Most helpful positive review
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2003
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.