Dealing with a Narcissist – 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People

$ 8.95

Product Description

Codependency author and expert Darlene Lancer explains the narcissist’s mind and motives and the personality of their partners. This ebook, Dealing with a Narcissist reveals the unconscious forces driving their mutual attraction and relationship dynamics and sheds light on the damaging impact narcissists have on their partners and children. This is also workbook with strategies that can improve your self-esteem and help you maintain your self-respect and set boundaries in relationships with addicts, narcissists, or emotionally abusive people.

If you were at first charmed by a narcissist, you soon had to contend with self-centeredness, defensiveness, and escalating criticisms and demands. Trying to satisfy them can feel impossible, and neither stops abuse, nor produces genuine caring and reciprocity. You end up frustrated and hurt that your feelings and needs are dismissed or ignored. Steadily, your self-esteem, confidence, trust, and independence decline in the relationship, as you give up more of yourself.

Whether you want to improve your relationship or are ambivalent about staying or leaving, Dealing with a Narcissist – 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries provides clarity and tools to handle interactions with difficult people. You’ll strengthen your self-esteem and gain the ability to set boundaries and communicate effectively. Eight steps are recommended with specific exercises and techniques, which are applicable to any relationship with a difficult person—whether passive-aggressive, controlling, abusive, manipulative, or with a borderline or narcissistic personality disorder.

Read Amazon reviews here.

Get the new, updated expanded digital or paperback book: Dating, Loving, and Leaving a Narcissist: Essential Tools for Improving or Leaving Narcissistic and Abusive Relationships


  1. Daniel Kemper

    I am only just here after reading your article in Psychology Today; should be completing my purchase soon. The uniquely valuable thing is that you do not demonize the narcissist, and carefully balance the extreme unlikelihood of them changing/healing from the disorder with what they can do well ‘as-is.” You walk the line between Pollyanna and fatalism very well. I’ve often thought, “Why would a narcissist change for a shrink? Their cherished and only defense mechanism is regarded with an epithet (“a narcissist” is, after all an insult); that is, the only thing that helped them survive at one point is being shamed right out of the gate. Then, while the shrink never really demonstrates understanding or communicates in a way the narcissist can understand, demands the defense to be dropped. They are expected to produce complete vulnerability to a person who just shamed them as deeply as they can feel it. Why would a narcissist change? Instead, you seem to offer understanding, even including what looks like to be a rosetta-stone of sorts: How to translate between “normal-ese” and “narcissistic-ese” I could go on with the hope the article is engendering; however, I think I’ll stop writing now and get on with buying the book. 🙂

    • Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

      That is not surprising. I suggest marital counseling so that you two can set effective boundaries. Follow the steps and scripts in my book, Dating, Loving, and Leaving a Narcissist: Essential Tools for Improving or Leaving Narcissistic and Abusive Relationships.

  2. Pam

    Would love to see a similar book on how to be a manager of someone who exhibits this personality/behavior. They are not only our parents or partners, but could be our employees (or bosses).

    • Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

      You manage a narcissist employee with clear boundaries. This book and my newest one, in particular, lays out scripts and steps for Strategic transactional communication.

  3. John K

    Wow! Wow! The book is so helpful allowing me to not only see myself clearly, but for once seeing exactly what I have been dealing with for 35 years of marriage. The reviews above of other people detailing their experience I could have cut & pasted, it was the same EXACT thing; scared me. I know I am codependent with C-PTSD and I believe I can heal. I will say, if you are with a Vulnerable/covert Narcissist with passive aggressive tendencies, for God’s sake keep reading, get a good therapist and please save yourself before it’s too late. Get Codependency for Dummies too, you wont regret it.

  4. Marsha Calloway

    Good quality.

  5. Deborah

    I am 53, sad to say my mother is a controlling narcissist. I grew up in fear and trauma just as you described as quite possibly my dad was also narcisistic. He died in J
    2021 following a 2 year battle with cancer. Now I am having to deal with my mother. I feel sorry for her and as the needy obedient servant daughter I give her a lot of my time. I ask myself what do I want from her? Obviously it’s a need for love and acceptance that I just never got growing up. I want to stop ‘serving’ her, my brother has managed to distance himself, but i feel guilt or duty to not abandon her, even though she is difficult for me to be around. Should I get the book once it is published.
    I have read some of your other books… it is difficult to just go no contact as she is quite alone now without my dad to boss around any more!

    • Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

      Yes, you can pre-order the new book next week. Meanwhile, attend Coda, get counseling if possible, and do the exercises in my other books. Try to set small boundaries. No contact is too big of a step right now. Consider your cancer a wake-up call to put yourself first. See my blog on Detaching with Love. Also the blog, Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.

  6. Lauri Hustis

    There’s so many narcisstic people in public, in the offices we work in…even the boss and politicians….how to deal with of these folks needs to factor into our decision making….

