Obsessive self-promotion, an aggressive triggering response, and retaliatory rants. “Both sensitive and incisive, beautifully capturing the paradoxical dynamic of narcissism—that the grandiosity and surrounding bravado belies an underlying fragility and brittleness.” —Kenneth N. Levy, PhD, Associate Professor, Penn State University; Senior Fellow, Personality Disorders Institute, Cornell University Even before Donald Trump entered America’s highest office, an international survey revealed that narcissism is part of the assumed “national character” of Americans. While only a small number actually meet the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, those exploitive few have a way of gaining center stage in our culture. Fragile Bully: Understanding Our Destructive Affair With Narcissism in the Age of Trump looks beyond the sound bites of self-aggrandizing celebrities and selfish tweets to the real problem of narcissism. We see past the solo act to the vicious circles that arise in relationships with a fragile bully, and how patterns like this generate both power and self-destruction. We also look at the problem of Echo, how so many of us get hooked by the narcissist, and how variations on the destructive affair leave both partners dehumanized and diminished. Once we recognize the steps in each dance, we can break the cycle and allow and the possibility of true engagement.
FRAGILE BULLY (noun): a person who repeatedly threatens and intimidates others—passively or aggressively—into feeding his or her grandiose self, while remaining convinced that he or she is the victim: narcissist.