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There is narcissism with a small "n" and there is narcissism with a capital "N" as in "Narcissistic Personality Disorder" or NPD. Our culture is one becoming ever more narcissistic in the first sense of the word. But this book is about something far more serious:
"The word narcissism in its most fundamental sense means a tendency to self-worship. For the narcissist, his excessive self-absorption is a protection against unconscious but powerful feelings of inadequacy. Seduced by the narcissist's camouflage of outer charm or confidence, you are eventually drawn into the nightmare side of this relationship. By the time you realize that something is wrong, the cumulative effects can range from bruised self-esteem to severe depression." Eleanor Payson
You're a very lucky creature if you have never been involved with someone who has NPD characteristics. But if you have, Eleanor Payson offers much to help you here. Catherine Bond Doyle's narration imbues the author's work with an additional feeling of compassion.
Updating the Greek myth of Narcissus, Payson uses the metaphor of "The Wizard of Oz," hence the title. In dealing with a narcissist, there is only one road, and that is the road that leads to them.
She introduces the book with a discussion of NPD, including variations on its definition and diagnosis, and a discussion of overt and covert types. After establishing a broad foundation, she goes on to discuss various relationships, from parent-child dynamics to narcissists in professional and social life. The section on "love" relationships --- and I use that word advisedly in this context --- is particularly enlightening.
May you find healing, comfort, and peace as you bid the Yellow Brick Road farewell.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists in three words, what would they be?
The best book on Narcissism
What did you like best about this story?
Everything, the contents, the outline, the depth of knowledge and the vignettes not over reaching but just right. The advice, the summaries at the end of each chapter. The therapeutic approach. It is not a 'tell' book but a didactic and therapeutic work out. I felt healed in so many ways. I had aha! moments. This book went beyond expectations. It was as if I was sitting with a therapist.
Have you listened to any of Cathryn Bond Doyle’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No, I have not. But I will look for other books.
What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists?
First and most it was a wake up call in terms of identifying narcissistic traits in myself that interfere with my personal growth. No human being is immune to certain narcissistic traits. Specially if one was brought up by parents or carers with extreme narcissistic traits. This is a book that offers a brilliant opportunity to self-reflect and further grow up into a mature and self assured individual. Above all it is a book that helps to heal the wounds inflicted by narcissistic personalities.
Second, it assisted me no end to identify by name, characteristics and the typical narcissistic traits that typify what Doyle calls the the 'Narcissistic Personality Disorder' (NPD). This was a major aha!
Third, it provided me with the reassurance that it is never late to regain one's lost personal power to the NPD individual. I learned about personal strategies which I am memorizing to be able to incorporate them as I deal with the NPD. One example of this is about building boundaries to fend against the corrosive attacks from the NPD individuals I deal with on a regular basis.
I highly recommend this book!
Any additional comments?
This book together with 'In sheep's clothing' is the top 5 books ever read. Thank you to Cathryn Bond Doyle!
25 of 27 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Eleanor Payson or narrated by Cathryn Bond Doyle?
I would definitely consider more books by Eleanor Payson, but I could not bear to listen to another word spoken by Cathryn Bond Doyle.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists?
No particular memorable moments, just a solidly comprehensive exploration of the issues and clear guidelines for action.
Would you be willing to try another one of Cathryn Bond Doyle’s performances?
No, No and No! I found her voice harsh and grating, and her narration style robotic and laboured.
Was The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists worth the listening time?
I'm glad I have listened to it, but if I had known what an ordeal the narration would be, I would never have bought the Audible version.
Any additional comments?
As a clinical psychologist specialising in personality disorders, I bought this book for what I could learn for myself, but also to see if it was something I could recommend to clients struggling with relationships with narcissists. I will be recommending it, but not in the Audible form. Firstly, the concepts are not easy, either intellectually or emotionally, if you are not familiar with them, and there are quite detailed, practical recommendations listed which I think most people would find easier to see in front of them on the page. Secondly I found myself struggling increasingly with the narration, and this made it much harder to listen to.
I do recommend the book. I particularly liked the Wizard of Oz metaphor running through the book, the clarification of covert narcissism (which can easily be missed and leave people feeling even more confused and distressed than when someone is more clearly grandiose or contemptuous), and the role of the other person in relationship with the narcissist. It's quite comprehensive, covering intimate relationships, relationships with parents, friends, colleagues and bosses, even service providers, and the recommendations should help people make healthy decisions about how to move forward, and when to let go. I would just not recommend the Audible version.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This hit some key points which helped understand why one way process.
If someone is driving you mad, this allows a deeper awareness of the issue
4 of 6 people found this review helpful