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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.

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    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.

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        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.

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            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.

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                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

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                      Last Updated on September 17, 2019

                      10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

                      10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

                      Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

                      But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

                      Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

                      1. Spend Time with Positive People

                      If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

                      Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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                      2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

                      When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

                      Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

                      3. Contribute to the Community

                      One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

                      Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

                      4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

                      Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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                      Some recommendations for you:

                      5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

                      You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

                      If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

                      There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

                      6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

                      It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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                      Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

                      7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

                      Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

                      For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

                      Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

                      8. Offer Compliments to Others

                      Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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                      9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

                      If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

                      Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

                      10. Practice Self-Care

                      Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

                      Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

                      Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

                      More About Staying Positive

                      Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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