Rethinking Narcissism

  • by Craig Malkin
  • Narrated by Kiff VandenHeuvel
  • 6 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Harvard Medical School psychologist and Huffington Post blogger Craig Malkin addresses the "narcissism epidemic" by illuminating the spectrum of narcissism, identifying ways to control the trait, and explaining how too little of it may be a bad thing.
"What is narcissism?" is one of the fastest rising searches on Google, and articles on the topic routinely go viral. Yet, the word narcissist seems to mean something different every time it's uttered. People hurl the word as an insult at anyone who offends them. It's become so ubiquitous, in fact, that it's lost any clear meaning. The only certainty these days is that it's bad to be a narcissist - really bad - inspiring the same kind of roiling queasiness we feel when we hear the word sexist or racist. That's especially troubling news for millennials, the people born after 1980, who've been branded the "most narcissistic generation ever".
In Rethinking Narcissism listeners will learn that there's far more to narcissism than its reductive invective would imply. The truth is that narcissists (all of us) fall on a spectrum somewhere between utter selflessness on the one side and arrogance and grandiosity on the other. A healthy middle exhibits a strong sense of self. On the far end lies sociopathy. Malkin deconstructs the healthy from the unhealthy narcissism and offers clear, step-by-step guidance on how to promote healthy narcissism in our partners, our children, and ourselves.


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Customer Reviews

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Would you try another book from Craig Malkin and/or Kiff VandenHeuvel?


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This was an interesting book; the first I've read that really gives a framework for understanding the degrees of narcissism and its impacts. Also, one of the first I've read that believes change is possible for higher degree narcissists. I enjoyed the book's story examples of people on the narcissism spectrum, how it affected their lives and the lives of those around them, and practical tips for dealing with either one's own or other's behavior. The parenting advice was sound and although not why I got this book, the thing I personally got the most from. I disagree with some of the other reviewers that this books implies that nearly everyone is pathological to some degree. Through the included inventory, I learned that I may need to work on upping my level of healthy narcissism so that I don’t slip into “Echoism” (kind of the mirror image of narcissism), which I found really interesting. I do agree with another reviewer who felt that the book is somewhat dismissive of the destruction and chaos narcissists can bring to those within their orbit. His lower level experiences with his mother (a semi-high spectrum narcissist) may have colored his view a little rosier than those who've had a high level narcissist rip their lives to shreds would have. He does address it, but strangely, merely gives a passing reference to the emotional devastation that loving a narc can leave you with. His suggestion to try marriage counselling with someone who you suspect is a high level narcissist seems especially dangerous. I've never heard of it coming out any other way than a catastrophe, up to and including the narcissist convincing the therapist their partner needs to be committed or is abusive. Most experts agree that going to counselling with a narcissist is dangerous and advise against it. The author just doesn't seem to know how maliciously manipulative and vindictive people like this can be and just barely touches on emotional abuse, which is nearly a given from a person with unhealthy levels of narcissism. His main information for what to expect after leaving a narcissist, is that you may be bored with normal people. There is no mention of either devalue or discard, let alone the PTSD, smear campaigns, and constant legal battles one could be left dealing with for years. There are other books that deal with the fallout and how to heal afterwards, so perhaps Dr. Malkin is making his own place in the field by avoiding the topic. The book overall is easily understandable, accessible, and concise. More depth is one of the main things I would have liked to see, but I enjoyed the book as a whole. If he published an expanded version, especially one that touched on healing from the kind of abuse only someone high on the Narc Spectrum can dish out, I would definitely buy the second edition. I learned a lot about myself and the world around me, so if you’re looking for a typical, but well written and interesting self-help book, this is a good pick.

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- Amazon Customer

Interesting and enlightening

Interesting to hear about how narcissism develops and can be necessary for building self esteem.
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- jehan blanton

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-07-2015
  • Publisher: HarperAudio