Are You Living with a Narcissist?
Title: Are You Living with a Narcissist? How Narcissistic Men Impact Your Happiness, How to Identify Them, and How to Avoid Raising One
Published by: Familius
Release Date: March 17, 2020
In “Are You Living with a Narcissist? How Narcissistic Men Impact Your Happiness, How to Identify Them, and How to Avoid Raising One,” Dr. Laurie Hollman discusses the spectrum of healthy to pathological narcissism by defining the symptoms of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder specifically with reference to the subgroup of successful narcissistic men. There are illustrations of a young man with narcissistic traits, three couples where the husband is a narcissist, and a narcissistic father and his teenage daughter. Dr. Hollman questions and clarifies how to raise a child so that he does not become a narcissist and gives her thoughts on how spouses of narcissists can live happy, healthy lives. She also discusses if the narcissist can change and how narcissism and normal love are different. In conclusion, she explores the impact of culture on narcissism questioning if there is an evolutionary basis for narcissism along with contemporary generational values. She also examines the relationship between male narcissism and violence putting together a framework for understanding the role of narcissism in our society today.
"Hollman’s new book offers a primer that is a guide to learning and thinking seriously about how we raise children, males in particular. While mother’s role is emphasized, male and female parents have opportunities to pick up on the-what- and-how male children require a particular sensitivity to what is expected of them throughout early development."
—Carl Bagnini, LCSW, BCD, Psychoanalyst; The Adelphi Derner Postgraduate Programs in Psychoanalysis, and Couple Therapy; Faculty, Adelphi Doctoral Clinical Psychology Program
"Dr. Hollman provides a fascinating look into narcissistic personality disorder in men from its origins in the first three years of life to its manifestation in adulthood, noting the nuances between healthy self-esteem and pathological narcissism. As she did in her groundbreaking book Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior, Dr. Hollman combines compelling research with compassionate real-life stories that illustrate how women (mothers, daughters, wives) can make sense of—and better manage—these complex relationships. From how not to raise a narcissist to living with one, Hollman provides a probing perspective on a timely topic that, at times, seems to be a national epidemic.
—Marcelle Soviero, former Owner and Editor-in-Chief of “Brain Child and Brain Teen Magazines;” author, An Iridescent Life, Essays on Motherhood; Editorial Advisory Board, Creative Nonfiction Magazine; Founder, Marcelle Ink, coaching and consulting for writers and creatives
"Dr. Hollman brings thoughtful and compassionate insight into the formation and perpetuation of the narcissistic personality from multiple perspectives and contexts. By incorporating her parental intelligence approach, fresh discoveries from her clinical work, and established models of intervention, Dr. Hollman’s book will serve as a useful guide for couples, families, and professionals to identify and more effectively deal with elements of narcissism and create a foundation upon which to build new family legacies of health and recovery."
—Lynn Seskin, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist; Behavioral Medicine Associates of New York; Behavioral Medicine of Pennsylvania
"Are You Living with a Narcissist? How Narcissistic Men Impact Your Happiness, How to Identify Them, and How to Avoid Raising One by Laurie Hollman, PhD. offers timely insights into a range of narcissistic types, from a healthy narcissistic stance through pathological and exploitive narcissism. Dr. Hollman has created a work that has woven her own clinical experience and discussion of case studies, blending potential psychotherapeutic interventions with clinical sensitivity. The integration of current DSM V criteria within a psychoanalytic framework blends multiple system approaches and is infinitely readable as well as informative. It is appropriate for both mental health professionals as well as for the general public."
—Marcy E Mostel, MD., Medical Director CAPE (1989-2016); Private Practice as a Psychiatrist
"An important book for anyone wanting to understand the concept of narcissism and the impact of narcissistic husbands and fathers on wives and children. Dr. Hollman’s knowledge and experience are evident in her discussion of the childhood environment that contributes to the development of narcissistic men and her case studies which are very much on target. She provides family members of narcissists clear advice on recognizing and coping with this situation. Readers will find the book interesting, informative and helpful."