  7. Nicole

    I’m not sure if I need this book, but either way, I’m not going to buy it. My accounts are linked to my husband, so that would be awkward when he saw the charge!

    • Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

      Separating your money and having your own income would be significant goals for establishing autonomy and freeing yourself from your husband’s control. You can purchase my books on my site via Paypal and pay from your bank or with a credit card, and my books and ebooks are available on Amazon and other book stores. The paperbacks can be purchased for cash at a bookstore. Do listen to my podcast and video interviews on the Media page of my website, Youtube, and

  8. Sthembile

    I think I’m married to a narcissistic

  9. Charles Montgomery

    I need this book asap

  10. kim

    I need to purchase this book asap! Also would like The Recovery book. I don’t have a kindle.

    • Darlene Lancer, LMFT

      You can get the book as a PDF here. Breakup Recovery is an audio MP3 file you can purchase to listen to and also downloadit .

  11. Paul

    This little book is brilliant! It’s a godsend and I’m only half way through it. Well done Darlene and thank you.

  12. Misty Marie Frazier

    I’m looking forward on educating myself on something I had no clue for years even existed. I’m glad there are empowering women like u who give us men & women hope and tactics to protect our minds and bodies. So grateful for your literature. God Bless and Thanku!!

  13. Lloyd

    After 28 years in Marriage, I really thought something was wrong with me, she has Manipulated me to think that I am crazy, I have started personal counseling, family counseling, taken self mediation classes, talked to friends started working out again, taken depression/anxiety medication, somehow I cant get out of my head of being crazy, low self esteem, beaten down mentally, I haven’t been able to make any financial decision in our marriage, she keeps our finances away from me, and when I ask for some money I always get we don’t have it, you really don’t need it. When I do buy something she gets very angry with me, and don’t even go down the path of being passionate with her, and having sex, well that is out, she masturbates to relieve herself when she feels the need and only “gives” me sex when I have hit rock bottom and she just buries her head in the pillows and says nothing……No emotions at all.
    I have high hopes in reading your book, I need to break the pattern of abuse, raise my self esteem, I cant wait to read it.
    Break the binding chains of living with a Narcissists, regain my self esteem once again. I don’t know who I am for a very long time now.

  14. Holly Turner

    I am with a boyfriend that I KNOW is a narcissistic person he’s like (also or maybe this is part of the narcissist behavior) can be verbally horrible mean them in a blink of a eye switch to oh honey this or that almost like he doesn’t remember being abusive? Help I need some advice hes like a numb person 24/7 no touching no nothing a normal relationship has!!

    • Darlene Lancer, LMFT

      There are many articles and blogs on this site about narcissists. Learn how to deal with them in my ebook, Dealing with a Narcissist. You must also learn to value yourself and your needs. that means raising your self-esteem, and learning to speak up. See my other products on my homepage and under “Recovery.”

  15. Ellena

    I’m in 7 year relationship that is about to end…help

  16. Elka

    I need to learn how to set boundaries. I give too much in my relationships and don’t seem to be reciprocated. I need to be able to destinguish between reality and manipulation.

  17. Jennifer Leann Fuller

    I am purchasing this book in HIGH HOPES of learning how to deal with my narrcissitic boyfriend. At least, if things do not in fact work out, Ill know that I literally did EVERYTHNNG I could to make it!

  18. Amir

    This book is an essential addition to the library of every mental health clinician and layperson alike. The language is authoritative, concise, and at the same time, speaks to the reader with a thorough and comprehensive style with a great amount of depth on the subject matter. I particularly enjoyed the book because, among other reasons, everything felt so balanced when reading. . . the book really advocates for the reader and has compassion for the narcissist as well, so that the “work” can be done in a genuine and complete way before a decision is made. A must-read!!!

  19. Thomas Grahame

    I began to be aware that my wife was narcissistic some years ago , but this book confirms it. What a revelation to know I have not been imagining it or just seeing the bad side of her . I find I am still looking for excuses for her behaviour – bad up-bringing, low self-esteem etc. etc. I now have a choice to stay and work with it / her , or decide that enough is enough and leave , but it isn’t easy either way.

  20. k ward

    After 23 yrs & finally realizing I’ve been w/a passive-aggressive there are more than not characteristics that adds narcissism to the list. Can’t wait to finish this & get the 8 steps moving ’cause I have been withering away & didn’t realize to what extent ’til now. Wow.

    • Darlene Lancer, LMFT

      Knowledge is power. Attend CoDA meetings to for support and/or contact a therapist.

  21. Robert H Sayles

    I am in the process of reading this book. It has a lot of good information but the 3rd chapter shocked me by telling my story. From the time I met my wife until now. What a revelation that was. I’ve been searching 23 yrs to find out what was wrong with me? I married a narcissistic. Darlene’s books have give me the tools to protect myself.

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