Rethinking Narcissism: Where Do You Fall on the Spectrum? A Book Review
It's good to feel good about yourself.
I've decided to begin a book review series. I'll start with books I've read in the past and work my way up to more recent reads. If you've been following my articles by now, you know that I'm an avid reader.
I'm going to start with "Rethinking Narcissism: The Secret to Recognizing and Coping with Narcissists" by Dr. Craig Malkin.
I believe I've encountered extreme narcissists at least three times in my life. This book clarified the notion for me. It also helped me see a broader range of behavior and scale, which assisted me in putting things into perspective much better.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Craig Malkin offers his first self-help book focused on narcissism. It's an exciting look at what it means to be human.
The book's premise is that the word "narcissism" has been overused. So much that its meaning has been diluted to signify "selfishness and self-glorification." Malkin says that even among specialists, the term is "slippery and amorphous." And is used to describe "an obnoxious yet typical personality quality or a rare but harmful mental sickness."
Malkin uses the term "narcissist" to refer to a range of features. From a harmless to a pathological condition. He states that having a feeling that you are exceptional — encourages a sense of self-esteem, optimism, and sociability. But, healthy narcissism boils down to striking the proper balance, according to Malkin.
Like most self-help books, it provides an assessment questionnaire. It intends to help readers determine where they fall on the Narcissism Spectrum. Individuals he refers to as "echoists" have low self-esteem and submit themselves to other people's wishes on the far left.
Extreme narcissists, on the far right. "see themselves as superior to their partners (and most everyone else). They are manipulative. Insatiable in their pursuit of approval. And appear "unemotional," apart from anger and thrill-seeking.
Echoists are made, not born. Parents of echoists discourage their children's pride and sense of accomplishment. Parents of narcissists "often inflate their children's accomplishments," according to the author.
He believes there is "healthy narcissism." Which is encouraging (but not requiring) aspirations of greatness and fostering love and closeness.
Malkin offers five red flags that readers can use to identify a narcissist in their life.
Dr. Malkin believes that anybody willing to change can do so. His encouraging tone and a variety of case examples. Give thoughtful advice as well as generous encouragement.
This book should be read by everyone interested in the subject. For me, it confirmed my suspicions about how narcissism isn't necessarily black or white.