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Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism [Kindle Edition]

Sandy Hotchkiss , James F. Masterson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this groundbreaking book -- the first popular book on narcissism in more than a decade -- clinical social worker and psychotherapist Sandy Hotchkiss shows you how to cope with controlling, egotistical people who are incapable of the fundamental give-and-take that sustains healthy relationships. Exploring how individuals come to have this shortcoming, why you get drawn into their perilous orbit, and what you can do to break free, Hotchkiss describes the "Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism" and their origins. You will learn to recognize these hallmarks of unhealthy narcissism -- Shamelessness, Magical Thinking, Arrogance, Envy, Entitlement, Exploitation, Bad Boundaries -- and to understand the roles that parenting and culture play in their creation.
Whether the narcissist in question is a coworker, spouse, parent, or child, Why Is It Always About You? provides abundant practical advice for anyone struggling to break narcissism's insidious spread to the next generation, and for anyone who encounters narcissists in everyday life.

Editorial Reviews


Jerold J. Kreisman, M.D. coauthor of I Hate You -- Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality. People who experience narcissism in themselves or in others now have a guide to help them steer through the storm.

About the Author

Sandy Hotchkiss, LCSW teaches in the Master's Program at the University of Southern California School of Social Work and has a private practice in psychotherapy. A fellow of the California Society for Clinical Social Work, she lives in the Los Angeles area.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
611 of 619 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended October 30, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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288 of 299 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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185 of 193 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally an answer June 9, 2003
By A Customer
Ms. Hotchkiss's insight into Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) finally gave a voice to what I have been thinking for many years. After attracting narcissists of varying degrees into my life, I always found myself in the end either in complete disbelief at the behaviour I had encountered and tolerated, or believing there was something deeply wrong with me. When I began reading "The Seven Deadly Sins" as she puts it which outline some of the major personality flaws of those affected by NPD, I just wanted to shout out "Yes!, Yes!, this makes it all clear!". While this book primarily focuses on how to identify NPDs, it does provide some insight as to why you may be the personality type that attracts these damaged people into your life and how to manage them. Ms. Hotchkiss writes with, and I certainly believe that she has, empathy for those troubled with NPD, however, she also is very firm in that they most often do not change, and in order to save yourself from a lifetime of being used and emotionally sucked dry, you have to distance yourself. This may not be the most in depth writing on the subject but, for those of you like me who know in your heart that there is something wrong with someone in your life, this book can be a real eye opener, give voice to what you know is there, and set you on a road to recovery. Highly recommend.
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602 of 642 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dealing with the egotists in your life. August 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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book. The author mentions some very important and crucial points in this book. Very helpful.
Published 9 days ago by Joanne F. Pieroni
4.0 out of 5 stars Loves himself but does not know how to love others, God says I have...
This book has the same issues of a husband that just thinks about , me, myself, and I. Loves himself but does not know how to love others, God says I have given you a treasure... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Rose Marie Ghio Lopez
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
One of the most amazing books about the human psyche I've ever read. Great condition, great price, great service.
Published 11 days ago by Kingpoetus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you!
Published 18 days ago by Debbie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very infromative
Published 25 days ago by Dennis
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Got a narcissist in your life ? Read this book!!!!
Published 29 days ago by sailor girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth
4.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Narcissism 101
This is a a very insightful and therapeutic book about narcissism. It sheds a light of new understanding on your childhood. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good information. Every one should read it.
Published 1 month ago by Billie's Kindle
5.0 out of 5 stars free from a narcissist finally
this book helped me understand the insidious depths of narcissism and how they can leave you feeling empty, crazy feeling, and to know that they actually enjoy it is quite... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Geraldine
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More About the Author

Sandy Hotchkiss, PsyD, LCSW, is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Southern California, where she is also on the faculty of the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute. She specializes in the interpersonal aspects of personality disorders and recovery from relational trauma.


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