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When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself Paperback – February 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
"Every time I talked about narcissists' romantic relationships," writes Campbell, who has studied the subject for years, "women would seem to pay particular attention...They would at first get a puzzled look in their eyes, then start nodding, and finally have an 'ah-ha' experience." Yes, women know about narcissistic men: those good-looking, extroverted, self-confident and, ultimately, uncaring and unfaithful men who seemed at first to be so exciting. Campbell, a young academic who wrote his doctoral dissertation on narcissists and romance, offers a book that's a couple of notches above the usual relationship advice book-intelligent, sober and well written. He clearly defines narcissism and how it is different from simple high self-esteem (narcissists need to be the best, and have a strong sense of entitlement); then offers a "narcissist's-eye-view" of a romantic relationship so readers can identify their traits (the narcissist see his girlfriend as a trophy whose purpose is to make him look good; he needs to be in control of the relationship); the difficulty of getting a narcissist to abandon his narcissism; and personal and social reasons why women date narcissists. Campbell has a wide range-he can draw on popular films as well as psychological research. If your man seems to love himself too much and you not enough, this is a good place to seek understanding and advice.
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About the Author
W. Keith Campbell, PhD has studied narcissism and its effects on relationships for over 10 years. He is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Georgia. Dr. Campbell has published articles in and/or been interviewed by numerous newspapers and magazines, including the New York Post, USA Today, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Shape Magazine and Men's Health. He lives in Athens, GA.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a good book although rather simplistic and a little sexist. Dr. Campbell bases almost all of his research (I believe, from what I can find on Google regarding his Bibliography) on college students. He misses or dismisses any male narcissist over 35 (my guess here) and hardly mentions female narcissists.
If you are a woman in college or in your twenties and thirties and are still single, you will probably find this book valuable. It's all about how to date "nice men" and how to recognize and stay away from Narcissist playboys.
If you are married to or divorced from a narcissist, not so much. He completely misses what happens to us once we are sucked into the narcissist's vortex. He only hints that it is much harder to leave if you have time invested (investments) and counsels women to think about this as well as the other factors from research of a Professor Rusbult.
In my experience it's a whole lot harder. Especially if you have been traumatized by a narcissist. If you have spent any amount of time living with one, you probably have been traumatized. Dr. Campbell misses the boat by not stating this clearly.
I also found the comments from Dr. Campbell that narcissists grow out of their narcissism as they age due to reduction in testosterone ridiculous. He should meet my ex husband. He should talk to women in domestic violence support groups. He should talk to Lundy Bancroft or Patricia Evans. He should talk to men who are married to narcissist abusers.
If you think you are dating a narcissist or have dated one, or want to know how not to make the same mistake and end up married to one - again, then buy this book. I give it 3 stars instead of 2 because his dating advice is pretty good.
If you are married to one or divorced from one and are trying to heal - look elsewhere.
The information in the book is extremely helpful. Because I teach psychology myself, I learned about Dr. Campbell's research several years ago. Realizing that my ex was a narcissist finally explained why things just weren't working. Leaving that relationship was the best thing I ever did. And when I started dating again, I looked for someone who was definitely NOT a narcissist. I'm happy to say I found him, and it really does make all the difference.
Now when I teach a class in personality psychology, I hand out a copy of a narcissism measure. I sometimes call it "the boyfriend test"! A form of this questionnaire is in the book. It's probably the most helpful screening test for men ever invented, because you might not realize right away that someone is a narcissist (they can be so charming at first). This book tells you how to spot the narcissists.
Very few relationship books out there give such solid and helpful advice. Buy one for yourself and several to hand out to friends!
I would have bought this book sooner (and it would have saved me unnecessary additional heartache) but too many reviewers said the book was "funny." I found it sad that a book would address such a painful subject with humor. Dating a narcissist feels like a cancer growing inside of you. It eats you alive and spreads like poison. I didn't find a damn thing funny about the HELL I was going through after Narcissist Man turned off the charm and turned on the torture literally overnight! What kind of a monster does NOT call his girlfriend the day after she gets into a car-totalling accident to see how she is feeling?
Desperate for help, I reconsidered and bought this book. I did not find it full of humor. On the contrary, the book is very understanding and sympathetic with what women suffer by dating men like the man that shredded my heart. I learned a TON and even though it still hurts, I feel better knowing that it was NOT my fault and that I am not alone. The book teaches that the reason women are so DEVASTATED by these men, even after very short relationships (mine was 2.5 months) is because the narcissist is so callous and so cruel and absolutely, positively, NOT SORRY. Apologies were invented to soften pain and disappointment. Narcissists will not apologize because they literally feel NO GUILT. It is as if they are not even human. This is what makes the pain so unbearable and what causes you to not be able to stop thinking about him. You can't make sense out of insanity but your brain is programmed to apply logic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What we call love is usually just a biological and psychologically projected fantasy.Once you have taken an honest look at your own self serving motives for wanting any... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Flopsy Fair Do's
excellent all women must have this book I am still reading it. It will wake you up from being dum!Published 16 months ago by Mary Ann Beautiful Brown
This academic author clearly thinks women interested in learning more about narcissistic men have the reading comprehension of a fifth grader. Read morePublished on June 21, 2014 by Klc
If you are involved with a man who seems to good to be true: he probably is a Narcissist.
They always look so good on the outside to everyone else, but behind closed doors,... Read more
It teaches you that these guys are to absorbed with themselves to even take you seriously. A great read into the mind of the devils/narcissist of today.Published on January 1, 2014 by Diana
Hard to remember all the strategies, but very insightful during my current life challenges with repeated relationships with narcissistic men.Published on April 2, 2013 by natasha norins