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Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents Paperback – March 30, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Pubns Inc; 1 edition (March 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572242310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572242319
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nina W. Brown, Ed.D., LPD, is a professor in the Educational Leadership and Counseling Department at Old Dominion University and the author of seventeen books, including Working with the Self-Absorbed.

Lisa Reneé Pitts is an award-winning actress in theater, television, and film, as well as an accomplished audiobook narrator. She won an AudioFile Earphones Award for excellence in narration for Pushkin and the Queen of Spades by Alice Randall.
--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

Customer Reviews

This book was very easy to read, follow and apply.
L. Fuegen
Nina Brown gives very useful and practical advise on dealing with the aftermath of having a narcissist for a parent and scars they leave on their children.
Carolyn D'Amico
The book is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Scott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

296 of 297 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Given the talent that narcissists have for making you feel that (1) it's all your fault or (2) it's your imagination, this is a very nice read that will make you feel that you aren't crazy. It also will help you realize that your needs are legitimate.
The book fleshes out the dimensions of a narcissistic personality, not in a coldly clinical way but in a matter-of-fact way that uses ordinary language. As for the typos that another reviewer commented on, I didn't notice them. I'm a journalist, and I thought the author succeeded in using concise and easily understood words. She also succeeded in giving some very useful tips for dealing with a narcissist. Most of us have been taught that it's best to be truthful, to say so if we've been hurt by someone else; we've learned that this is the healthy and responsible way to behave. Not so, if you're around a narcissist, as this book will explain; it's better if you DON'T let on that the narcissist has affected you, because you'll likely be criticized for being too sensitive. If you KNOW a narcissist, you ALREADY know that it's best not to let your feelings show, and you already know that the standard advice that well-meaning friends might give, won't work. This book will give you some advice that DOES work, and it will also validate your perceptions of what it's like to be around a narcissist. At 180 pages, this book is not the be-all and end-all, but it's quite helpful, and I wouldn't miss it. If your parent is a narcissist, you might also benefit by looking at the book "Stop Walking on Eggshells," a book that deals with those who have borderline personality disorder. Not all narcissists have the disorder, but a good number do, and it's worth checking out if you're in a relationship that's "all about them," and where you are discounted.
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582 of 602 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Some of the other reviewers have pointed out that this book has grammatical errors. While this is true, please don't let the perfectionism that is an inherant part of growing up with a narcissistic parent prevent you from reading and benfitting from this book.
This book goes through a relatively quick but thorough diagnostic process to help you determine whether your parent was a narcissist, and then makes its single most important point:
THEY ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE. Nothing you can do, or could have done, would make a difference.
The remaining 2/3rds of the book is about coping, protecting yourself, and recovering from narcissistic abuse. This is what you CAN DO to make the rest of your life happier and healthier. Get the book, silence the critic inside your head, and get going on getting better!
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461 of 477 people found the following review helpful By Sister Renee Pittelli on December 18, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have found this book to be useful in my ministry for adult children of abusive or controlling parents, Luke 17:3 Ministries. It begins by describing Destructive Narcissistic Parents (DNPs),teaches how being raised by them affected you, and gives very unique techniques for diffusing their ability to hurt you. It subscribes to the theory that confrontation will not work because a narcissist will never change and does not believe he is doing anything wrong, but rather thinks that everyone else exists for his use and benefit; therefore other techniques for dealing with him are suggested, including avoidance, humor, or body language designed to subconsciously confuse the narcissist.
Does your parent have attention needs, admiration needs, the need to be considered unique and special, lack of empathy, feel others are extensions of herself, grandiosity, shallow emotions, a sense of entitlement, emotionally abusive traits, or does she exploit others? These characteristics identify a DNP, and specific examples of each trait are given.
As an adult, you can have two possible responses to being raised by a DNP. You may have a Siege Response- some traits of which include becoming defiant when given orders or demands, rebelling against restrictions or rules, being wary or fearful of intimacy, feeling anxious or panicky when others want to be nurtured, guilty feelings, personalizing others' behavior, being easily offended, etc. You may also exhibit the Compliant Response, including needing to be liked or approved of, feeling responsible for others' well-being, feeling that others are taking advantage of you, sacrificing personal needs for others, being overemotional, being overly critical of yourself and others, etc.
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134 of 137 people found the following review helpful By D. Hughes on February 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book for those of us that have had significant people in our lives who could not be "reasoned" with because the person was so self-interested. Try as we may to please these people, we ended frustrated, angry, depressed, and perhaps most of all, confused. It felt like a different Reality from the rest of the world, a Reality which we did not understand, and from which we didn't seem to be able to escape. Not unlike the mythical Sisyphus, we cyclically rolled the rock of parental or spousal approval up the hill only to have it return endlessly..and like Sisyphus, with nothing whatever to show for our efforts. Ms. Brown is the first person in my 50-some years of life who was able to grab me by the collar and firmly convince me emotionally (I had long been convinced intellectually) that it was time to let go and not exhaust myself further. I saw the personality she describes in my parents, an ex-wife, and a troubling boss. Things became very clear that were once murky, at best. The author is also very explicit as how to handle situations with these discomforting people in order not to be injured further. The best recommendation that I can give this book is that it is NOT just for understanding your self-absorbed parents, it is for understanding all the character disordered folks in your life; I plan to buy several copies for friends try to understand their divorces, their parents, and their sometimes dysfunctional friendships.
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