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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
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...
Published on Oct. 30 2003

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good overview
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...
Published on Aug. 27 2002 by Marcy L. Thompson


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plague in society today, Aug. 2 2002
By 
"ejs58" (East Lansing, MI USA) - See all my reviews
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Provides Validation, May 26 2002
By A Customer
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect, March 31 2003
By A Customer
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good overview, Aug. 27 2002
By 
Marcy L. Thompson (Sammamish, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Hits the Target, Oct. 7 2002
By 
"hannah-heidi" (Madison, Wisconsin United States) - See all my reviews
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Worth Your Time, Jan. 25 2003
By 
"hannah-heidi" (Madison, Wisconsin United States) - See all my reviews
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A LIttle Short In An Urgent Department, Aug. 5 2003
By A Customer
This book is excellent, wish it had been around a few decades ago. However, the author very nearly implies that the narcissistic parent would have to be a violent, antisocial type for the adult child to justify imposing distance. That's like saying your spouse has to beat you bloody before you are justified from walking away from an abusive marriage. I wish the author had discussed deliberate estrangement as a way of opting out of a hopeless parental relationship that isn't physically violent. More adult children who need to do it might have felt better about it. There comes a time when we must all "let go" of our children, no matter how feckless and troublesome they are. The same is true for our parents even if they are older and feign helplessness. Believe me, if they know nothing else it is how to take care of themselves.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guide to Survival, Sept. 28 2002
By 
Sam Vaknin (Skopje, Macedonia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Why is it always about you?, May 8 2002
By A Customer
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dealing with the egotists in your life., Aug. 4 2002
Think you don't know a narcissist? Think again. Narcissists are everywhere particularly, in the public eye. Think about the Enron and Worldcom disasters. Do you think Skilling and Fastow or Ebbers and Sullivan aren't as narcissistic as they come? They fit the mold in spades. And how about our cultural obsession with these egotists? Aren't we somewhat awestruck by the "My ... doesn't stink" stars? From time-to-time, we're all a bit 'wowed.' I'm certainly guilty but perhaps now I'll have a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding the situations and 'icons' involved. WHY IS IT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU is an extremely insightful expose' on the egotists in your world, whether mildly or flagrantly narcissistic. And, this 'disease' doesn't just apply to our public figures; it can be as close as your immediate family or, heaven forbid, yourself!
Narcissism derives its origin from a youth in classical Greek Mythology, Narcissus. The story goes that one day Narcissus saw his reflection in a pool of water and immediately fell in love with his image. From that very moment, he began to see everything as it related to his own image. The world was his looking glass and his insatiable appetite for himself took him all over the globe, and he was invariably pleased with what he saw. He left in his path a troubling wake which slipped like a fever through the people who saw him.
Ms. Hotchkiss has nailed this subject when she posits "Their needs are more important than anyone else's, and they expect to be accommodated in all things. They can't comprehend why they might not always come first." Narcissists are endearing, enticing creatures typically with extremely thick skins....but only to certain elements. Think about the guy or gal at the cocktail party who brazenly bullies his or her opinion on any and all subjects without any plausible evidence to back them up. Some find these people oppressive, some finding them fascinating. (As for me, I've just come to grips with the unmistakable fact that the breakup of a previous business partnership was due primarily to a case of narcissism. A childhood friend of mine who eventually became my partner was image-laden. Eventually, all things relative to our business became 'how did it benefit him?' Without knowledge of what I was experiencing, I became disenchanted and extremely angry. Perhaps if I'd had Ms. Hotchkiss's book at hand, I might have been able to craft an alternative path and save the partnership. Regardless, I have no regrets at this point.)
Ms. Hotchkiss doesn't necessarily offer any new information about the origins of narcissism but she does a fascinating job of portraying the disorder and the types of behaviors associated with this 'malady.' According to Ms. Hotchkiss, narcissists morph their personalities to suppress their internal negativity and by so doing, lose all perspective of reality. This plus the constant need for adoration and affirmation requires the personality morphing to achieve the adulation they seek.
Ms. Hotchkiss breaks the narcissist down for the reader outlining the attributes one should understand. She entitles these attributes, "The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism" as follows: Shamelessness, Magical Thinking, Arrogance, Envy, Entitlement, Exploitation and Bad Boundaries. Ms. Hotchkiss illustrates these qualities with profiles of the narcissists she's encountered throughout the book. The irrefutable moral of each story is that these people are missing out on what's really important. They are so busy loving themselves that they've forgotten to love anyone else.
While most readers will buy and read this book in order to deal with those afflicted in their own families, my primary purpose for reading this book was to get a better grasp on the affliction for those I deal with professionally. It is amazing how quickly one can identify potential problem clients or mitigate probable issues just by understanding that the person one is dealing with is narcissistic. Whether saddled with a narcissist personally, professionally or both (most of us will have both), WHY IS IT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU has something to offer for everyone.
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Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism
Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss (Paperback - Aug. 7 2003)
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