Understanding Narcissists
How to Cope with Destructive People in Your Life
by Nina W. Brown
January 2022, 214pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7681-3
$50, £38, 44€, A68
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7682-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Narcissists seem to suffer no consequences for their arrogance, contempt, grandiosity, and lack of empathy; in fact, many even garner support and admiration for exhibiting these behaviors.

This book identifies the behaviors and attitudes reflective of excessive self-interest and self-centered people and provides a framework for reducing the negative effects that these individuals have on their family, friends, and colleagues.

This book will guide readers to understand the various indices of observable and destructive narcissistic behaviors and attitudes that are exhibited in everyday interactions with self-inflated people, focusing on the larger societal impacts of those behaviors. Further, the text makes suggestions for effectively managing the negative impact of the Destructive Narcissistic Pattern (DNP), which includes such attributes as anger and shame, and instructs readers how to grow and develop Healthy Adult Narcissism (HAN) consisting of empathy, wisdom, humor, and zest.

This book differs from others on the same topic by illustrating the various ways that excessive self-esteem is portrayed in the media as well as presenting the perspective that there are many different ways to exhibit the varied self-inflated, self-centered behaviors and attitudes in everyday adult behaviors and relationships. By the end, this text aims to encourage healthy valuations of self and others that create a sense of purpose; personal satisfaction; and enduring, meaningful relationships.


  • Describes the many ways that self-inflated, self-absorbed people present themselves to others
  • Identifies how self-inflated behaviors and attitudes negatively impact others and provides coping strategies that aim to prevent harm
  • Increases awareness of hidden personal self-inflated behaviors and attitudes and gives recommendations for how to best manage and overcome them
  • Guides the reader towards a more balanced, centered, and resilient self
Nina W. Brown, EdD, is professor and eminent scholar at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. She is the author of more than 30 books on group therapy and narcissism. She is a distinguished fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and a fellow of the American Psychological Association.


"Dr. Brown's expertise on the topic of the destructive narcissistic pattern provides the reader with both an exceptional learning tool and self-help book. The book's provocative style makes for an engaging read. Using scales, examples, opportunities for reflection, humor, a 12 Step Action Plan, and detailed reflective writing exercises, the reader is provided a clear path to coping with a person with DNP."—Dr. Nial P. Quinlan LPC, private practice/adjunct Old Dominion University

"This is a must read for those who are interested in psychological insights into the high profile media coverage of celebrity bribes and the cover-up of sexual abuse and government official misconduct. Brown does a superb job of describing the attitudes and behavior of the destructive narcissistic pattern and how we can become unwittingly ensnared in both work and relationships. Understanding is linked with hope in how we can moderate and even disentangle ourselves and strive for healthy narcissism."—Gary M. Burlingame, professor and chair of psychology, Brigham Young University, president-elect American Group Psychotherapy Association

"In this beautifully accessible book, Dr. Nina Brown broadens and deepens a frequently discussed and poorly understood phenomenon: the destructive narcissistic pattern. Her work is overflowing with a wide range of specific, vividly rendered, real-world examples which helps the reader to grasp hold of slippery, notoriously difficult to describe experiences. After identifying and putting words to different forms of the underlying destructive narcissistic pattern, she offers practical strategies to cope when leaving an ongoing interpersonal relationship is off the table. This book is a vital and necessary resource for our time."—Seamus Bhatt-Mackin, MD, FAPA, CGP, Director, Program for Clinical Group Work, VA Mid-Atlantic MIRECC and Consulting Associate, Duke University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
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