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4.4 out of 5 stars38
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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 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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on October 7, 2002
This was a very timely book for me. I have been dealing with two Narcissistic people for quite a few years and I just was getting frustrated with trying to figure out the roller coaster ride that I seemed to be on weekly--envy, resentment, praise, anger all came into play. The book helped me to sort this out and in a way that I am now working on applying the straight forward strategies. I have recommended this book to my graduate social work interns, particularily the section on Narcissists in the work place--abuse of power. But really this is a great book for everyone who is concerned about raising insightful children and making the world a better place to live. I highly recommend it.
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on January 25, 2003
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.
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on February 26, 2013
Having lived with several people who I can now identify as narcissistic, some to a considerable degree, i found Hotchkiss's exploration of the topic quite revealing. A number of points she made had me look back and evaluate some of the women in my past in a new light, even though I thought I had a good understanding of them. It's important that she underlines the fact that such people do not change - at least not very willingly - nor do they seek treatment. Either develop considerable patience and feed their egos in small doses, or abandon and avoid them. There is no middle ground.
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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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