. These illustrated husbands may be jerks but they're not out of reach.
Jun 30, 2013 Leah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Kulm
Jul 18, 2011 John Kulm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really opened my eyes to what people have had to endure when it comes to my narcissistic behavior, and showed me that some of the conflict I've had with other people had to do with their narcissism - even stronger than my own!

The reviews on this book, posted by Goodreads members, are so good - with quotes and info on narcissism - I recommend the reviews as much as I recommend the book!

Narcissism is so intriguing, involving mood swings from feeling grandiose superiority and specialness, suddenly
Oct 11, 2013 Mindy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book with high hopes, hoping to get some solid ideas regarding how to effectively handle narcissists---even had a notepad and pen at the ready. (I'd recently listened to an excellent interview on NPR with an expert on this subject; that talk was so good that I actually pulled into a parking lot to jot down some things they mentioned.) Unfortunately, this book droned on and on and on and many a narcissist I know...and it just failed to make a compelling impression. And ha ...more
Jul 19, 2016 Dena rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This deserves a half star or less.

I feel duped and wonder if Wendy Behary has actual, lifelong and personal experience with a malignant narcissist, or if she's just "book smart" and decided to write about dealing with NPDisordered individuals. She encourages the VICTIM of the narcissist to exorcise unrelenting compassion and to approach the narc with humanity.

If you've ever been in an intimate relationship with a narc, you know they are reprehensible, remorseless pieces of crap and do not deser
Mar 13, 2014 Heatherk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I imagined this book to be a "How to Deal with the Assholes in your Life", and got it to serve that purpose. In fact, it made me look inside myself and figure out why the assholes bothered me so much. It also gave me tools to communicate with difficult people and not allow unacceptable behavior. I borrowed this book from the library but plan on purchasing a couple of copies. One for my husband and me, and one for another family member dealing with the same narcissist. I highly recommend this.
Jan 14, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Behary's approach to confronting narcissism wherever you may encounter it--from colleagues, co-workers, relations, associates, etc. She explains the roots of narcissism, why narcissistic behavior is so troubling, and helps the reader understand how to best address narcissistic behavior. She explains the need for empathy and compassion, but also champions readers to stand up for themselves and their rights and feelings. Very well written.
Sep 19, 2016 Zoe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book but I found the content hard to relate to.
Laura Finger
Jun 11, 2013 Laura Finger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lending
I was thrilled and a little bit relieved to win this in a Goodreads giveaway. I've recently ended a relationship with an overt maladaptive narcissist. Thanks to Behary, I learned how to put a name on what I'd been going through for the past year.

As part of my healing, I learned why I'd felt manipulated and ignored during our relationship. This was a blessing for me, because it's helped me move on.

But to be blunt, what I needed most was to learn what I was doing and allowing that caused me to b
This was my first serious read about narcissism. Very few chapters provides insightful information about a narcissist and there are handful of techniques on how to cope. If the purpose is know what to do when you discover you are in relationship with a narcissist, the solution is to get away as soon as possible because ultimately they will not change but if you are willing to make it work because the narcissist is your significance other and you are willing to work REAL hard then this book will ...more
May 12, 2009 Beneth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend. Fascinating discussion of schemas. Helps the reader look at herself and analyze her own schemas and figure out how they make it difficult to deal with the narcissistic personality. Offers practical tips/examples about how to best communicate with narcissists in their different forms (eg., bully, entitled...) I think the discussion of schemas is so helpful that reading the book is worthwhile even if you are not currently dealing with a narcissist.
Shannon Rosser
Feb 16, 2014 Shannon Rosser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of books about narcissism, as I've had to deal with a pretty bad case with a relative. See me if you or anyone needs some of my collection...once you've absorbed what makes these disturbed people tick, you don't ever need a reminder. : )
Jun 07, 2015 Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly helpful. I flew through the beginning of this book and wished I could just implant all the knowledge. It will forever be on my reference self. I really connected with the schema identifiers, and found it very helpful.
Melissa Dally
Mostly good if the narcissist in your life is your significant other, I was disappointed by the lack of ways to deal if the person isn't your SO.
I think this would be a terrific book to read in front of your roommate or ex!
This book has both good and not-so-good features. Two of the best aspects of this book were the discussions on childhood "schemas" and personal triggers and trying to find ways to talk with narcissists who either trigger you or whose triggers you can see are being stimulated--applying this advice doesn't have to be limited to narcissists; in conflict situations people can employ such techniques in order to deescalate the situation or maintain personal calm.

Where this book fails is in its coheren
Clinical in its approach. Had some good information and reads more like a manual/how to. Good reference book.
Rick Bostian
Nov 10, 2016 Rick Bostian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it.
Mika Harjula
Nov 18, 2016 Mika Harjula rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Enough about You, Let's Talk about Me: How to Recognize and Manage the Narcissists in Your Life
  • The Object of My Affection Is in My Reflection: Coping with Narcissists
  • Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents
  • Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
  • Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recover and Move On
  • The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family
  • Getting the Love You Want Workbook: The New Couples' Study Guide
  • The Reality Slap: Finding Peace and Fulfillment When Life Hurts
  • Stop Bullying: Myths and Practical Solutions
  • Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism
  • Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited
  • Silently Seduced: When Parents Make their Children Partners - Understanding Covert Incest
  • Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships
  • Service Failure: The Real Reasons Employees Struggle with Customer Service and What You Can Do About It
  • Freaking Out: Real-life Stories About Anxiety
  • Worry
  • Yoga for Emotional Trauma: Meditations and Practices for Healing Pain and Suffering
  • Schema Therapy: A Practitioner's Guide

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“Being mindful means being aware of everything and certain of nothing”.” 5 likes
“This limits, or even eliminates, their capacity to be empathic and remorseful. You may have heard the term “narcissistic injury.” This refers to the dynamic wherein, for a narcissist, saying a simple “I’m sorry” is like saying, “I am the worst human being on earth.” 1 likes
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