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on July 13, 2015
This is not just a bad review; this is strong advice to not read this book, for your own good. This book is dangerous because it convinces people in relationships that they can learn to manage the narcissist's behaviors. If you really do believe the person in your life has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you should get resources to leave the relationship as soon as feasible and get help to recover from the damage that's already been done before you've been hurt more. Moreover, the advice wouldn't even work because it requires confronting them about how their behavior hurts you, and narcissists can't handle that. This book asks you to consider what about YOU triggers these reactions in you when the narcissistic acts in erratic and hurtful ways. No. Anyone would react like that to this systematic pattern of damaging behavior. Other reviews here are totally accurate when they say it is victim blaming, but when I was still in the situation I was willing to blame myself just like the narcissist I was dating did constantly. I regret having read this book because I stayed in a relationship based on its advice and now I have suffered for much longer than I needed to. I started re-reading it recently, now that I understand the behavior better, and realized what terrible advice this is and how this advice kept me in a damaging situation thinking I had some power when I didn't. If you are considering getting this book, instead pick one about how to recover from breaking up with or divorcing a narcissist. Also, I would be willing to bet you are keeping secret from your friends how bad the person's behavior really is in order to protect them or so you won't be embarrassed. Write an honest email to your friends telling them what you've been going through and asking for their support. They will be there for you more than you know. I promise you that staying is worse than you think right now and that leaving now is so much better than you realize. Please don't even read this book. I do not want you coming back in six months or a year saying how the advice in this book gave you false hope that things could be alright if you tried hard enough to deal with the narcissist's volatile behavior. When I bought this book I thought I needed to make it work, but I was wrong. I needed to protect myself and this book will give you the opposite advice. The dangerous part is that after the narcissist already has manipulated your thinking, you will believe that there is hope like the book says but at best it will prolong the crash and burn ending, with untold nights of wondering what you could do better between now and then. Other reviews said this and I thought I would be able to handle it better, but once the narcissist had already begun to affect me, this book just pulled me deeper in to thinking there was logic behind his pathology.
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on December 5, 2016
I bought this book in hopes that it would help me deal with the narcissist in my life and after reading the raving reviews. The first part of the book helped me understand narcissism better. I will give it that. I learned about the different types of narcissists and I was able to realize what type of narcissist I was dealing with. But the practical aspects of the book, the recommendation and suggested actions when it comes to dealing with the narcissist in our lives, that actually set me up for failure more than success. And it took quite a bit to get to a practical section. After applying the advise suggested in this book, things between my narcissist and me got worse. Now I know better and more about NPD and there's no changing these people, no matter what you do. The author recommends re-mothering the person. Narcissists are never wrong and they project their flaws and insecurities on those around them. Therefore, I was not able to apply one single recommendation from this book successfully and our arguments got even worse. I got so frustrated. Re-mothering the narcissist? They will accuse you of being a control freak.

After putting that book down for good, I was offered much better advise from other sources who have been there. And the best recommendation that a person who suffered narcissistic abuse can get is to get away from the narcissist in his or her life as soon as possible. Going No Contact is the best advise that a victim could ever be given. If you cannot get away from the narcissist in your life, for example because you share custody of your children, then keep your contact to a minimum. But applying what this book suggest, heck, no!

There are other much better books that can help a victim than this one, like the ones listed below, not necessarily in that order, but worth a try each and everyone of them. Summarizing, I do not recommend Disarming the Narcissist. Either way, if you're a victim of abuse by someone with NPD, or you suspect the person might be a narcissist, first get support from certified professionals with actual experience with NPD, which is not something easy to detect in a person since a narcissist projects a charming image of themselves that can fool even the most trained individual. Get also support from the Domestic Abuse Hot Line, if needed. Don't do this alone. Recovery can take years, if not a lifetime. In the meantime, if you need to start your healing process on your own, if you need to learn more about NPD to find out if you may actually be dealing with NPD, try to get hold of any of these other books listed below.

