Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents

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Overview

Being a parent is usually all about giving of yourself to foster your child's growth and development. But what happens when this isn't the case? Some parents dismiss the needs of their children, asserting their own instead, demanding attention and reassurance from even very young children. This may especially be the case when a parent has narcissistic tendencies or narcissistic personality disorder. From the author of Working with the Self-Absorbed and Loving the Self-Absorbed, this major revision of a self-help ...

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Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents

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Overview

Being a parent is usually all about giving of yourself to foster your child's growth and development. But what happens when this isn't the case? Some parents dismiss the needs of their children, asserting their own instead, demanding attention and reassurance from even very young children. This may especially be the case when a parent has narcissistic tendencies or narcissistic personality disorder. From the author of Working with the Self-Absorbed and Loving the Self-Absorbed, this major revision of a self-help classic offers a step-by-step approach to resolving conflict and building a meaningful relationship with a narcissistic parent.

Children of the Self-Absorbed offers clear definitions of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder to help you identify the extent of your parent's problem. You'll learn the different types of destructive narcissism and how to recognize their effects on relationships. With the aid of proven techniques, you'll discover that you're not helpless against your parent's behavior and that you needn't consider giving up on the relationship. Instead, realistic strategies and steps are suggested for learning to set mutually agreed upon behaviors that can help you fulfill your needs and expectations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For those of us who have often suffered the inevitable humiliating regression back to childhood during every holiday with the family…this book offers real help to the reader to develop the self-protective art of indifference, a cloak that can be used at many a holiday gathering…and to understand the subtle yet profound differences between ineffective and effective confrontation, empathy and sympathy, and attaching response and defusing strategy…a completely new cupboard of techniques."
—Joel C. Frost, Ed.D., assistant clinical professor of psychology in the Department of Psychology at Harvard Medical School

"Children of the Self-Absorbed offers practical advice and guidance. The creative techniques and exercises are priceless to both the reader learning how to identify destructive parental behaviors and how to cope with them as well as the reader learning to nurture and protect his or her own developing self."
—Susan Hopper, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in private practice in St. Louis, MO

"Children of narcissistic parents are provided techniques to dig themselves out of impossible relationships with their parents…a thoroughly well thought out, useful manual to help adult children move toward more productive connection to their narcissistic parents, to themselves, and to others."
—Joan Medway, Ph.D., LCSW, psychologist in private practice in Potomac, MD

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572245617
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: Unassigned Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 93,262
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Nina W. Brown, EdD, LPC, is professor and eminent scholar in the Educational Leadership and Counseling Department at Old Dominion University. An expert on narcissism's effects on relationships, she 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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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Preface     ix
Infuriating, Critical, Demanding, and Unreasonable Parents     1
Lingering Effects of Parental Self-Absorption     29
Still Hurting: The Child as an Adult     53
Difficult Situations and How to Cope     75
Overcome the Hidden and Toxic Effects of Your Parent     99
Eight Strategies to Stop Hurting     125
Strengthen Your Self     149
Your Ideal Self: Determine the Person You Want to Be     177
Get to the Ideal: Build a New and Better Self     201
You Can Do It: Taking Charge of Your Self     225
References     251
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2009

    Great Book

    I read the First Edition and it helped considerably in dealing with my Narcisstic Mother. I was going to by a copy for my sister and found this Second Edition,instead. I decided to keep this copy and send my first edition to my sister. She had updated it from questions that readers from her first book had and talked about subjects that weren't mentioned in the first edition. This book has helped me understand more about who I am and why I am this way. I know my mother will never change, but the book has helped me see that the way I was treated as a child and as a adult by her has affected every aspect of my life. The book gives alot of great ideas and suggestions to help cope with the narcisstic parent, as well as, lets you know that you should not feet guilty in severing any contact with that parent. I highly recommend this book if you have a Narcisstic Parent!

