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Author Topic: 04. Loving the Self-Absorbed - Nina Brown, EdD  (Read 1016 times)
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« on: October 07, 2011, 11:44:24 AM »

Loving The Self-Absorbed: How to Create a More Satisfying Relationship with a Narcissistic Partner
Author: Nina Brown, EdD
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (June 2003)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1572243546
ISBN-13: 978-1572243545

The most helpful/insightful book I've read on NPD. The book is brutally honest and really opened my eyes. I'm going to read it again.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Book Description
A narcissistic partner is forever putting his or her own needs first and is also demeaning, manipulative, controlling, and competitive. After the early stages of a relationship, the non-narcissist is usually left questioning her value. In this first book for the intimate partners of narcissists, find empowering strategies you can use to limit the destructive effect of your partner's behavior and get what you need out of your relationship.

Learn the five types of destructive narcissism and how to recognize their effects on your relationship. The book reassures you that you are not helpless, and that you needn't give up on your relationship. Instead, the book offers realistic tips on living so that both of your needs are met. Change your 'fantasy' wishes into realistic expectations, create boundaries, listen and respond in a self-caring manner, and learn when to avoid and ignore especially bad behavior. The book teaches you how to stop feeding into a narcissist's self-focus with subtle behavior cues such as acting distracted when he or she vies for attention. Ultimately, you will achieve a degree of understanding and separation that will help you see both your partner and yourself in a new light.

About the Author
Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, is professor of counseling at Old Dominion University. Her area of expertise is the effects of narcissism on relationships.  Brown is the author of ten books, including Children of the Self-Absorbed, Working with the Self-Absorbed and Whose Life is it Anyway?
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 02:19:10 PM »

I believe I have been blessed with one of each in my family (BPD & NPD). I care for both of them but the NPD appears to have some distinctive traits like cruelty, tendency towards more violent physical destruction (including to themselves), considering themselves much more important than others, manipulative behavior, nearly complete focus on themselves with no consideration of how their behavior affects others. In just a few words, a self-centered childlike persona that is almost 100% focused on self interests. BPD, from what I have experienced (and if it is BPD) has some similar traits but even those are to a much lesser degree. Also, BPD has some caretaker aspects and focus on others which may be for some indirect self serving purposes but it most definitely is not a total lack of consideration for others, where NPD seems to COMPLETELY focus on self interest.

The site talks about both disorders but is focused on BPD. BPD is bad but NPD is worse. I know this is not an exact science and the DM criteria may change to include them both under the same diagnosis but from what I've seen, even though what I believe to be NPD was diagnosed BPD decades ago, they are definitely not the same. Then again the BPD is undiagnosed but I have read enough and observed enough to see a very distinct differenence. The NPD fits the following criteria to a T, 100%:

•   React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

•   Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

•   Have excessive feelings of self-importance

•   Exaggerate achievements and talents

•   Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

•   Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

•   Need constant attention and admiration

•   Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

•   Have obsessive self-interest

•   Pursue mainly selfish goals

Where I see a drastic difference is in feelings of self importance, exaggeration of achievments/talents, manipulation, fantasies of success & power, pursuing selfish goals, and obsessive self-interest. Still, at the core I perceive the self hatred and that is sad. But there are periods of what appear to be kindness and normalcy yet I am not living with that person so I don't see the day to day. Maybe both are BPD, maybe one is and one is BPDish. If anyone has a 1st hand opinion please let me know.

Other than that are there any books out there that are focused on NPD, of particular interest would be living with the day to day activities?

Many thanks!

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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 05:37:26 PM »

Has anyone read the book 'Loving the Self-Absorbed?' by Nina Brown?


I was disappointed to find that there is no Kindle or eBook version of the book, and none of the book stores around here seem to have a copy. I'm thinking about ordering it. Amazon has a preview of the book and there is a test to quantify your perception of your partner's N traits (":)estructive Narcissist Rating Scale". Based on my perceptions, my wife's score came in at 117 (Serious - Your partner has many destructive narcissistic characteristics), and a total of ratings over 3 came up to 19 ("Manipulative". The TOC indicates that I need to read chapter 7, which, of course, isn't included in the free preview.  

Applying what I have learned here has improved things for everyone in our family a lot over the past few months, but this past week has sent her into overdrive. She's been dysregulated all week. I have been a validating fool, but she continues to block me out. Today I took some time to spend with my family when things didn't go well with my wife this morning. I was clear with her in text messages that I love her and that I will be back later. I just got home, and she seems to have escalated, probably because she feels like I abandoned her today. It's okay though... .I needed to do that.

So, anyway, it appears that the tools aren't working this week, because she's not open to really listening... .Don't get me wrong... .when I say the tools aren't working, I'm SURE that the tools are making things as good as they can be, it's just that it's not getting us back to a point where she isn't in her "super-defensive/angry" mode.

Sometimes you just have to wait and continue to use the tools in the meantime. I can accept that. I'm thinking that if she had fewer N traits that I would have already navigated this situation and we would have more peace around here. I've sent her a few emails this week that were brief, well though-out on my part... .careful not to present any blame... .using S.E.T. These emails seem to be annoying her more than anything. Using the different approach of leaving with love today didn't help either.

So, I'm wondering if I might try something in the book. I have noticed in the past that my wife typically doesn't like to acknowledge/discuss/think about her feelings at a core level, so, If I say, "I want to be here for you. I know that [niece's name]'s death has been hard on you and you want to be there for the rest of the family. Just like you want to be there for them, I want to be here for you." One side of me thinks that she doubts my sincerity and she is too afraid to trust that I am being genuine... .the other side of me thinks that maybe it's just too painful for her to think about any of this, and by me bringing it up, it's just reminding her of how painful it is. It's ironic though, because she has said things that indicate that her thoughts have been on this family tragedy a whole lot this week.

Any advice from chapter 7 that anyone doesn't mind sharing?
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2012, 03:37:10 PM »

I don't really have any advice but it sounds to me like you are doing a really good job with S.E.T thank-you for posting and I am interested to hear what others have to say
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 03:43:37 PM »


   Thanks. I appreciate the encouragement. I can't forget the times in the past when I was painted this black... .the feeling of hopelessness and anxiety I used to have. I'm so glad that I don't have those feelings anymore, but I'm always looking for a way to get to that next level, you know?   Smiling (click to insert in post)

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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2017, 10:03:54 AM »

Does anyone know of an alternative book or where I could find an ebook version of Loving the Self Absorbed
by Nina Brown, Ed.D.? I like that the book supposedly has an approach of wanting to improve the relationship, not just leave like most other books recommend. I do NOT want to have to try to hide a physical book from my pwNPD traits, though. I don't think he would respond well.

Any similar ebook suggestions?

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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Sibling
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 08:41:21 PM »

The two books below are available in kindle form and you can read about them at the links below:

Disarming the Narcissist

Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist

You can check out the additional 2 books on the Amazon website.  They are available in Kindle form, as well.

Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited, by Sam Vaknin

Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed

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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2017, 12:00:53 PM »

Uptight and In Your Face: Coping with an Anxious Boss, Parent, Spouse, or Lover
Author: Nina W. Brown , PhD
Publisher: Praeger (November 2, 2010), Kindle Edition
Paperback: 179 pages
ISBN-10: B007JF18C8


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