Becoming the Narcissist's Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself

Psychopath Free (Expanded Edition): Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People

In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
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on October 11, 2017
This title was rather misleading to me. In reading the description of the book, I was under the impression that it would guide and arm me with tools and techniques on how to survive when dealing with a narcissist, when immediate departure from the situation is not possible. Not so. It spends the majority of the time attempting to delve into the victim’s childhood and history, trying to identify the victims issues and triggers that basically allow a narcissist to negatively affect them. While there is considerable information given as to what causes a narcissistic person to behave the way that they do, they end up being portrayed as the victim. While I can understand each person is responsible for their own actions and reactions in a given situation, I am certainly not going to look at it as my job to pacify and coddle this narcissist in my life.

If you are with the idea that the narcissist in your life, in my case a spouse, is completely helpless to what he or she is doing and it is your job to better the situation, than this book is for you. This book will solidify the belief that they are unequipped to take responsibility for what they are doing and it is your job to fix yourself and the relationship.

No matter how many years the author has been an “expert” in this field, nowhere does it say that she suffered through years of being on the receiving end of narcissistic abuse. She’s been experiencing it third-person, also treating narcissists as well, which if you pay attention, she seems to be their cheerleader.

I have found that reading books by people who are not only experts in the area, but have experienced it and helped and/or treated victims and not the narcissist, have benefited me much more.

For any person that has been a victim of this abuse for any length of time, their first concern is how to deal with and/or get away from the trauma that is happening to them. Self-help and critiquing their childhood is not a concern until they’ve removed themselves from the line of fire.
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on December 14, 2012
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.

What's worse, she goes off on these flights of inept descriptive language, and includes a truly self-indulgent introduction about how she always dreamed of writing a book and displayed such an early talent for language, but "never actually intended to become a writer." A bit ironic to include this in a book about narcissism.

Some choice quotes to give you a taste of how naive and ridiculous this book is:

"The philosophy of the Jedi knights suggests that a sentient, interplanetary energy lies within us all, binding us together and giving us the power to withstand opposition and create light in moments of darkness."
"You extend a loving imaginary arm to wrap around the pained heart of little you."
"With awareness and flexibility, you enlist the possibility of seeing with abundant clarity the depth, color, and movement of, for example, the ocean."
"Your distress now slides away like a fluffy omelet departs a well-prepared pan."

This might all be forgivable, if she didn't go on to present so many ideas that are downright dangerous:
"You model an apology [to the narcissist] that is based in a compassionate understanding of how and why certain messages hurt him."
"You work very hard at protecting his inner child from experiences that would trigger these haunting feelings of fear and humiliation."
"You don't want him to experience you as uncaring and demeaning."

This mindset plays into the fundamental destructive dynamic of narcissists - that it's all about their needs, that everyone else has to compromise to keep them comfortable, that the world should walk on eggshells in fear of their temper and their disapproval. Partners of these people are already well-trained in how to accommodate their fragile egos. What they need is instruction in how to hold these people accountable, and let them know their sadistic tactics are transparent and unacceptable. This book pays brief lip-service to the idea of accountability, and spends most of the page count instructing people on how to coddle the delicate sensibilities of the poor, damaged narcissist.

Worst of all, it takes the author until page 114 to make the following one-paragraph disclaimer: "This approach is inappropriate with anyone who makes you feel unsafe or abused. [...] If the narcissist in your life is violent, abusive, or threatens your safety in any way, please seek assistance immediately." She then refers to the Domestic Violence hotline, and then promptly returns to descriptions of how to "empathize with" and "re-parent" your poor narcissist. The problem is, this disclaimer implies that physical abuse is the only unacceptable form of abuse. People with true NPD are often flagrant psychological and verbal abusers, but too strategic to resort to physical abuse. In fact, many of the example scenarios later detailed in the book involve or reference verbal abuse. Yet the author says almost nothing about protecting oneself from this kind of abuse, or how to identify what might qualify as abusive behavior. People who are in romantic relationships with full-blown narcissists often don't have an accurate sense of where healthy relationship boundaries should be set. They don't understand what is acceptable or not acceptable treatment in a relationship. Yet the author never defines what might be accepted within a reasonable relationship, and what should not be tolerated.

