Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Self Help Books
The narcissistic person believes the world revolves around him or her and takes no notice of the feelings of others. They may be controlling in relationships, insisting that they are right and their way is the best way. Often they lack empathy and have difficulty in understanding how someone could think or feel differently than they do.
At the same time narcissists are often highly intelligent and successful people, and may be charming and engaging in public. In private -- or in intimate relationships -- the charm may evaporate, to be replaced by criticism and invective.
The recommended self help books listed below offer insight, perspective and guidance for dealing with the narcissist in your life.
See also: Abusive Relationships
More Recommended Self Help Books on Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Millions of adults grew up with immature, self-absorbed parents who made their children responsible for their physical and emotional well-being, expected admiration and constant attention, and reacted with criticism and blame when their slightest need went unmet. In this accessible self help book, Brown helps grown children come to terms with the results of such an upbringing, including tendencies to overcomply to others needs,withdraw when someone needs nurturing and lack self esteem. 2008, New Harbinger
This self help book is a cultural critique first published in the mid 1970’s. Though somewhat dated, much of Lasch’s critique of American culture still rings true. He finds narcissism pervasive, with the concept of self trumping earlier notions of civic responsibility and community. Lasch looks at narcissism from a developmental perspective from birth to young adulthood. 1991, Norton
Disarming the Narcissist offers several strategies for dealing effectively with someone who is at the center of his or her own universe. You'll learn how to move past the narcissist's defenses with compassionate, empathetic communication. You'll learn to understand the worldview and coping styles of narcissists. By anticipating and avoiding hot-button issues, you'll discover ways to relate to narcissists without triggering aggression. You’ll also find out how to be heard in conversation with a narcissist. Also covered are strategies for limit-setting and for knowing when to draw the line on unacceptable behavior. 2008, New Harbinger
The Drama of the Gifted Child: the Search for the True Self
This well-known and classic self help book demonstrates how narcissistic parents unwittingly use their children to meet their own needs, thus negatively affecting the children’s development. By gifted, Miller means sensitive and alert to the needs of others; she believes that the sensitivity and empathy of gifted children predispose them to be used by people with narcissistic needs. This timely book has helped many people reclaim their lost childhoods. 1981, Basic Books
This book was a Pick of the Month Self Help Book! Read David's full Book Review.
Psychotherapist Martinez-Lewi combines clinical analysis with psychological profiles of famous people she believes to have been narcissists (e.g., Frank Lloyd Wright, Ayn Rand) in this valuable guide to recognizing, coping with, and overcoming narcissistic behavior. She focuses on the high-level narcissist, i.e., the "omnipotent, grandiose, often charismatic individual of overreaching ambition and palpable hubris.” This informative self help book ends with a reasoned discussion of decidedly Eastern approaches such as meditation to counter narcissists’ destructive behavior. 2008, Tarcher
In this compelling self help book the authors present an innovative therapeutic model for understanding and treating adults from emotionally abusive or neglectful families. The book is filled with case examples of those growing up with covert and overt narcissistic abuse and provides many techniques and methods for recovery. 1997, Jossey-Bass
This self help book is designed for adult children of narcissistic parents. These children, forced to conform to parental self-centeredness, grew up with a range of subtle emotional disabilities, most commonly a distorted view of their capacities. All too frequently, this damaged sense of self-worth interferes with their search for autonomy, their performance, and with their other adult relationships. The book offers practical methods to discover and maintain true identity. 1995, Perennial Currents
Hotchkiss explains how to cope with controlling and egotistical people who are incapable of the fundamental give and take that sustains healthy relationships. She shows how to recognize the hallmarks of unhealthy narcissism: shamelessness, magical thinking, arrogance, envy, entitlement, exploitation and bad boundaries. 2003, The Free Press
Using simple metaphors from The Wizard of Oz, Payson illustrates how Dorothy's journey captures all the seductive illusions and challenges that occur when we encounter the narcissist. She empowers the reader with the ABCs of unhealthy narcissism and provides step-by-step practical tools to identify, protect, and heal from these destructive relationships. 2002, Julian Day Publications