As you move forward in self-love recovery,
you will discover self-love in small,
gradual steps forward.
You are the accumulation of your new self.
You are the becoming of self-love abundance.
Ross Rosenberg, 2017
As you move forward in self-love recovery,
you will discover self-love in small,
gradual steps forward.
You are the accumulation of your new self.
You are the becoming of self-love abundance.
Ross Rosenberg, 2017
I am so grateful to the many people who have told me that my book The Human Magnet Syndrome was life-changing. Having such a positive impact on the human condition is my teenager “gonna change the world” dream come true. I couldn’t be happier!
My book was written to inspire and motivate people to understand their part in thedysfunctional dance they have been irresistibly drawn into their whole life. It WAS NOT written to be used as a defensive or offensive strategy in dealing with harmful pathological narcissists (PNarcs).
The “codependent” and “narcissistic” designations in The Human Magnet Syndrome were designed to identify a very serious personal and relational problem so the reader would be motivated to get help to disconnect from it. The book was never intended to be used as a retaliatory weapon to be used by angry, vindictive and/or controlling codependents, or what I now refer to as individuals with Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD). Similarly, it wasn’t written to be used as a countermeasure against narcissistic harm.
The mere mentioning of my book to a PNarc is almost always counterproductive, as it will ALWAYS trigger a negative reaction, no matter how much you believe otherwise. I strongly suggest that you never give a copy of my book to PNarc. Never! It will always trigger a narcissistic injury and set up a dysfunctional interaction, or dance, where the PNarc has complete control and the person with Self-Love Deficit Disorder does not.
If a PNarc learns or is told that their partner is reading my book, they will react in one of two manners:
The latter is more dangerous as the PNarc is allowed to maintain their victim role, while manipulating their partner into believing that they have the problems, not them. In these cases, some of my clients, in the beginning of therapy, are convinced that they are the PNarc and their significant other the SLD. Believe it or not, a few of these clients’ PNarcs read my book, and then gave it to their partner with the continued brainwashing narrative that they are the “codependent” and their partner the “narcissist.”
Plain and simple, any suggestion that the narcissist is at fault will elicit a narcissistic injury. Giving them my book, or referring to it, while telling them you are SLD or codependent, is and will cause them to react in one of two ways. One, they will project onto you that you are the narcissist and they the codependent; or, two, they will be triggered with a narcissistic injury, and subsequently rage against you for the comment or suggestion. You will be the target of their unmitigated fury and vitriolic criticisms, and they will punish you.
The following excerpt from the Human Magnet Syndrome exemplifies the predictable negative response that PNarcs have to my work.
“According to their verbal and/or written feedback, they feel the seminar is offensive, ill-conceived, biased and even absurd. In particular, they are quite bothered by what they perceive as prejudice. These participants hear me say that codependents are the victims and emotional manipulators are the perpetrators of their dysfunctional relationships. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the training (and this book) specifically details how both the codependent and the emotional manipulator are equally willing magnets in their dysfunctional “dance.” The codependent’s tendency to find harmful partners and remain with them cannot and should not be blamed on emotional manipulators, or vice versa.
It would appear that the severe reactions from my audience are likely products of a narcissistic injury, which occurs when the narcissistic individual felt criticized, judged or defeated.
Anger and defensiveness are the common reactions of a narcissistically-injured emotional manipulator, as they feel offended, degraded and/or humiliated when confronted about their wrongdoings.” (Rosenberg, 2013).
Depending on the PNarc’s sub-type or diagnosis, their narcissistically prompted rage will be either delivered directly (“in your face”) or passive aggressively/covertly, which is the common strategy by Covert Narcissists and Malignant Narcissists. The covert and passive aggressive form of the narcissistic injury is more harmful than the reactions from the garden variety overt narcissists. They deliver maximum damage to the triggering (activating) SLD because of the invisible, secretive and manipulative nature of their counter-attack. Examples include triangulation of family, friends or co-workers, in order to promote their victim narrative.