This book was woefully short on the concept of personal boundaries - that everyone has a right to set personal boundaries, or how to set a boundary with someone who habitually violates them. When the subject is addressed, it's done in such a limp-wristed, ineffectual way that it's truly laughable to imagine saying some of the suggested monologues to an actual narcissist. It's also woefully short on ego-strengthening techniques for partners of narcissists, or tools to build a psychological foundation/identity apart from the destructive influence of their narcissist.

In case it wasn't already obvious, this book made me completely furious for being so irresponsibly and poorly written on such a sensitive topic. If it were up to me, I would have this woman professionally reprimanded and her license reviewed.

One smaller note:
As other reviewers have noted, this book is directed almost exclusively at romantic partners of narcissists. There are a few token mentions of narcissistic co-workers. But there's virtually nothing about parent-child relationships, siblings, authority figures, or other relationship dynamics.

Also she operates under an assumption that "If you're reading this book, chances are you've chosen to stay connected to the narcissist in your life." Thus, there's not a lot of material for managing relationships in which one is obligated to stay, despite a desire and justification for leaving.
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on June 20, 2017
I bought this book because I'm doing personal research on women who commit infidelity and that brought me to narcissism. I was also looking at the author's dvds on amazon called Disarming the narcissist surviving and thriving with the self absorbed but the dvds are way too expensive so I thought this book would save me some money and provide me with helpful advice.

Pro...I paid twelve dollars and saved over two hundred dollars. After reading some things in the kindle book I quickly begin to see problems with the authors guidance. So I wont be buying her her dvd's Disarming the narcissist Surviving and thriving with the self absorbed.

Con...This book like most books on amazon refers mostly to male narcissist. I will admit they exist and there are a lot of male narcissist out there but there is also a lot of female narcissist as well and very little about them.

Con...She gives a flawed technique in dealing with a narcissist. In the book chapter 7 titled Using Empathic Confrontation: A Winning Strategy for Interpersonal Effectiveness on page 136 the author writes You need more than an intellectual literacy in his issues and life story; you also need an emotional literacy in his inner world. In other words, you need to feel what his experience of the world is like. This isn't mind reading; this is what is known as empathy. The author then explains the difference between empathy and compassion because she says that many of her clients get upset at suggesting to them to feel sorry for the narcissistic men in their lives who emotionally abuse them. The author writes that empathy is to truly understand the experience of another, emotionally, mentally, and sometimes even physically. It doesn't mean that you necessarily agree with, condone, or support the other person's feelings and behavior, simply that you understand it in a felt way. While compassion requires this kind of empathic awareness, or understanding, it goes further. Compassion is a radiating desire to console, comfort, and alleviate the pain and suffering of another. With compassion, it's difficult to walk away without desiring, imagining, or executing some plan or action for relief.
So whats the problem? To me the author just described woman listening versus man listening. A woman vents to her girlfriends who just lend a ear agreeing with whatever she is upset about without offering any tips or advice on how to fix the problem. Men get in trouble when they out of love try to help the woman with her problem by offering tips or advice on how to fix whatever she's venting about. What men don't know thanks to the female narcissist matrix is that women are really just venting about something they both love and hate at the same time. So the women don't want to get rid of the problem because they love some aspect of it as well. For example women venting about the mean boss at work but the woman doesn't want to quit because she gets satisfaction from coworkers. So according to the author men are ahead in the treatment of others because they have compassion. Women use empathic confrontation aka listen to each other all the time but it doesn't change anyone's character. Some days women are kind to each other and other days they stab each other in the backs.

Pro The author confirms the waste of money that counseling has become. She admits that most of her clients are female and then she admits that her clients need to learn to show emapthy aka listen to your emotionally abusive husband or boyfriend like you would listen to girlfriend by just agreeing with whatever garbage comes out of their mouth without caring what they are saying or how to solve their problems. So in essence counseling for women is paid venting where the counselor agrees with whatever the patient says so that the patient will continue to see them and pay for more sessions.

Now some personal tips on dealing with narcissist coworkers that I learned. In short best way to destroy your enemy is to make them your friend by kindness and respect. Some people think that it means kissing butt but all it means is being nice to people and give credit when credit is due. For example when someone has a good idea at work, then acknowledge it and say hey that's a good idea. Or if you get an idea from someone then make sure to give them credit for their idea. Treat others like you want to be treated. Or give them a compliment. Hey did you loose weight? Woman Empathic Confrontation aka woman listening at work can take a long time while the women vent and then the boss sees you standing around talking instead of working. What this does is that it makes you valuable to the narcissist. It does this because the narcissist sees you as a source to make themselves feel better. They start thinking hey so and so gives me compliments and credit for my ideas so I'm not going to treat them like a enemy on most days. I say most days because they are a narcissist and they will flip on you but you should let it all go in one ear and out the other. Who likes to be around people who are disrespectful and rude. You can't control their behavior but you can control your behavior and reaction and when you give out respect and kindness a rare thing these days then that makes you a person who makes others feel better and thus gives you more influence. This habit can be done at home and work. Also don't say anything bad about anyone to anybody at anytime because people gossip and it will just come back later against you. In fact you should start defending who ever is being talked bad about around you by pointing out the good things that person has done for everyone. Doing this will hopefully discourage the narcissist from bringing negative gossip talk to you since you will not condone that behavior and it will also not give the narcissist ammo to stab you in the back by telling people what you said about the person to them during the negative gossip talk. You can side track negative gossip by refocusing the conversation on the narcissist joys such as their family, kids, or hobbies. Doing so will keep the negative gossip down and make the narcissist feel better since you talked to them about something they like. But I found the bible to be the best book on life as far as relationships, health and happiness. Other good books Ive read for researching narcissism and women infidelity Ive listed on another amazon review. If you would like to save a few dollars please check out my amazon review on the book called Womens Infidelity 2 by Michelle Langley
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on July 11, 2016
This book is terrible. It should be called, "How to enable the narcissist to continue to do the negative behaviors they do while you do all the work in dealing with them." It focuses only on how you as a person can introspect yourself, while the narcissist continues to act out, and offers no help in actually bringing about change to someone acting out so negatively towards you, and is in desperate need of basic human relational skills. Spends a ton of time in compassion for the narcissist, and exhibits very little for the person having to deal with them. Horrific and backwards. Do not buy. It will just irritate you. Truly disappointed. If I could get a refund I would.
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on July 5, 2016
My wife and I read this book hoping to learn how to deal with our narcissist son. The main theme is that you should kowtow to the narcissist and and give yourself a hug. Has the author ever dealt with a narcissist?
We gave all the compassion and empathy we could, but when we stepped out of line, and by that I mean we didn't fawn over a new toy he bought himself instead of buying a crib for our granddaughter, he disowned us for the fifth time.
So this book is nothing new to people dealing with narcissists, but the answers are wrong. The only way to deal with a narcissist is to cut them out of your life, get counseling to help you heal from the trauma they put you through and get on with your life.
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on September 4, 2016
After reading Dr. Karyl McBride's "Will I Ever Be Free of You," this book was a disappointment. It is as if the author didn't understand narcissists very well. She also makes the assumption that the reader wants to repair the relationship with the narcissist. That is a dangerous attempt and should not be recommended to anyone.
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on August 21, 2015
This book should be titled, " Arming the Narcissist" Read this if you want to give the narcissist in your life more abusive power over you because you enjoy being a human punching bag or door mat. This book is exactly what not to do when dealing with a narcissist. The author is so educated and empathetic of narcissists she cares as little as narcissists do about the emotional and psychological pain that they cause. Huge waste of money and time, I want a refund.
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on May 30, 2014
I know Narcissists as I live with one. And I was really looking forward to learning ways to cope from this book. But the approach is totally unrealistic and overly sensitive to narcissists. The tools would never work for any narcissist I have known. And after reading the book I realize the only way to survive a narcissist is to escape, run and don't look back.
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