Surrounded by Narcissists: How to Effectively Recognize, Avoid, and Defend Yourself Against Toxic People (and Not Lose Your Mind)

Thomas Erikson. St. Martin’s Essentials, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-78956-3

Motivational speaker Erikson (Surrounded by Psychopaths) takes on narcissists in the outstanding latest entry to his Surrounded by Idiots series. “Thinking a little less about ourselves and a little more about one another is the road to true success and happiness,” Erikson contends, and to that end he explores the psychology of narcissism and outlines a more caring alternative based in “greater truth and freedom.” The author suggests that while everyone thinks about themselves, narcissists focus on themselves “at the expense of everyone else” and feel entitled and as if they are above the rules. He also asserts that social media provides “fertile ground” for a “cultural narcissism” that sees society reward such narcissistic behavior as posting pictures of one’s lunch. To protect against the narcissists in one’s life, Erikson recommends breaking off all contact, and to insulate oneself from cultural narcissism, he advises taking a 30-day digital detox. Erickson impresses with his trademark facility for making research-based discussions accessible and entertaining, and readers will appreciate the insightful guidance. This is another home run from Erikson. (June)
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