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Welcome friends and fans. Thank you for following my work and sharing your feedback. I deeply appreciate the thoughtfulness and gratitude so many of you have conveyed in your comments and messages. I’ve been moved not only by the pain and power of your stories, but the courage you’ve shown in sharing them. I wish I could reply to each of you, at length, but due to the volume of correspondence I receive, I’m no longer able to. But please know that I read all your questions and comments and often address the issues they raise in my articles. One other disclaimer: HIPPA law restricts psychologists from providing therapeutic advice or conducting sensitive conversations through social media or email. I apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. If you’d like to set up a confidential face-to-face, skype, or phone consultation, please call my office: 617-491-1660. You can find fees here. I‘m grateful your interest and support! - Craig Malkin.

Why do We Keep Falling For Narcissists?

Friday, December 11, 2015

People often ask me what’s new about Rethinking Narcissism.

And the answer is—well, quite a lot: a new definition of narcissism (that explains why there are so many “types” of narcissists), the real reason millenials got such a bad rap, the secret to dealing with narcissistic coworkers, friends, and loved ones—the list goes on. But one of the ideas that resonates most for people who read my work is the concept of echoism—and how it draws us, unwittingly, into relationships with extremely narcissistic friends and partners.

You see, this book is, in many ways, my gift to you after my journey back from my own struggles with echoism—the end result of my search to find peace. To find security. To find joy.

If you haven’t read Rethinking Narcissism yet—or you’re not familiar Greek mythology—Echo is an important part of the story of Narcissus, but one we rarely, if ever, hear about. She was a mountain nymph, cursed to repeat back the last few words of anyone she heard, and she also had the misfortune falling in love with the infamously self-absorbed Greek youth, Narcissus; just as he fell in love with his reflection, Echo fell in love with him, but she lacked a voice of her own, so was never truly heard—or seen—by him. She became little more than his echo.

Like Echo, people who struggle with echoism, also struggle with their voice. At their best, they can be caring, empathic, devoted, but they much prefer to focus on others. Because their deepest fear is seeming narcissistic in any way, they berate themselves for being too needy, too clingy, too demanding, even too selfish, which is truly ironic, because they’re usually anything but. And it’s precisely that pattern of behavior that draws the most narcissistic people into our lives; it’s our penchant to find fault with ourselves and ramp up our efforts to be “less selfish” that keeps us mired in harmful relationships.

In my book, I teach you how to find your voice if you struggle with echoism. So you can break the pattern once and for all.

At a recent conference where I spoke, Harvard Medical School’s Treating Couples, it was echoism that even my fellow clinicians found so eye-opening that they lined up to ask me about it at the end of the talk. The term offered language—and hope—for a dynamic they knew, but hadn’t yet named: the dance of Echo and Narcissus. 

Here, I’m talking about my dating life and my own struggles with echoism.

Oh—and as you might have guessed, there’s a happy ending.

Sign up for my newsletter, for more tips and advice, as well as information on my book, Rethinking Narcissism, devoted to understanding and coping with narcissism in all its forms, in our friends, lovers, colleagues-and even ourselves.

Harperwave and Harper UK, Paperback Version available now! - Order Here

The internationally acclaimed book named Amazon's Book of the Month, Daily Mail's Book of the Week, featured on The Oprah Winfrey Network, in the New York Times, the cover story in Psychology Today, and selected as The Millions "most anticipated book of the year".

After teaching at local universities, Dr. Malkin became a Chief Psychologist at Harvard Medical School’s Cambridge Hospital, in Cambridge Massachusetts, where he instructed interns, residents, and fellows in the theory and practice of psychotherapy. In 2003, he left this position to expand his private practice and continued to supervise and teach for Harvard Medical School’s training program. Read More...

Top 10 Psychology Clinics in Cambridge, MA 2015
A Cambridge Psychologist winner of the 2015 Patients' Choice Awards.
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