Surrounded by Narcissists | Thomas Erikson

Summary of: Surrounded by Narcissists: How to Effectively Recognize, Avoid, and Defend Yourself Against Toxic People (and Not Lose Your Mind) [The Surrounded by Idiots Series]
By: Thomas Erikson

Introduction

Imagine being surrounded by people who are obsessed with themselves, manipulative, and deceitful at times – that’s what encountering narcissists feels like. In Thomas Erikson’s insightful book ‘Surrounded by Narcissists’, you’ll learn how to effectively recognize, avoid, and defend yourself against toxic individuals and not lose your sanity in the process. You might be wondering if narcissists are truly dangerous, and to answer that, we’d need to understand how their harmful behaviors can damage one’s mental health. This introduction will give you a snapshot of what you’ll learn in the book summary, which includes identifying narcissists, understanding how their manipulation strategies work, and developing methods to protect yourself against them.

Unraveling the Mysteries of Narcissism

Understanding Narcissism to Ward off Potential Victims

Narcissism has been reduced to a term meaning ‘self-obsession.’ However, the personality disorder is more complex than just being a little too fond of oneself. In the book, Surrounded by Narcissists, Thomas Erikson delves into the real meaning of narcissism and provides insights into how to recognize a narcissist. The mythological character, Narcissus, gazed at his reflection in a pond until his demise from starvation. Erikson explains that narcissists in real life aren’t always the handsome man with the enchanting reflection.

The author raises awareness that the victims of narcissists’ actions are usually other people. Such people may not even realize that they are in a relationship with a narcissist. Erikson suggests that being able to identify the traits and tendencies of narcissists can prevent one from becoming their next victim. The book emphasizes that it could be a colleague at work, a friend, a family member, or even a spouse that exhibits narcissistic behavior.

The book’s critical objective is to help readers avoid falling prey to narcissistic tendencies and to protect themselves from the hurtful actions of narcissists. Erikson’s Surrounded by Narcissists paves the way for recognizing and developing vital strategies for dealing with people who exhibit these behaviors.

The Danger of Narcissism

Narcissists can be psychologically harmful through manipulative behaviors, damaging close emotional relationships. Narcissistic Personality Disorder cannot be cured, making treatment uncertain. True narcissists do not feel a need to change, making strategies for managing relationships with them necessary.

Have you ever wondered if narcissists are really that bad? Well, if you define “dangerous” as psychologically damaging, then the answer is yes. Narcissists can exhibit harmful behaviors such as cheating, lying, manipulating, gaslighting, love bombing, and playing mind games, all of which can harm people’s mental health. Close emotional relationships with narcissists are particularly vulnerable to damage. Victims of such relationships often describe themselves as “survivors” of cold, critical, and manipulative partners.

Unfortunately, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which affects 1-2% of the population, cannot be cured. Although psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can treat NPD, there is little evidence that they are effective. True narcissists do not feel a need to change and benefit from manipulating people, making it difficult to pursue treatment. While some people with narcissistic tendencies may be willing to alter their behavior, it is uncertain if this is possible. Strategies for managing relationships with narcissists may be necessary, as attempting to change someone unwilling to change could prove futile and ultimately detrimental.

The Color System for Handling Narcissists

This book teaches how to protect yourself from narcissists by understanding your own personality type through the color system and learning how different colors react to narcissistic behavior.

Narcissists are experts at manipulation and can prey on anyone, especially empathetic people who are more likely to respond to their call for help. Even experts get taken in, as demonstrated by a researcher who lent his Mercedes to a narcissist and never saw it again. To protect yourself from narcissists, you must first understand your own strengths and weaknesses through the color system.

The color system, part of the behavior assessment known as DISC, categorizes personality types into four colors: red, yellow, green, and blue. Reds are fact-focused extroverts who are driven and good problem solvers but must be in control. Yellows are extroverts who are focused on relationships and don’t cope well with isolation or rejection. Greens are introverts who are relationship-focused and often averse to change and conflict. Blues are introverts who are fact-focused and thoughtful but also have a fear of public humiliation.

Different colors react differently when faced with narcissistic behavior, and narcissists tend to take advantage of people’s weaknesses. By understanding your own weaknesses and how you are likely to behave in certain situations, you will be better prepared to handle narcissists.

In conclusion, narcissists pose a risk to everyone to some degree, and it’s essential to know your own personality type through the color system to protect yourself from their manipulative behavior.

Outmaneuvering a Narcissist

Recognize manipulative behaviors and learn how to respond to them with calm and simple tactics.

Are you tired of feeling tricked or manipulated by narcissistic people? Do you want to learn how to confront and deal with their behavior? This short guide will teach you how to recognize when a narcissist is trying to use your emotions against you and will provide you with practical tactics to respond quickly.

For instance, instead of getting upset or feeling insecure about your personality, call them out on their manipulation. Remember always to keep your mind focused and calmly say that you feel like they are trying to deviously manipulate you. This response will enable you to take the control of the conversation and show them that you see through their tactics.

An even simpler technique is to pause the conversation and take a break. This method is easier to do when talking on the phone. You can excuse yourself by saying that your battery is dying, and you need to hang up. In case you are in the same room with the narcissist, make up an excuse like getting a phone call or going to the bathroom.

Additionally, taking some time to breathe and think before making any decisions or saying anything is effective in decompressing and refocusing yourself. This approach works best, especially for people with impulsive behaviors.

Remember always to stay calm and focused during your conversation, refuse to let them manipulate you, and see through their tactics. Putting these simple tactics into practice will protect you from narcissistic people and help you outmaneuver their manipulative attempts.

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