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4.4 out of 5 stars38
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on August 2, 2002
Hotchkiss provides a simple explanation - that is user-friendly - to explain a complicated problem. Narcissism is a necessary part of human development - I wanted to know what was "healthy" and what was over-the-edge. Hotchkiss answered all my questions and gave the answers on how to deal with the narcissist in my life. I am so relieved to find - it's not about me, it is about their inadequacies. It was also helpful that Hotchkiss explained how difficult it is for therapists to treat a narcissist. This book truly answered many of the relationship questions I have had over the years. Emotionally, I am a healthier person, thanks to this book.
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on May 26, 2002
While the book does give a clear understanding of where narcissism comes from, other books have done that as well. WHY IS IT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU?, however, provided me with validation that what I have been experiencing is, indeed, a narcissistic relationship. This was important because narcissists are excellent at taking their faults (or what they perceive as faults) and resulting shame and passing it onto their significant other. It is very easy to believe that they are right, thereby beginning the slow destruction of one of our most important assets, self-esteem. This book will teach you that it is not always about you and, in fact, in a narcissistic relationship, it is the illusions of grandiosity and perfection that the narcissist has, that will very likely lead to the demise of the relationship. While they may believe it is all your fault because they are perfect, this book will show you that it is not. I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks they are in or have been in a narcissistic relationship of any sort. It will validate your feelings, I guarantee it.
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on August 27, 2002
I admit to being disappointed in this book. Even so, it was a useful overview of a pervasive problem, one that faces most of us much of the time: how do we deal with self-absorbed narrcisists without being untrue to ourselves?
Things I liked about the book include the use of illuminating examples, the checklists and suggested courses of action in dealing with particular kinds of issues, and the excellent explanation of what narrcissism is and where it comes from. In fact, the examples she gave of narcissism in action were all extremely good and useful. After reading several books on the subject, I have to say I think she does the best job of providing examples and elucidating them.
Things I did not like about the book include the fact that since she covers so very much ground, much of it is covered superficially. One thing she did frequently that eventually grated on me a lot was to include a disclaimer right before offering advice about how to proceed in some particular kind of encounter with a narcissist. This disclamer essentially said "make sure you aren't being guilty of any narcissism before you start". Well, that makes sense. But one of the things the book makes clear is that narcissists can't really see that they are doing anything wrong at all. And so, I had to wonder exactly how is the reader supposed to determine whether, in this case, she is acting rationally or narcissistically?
In conjunction with other books, I think this one is useful. However, be prepared for a certain level of superficiality.
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on May 8, 2002
I think this book is fabulous at explaining the dynamics of narcissism. How it starts and how it manifests in children and later on in adult behaviours.
I think this book is lacking in the tools to interact with narcissists.
If only Ms. Hotchkiss had spent more time writing about the "survival strategies" I definitely would have given this book 5 stars.
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on March 31, 2003
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.
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on December 10, 2013
Narcissism is so honoured in our society. It's what is enables many leaders to be who they are. It truly does have its positive aspects; but, beware, work hard, define and defend your personal boundaries to insure you stay an integral self worthy contributing individual.
All the best to those that live those fascinating leaders of this marvellous world.
If you've lost your way, need definition and a gentle push to accept the situation, please take the time to read this small but powerful and disturbing book. It's well worth the read.
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on January 13, 2014
If you have narcissism in your family you must read this book. It raises your awareness and helps you cope with the craziness the narcissist creates! It confirms that you are not the crazy one!
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on January 19, 2016
Very good, straightforward explanations of the behavior of people with narcissistic personality traits. Describes how to tell when someone is like this, the likely origins of behavior and strategies for coping with such people. I have a much better understanding of why my ex is incapable of taking any responsibility for his actions.

Enough explication of narcissistic traits without too much psychological jargon. One of the best books I've read on this topic for regular people.
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on March 5, 2011
An excellent book with a great deal of insights enriched by real life examples. An easy but necessarily slow read for non-experts like myself. Help us understand the background and behaviour of narcissists in others and in ourselves. Frightening to know that parents can affect this tendency in their young children within the first 18 months of their lives. A classic before reading other books on this topic.
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on September 28, 2002
The literature about narcissism is rich in scholarly, obstruse, discussions of psychodynamics, etiology, differential diagnoses and other unhelpfulissues.It is poor in down-to-earth, practical, "how to cope" manuals. I should know as I amthe authorof "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited", another tome on this subject.Thisbook contains a rudimentary overview of pathological narcissism and thenproceeds to identify thetraits and dysfunctional behaviors of the narcissist - replete with hundreds of examplesfrom the author's mental health practice. It then proceeds toprovide check lists,tips, and advice on how to cope with this destructive and perniciousphenomenon. Along needed and long missing work.
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