Are You Living with a Narcissist?: How Narcissistic Men Impact Your Happiness, How to Identify Them, and How to Avoid Raising One

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In this self-help book, author Laurie Hollman, a clinical psychologist who has treated those with narcissist disorder, explores narcissistic disorder in males. Topics addressed are how narcissistic disorder develops and impacts those around the affected individual, especially their families and partners, and how to treat those affected. Special focus is given to the mother-son bond and how, if dysfunctional, it can lead to narcissism. The author uses as support actual cases of patients and their families she has treated.

This is a compelling book, especially for those with an interest in narcissism and other mental health concerns. It is written with concision for the interested layperson, avoiding overly clinical vocabulary. There is an increased incidence in narcissism nationally, according to various expert sources, so the book is also timely. The book focuses on constructive solutions and communication that can support those living with people with narcissistic disorder and also help the affected individual toward positive change. Narcissism occurs on a spectrum, according to the author, with some degree of it even being healthy and responsible for positive outcomes, such as reasonable self-esteem. On the more negative end of the spectrum, when the narcissistic individual becomes manipulative and unempathetic to other’s needs, narcissism turns dysfunctional.

A part of the book I would, however, question is the responsibility given to early upbringing in the development of narcissism, especially the mother-son relationship, and the mother’s failure to meet the child’s psychological needs. Another recent reading I’ve done on the topic addresses narcissism as a neurological disorder, with the affected individual having limited ability to recognize other’s emotions and needs, almost like a learning disability, having little relationship to upbringing in its origin. This latter view does allow for positive outcomes—narcissists raised well become reasonably well-adjusted and able to channel the disorder in less destructive ways than those raised poorly. The author of this book also holds this positive view: that with treatment, narcissistic individuals can change and be productive members of families and society—which is certainly more uplifting than the common view of narcissists as monsters, incapable of change.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 178 pages
Publisher Familius
Publish Date 2020-03-01
ISBN 9781641702331 Buy this Book
Issue March 2020
Category Parenting & Families


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