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Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed [Kindle Edition]

Wendy T. Behary , Jeffrey Young
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)

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Book Description

How can you handle the narcissistic people in your life? They're frustrating (and maybe even intimidating) to deal with. You might need to interact with some of them in social or professional settings, and you might even love one-so sometimes it just doesn't work to simply ignore them. You need to find a way of communicating effectively with narcissists, getting your point across and meeting your needs while side-stepping unproductive power struggles and senseless arguments. Disarming the Narcissist offers a host of effective strategies for dealing effectively with someone who is at the center of his or her own universe.

Disarming the Narcissist will show you how to move past the narcissist's defenses using compassionate, empathetic communication. You'll learn how narcissists view the world, how to navigate their coping styles, and why, oftentimes, it's sad and lonely being a narcissist. By learning to anticipate and avoid certain hot-button issues, you'll be able to relate to narcissists without triggering aggression. By validating some common narcissistic concerns, you'll find out how to be heard in conversation with a narcissist. Finally, you'll learn how to set limits with your narcissist and when it's time to draw the line on unacceptable behavior.



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Everyone knows a narcissist, one of those vainglorious individuals in desperate need of constant affirmation and attention. Cognitive therapist Behary's book argues that by modifying your own behavior, you can manage your relationship with such a person. Separating narcissism into categories (spoiled, dependent, deprived and combinations thereof) and exploring the causes of the disorder, the author hopes to assist the reader in overcoming the emotional obstacles involved in interaction with a boss, spouse, friend or relative. Rather than focus on changing the narcissist (which may be impossible), this book aims to help the reader improve self-knowledge to see why the narcissist pushes his or her buttons and how to cope. Some of the instruments Behary provides—such as checklists, flash cards, journal writing— are useful for determining the type of narcissist you are dealing with and how your past experiences affect your responses. The author acknowledges that her book is no panacea, and she doesn't present the reader with strategies for when the narcissist isn't responsive to the actions she has suggested. Notwithstanding this caveat, Behary's book will surely provide help to many in need of a confidence bolster in the face of provocation. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 313 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TU29VQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
568 of 585 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
One of the few books on the market that actually provides practical insight and techniques for handling encounters with an individual who is narcississtic. Most books focus almost entirely on how awful the narcississt can behave to the point of demonizing what is essentially a archaic defense mechanism learned in childhood. The author spends considerable time on what you, as the non-narcississt, get out of the relationship, how you pick up the other end of the rope, and the importance of understanding your own hot buttons (which Narcississt's are almost supernaturally good at triggering) rather than continuing the status quo by responding with your own defensive patterns that go nowhere but bad. This book is asking a lot of it's readers; that they understand the concept of schemas and that they grow up emotionally and approach their life, and the narcissist's they may love or encounter, from a place of strength, knowledge, maturity, and wisdom. If you want another book that outlines how horrible narcissists are and how you are their unwilling victim, you will not appreciate this book. If you are willing or interested to learn about yourself and looking at your own part of the dance, such that through your own growth and modeling the relationship, even with a narcississt, has a chance to improve, then this book is for you. Bravo.
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394 of 418 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous and Irresponsible December 14, 2012
By J. Hill
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm horrified that this book was written by a professional claiming to be an expert in Narcissism! I nearly bought this book for my mother who is trapped in an abusive marriage with a toxic narcissist (my father). This book encourages exactly the kind of enabling, self-immolating behavior that she is currently ruining her life with. Thank god I didn't send her this "expert" endorsement of her destructive, co-dependent fealty to someone who is a true psychological predator and parasite.

Now, I understand this is a pop-psychology self-help book, and thus shouldn't be held to a very high standard. The problem is, it's written about such a dangerous group of people that it becomes flagrantly irresponsible to be so naive, vague, and incomplete when instructing the partners of these serial abusers. Additionally, the author claims to be a professional expert with 20+ years of experience dealing with this specific personality disorder. This to me, crosses the line. I find this book to be literally dangerous reading material for a VERY vulnerable target audience.

