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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.

Review

The Hartford Courant A how-to not only for disengaging yourself from the narcissists in your life but also learning to live with them.

Drew Pinksy, M.D. A practical and accessible book about one of the most prevalent personality disorders of our time.

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

A prominent psychiatrist, James F. Masterson was born in Pennsylvania and educated at the University of Notre Dame and Jefferson Medical College. As a psychiatrist, Masterson became an authority on the treatment of personality disorders. He founded the Masterson Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in 1977 and he wrote seven influential texts during his career. He died in 2010.

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4.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
758 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

JL
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
She fails to realize that narcissists KNOW what they are doing to us!
Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2018
First off, there are some very good insights into why narcs do what they do. However, she continuously makes the erroneous assumption that they don''t *realize* what they are doing. Not true. They know exactly what they are doing. It''s intentional. Read "In Sheep''s... See more
First off, there are some very good insights into why narcs do what they do. However, she continuously makes the erroneous assumption that they don''t *realize* what they are doing. Not true. They know exactly what they are doing. It''s intentional. Read "In Sheep''s Clothing" by George Simon Jr to get a much more accurate understanding of what is happening behind the mask.

Also, in the chapter about the aging narc, she doesn''t emphasize the most important consideration. Going "no contact" should be very seriously considered by all of us ACONs (Adult Children of Narcissists), rather than allowing the guilt and manipulation to convince us to stick around and be abused. She suggests lying to ourselves and calling criticism "help" to make ourselves feel better about being abused. ???? No. Go "No Contact" as soon as you possibly can. For yourself, for your children, for society in general.

Finally, having been raised by two people who consider me to have no value beyond what they can get out of me, I strongly disagree with her views on self-esteem. She doesn''t have the experience or understanding to "get" that a child of a narc (or 2 narcs) NEEDS to learn to value themselves regardless of our successes and performance. She believes that if a person succeeds in things, they will develop self-esteem. No. I have succeeded in many things over the years, with flying colors. I feel capable in those areas, but in no way did my self-esteem increase. My sense of value is only now increasing by basing my worth and value on the fact that I am a human being, lovingly created by God. I am not values for what I give and do, but for just being me. If you are a narc survivor, don''t buy into the nonsense that doing more and doing it better will give you value or self-esteem. You are valuable just the way you are.
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TioRanjel
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Understanding You Seek
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2017
I was trying to understand the troubles in my family and found About You? among a list of similar books. So I bought the lot of them. Their messages were similar but some just didn''t strike home if that makes sense. This book not only did strike home but was very clear... See more
I was trying to understand the troubles in my family and found About You? among a list of similar books. So I bought the lot of them. Their messages were similar but some just didn''t strike home if that makes sense. This book not only did strike home but was very clear in its writing which made it easy to absorb the, sometimes, tough messages inside. While reading it I felt relief at times with a new understanding of the situation growing with such a parent. This book not only helps you understand the behaviors but also gives you the tools to make a difference in your life tomorrow. That is the real strength. New Ideas on coping.
23 people found this helpful
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M. Murphey
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A MUST-READ f
Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2018
This book has been instrumental in helping me heal through the trauma and pain from "co-parenting" with a Narcissist. I''ve felt so helpless the last five years, and after reading this book, I''ve gained an entirely new perspective on how Narcissists'' brains work, why... See more
This book has been instrumental in helping me heal through the trauma and pain from "co-parenting" with a Narcissist. I''ve felt so helpless the last five years, and after reading this book, I''ve gained an entirely new perspective on how Narcissists'' brains work, why they act the way they do, and how I can cope with our volatile, forced relationship. This book is perfect for those who are forced to have relationships with Narcissists, such as a co-parent.
25 people found this helpful
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S. Pinho
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Everything will seem familiar if you know a narcissist
Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2014
I went through various emotions when reading this book. First, it was a kind of comfort, because it described very accurately traits i feel like I''m encountering more and more the older I get. There''s something comforting about having a name for a phenomenon and also about... See more
I went through various emotions when reading this book. First, it was a kind of comfort, because it described very accurately traits i feel like I''m encountering more and more the older I get. There''s something comforting about having a name for a phenomenon and also about knowing that I''m not the only one observing it.

Second, it was a kind of unease, as I realized I had symptoms of both an enabler as well as of a narcissist (apparently many have at least a few symptoms of narcissism, but actual full-blown "narcissistic personality disorder" is somewhat rare), although there were excellent practical suggestions as to how to overcome them (as well as, interestingly, for how to coexist with narcissists).

Third, it was a kind of fascination--i was basically shocked at how parenting during the first 36 months of a child''s life can affect how emotionally/mentally healthy and capable a person can be at age 30. I now want to study more about early child development. Seriously shocking--even more surprising is how many seemingly healthy kids come out of families not necessarily educated about this development period.

Fourth, i was (am) bound by a desperate question: is it possible for someone with strong narcissistic tendencies to recover? I.E.: is there hope!? If not, this may be one of the most depressing books I''ve read, as an American (where narcissism has been steadily on the rise). I''m desperate to know this answer, and have done research to try to find the authors email address to ask her!

One additional note: I deducted one star because, towards the end, the author vaguely draws a link between the decline of the prevalence of monotheistic "traditional" religion in American culture and the rise of narcissism, but does not provide sufficient (or any, really) argument for this link, nor does she provide reasonable cause to believe that a return to such religion would put narcissism on the decline (nor am I persuaded that is even her argument). As a direct result of this passage, her credibility took a big hit in my mind; thank goodness it was towards the end, and thank goodness the rest of it made so much sense. However, I now feel like I need to read more to validate what I learned in this book.

(My Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1045305037?book_show_action=false)
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Jackie Paulson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Why is it always about You the Narcissists
Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2016
Did you know that Narcissism is a personality disorder? This book is about just that topic. Have you ever been around a person who has an inflated perception of themselves and little regard for others? Inside your head you ask, “Does anyone care about how my day has... See more
Did you know that Narcissism is a personality disorder? This book is about just that topic. Have you ever been around a person who has an inflated perception of themselves and little regard for others? Inside your head you ask, “Does anyone care about how my day has gone?” This is the Narcissism person many of you have been around and felt like it’s better not to “rock the boat”, but in reality you want to express your feelings but nothing seems to come out of your mouth. At the end of this book you will be able to identify what a Narcissistic person is and what to do to cope with those around you that may have this toxic personality. I know I have seen it many times in the work environment. If you want to be able to learn about Narcissism and the problems they create and make your own changes to help you survive and reason with one, this book will be a go to guide. This book is designed to help you make sense of dealing with or how not to deal with a toxic personality disorder so that you can protect or self from being used in ways that undermine your self-esteem. What I liked most about this book is the details on the seven deadly sins of Narcissism which include; shame, magical thinking, arrogance, envy, entitlement, exploitation and bad boundaries of which bad boundaries is where I learned the most as I do deal with Narcissism on a daily basis. It is a relief to have a book to help me realize I am not the problem, they are and how to deal with them.
© 2015 Jackie Paulson
26 people found this helpful
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AceofTrace
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Long and short
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2013
In my opinion, the psychological insight into the development and presentation of the narcissistic personality was great and very helpful. It supported my opinion that someone close to me is actually a narcissist, and helped me understand how she might have developed into... See more
In my opinion, the psychological insight into the development and presentation of the narcissistic personality was great and very helpful. It supported my opinion that someone close to me is actually a narcissist, and helped me understand how she might have developed into one.

Where the book fell short for me was in the advice promised on the back cover: ". . . Sandy Hotchkiss shows you how to cope . . . " Page 67 says to "resist the urge to retaliate." Page 79 says, "find the gentlest way possible to deliver your message." However, page 119 in the chapter about addiction says that setting boundaries includes, "standing up to or otherwise protecting yourself from abusive treatment."

I tried the first two suggestions long before reading this book and was dealt a WORLD of public humiliation when on an extended family visit -- proof enough for me that the velvet glove approach doesn''t work. The last suggestion, standing up to protect oneself, is the obvious next choice, but the book offers no concrete examples as to how to accomplish this feat. My knee-jerk reaction to the vagueness of this advice is that it''s like a book on childrearing written by a psychologist who has never raised children -- all theory and no practical advice.

