The Best Books To Help You Understand Narcissism

The Best Books To Help You Understand Narcissism

January 12, 2022 Updated January 11, 2022

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You probably think this book is about you

The word narcissism gets thrown around a lot — and everyone on earth does a narcissistic thing here and there. But when it comes to narcissistic personality disorder, a real and serious psychological problem, it can affect the daily lives of entire families and even down through the generations. If you have a narcissistic person in your life, or grew up with one, it’s vital that you understand the issue fully as well as its affect on you — from their traits to their motives to their actions. Having a narcissistic parent, partner, or ex can have lasting consequences, but it’s possible to understand and move on.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of books about narcissism, but these are the ones that helped us most when it came to learning about the subject and better understanding narcissistic people and their impact on others. From straight psychological non-fiction to self-help, these books will educate you and help you act, and help you heal.

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Disarming the Narcissist by Wendy T. Behary MSW LCSW

Recommended by therapists, and one of the most popular books about narcissism, we love this book because it’s an extremely practical how-to guide that provides step-by-step instruction on how to deal with the self-obsessed people in your life, whether they live in your home, are related to you, or work with you professionally. We love the advice on how to continue to exist in their world (when you have to) by better understanding how they think and setting limits to protect yourself and your feelings.


Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Dr. Karyl McBride Ph.D.

A good number of people who are looking to learn about narcissism are trying to recover from being raised by one. This book is specifically written for women who were raised by selfish, self-involved, and toxic mothers – many of whom were emotional abusers. This self-help book, written by a family therapist, is designed to help the grown kids of narcissists recognize the harmful internalized messages they carry and take back control of their lives and emotions.


Why Is It Always About You? The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss

In this book, psychotherapist Sandy Hotchkiss goes over the seven deadly sins of narcissism: Shamelessness, Magical Thinking, Arrogance, Envy, Entitlement, Exploitation, and Bad Boundaries. While exploring these seven ideas, she also gives readers the tools to understand how narcissists develop, why we are initially attracted to them, and then how to limit their influence on our lives.


The New Science of Narcissism: Understanding One of the Greatest Psychological Challenges of Our Time―and What You Can Do About It by W. Keith Campbell PhD

This book is an in-depth look at narcissism in our time – and we appreciate that it explains that there are reasons that narcissistic traits are increasing in our society and culture today. We also appreciate the book’s view that narcissism is largely a spectrum, and that we all display narcissistic traits and tendencies now and then. Read this book to learn broadly about the issues, as well as how to understand narcissism in yourself and in others.


The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family by Eleanor D. Payson LMSW

Written through the lens of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, this book offers an easy-to-understand framework for understanding narcissism and its effects on others. Throughout the book, the author provides readers with the tools to identify narcissism, protect themselves from it, and heal from the damage that they can cause. We particularly like the use of specific case studies throughout the book that help us see narcissism as it appears in the real world.


Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recover, and Move On by Cynthia Zayn

This book solely focuses on people who are in a romantic relationship or marriage with a narcissist and how those people can understand their partner, escape the relationship, and heal from what has happened to them. While it’s written by a researcher and educator, the book is non-clinical and easy to read – and much of the studies and science talk is broken up with interviews and real-world case studies.


Becoming the Narcissist's Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself by Shahida Arabi

While many of the above book focus on the narcissist, this book is more centered on the victims of narcissism and the psychology surrounding them. For example: what attracts certain people to narcissists? Why do they have trouble leaving these relationships? How can they rewrite the narrative that narcissists have taught them to believe? This is a book that you will highlight a lot – and a great book for people who feel stuck in any kind of a relationship with a narcissist.


Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad-and Surprising Good-About Feeling Special by Dr. Craig Malkin

This book is a little different – it looks at the broader trend of narcissism in our country as well as the positive aspects of loving yourself. Basically: that there are positive narcissistic traits, while too much of a good thing that gets very bad very fast. Much of this book is dedicated to understand what’s healthy about narcissism and what’s not, and taking clear steps toward engendering the good stuff and watching out for the bad stuff.


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Disarming the Narcissist by Wendy T. Beh...
Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the ...
Why Is It Always About You? The Seven De...
The New Science of Narcissism: Understan...
The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: ...
Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recove...
Becoming the Narcissist's Nightmare: How...
Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad-and Surpr...