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COPING WITH INFURIATING, MEAN, CRITICAL PEOPLE

Following on the high heels of the "Devil Wears Prada," in walks Old Dominion University Professor Nina Brown with a new book of advice on "Coping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical People. A guide to understanding the destructive narcissist."

Brown's 15th book, "Coping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical People. A guide to understanding the destructive narcisist," will release in October from Praeger Publishing, Westport, Conn.

"Only the extremely lucky among us have never faced or felt the effects of narcissistic behaviors and attitudes," Brown said. "The people with these might include colleagues, bosses, friends, parents and lovers who boast and brag constantly, take credit for other people's work, expect favors but return few or none, and never listen, but know all the answers and what is right regardless of the topic."

Brown described these infuriating people as those who micromanage, are hypercritical and mistrustful. Although some people with these tendencies don't exhibit them to a strong enough degree to be diagnosed with a full-blown personality disorder, the destructiveness of their personalities nonetheless often results in causing the same amount of anguish.

This book and several of her other works specifically dedicated to coping with the narcisist as parent or spouse all sprang from the same incident in the workplace when an infuriating, mean and critical boss regularly drove Brown and her co-corkers to the Tylenol bottle.

"After every meeting I would have to take a Tylenol and go home and lie down," Brown said of the experience. "As a therapist I wondered if it was just me. Then one day I mentioned my need for Tylenol after a meeting and each and every person in that office told me they were having the same type of experience. They all felt the same way and it was caused by this very destructive boss."

Brown, a seasoned counselor, provides methods for coping with the narcissist in the workplace:
1. Be formal
2. Get instructions in writing.
3. Don't ask favors.
4. Be very careful to whom you disclose your feelings
5. Create emotional insulation through imagery -- imagine a barrier (a steel door or a forcefield) between you and the narcisist.

The book will be available in October for $39.95, ISBN# 0-275-98984-4.

This article was posted on: July 14, 2006

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