Next up is "The Object of My Affection is in My Reflection." My hope for all of us dealing with this personality type is that it will include specific words and actions one can use to get the relationship within reasonable limits, for all of us who do not have the luxury of abandoning these destructive relationships altogether.
29 people found this helpful
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Hypatia
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Eye opening on so many levels.
Reviewed in the United States on May 5, 2013
I could go into all kinds of personal stuff in my life explaining how my review applies to this particular book specifically. But I''d rather suggest this as well as "The Object of My Affection is in My Reflection" to anyone who has felt like they have let... See more
I could go into all kinds of personal stuff in my life explaining how my review applies to this particular book specifically. But I''d rather suggest this as well as "The Object of My Affection is in My Reflection" to anyone who has felt like they have let themselves go or dissapear. Who feel like they are going mad simply with negative self talk or the back and forth of justifying everything in their mind to themselves or someone else.

These two books read for me like a biography of my childhood. It was so spot on in many areas. Some not so much bc each person''s life is unique with differing circumstances. Different situations do in fact potentially lead to very similar results in different people''s lives, making these books worth the time. I almost didn''t get the second one I mention bc of the title implying spouse, to me anyway. But it''s not just about spouses, but anyone in a person''s life from parents to employers.

We live in a world where arrested development is not uncommon. You may be suprised at how obvious it is after reading these books.
7 people found this helpful
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auntie
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
quite helpful
Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2016
This book tells you a lot about what a narcissist is and gives ways to change interactions with a self absorbed person that can result in less stress. There is information in this book that is different from the information in "Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and... See more
This book tells you a lot about what a narcissist is and gives ways to change interactions with a self absorbed person that can result in less stress. There is information in this book that is different from the information in "Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and thriving", by
Wendy Terrie Behary LCSW and "The Object of My Affection Is in My Relection", by Rokelle Lerner. All three books are well worth reading if you are trying to learn how best to interact with the people in your life who are self absorbed as well trying to find out why they are the way they are and understanding them better..
3 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

kidderliverpool
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent book - Learnt a lot about myself as well.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 30, 2016
Really life changing book. I originally bought this book as I''d had problems with an ex which had dragged on for six years. I always suspected she had narcissistic tendencies. Which were confirmed by this book. The great revelation was, that so did I. Many of the examples...See more
Really life changing book. I originally bought this book as I''d had problems with an ex which had dragged on for six years. I always suspected she had narcissistic tendencies. Which were confirmed by this book. The great revelation was, that so did I. Many of the examples of self-entitlement and manipulation I had glossed over during the relationship. And managed to move most of the blame on to her (yes, typical narcissist thing to do as well). What was also a surprise to learn, that different types of narcissist can be attracted to one another, and draw themselves in. Unable to get out, or get better. I''m dropping a star from the review, as some parts of the book talk about a lack of a belief in God over the past decades as a reason for a rise in narcissism. I don''t believe you are without morals if you are an atheist or that your are morally superior if you believe in God (we all know narcissists who manipulate religion and being ''good'' to get their own way) so that''s the reason for four stars instead of five. I wish there were more books about treating narcissism as well (I know it must be a difficult subject and disorder to treat) But I think books like this are the first step in acknowledging you have a problem and trying to save your life from it. Especially in the current climate and culture of ''Me''. This book is also worth reading for the challenge to the ''Self Esteem'' band wagon that has ruled in recent times, and the damage that this can to children growing up as well, when it was thought of as a cure to societies ills and problems.
25 people found this helpful
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the bongz
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent read for anyone with narcissistic people in their life!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 1, 2018
A therapist recommended this book for me to read after I was having problems with certain family members who display narcissistic traits in their personalities. It’s easy to read and understand, very useful and informative, I often read it over again as a refresher, the...See more
A therapist recommended this book for me to read after I was having problems with certain family members who display narcissistic traits in their personalities. It’s easy to read and understand, very useful and informative, I often read it over again as a refresher, the author is spot on!!!
6 people found this helpful
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William Neville
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 11, 2016
This is a great book. Well written, accessible language and a very insightful description of Narcissism. The author really knows her subject in my view. I have read a number of books on this subject - this is one of the two best I have read so far.
5 people found this helpful
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brian gelder
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
this is a very good book that I enjoyed reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 20, 2016
this is a very good book that I enjoyed reading. some books on this topic tend to be more about the narcissist and how you should be with them , rather than how you should be yourself .
4 people found this helpful
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alison ryan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An excellent book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 4, 2016
An excellent book most informative and insightful anyone in an abusive relationship would do well to read this book then read it again you will have your eyes opened i promise .
5 people found this helpful
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