Advertising
Advertising

10 Powerful Books That Can Teach You How To Deal With Narcissists

10 Powerful Books That Can Teach You How To Deal With Narcissists

Everyone knows a narcissist.  These individuals are self-centered, have little capacity for empathy, are exploitative and manipulative, and feel they deserve a great deal of admiration.  If you work with narcissists, were raised by one (or two!), have them in your family, or are in a relationship with one, there are some wonderful books that I often recommend to my therapy clients to learn how to deal with them.

1. Disarming the Narcissist by Wendy Behary.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DO97OQ2?tag=s7621-20

    This is a wonderful book that anyone involved with a narcissist needs to read.  There are proven techniques for dealing more effectively with narcissists, such as ignoring their show-offy grand gestures and instead, reinforcing them for everyday, kind behaviors.  Excellent read and practical advice, whether the narcissist you know is at home, at work, or anywhere else.

    2. Trapped in the Mirror by Elan Golomb.

    Advertising

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00851M798?tag=s7621-20

      This is an in-depth psychological book about the effects of growing up with a narcissist for a parent.  This can impact your self-esteem, identity, and ability to form relationships with others.  This book is wonderful for those who want to deeply explore the ramifications of growing up with a narcissist for a mother or father.

      3. Emotional Vampires by Alan Bernstein.

      https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000QCTO9U?tag=s7621-20

        Although this book is not only about narcissists, they are the main type of “Emotional Vampire” that sucks the energy and joy out of your life.  This book is particularly helpful if you want concrete strategies for identifying and interacting with narcissists in a way that will not leave you feeling exhausted, hopeless, and bad about yourself.

        4. Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward.

        Advertising

        https://www.amazon.com/dp/0060928972?tag=s7621-20;ie=UTF8&qid=1408649510&sr=1-1&keywords=emotional+blackmail

          Again, this is not only about narcissists, but they are a significant percentage of people who engage in emotional blackmail. If you have a relationship in which your needs are never being considered, you always feel like you don’t matter, and when you try and assert yourself, you get quickly shut down, you need to read this book.

          5. Will I Ever Be Good Enough?  Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyn McBride.

          https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001AO0GD6?tag=s7621-20

            This unique book focuses explicitly on daughters of narcissistic mothers, and discusses how being raised by a narcissistic mother can continue to impact women through adulthood.  It is difficult to think of yourself as worthy of love if your mother focused only on herself and her own needs.  Women often have difficulty viewing their own needs as equally important to others’ needs, and this is compounded if you were brought up by a narcissistic mother.  A must read for women with narcissistic moms.

            6. Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grownup’s Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents by Nina W. Brown.

            Advertising

            children of the self-absorbed

              If I could only recommend one book to adult children of narcissists, this would be it.  It takes you through what it’s like as a child to be raised by a narcissist, and how this has a lasting and severe impact on your emotional and psychological wellbeing, as well as your ability to interact with others in healthy ways.  This book also helps you think about how to moderate the impact of your upbringing as you move forward as an adult.

              7. The Narcissistic Family: A Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment by Stephanie Pressman.

              narcissistic family

                Psychologists often wonder about clients who have the same emotional traumas as people who grew up in alcoholic homes, but whose parents were not alcoholics.  This groundbreaking book shows how being raised by a narcissist is emotionally equivalent to being raised by an alcoholic in many ways.  If you feel that you could never go against the party line in your home, and there was only one way that you were allowed to view things, then you could benefit from reading this excellent text.  It may be life changing.

                8. Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward.

                Advertising

                https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000SEH80I?tag=s7621-20

                  This is a classic book that can help adult children deal with parents who are making them feel stressed, guilty, and pushed to their emotional breaking point.  Narcissists are only one of the types of toxic parents described, but the advice is excellent and pragmatic.  If your parent is a narcissist, you will have to set some boundaries in order to live your life in a healthy and adaptive way, and this book helps you figure out exactly what to say and do to create these necessary boundaries.

                  9. Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisted by Sam Vaknin.

                  malignant self-love

                    This book has a cult following.  Sam Vaknin, a self proclaimed narcissist himself, takes us behind the scenes into the mind of a narcissist and gives us an inside glimpse at how a narcissist operates.  This book is fascinating and is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn in depth about the narcissist in their life, including the background of how narcissism develops.

                    10. Why Is It Always About You?  The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss.

                    why is it always about you?

                      This book is a great look at the seven “deadly sins” of narcissism, and shows how and why narcissists became how they are.  There is helpful advice for extricating yourself from a relationship with a narcissist, and also insight as to why you may have been involved with a narcissist in the first place, related to your own personal background.  Easy and quick read.

                      Featured photo credit: Narcissist via histsociety.blogspot.com

                      More by this author

                      A List of 100 Questions to Ask Your Partner on Date Nights Top 9 Websites To Ask For Relationship Advice 10 Little Ways To Show Your Kids You Love Them Every Day Learn How to Make a Genuine Apology How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

                      Trending in Communication

                      1 12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now 2 How to Use the 5 Minute Journal to Invest in Your Happiness 3 What’s the Purpose of Life? A Guide to Live with Meaning 4 Why Happiness is a Choice (And a Smart One to Make) 5 How to Survive a Midlife Crisis (The Definitive Guide for Men)

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on January 16, 2020

                      12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

                      12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

                      The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

                      However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

                      “Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

                      Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

                      1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

                      When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

                      Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

                      2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

                      That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

                      Advertising

                      Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

                      3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

                      If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

                      For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

                      People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

                      This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

                      4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

                      Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

                      Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

                      Advertising

                      Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

                      Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

                      “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

                      5. Crack a smile.

                      If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

                      Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

                      6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

                      Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

                      And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

                      Advertising

                      7. Groom yourself.

                      This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

                      A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

                      8. Dress nicely.

                      Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

                      While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

                      9. Do activities you enjoy.

                      Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

                      You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

                      10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

                      Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

                      Advertising

                      Why?

                      Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

                      Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

                      Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

                      11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

                      Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

                      Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

                      12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

                      Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

                      The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

                      Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next