Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists

Every day headlines are filled with examples of narcissistic individuals in positions of power who are nothing more than impostors plundering and wrecking havoc on the lives of others. From the corporate moguls of Enron and WorldCom to the clergy leaders of the Catholic Church, we daily encounter narcissists and the self-serving systems that enable them. Helping people reclaim their lives from this sinister exploitative force is the mission behind Payson’s book, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family. Using simple metaphors from the American classic, The Wizard of Oz, Payson illustrates how Dorothy’s journey captures all the seductive illusions and challenges that occur when we encounter the narcissist. Empowering the reader with the ABCs of unhealthy narcissism and the unique problems that occur when a person becomes involved with the narcissist, Payson gives step-by-step practical tools to identify, protect, and heal from these destructive relationships. Largely un-addressed in the psychology and self-help literature, this ground breaking book offers hope and help to those who have been drawn into these devastating relationships. She includes illuminating case studies that identify the problems that occur in the different types of relationships, from co-workers, to friends, to parents, to lovers. Readers employing these insights and skills will find new abilities to identify and protect against the narcissist's manipulations and take back control of their lives.

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family
Eleanor D. Payson
ISBN: 0972072837

Selected online book reviews from

This book changed my life. If you have a relationship with someone and they are like Jekyll and Hyde, you're confused, you are depressed--Buy this book. You will understand more after you read it. It has helped me to end 10 yrs. of pain, being told that it was all my fault when I knew I was emotionally sucker-punched on an almost daily basis-just didn't know why. This is the first time that I really believe it has nothing to do with me. He is sick. I have tried everything I knew to do to make things better-it never worked. Now I know it can't. I also know it will never stop, so I got out. I'm glad I know now that it has a name. BPD -Also, I know now why he always slips around and tells his friends that I am doing things in reality that he is doing. i.e. jealousy, etc. It is called projection.This book clarifies all this in easy to read format. - P. Pate

I'm not a big fan of the self-help genre in general, but The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists really struck home. I recently broke up with a narcissist for whom I was the codependent, and at a number of points in the book I just had to put it down for a moment and have a "Wow" moment. Not only Payson's descriptions of narcissistic traits (which made me a little uncomfortable, since I recognized some of my own behavior in them) but also her descriptions of the dynamics between narcissists and codependents have the ring of authentic experience; that's really what it's like being with an NPD sufferer. She also made me wonder: was this last one just the tip of the iceberg? Were there more before? Will there be more afterward? Some of this stuff gets pretty scary, but I really couldn't put the book down. - Black Hole Of Books

This reviewer is delighted to offer appreciation for a most comprehensive coverage of the interpersonal impact of narcissim on relationships. Ms. Payson directed her book toward the lay person, who has struggled in relationship with the narcissist. Yet as a therapist, I believe it should be mandatory reading for my professional colleagues. The book is well organized and cleverly structured with the Wizard of Oz theme.It covers the subject in depth, yet it is easy to understand.The author offers the reader perspective on a variety of relationships(spouse, adult child, employee, friend) and clearly describes how this prevalent character disorder can have an injurious impact. She leaves the reader with hope, providing concrete suggestions for protection of the self and for minimizing the wounding that can arise from the narcissitic relationship. Everyone I know who has read this book has sung its praises. - carolyn daitch,ph.d