Surrounded by Narcissists by Thomas Erikson provides insight into recognizing and avoiding toxic behaviors in others. In addition, the book discusses various ways to defend yourself against narcissistic people and to help you thrive in your environments.
First, I’ll give you information about the book, give you a synopsis, provide key takeaways, and then conclude.
Author: Thomas Erikson
Length: 320 pages (hardcover); 11 hours (audiobook); 306 pages (ebook)
Publication date: June 21, 2022
Surrounded by Narcissists describes ‘narcissism’ and ‘psychopathy’ and how those personality traits exhibit themselves. Also, the book further explains how to deal with narcissists through anecdotes and scientific research.
The book has four parts:
Part I: Narcissism: A Brief Introduction
Part II: Narcissism: An In-Depth Look
Part III: How to Handle Narcissists
Part IV: A Narcissistic Culture
It begins by explaining narcissism and how people who show narcissistic personality traits affect others. A few characteristics addressed in the first part include excessive entitlement, talking about oneself, and believing everyone around you owes the narcissist the finest things life has to offer.
Part II dives deeper into how narcissistic people drain resources and cause damage to unsuspecting people. For example, the book uses the DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) model of behavior to describe personalities.
The DISC Theory suggests that these four areas help people to predict the behavior of others. The behavior model assigns a color to each personality: Dominance is red, Influence is yellow, Steadiness is green, and Conscientiousness is blue. You can learn more about the DISC Theory here.
Part III provides strategies for handling toxic personalities. Also, it addresses conflicting feelings that people may have when ending relationships with narcissistic persons.
Part IV wraps up the book with a look at collective narcissism. Again, it’s the idea that society has cultivated narcissism through social media, child-raising, and learned entitlement.
Surrounded by Narcissists does well at explaining the DISC personalities and how they interact with narcissistic personalities. A person with narcissistic personality disorder will exploit each DISC personality differently, a fundamental piece of the book.
Another essential concept is that narcissists lack empathy for those around them, which allows them to plan how to take advantage of others. The book reiterates this point often because ordinary people have healthy doses of empathy and may feel awkward about treating a manipulator rudely.
I enjoyed the overall flow of the book. It started with a foundation, built from there, and explored new concepts that audiences may not expect. For instance, the last part of the book discusses collective narcissism, which isn’t a usual topic when talking about narcissists.
Additionally, the book was easy to understand. I didn’t feel lost during any of the concepts presented in the book. It was a quick read for slower readers and provided enough detail to make a point.
Surrounded by Narcissists was an excellent read for people struggling with toxic personalities. The suggestions presented in the book are well-defined and applicable.
Lastly, this book has a leadership application, too. Toxic work environments can come from people (co-workers or bosses) that exhibit narcissistic behaviors. This book can help you to identify those behaviors and try to handle those situations.
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Have you read Surrounded by Narcissists? What do you think? Leave your comment below. Thank you for reading!