Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Penguin Press
Hardcover/236 pages
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". . . understand that beneath the drive and calm, unruffled surface lies a seething volcano of rage and a black abyss of emptiness."

“Are you being hurt by the one you love?”

We’ve all known them and been shocked and surprised by the way they’ve treated us, never knowing when the sky will fall again or what damage they’ll do. We love them. We adore them. We worship them. We fall for them repeatedly. They are dangerous predatory people who believe the world revolves around them, and we are nothing more than extensions of their own overweening ego.

They are narcissists.

Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi in Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life takes a considerable amount of time breaking the narcissistic personality down to its basic levels with detailed histories of famous icons who were high-level narcissists. These are the crème de la crème of narcissists who have beguiled, destroyed and yet are still worshiped in some circles. Dr. Lewi explains exactly how these icons can be so charming yet so deadly to the psyches of those with whom they come in contact, how overwhelming they can be and how utterly vindictive when they are crossed. The names include the brightest and best: Ayn Rand, Frank Lloyd Wright and Armand Hammer to name a few. There are less famous narcissists, although not less deadly, and their modus operandi is detailed with only their first names.

Dr. Lewi also explains the difference between a borderline personality and the narcissistic personality and offers solid advice for dealing with them. She also explains that no one wins with a narcissist, except the narcissist. But winning is a matter of point of view and not the goal—the goal being to get out with your mind and your emotions intact.

Probably one of the most informative sections outside of the detailed histories of The Great Performer, The Image Maker, The Exploiter, and The Golden Child explains how beneath the drive and the calm, unruffled surface lies a seething volcano of rage and a black abyss of emptiness. Dr. Lewi also offers a path that helps in not only dealing with narcissists but also how to stay grounded and remain calm in the midst of the emotional storm.

Despite being a clinical work, Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life is eminently accessible by the nonprofessional and written in a clear and informative manner. Except for a few areas where the psychological detailing is advanced, overall the book is one I will keep on my bookshelf to remind me what to do whenever I feel the first tentacles of the narcissist reaching toward me.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell