Rethinking Narcissism

The Bad—-and Surprising Good—-About Feeling Special

Dr. Craig Malkin

Book

Harvard Medical School psychologist and Huffington Post blogger Craig Malkin addresses the "narcissism epidemic," by illuminating the spectrum of narcissism, identifying ways to control the trait, and explaining how too little of it may be a bad thing.

"What is narcissism?" is one of the fastest rising searches on Google, and articles on the topic routinely go viral. Yet, the word "narcissist" seems to mean something different every time it's uttered. People hurl the word as insult at anyone who offends them. It's become so ubiquitous, in fact, that it's lost any clear meaning. The only certainty these days is that it's bad to be a narcissist—really bad—inspiring the same kind of roiling queasiness we feel when we hear the words sexist or racist. That's especially troubling news for millennials, the people born after 1980, who've been branded the "most narcissistic generation ever."

In Rethinking Narcissism readers will learn that there's far more to narcissism than its reductive invective would imply. The truth is that we all fall on a spectrum somewhere between utter selflessness on the one side, and arrogance and grandiosity on the other. A healthy middle exhibits a strong sense of self. On the far end lies sociopathy. Malkin deconstructs healthy from unhealthy narcissism and offers clear, step-by-step guidance on how to promote healthy narcissism in our partners, our children, and ourselves.

Author

Dr. Craig Malkin is an author, clinical psychologist, and lecturer for Harvard Medical School with two decades of experience helping individuals, couples, and families. His articles, advice, and insights on relationships have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as Time, the New York Times, The Sunday Times (London), Psychology Today, and Women’s Health, as well as countless other magazines and websites. He’s also been featured multiple times on NPR, CBS Radio, and the Oprah Winfrey Network channel; appeared on various local morning shows; and been a guest on more than sixty radio stations here and abroad. Dr. Malkin is president and director of the Cambridge, Massachusetts–based YM Psychotherapy and Consultation, Inc., which provides psychotherapy and evidence-based couples workshops. He lives in Boston with his wife and twin girls.

 

Reviews

“This is an enthralling book. It takes the clichés of narcissism and unpacks them to help us understand and accept our human need to feel special while also coping with the dangers of self-absorption. It will become a classic.” Dr. Sue Johnson, author of Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships

“A gripping and sometimes terrifying book that will make you look anew at your spouse, your parents, your children, your friends, your enemies, your fellow workers and - perhaps most pertinently - your reflection in the mirror.” The Daily Mail (UK), “Book of the Week”

“[Dr. Malkin’s] reassuring tone and plethora of case histories offer considered advice and generous encouragement.” Kirkus Reviews

“Certainly one of the best books I’ve read this year. Don’t be fooled by the title.. this book is for anyone trying to better understand themselves and other people.” Todd Kashdan, PhD, author of The Upside of Your Dark Side

“If you’re to buy just one book on narcissism, this is the one to purchase.” Leon Seltzer, author of Paradoxical Strategies in Psychotherapy

“Rethinking Narcissism brings much needed compassion and clarity to one of the most vexing problems in mental health without ever resorting to false hope or naivete. In that way, the book itself is special.” Tom Wootton, Huffington Post blogger and author of The Bipolar Advantage

“... a book that will have readers rethinking themselves and, paradoxically, those around them.” Publishers Weekly

“[A] fascinating book.” The Independent

“A fresh approach to the way we regard one of psychology’s most complex conditions. In a book that’s persuasive, insightful, and never dry, Dr. Malkin offers the right mix of analysis and advice and presents compelling, ground-breaking evidence that narcissism is necessary—in the right doses, of course.” Peggy Drexler, PhD, Assistant Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College, author of Raising Boys Without Men and Our Fathers, Ourselves

“If you’re only going to read one book about narcissism this is it. Eminently accessible for the lay audience and professional alike, Dr. Malkin’s penetrating insights, his superb ability to tell a good story, and his courage in disclosing elements of his own story, combine to make this remarkable book.” Joseph Shay, PhD, Lecturer Harvard Medical School, co-author of Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy and co-editor of Odysseys in Psychotherapy and Complex Dilemmas in Group Therapy.

“Is there a narcissist in your life? Chances are, the answer’s yes-here’s how to spot them.” Red Magazine

“Narcissists. They’re everywhere…Not according to Dr. Craig Malkin, whose new book suggests we’ve got it all wrong.” Sunday Times Magazine (London)

“The book that protects you from narcissists...Is there someone in your life who’s hurting you and you just don’t know it? In this Harvard researcher’s illuminating, reads-like-a-novel-book, he reveals how to identify and repair your relationships to live with more fulfillment.” Oprah Book Club 2.0

“...will interest anyone who is intrigued about narcissism, what it means, where it comes from... [Dr. Malkin’s] empiricist side shines through.” New England Psychologist

“Dr. Craig Malkin offers a surprising, accessible analyis of narcissism—and explains why a healthy dash of narcissism can be a good thing.” Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of Better Than Before and The Happiness Project

“...gives us all a coherent way of talking about a much-discussed but often over-simplified and over-dramatized subject in these ‘look at me’ times.” Peg Streep, bestselling author of Mean Mothers: Overcoming the Legacy of Hurt

“Craig Malkin’s book is another step in the direction of a broad and inclusive psychological understanding of human behavior and a step away from prejudice and narrow concepts of the human mind.” Irene Oestrich, Chefspsykolog, PhD

“Malkin, a therapist and psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School, takes a more inspirational attitude...” New York Times Book Review

“Thank you, Dr. Malkin, for saying what needed to be said and clearing things up for me. For all of us.” BookTrib

“Among all the books that have been published on the topic in the past 10 years, Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad - and Surprising Good - About Feeling Special stands out as a definite must-read.” Psych Central

“In Rethinking Narcissism, Dr. Malkin reveals the surprising good news about narcissism, exploring the complexities of narcissistic traits and deflating popular myths. Most importantly, he shows us how to develop a healthy sense of narcissism and how to manage relationships with narcissistic partners, friends, colleagues, and family.” Dr. Drew Pinsky, author of The Mirror Effect

“This is a true gem on the subject of narcissism.” Library Journal