Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life (Anglais) Relié – 10 janvier 2008
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"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.)
--Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"FREEING YOURSELF FROM THE NARCISSIST IN YOUR LIFE by Linda Martinez- Lewi,PhD (Tarcher/Penguin) may just be the best investment you will make this year as a guide to recognizing, coping with, and ultimately overcoming the destructive behavior of high-level narcissists, whether they be lovers, co- workers, friends or parents. It s one thing to have a healthy self-esteem, but there are folks who we all know as self-absorbed, conceited, or egotistical. These people are trouble and this book is an excellent guide to deal with them."
Alan Caruba, BOOKVIEWS
"The high-level narcissist marches through his many geographies, conquering new territories, multiplying his limitless control of the outside world and the lives of those who touch his. Excited followers anticipate his mood and moves, praying for a favorable word or glance. The chosen dwell within his cercle d or, chanting hosannas to his greatness. While his audience is dazzled, the supernarcissist assesses each subject s worth to him.
He plays upon their proclivities and weaknesses. Despite the years you have known him, the hard work you have done, the love that you express, the sacrifices you have made, the intimacies you believe you shared-eventually the narcissist will cut you off at the knees, even attempt to destroy you if he perceives you as an obstacle to his feverish drive toward ultimate power, control and omnipotence." (from FREEING YOURSELF FROM THE NARCISSIST IN YOUR LIFE by Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.)
Does this description sound like anybody that you know? Your spouse? Your boss? Your co-worker? So, how does one recognize a "truly toxic narcissist?" According to this insightful book there are certain signs to look out for: "Displays an extreme sense of grandiosity and superiority. Is highly manipulative, exploitive, and deceptive in all of his relationships. Places his personal and professional needs over the needs of others. Is captivated by his delusions of limitless power and perfection. Easily lies without any qualm or guilt. Is incapable of true empathy-the ability to deeply feel and appreciate another person s emotional state."
It was my misfortune to work with a fellow who fit every single one of these descriptions. This book will help you to recognize this type of person before it is too late.
What makes them so dangerous? They only care about themselves.
Is this sounding familiar? Do you know one?"
--Daytondailynews.com --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Présentation de l'éditeur
Everybody needs some healthy narcissism. But in a society obsessed with appearance, wealth, and status, it's easy for problematic narcissists to thrive. Many people who seem to "have it all" are suffering from one of the most common-and overlooked-personality disorders today: high level narcissism. Typified by an obsession with perfection, a desperate need for admiration, and a willingness to use and exploit others for personal gain, high level narcissism can spell devastation for anyone who crosses the narcissist's path.
In Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life, psychotherapist Linda Martinez-Lewi presents an in-depth and supportive plan for identifying, understanding, and dealing with high level narcissistic behavior in those close to you. Martinez-Lewi helps you to liberate yourself from draining personal relationships with narcissists, and shows how to regain a sense of peace, balance, and well-being.
Drawing on detailed profiles of famous narcissists, including Pablo Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright, Armand Hammer, and Ayn Rand, as well as expertly rendered case studies from her private practice as a psychotherapist, Martinez-Lewi shows how to:
- understand where narcissistic behavior comes from; u learn to spot narcissistic traits, even in the early stages of relationships;
- realize why attempting to change a narcissist is fruitless; and
- protect yourself from the narcissist's opportunism, manipulative behavior, and lack of empathy.
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Your "unique" ability to understand and forgive him is the reason you stay; waiting for him to change to be an equal lover that never materializes. Captured in a dream, you learn to forgive him more and lose yourself, your goals, all to support him and his dreams. You remind him of your need for him to be honest to you although you remain alone at home, restless dreaming about him as he is often "out with friends."
You know "in your heart" that he is a good man and only needs a stable partner that won't leave him so that he grows to love you more. One day, he stops calling, you don't know where he is. You search frantically to find that he has a new lover and you are left with shock, confusion, sadness, and after the wake of despair, a huge financial loss somewhere.
As the author states, the gift that interaction with a narcissist brings is self understanding. Your own life's relationship patterns with others come bubbling to the surface. The relationship patterns that were established through interaction with your parents are ripe to finally be visible to you most clearly and time to be broken forever. If you've tolerated a narcissist in your life at close distance, it is because you have outmoded relationship patterns with others that need to change.
There is no book that will allow you to move forward faster in putting to rest your confusion over who your present or past lover is. As you turn the pages, you will identify with many of the qualities of your partner which you previously noted as "mildly" selfish, demanding, immature, unstable, full of rage, etc.
Chances are that you are a thoughtful and kind person who supported your narcissist partner in futile hopes of returned love for your sacrifices only one day to find that you have been replaced without a glance backwards. Some readers, are still hoping "your magic man" will return to you. You've probably bought books in order to understand your partner and "help" him grow. Narcissistic Personality Disorder has little probability of positive change however, you do. He told you "he won't grow up," but with this book, you will.
I would also like to highly recommend "Welcome to Your Crisis" by Laura Day, these two books in combination are perfect to read at the beginning stages of your "awakening." After all the pain, sadness, sorrow, feelings of being used, you walk away with a deep deep understanding of how you relate to people and how it's time for a change.
PS I am gay and we've got these self-absorbed loonies, losers, and parasites who are trapped in their own mirror too. Good luck.
In her clear and engaging book, Martinez-Lewi offers examples from her private practice that vividly bring the narcissist's destructive personality traits (deception, manipulation, ruthlessness, grandiosity, lack of empathy) to life. The reader will learn to empower herself/himself to view the divorce or break-up in a realistic way without personalizing it. Martinez-Lewi offers excellent strategies and tools for protecting ourselves from and handling the narcissist in a self-empowering way. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is very helpful to those going through divorces and break-ups as well as individuals who are dealing with ex-spouses and ex-partners.
The book, instead, focuses on what the author calls a, "high-level narcissist." This book focuses on the uber-successful, charming billionaire type. It is full of entertaining, well written vignettes which reveal the depravity of the extremely narcissistic. It does little (nothing) to arm a person to better deal with that kind of domestic relationship. Most all of the strategies for coping were focused on board room settings.
The entire last quarter of the book was written as a guide to use meditation, yoga, and Buddhist philosophy to better equip one's self to stand up to the narcissist. I was under the impression that "Freeing" myself would involve safe exit strategies, not meditation. I did not want an eastern thought primer. But, if you do, this one is very good.
If you want short anecdotes to share with friends, entertaining and poetically written glimpses of narcissism, or a basic meditation guide then this is your book. If you are a personal assistant to a celebrity, then may be some useful nuggets for you. If you want coping strategies for being married to a narcissist, search elsewhere. This is particularly true for those married to a middle-class, run of the mill, everyday narcissist.
Her book is a quick, highly instructive and enjoyable read. On a dark rainy afternoon I curled up with it in my favorite chair and immediately became absorbed. From the first chapter she makes clear most of us have a healthy dose of narcissism to boost our self worth to make us motivated and talented. The narcissist, she emphasizes, has a "severe personality disorder." With her peppery language and bottomless insight, Lewi takes us on a fascinating journey behind the mask of the narcissist. From their "bravado" to their "bottomless rage" to their "painful inner void." She shows us the famous and the not so famous. The cruelty and negligence of the brilliant Picasso, and Charlene with her "breathless litany of self."
How do we hold our own, asks Lewi? In the final chapter she takes an honest, straightforward look at our options and comes up with some surprising answers. I was heartened to know most of us are ill-equipped to deal with this kind of personality but that we can walk away with our dignity and sanity intact.
I highly recommend this very engrossing read.
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