—Karyl Gilbert Cole, MD, Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association; Voluntary Attending Psychiatrist, the Zucker Hillside Hospital
"Narcissism is a complex clinical concept that has been overused and misinterpreted as it becomes part of the public conversation. Dr Hollman has provided a comprehensive explanation that will be a great service to those struggling to understand difficulties with their children, spouses, parents, students and public figures."
—Kathleen Hushion, LCSW, Psychoanalyst
The majority of people with a narcissistic personality disorder are men and in my 30 years of experience as a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, I have found that of those men many are highly ambitious and successful. For this reason, I have been inspired to focus on that sub-group distinguishing this book from the many more general all-encompassing volumes that focus on the broad range of narcissists. In this book, I will explore how men with narcissistic traits create toxic family relationships that can be resolved in part or in full. The book is geared both to the general population as well as to professionals.
My intent is to help my readers to understand not only the damaging aspects of a narcissistic personality disorder, but also to view the entire range of narcissistic behaviors and traits, including healthy narcissism and normal love. Narcissism is a developmental line that covers a spectrum from normal to pathological. Self-love is of utmost importance as men develop until it is overestimated with defensive self-inflation that interferes with healthy relationships. Readers will learn the irony of grandiose self-images covering deep feelings of inferiority.
As a clinician, I am hoping to enlighten my lay and professional readers from a compassionate and objective perspective. I think it beneficial for adults to recognize and cope with signs of narcissism that may wear many disguises making healthy intimacy difficult. My experience has taught me, however, that narcissists and their partners and children can change despite their great suffering and live happy, fulfilling lives. I want to share how this is done using a striking empathic and nonjudgmental approach for all those involved in these complex interpersonal relationships and many-faceted behaviors.
With this book, I have also been motivated to address how to help women help themselves in relationships with narcissistic men. I explain how they can expand their own self-worth releasing them from their co-dependence on their narcissistic partners.
I also want to help parents learn how to raise their children in a way that will help them to avoid rearing children to become narcissists as adults. To reach that goal, I explore the early roots of personality development in children that can lead to narcissistic traits in later life. My intent is to help parents understand child development to reach that goal.
Further, I have been inspired to address how children or teens with narcissistic parents can be helped to develop normal interpersonal relationships with both their parents and peers as well as develop their own fulfilling aspirations and ambitions.
My greatest inspiration is to share with compassion and empathy that narcissistic traits needn’t be intractable as is often believed. With new knowledge, all those involved in these difficult relationships can be hopeful that they will not only find relief from their suffering, but also have encouraging, enterprising, and successful aspirations and intimacy.
How a Couple Overcomes Narcissism:
Wade and Ava
“I am not a podiatrist!” Ava screamed as she tugged Wade’s suitcase from the top of their bedroom closet. Usually the most talkative person in any room, Wade stood at the end of their bed dumbfounded as he watched her flip open the top of the suitcase and point inside. “Put clothes in there now!” she demanded prior to stalking out of the room.
This was how Ava began to tell her husband, Wade, that she’d had enough. On their ride home from their neighbor’s cocktail party, Ava came to the decision that her marriage to her narcissistic husband had to take a breather. He had to get out, or they would not survive as a couple.
Wade finally found voice. “What did I do?” he called after her.
Ava was back in a flash. “What did you say when that idiot asked you if I was a podiatrist?”
“I said…uh…no, a pediatrician.”
“And then…? I’ll tell you,” Ava hissed. “You said in your smirky way, ‘Really no big difference, though.’ And then the two of you had a good chuckle at my expense.”
This had not been the first time that Ava, a hardworking and successful pediatrician, felt demeaned in public by her neurosurgeon husband, who felt that the work he did was the pinnacle of success in the world of medicine.
The description of the emotional manipulator/codependent couple by Rosenberg (2013) at the end of the last chapter applies to the case of Wade and Ava as well. However, as the interaction described above indicates, Ava is far less dependent on her narcissistic husband than was Laura. Like Laura, Ava desired her husband to be a strong, ambitious man; but when Wade’s continuous narcissistic behaviors grew too much for her early in their marriage, she took action by telling him to get out for a while so that she could catch a break before continuing in a marriage she definitely wanted. He was shocked, because his narcissism was severely rocked for the first time in his marital life—and by the woman he loved.