Fragile Bully: Understanding Our Destructive Affair With Narcissism in the Age of Trump

Fragile Bully: Understanding Our Destructive Affair With Narcissism in the Age of Trump

by Laurie Helgoe


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Obsessive self-promotion, an aggressive triggering response, and retaliatory rants.

“Both sensitive and incisive, beautifully capturing the paradoxical dynamic of narcissism—that the grandiosity and surrounding bravado belies an underlying fragility and brittleness.” —Kenneth N. Levy, PhD, Associate Professor, Penn State University; Senior Fellow, Personality Disorders Institute, Cornell University

Even before Donald Trump entered America’s highest office, an international survey revealed that narcissism is part of the assumed “national character” of Americans. While only a small number actually meet the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, those exploitive few have a way of gaining center stage in our culture.

Fragile Bully: Understanding Our Destructive Affair With Narcissism in the Age of Trump looks beyond the sound bites of self-aggrandizing celebrities and selfish tweets to the real problem of narcissism. We see past the solo act to the vicious circles that arise in relationships with a fragile bully, and how patterns like this generate both power and self-destruction. We also look at the problem of Echo, how so many of us get hooked by the narcissist, and how variations on the destructive affair leave both partners dehumanized and diminished. Once we recognize the steps in each dance, we can break the cycle and allow and the possibility of true engagement.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635765458
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: 03/12/2019
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,171,619
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D. is an author, educator, and clinical psychologist with a special interest in the interactions between personality and culture. Dr. Helgoe is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences at the Ross University School of Medicine. She is the author of five books, including Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength, originally published in 2008, and expanded in its second edition in 2013.

Table of Contents

Foreword Paul L. Wachtel vii

Introduction xi

Part I 1

1 Narcissism by Many Names 3

2 The Fragile Bully Matrix 11

3 Narcissus on the Couch 25

4 Narcissus is Not Alone: Revisiting the Myth 37

5 Meeting the Fragile Bully 48

6 Echo, Revealed 60

Part II 71

7 Vicious Circle Dances 73

8 Join the Aggressor 85

9 The Reassurance Dance 99

10 Provoke and React 118

11 Banishment and the Solo Dance 130

12 The Superior Dance 146

13 Edit Me 160

Part III 173

14 Destructive Dance Detox 175

15 Rules of Engagement 189

16 Specialness in Its Place 204

17 Mending the Narcissistic Divide 214

Endnotes 229

About the Author 255

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