The book is also pretty poorly written. Most of the advice is so vague it's nearly useless (general visualizations, basic communication skills like mirroring, advice on finding your authentic voice with no tools to actually get there) and the descriptions of narcissism are far too generalized for a one-topic book. The whole section on "schemas" (presented as ground-breaking and utterly brilliant) is simplistic and in no way specific to narcissistic relationships. I'll summarize for you everything you need to know about schemas - 1) You have buttons, created in your sad childhood. 2) Sometimes people push your buttons, which makes you feel flustered. Wow. Mind blown. That's 40+ pages of a 150-page book.
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284 of 307 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly effective and beautifully written April 9, 2008
Format:Paperback
I have over 25 years of full time practice as a therapist and have had extensive training in psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy and schema therapy (the approach upon which this book is based). This book does justice to the full depth and complexity of Narcissism. It does not offer simplistic advice or a quick solution that, like chewing gum, seems great at the start but quickly fades. With warmth, a delightful sense of humor and compassion, this author takes you by the hand and introduces you to the key strategies we have found effective in dealing with, and overcoming, narcissism. This book is clear, practical, and enjoyable to read. It will take time, effort and repeated study to fully grasp all that is offered but I can assure that your effort will be well rewarded since this author has obviously "done her homework" and truly knows. Upon first read, some of the strategies may seem difficult to execute. This is because they are built upon a blending and layering of skills and knowledge involving the heart and the mind. This is what it takes to be effective with narcissism. There is not a quick and easy way. I can assure you that if you are not just going through the motions, they work. Similar to learning to play a musical instrument or a new sport like golf or tennis, what can seem daunting at the start will eventually be in your grasp if you break it into the steps you need and gradually put it all together. Some of us will be a quick study and some of us will benefit from additional "coaching". The author provides useful links for the latter.

I, as a seasoned therapist, have learned a great deal from this book and find it making a significant difference in my work. I will be returning to it repeatedly myself.
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282 of 309 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fell short of what is promised March 6, 2008
Format:Paperback
Overall, I found this book to be disappointing. It was helpful in terms of learning about narcissists and why they behave the way they do. The information about schemas and the reasons why we let narcissists push our buttons was also interesting. What I was looking for--as promised in the book--was strategies for dealing with people with this disorder, and I thought that those listed were very unrealistic. The examples of helpful dialogue that the author gives are just not practical. A narcissist would be have tuned out after the first sentence of most of those monologues. The tips for dealing with a narcissist coworker were few and far between. Basically, I was left with the impression that there is not much you can do about a narcissist in your life except change your own behavior or get them out of your life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book for anyone living with a person who is self absorbed and only concerned with them!
Published 4 hours ago by Virginia
2.0 out of 5 stars Needed a better editor
In terms of not using the reader's time and attention well, one this book's problems is a relatively enormous amount of introduction, preface, three pages acknowledgements and this... Read more
Published 13 hours ago by Carol Walnum
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected. No one should willingly stay ...
Not what I expected. No one should willingly stay with a narcissist. That's what this book is about. Read more
Published 8 days ago by KPL
5.0 out of 5 stars practice, makes Perfect !
I found the content well constructed and very easy to understand. Throughout the the various chapters I found a natural path to self help. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Sheryl Johnston
4.0 out of 5 stars Do You Know a Narcissist?
Behary's clear and kind explanations of the underlying schemas or personal histories that cause the fear/rejection/aggression/avoidance response in Narcissists was very helpful in... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Sandra P. Bassin
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
The book was very informative, easy to read and gave good examples and insight into the narcissist. It definitely helped me.
Published 1 month ago by Tobie Hollenbeck
5.0 out of 5 stars great reference
This is a great reference for anyone who has had a person in their life with narcissistic personality disorder. Helps understand the issues.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I Grew Up In A Narcissistic Family System
Join an Al-Anon group. You cannot change anyone else. You can only change yourself. In the process of becoming the best you, you may discover that others around you change for the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by keris_mom
2.0 out of 5 stars Unrealistic approach to Narcissists
I know Narcissists as I live with one. And I was really looking forward to learning ways to cope from this book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by lauralovesbooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical guide for dealinG with the narcissist in your life.
I liked the practical suggestions for interacting with a narcissist. The author went so far as to give scripts for what you might say.
Published 1 month ago by Grandma
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More About the Author

With 25 years post-graduate training and advanced level certifications, Wendy Behary is the founder and director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and The New Jersey Institute for Schema Therapy. She has been treating clients, training professionals and supervising psychotherapists for more than 20 years. Wendy is also on the faculty of the Cognitive Therapy Center and Schema Therapy Institute of New York, where she has trained and worked with Dr. Jeffrey Young since 1989. She is a distinguished founding fellow of The Academy of Cognitive Therapy (Dr. Aaron T. Beck, President).

Wendy is also the President of the Executive Board of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST).

She is the lead author for several chapters and articles on schema therapy and cognitive therapy. She is also the author of (New Harbinger Publications - 1st & 2nd edition): "Disarming the Narcissist...Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed". Wendy has a specialty in treating narcissists and the people who live with and deal with them. As an author and an expert on the subject of narcissism, she is a contributing chapter author of several chapters on schema therapy for narcissism (Wiley Publications and APA Press, 20111,2012, 2013).
She lectures both nationally and internationally to professional and general audiences on schema therapy, and the subject of narcissism, relationships, and dealing with difficult people. Her work with industry has included speaking engagements focused on interpersonal conflict resolution.
Her private practice is primarily devoted to treating narcissists, partners/people dealing with them, and couples experiencing relationship problems. She is also an expert in coaching individuals in interviewing, public speaking, and interpersonal skills enhancement.



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