Instead she is curious about the solace it seems to offer at the time: “You’ll find your own life described with uncanny accuracy by perfect strangers who seem to know you, and comments sections that are choruses of grateful recognition.” Dombek’s armchair psychologizing is more playful than diagnostic — she’s the type of therapist to ask thoughtful, open-ended questions that leave you scratching your head at the end of a session and prod you toward an “aha” moment.
The other morning, I was catcalled by a tanned and tattooed dude hanging out next to Penn Station. Dombek is excellent on the language of pop psychology and how it flatters those everyday narcissists: people in the throes of heartbreak.
“You’re pretty,” he said, and (requiring excessive admiration) I smiled at him. “Rather than just getting upset because your boyfriend is not talking to you as much as he used to, you’ll recognize that he is ‘doing a discard,’ ” she writes, sampling the paranoid style of “that sizable portion of the self-help internet we might call, awkwardly, the narcisphere.” On sites like and narcissismaddictionsabuse.com, “the victims of narcissists learn to hone their ‘narcdar’ for diagnosing ‘ncism’ and their ‘narc’; call themselves ‘narcissistic supply’; help one another watch out for narc strategies such as ‘love bombing,’ ‘mirroring,’ ‘dosing,’ ‘silent treatment,’ ‘word salad,’ ‘triangulation’ and ‘hoovering’; and find comfort when they experience a D&D (devalue and discard) or an IDD (idealize, devalue, discard).
“I’m an essayist; I write the word I all day long, and I’m nervous when I do,” she writes near the beginning.
“More than anything, I don’t want you to think me self-absorbed.”You won’t.
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It could be something as simple as a run away script or learning how to better use E-utilities, for more efficient work such that your work does not impact the ability of other researchers to also use our site.
Dombek’s take on narcissists is that it takes one to know one.
That said, she is sufficiently self-aware to direct her attention outward for the bulk of this slim and disciplined book.
How well can we know ourselves, and how do we stack up against others?
Anders Breivik, in prison for murdering 77 people, “complains of his conditions: His Play Station does not have the games he likes, his room lacks a view, and all he wants to do is write apocalyptic memoirs and manifestoes about how women and Muslims are growing in power and must be overcome, but the rubber pen he’s been given cramps his hand.” By underscoring the humdrum nature of his complaints, both petty and familiar, Dombek suggests we have our own blind spots and may have more in common with Breivik than we care to admit.“When macaques are shown pictures of other monkeys whose faces are like theirs,” Dombek writes, “and then monkeys whose faces are less and less like theirs, they hit, somewhere along the way, what neuroscientists call the ‘uncanny valley’ and freak out.” This put me in mind of a Snapchat feature: a radical, random flash of plastic surgery that merges the faces of two people sharing the same frame.