Book review: The Narcissist – A User’s Guide

Over the course of our lifetime,  we all experience toxic relationships. Not just with lovers, but friends, bosses, and co-workers. We struggle painfully when we are in them, and we strive to understand them once we are free of them.

Often, we are able to find a pattern to the type of toxicity. It is at this point,  we can work on ourselves, because that’s the only way we break free of destructive cycles.

I had my own pattern to break free of, and when I read Lori Hoeck’s and Betsy Wuebker’s The Narcissist: A User’s Guide, I could finally make sense of it all.

Lori and Betsy allowed me the honour of previewing their eBook, and I provided them with the following testimonial:

I had two narcissists in my life. The first one lasted 16 years, the second one 6 months. Seems I am learning to identify their existence in my life, and impact, faster. But, I sure wish I had the The Narcissist: A User’s Guide during these painful periods.

Recovering from the damage of these relationships was slow, and I thought I had wiped the last trace of their impact on my psyche clean away. But, when I read The Narcissist: A User’s Guide, each word leaped off the page at me and flooded me with relief.

It was like the Roberta Flack lyrics, “strumming my life with his finger,” only Betsy and Lori were strumming my life with their words. They confirmed that everything I experienced was very real. The damage to my psyche was very real. And the length of time it took to recover was very real.

I recommend The Narcissist: A User’s Guide to anyone who suspects they are dealing with a narcissist. You will learn, like me, that you are not crazy. And with this knowledge, you will gain the strength to untangle yourself from the Narcissist trap.

However, I have to be honest. This was my second testimonial. The carefully thought out one. But I want to share my initial testimoninal with you, because it’s a much better indication of the impact The Narcissist had on me.

Two words and two words only:

Holy Shit!!!

And that was just the Word document version.

Then they sent me the final product, designed by Deb Dorchak of Sirius Graphix. My reaction to this?

Holy Shit!!!

The Narcissist: A User’s Guide is a work of art by the authors and the designer. Clearly this is combined effort of a team who truly believe in the book’s message.

This is not a guide for hunting down the Great Evil Narcissist. Narcissim is a personalty trait, not a human abheration. I know the narcissists I was associated with struggle with their place in life each and every day of their lives.

No, this is a guide that helps you recognize the narcissistic traits that you are attracted to. That’s right, attracted to. Because we invite them into our lives for a reason. And until we figure out what that is, we cannot ask them to leave. Nor can we make sure we never open the relationship door to other narcissists.

If you are unhappy in any of your relationships, please read The Narcissist. It just might help you break free of your unhealthy patterns and set you off down a path of happiness and freedom.

Book Recommendation

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Comments

  1. Hi Eliza – Thank you for a wonderful review. You say, “Because we invite them into our lives for a reason. And until we figure out what that is, we cannot ask them to leave. Nor can we make sure we never open the relationship door to other narcissists.” That is so correct.

    Sometimes the knowledge that the reason isn’t “right” is enough to make the first step toward a healthy boundary, but, as you say, there is still more understanding required to recognize what was in it for you. The narcissist lives in a hell they’ve built, brick by brick. It’s helpful to understand that, but more productive to know why you were attracted to it and how you can move toward a better place.

    We greatly appreciate your support of this project. If anyone has a story to share, we’d love to receive it in email: betsywuebker AT passingthru DOT com. Thanks again. :)

    • @Betsy – I strongly believe that we are in all relationships for a reason. Even the bad ones. Self-awareness of why helps us keep the good ones, and dump the bad ones.

  2. Hi Eliza,

    Thank you a great review!

    I like this: “Often, we are able to find a pattern to the type of toxicity. It is at this point, we can work on ourselves, because that’s the only way we break free of destructive cycles.”

    Narcissists and other users or abusers prey on our weaknesses, not our strengths. After being told for so long “it is your fault,” we tend to believe it. Until we discover the underlying relationship dynamics driving the whole thing, we are set on a spin cycle and unable to rediscover our self confidence or set firm boundaries. I’m glad you found your way off of the spin cycle, and I’m humbled to read your words, “They confirmed that everything I experienced was very real. The damage to my psyche was very real. And the length of time it took to recover was very real.”

    • @Lori – to be honest the second time around, I found my way out of the ‘spin cycle’ fairly quickly due to the love of a very good man who did an intervention on me. He pointed out how upset and sad I was, and how awful that made him feel to have me upset and sad. And he kept pointing it out until I realized he was right. Mind you, people pointed out how horrible my first situation was, but I was deaf to what they had to say. At least the second time around, I was able to ‘hear’.

  3. Excellent review…both writings….

    I will have to finish reading it….they did a great job so far…

    • @Patricia – well worth the read cover to cover. And thank you, obviously this is a project that struck a personal chord for me, and I am honoured to promote it.

  4. Eliza, I have a two-word comment — Great post! :-)

    I mean it. I like how you’ve put the spin on this to work on OURSELVES and watch our own patterns and behaviour. After all, that’s what a User’s Guide is for. Yes!

    • @Davina – I do not identify myself as a victim. I identify myself as someone who has spent her lifetime growing into herself. For a period of time that meant I was wallowing in some pretty gross muck. But used properly, muck is fertlizer for some very beautiful gardens. When I was receiving counselling for my breakup, the therapist said that in a year’s time I would want to thank my partner. At the time, I thought “‘Are you crazy, lady?!” At the end of the year, I sent him a thank you letter and wished him well. It wasn’t facetious. I really meant thank you, and I hope someday he finds peace with himself if he hasn’t already. We cannot control or change anyone’s behaviours but our own. I could not have put any other spin on this book.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by UrbanPanther, betsywuebker. betsywuebker said: Thanks to @UrbanPanther for the funniest two-word review of our e-book at Silver and Grace: http://bit.ly/aJMQs7 […]

  2. […] devoured Betsy Wuebker’s first book when it was released, The Narcissist: A User Guide, I was thrilled when she released her second one. The Narcissist at Work, co-wriiten with Becky […]

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