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2011

    A MUST read

    I remember, as a small toddler, hiding under a bed, for a very long time, trying to hold in the tears for fear that someone would find me. I never understood why a small child would act this way but suspected something must have happened to me that I didn't remember. In the pages of this book I realized that I couldn't tell my adult self what had happened to me because, as a small child, I hadn't learned to speak a language that my adult self would understand. As I flipped through the pages of this book I began to understand the origins of my fears, insecurities and lack of self esteem. Not only do you begin to see the puzzle pieces before you, you also begin to put some of them together to make a clearer picture. I would recommend this book to anyone who suspects they are a child of a self absorbed parent (and if you are reading this you probably are) and wish you good luck on your path to finding the person you were meant to be.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    scared at first.....

    I cant believe how much i've let my mother control me. This book made me mad sad and resentful but in the end, she will affect me no more. Thank You.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2001

    Narcissistic Parents, Narcissistic Off-spring

    Is there a linear connection between narcissistic parents and narcissistic off-spring? Is there a lineage of narcissism? Is narcissism contagious? Judging by the number of books about 'affected children of narcissists', the answer would seem to be: yes. Growing up with narcissistic parents is tantamount to being a POW, a hostage, the object of the whole spectrum of abuse. It is trauma writ large. And it can - and sometimes does - distort the child's healthy development. Narcissists are, as Nina Brown says, 'self-absorbed'. The child is an extension, a plaything, a toy, a nuisance, a threat - but never, simply, another human being with needs (especially emotional ones) and boundaries to be respected. This book is a straightforward presentation of this state of siege and how to overcome the pernicious after-effects of being exposed to narcissism, replete with case studies. A fascinating read. Sam Vaknin, author of 'Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited'.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2001

    Children of the Self Absorbed, a wonderful book

    As I read this book, I was amazed that the author knew my mother. It is wonderful to read this book and realize that it isn't me who is not strong enough or loving enough or smart enough. I am a good person with a self absorbed parent. I am ok. To have someone recognize being self absorbed as a relevant problem is earth shattering to me. My mother said 99% of the things that Ms. Brown talks about. You just can't imagine how wonderful it is to find this book. It is a great help. I bought it for my sister to read also. Narcissism is a painful problem to grow up with. When my husband and I had our first child he said that now he understood his parents and how much they loved him and how they'd raised and treated him. I on the other hand said, 'I don't understand my parents at all.' This book helps me to understand my mother and how self absorbed a person can be and how I can protect myself against her. A must read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2012

    Excellent Book!

    I love this book! As a child of someone with narcissism it is often hard to know how to deal with issues that arise with my parents. This book helped me to see how to deal with my parents and to be able to care for myself. I highly recommend this book to anyone that feels they have a narcissistic parent.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Highly Recommend - life changing

    Everyone who has ever suffered at the hand of self absorbed people will gain insight and help into how to overcome this

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    I've read everything on dysfunctional parents and families, from the novels SYBIL and BARK OF THE DOGWOOD to those by Pat Conroy (PRINCE OF TIDES and THE GREAT SANTINI). But if you're looking for a 'guide' to how to get out of this mess, CHILDREN is the book for you. Don't think that because you don't fall into the category of a child of the self-absorbed that you shouldn't read this book. It's for everyone, for EVERYONE truly knows either the children OR the parents that suffer of and from this disorder. The sad part is that most victims and their abusers don't realize what's going on. This book is one heck of an eye-opener. If you're interested in this subject, you must, must, must read Jackson McCrae's book 'The Bark of the Dogwood.' It has the most perfect example of narcissistic parents I've ever read about. Truly remarkable.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Bought the first edition in 2001. It was a great help then to ex

    Bought the first edition in 2001. It was a great help then to explain what I was feeling but didn't have a name for it. Great book. Wish I could send my first edition to my sister and see if we had any of the same expericences. But as is often the case in these cases there's this silence among families about what's really going on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2008

    Jessica Narcissist Dad

    I havent gotten the book yet but Im on my way to the store now and my therapist said this is the best book to read in understanding my dad.

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    Posted December 16, 2009

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