"The author, psychotherapist and licensed marriage and family therapist has written a guide making it easier to recognize, cope with and ultimately overcome the destructive behavior of high-level narcissists, whether they be lovers, work colleagues, friends or parents. Drawing on detailed profiles of famous narcissists including Pablo Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright and Ayn Rand, she points out that trying to change a narcissist is impossible and reveals the steps that must be taken to expel such destructive individuals from our lives."
"5 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM…. FREEING YOURSELF FROM THE NARCISSIST IN YOUR LIFE By Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D. (Tarcher/Penguin) According to the psychotherapist author, narcissists are people with extreme senses of superiority who possess no empathy. Martinez-Lewi believes that high- level narcissists are unlikely to change, so she offers methods for readers to maintain personal boundaries, remain psychologically secure and live the life they choose.
1. As our culture has emphasized financial success and fame, we have begun rewarding high-level narcissism
2. There is such a thing as healthy narcissism. He or she "has a firm realistic sense of self.’
3. "A successful narcissist deludes others into believing he is genuinely interested in them."
4. To withstand an eruption of ego from a narcissist, one must be psychologically grounded. "A grounded individual is secure and calm; he feels solid at his center."
5. The world of a narcissist is often complicated. To combat being part of that world; simplify your own.
Chris McNamara, CHICAGOTRIBUNE.COM
This book's title makes a promise it doesn't keep. Martinez-Lewi, a marriage and family therapist, devotes more space to describing what she calls the classic high-level narcissist: charming, manipulative, needing to maintain a facade of perfection and power. But one can't always free oneself from narcissists (at work, for instance) except emotionally, which is the focus of her advice, when she gets to it. For the first 160-odd pages, the reader is treated to a melodramatic, vitriolic and metaphor-heavy (we have been through the forests and thickets of the inner and outer world of the narcissistic personality) outpouring of loathing for these impossible people. The juiciest parts of the book describe historical figures such as Ayn Rand, Pablo Picasso and Frank Lloyd Wright as prisoners of their own narcissistic personalities. As for her plan to free oneself from narcissists, she makes it sound more like a battle plan than self-help, involving guerrilla, spy-counterspy and cat-and-mouse strategies. In the end, it amounts to being true to yourself and practicing meditation to stay grounded. (Jan.)
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