Sadly, and ironically, the mere fact of fighting for what SLDs most want and need — unconditional love, respect and care (LRC) — results in the loss of it. Once in a relationship with a PNarc, any attempts to control or coerce the narcissist into loving, respecting and caring for the SLD are quickly offset by a dizzying array of self-serving manipulative countermeasures. These come in various forms, depending on your PNarc’s subtype. Unfortunately, as long as codependents fight for LRC in a manner that renders them powerless and ineffectual, they are virtually guaranteed never to receive it.
I learned 22 years ago that setting boundaries, resolving conflict, and defending myself from a PNarc was a complicated and dangerous endeavor that left me feeling worse than I felt before the ordeal. I was surprised to learn that my repeated and unsuccessful attempts to control my PNarc’s neglectful and harmful treatment were the primary interactional components of our relationship. My behavior was so automatic and reflexive that I was completely oblivious to it. Adding insult to injury, the only predictable outcome of my control compulsion was feelings of shame, loneliness, anxiety, and anger.
We must learn that PNarcs are never the primary problem. Instead, it is a SLD’s distorted and delusional belief system that compels them to keep trying to change and control their PNarc partner, who has a great deal riding on not letting you succeed. Despite ample evidence that SLDs can rarely effectively and consistently control their PNarcs, they blindly continue.
In conclusion, please do not use my book or other works to wage a battle against your PNarc. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, I beseech you to Observe and Don’t Absorb your PNarc into oblivion!
I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig.
You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it!
– George Bernard Shaw
The most potent of love potions, “romantic chemistry,” draws lovers into a trance-like experience that results in a steamy dance of infatuation, intrigue and sexual desire. Romantic chemistry, or the “urgeto merge,” typically controls our rational mind, so much so that lessons learned and pledges made are neutralized in an instant. Although conscious desires, choices and preferences are crucial to the pairing of a romantic partnership, they play a secondary role to the forces of the unconscious mind. No matter how we try to fight our relational destiny, we still fall prey to our reflexive urges.
The irresistible and hypnotic allure of romantic chemistry creates what I call a “soul mate conviction.” What seems so perfect in the beginning often unfolds into a disappointing, dysfunctional relationship. In my book The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us, I explain why, for so many people, the soul mate of their dreams often ends up becoming the cellmate of their nightmares.
Although the human magnet syndrome is an intuitive explanation for the ubiquitous forces that bring partners to and keep them in dysfunctional romantic relationships, it lacked a theoretical foundation. To account for these irresistible and predictable attraction forces, I was compelled to create the continuum of self theory. I believe it explains why all people, not just individuals who are labeled as codependents and narcissists, are predictably drawn to a certain type of partner who is their “opposite” match.
In a nutshell, the continuum of self theory offers an intuitive explanation for why so many people remain in relationships despite feeling lonely, frustrated or resentful. Similarly, it explains why some people tend to repeat their dysfunctional relationship choices despite wanting something different. Additionally, it describes why relationships become fragile and often terminate when one of the partners independently achieves greater emotional or mental health.
The self-orientation concept
The continuum of self theory rests on the self-orientation concept, which represents a distinctly human and universal personality characteristic — we all have one! Self-orientation is defined as the manner in which a person expresses or does not express his or her emotional, psychological and relational needs when in a romantic relationship. There are only two self-orientation types: “other” and “self.”
The “other” self-orientation (OSO) manifests as a natural and reflexive predisposition to be more oriented toward the emotional, personal and relational needs of others than for oneself. On the other hand, the “self” self-orientation (SSO) is the natural and reflexive predisposition to be more oriented toward one’s own emotional, personal and relational needs and desires than those of others.
Both self-orientation types are represented as dichotomous and inverse personality characteristics on the continuum of self. As opposite self-orientations, they land on opposite sides of the continuum of self. The most severe manifestations of both self-orientations are placed at the farthest ends of the continuum.
The most severe form of an OSO is codependency. The most severe form of an SSO is pathological narcissism, which is exhibited in narcissistic, borderline and antisocial personality disorders or an addiction. People are considered codependent or as having a severe OSO when they are hyperfocused on the relational and personal needs of others, while neglecting the same needs for themselves. Conversely, people who are considered pathological narcissists or who have a severe SSO are almost completely focused on their own relational and personal needs, while neglecting the same in others.
The middle of the continuum represents individuals whose self-orientation compels them to equally fulfill their “other” and “self” needs. The continuum of self, therefore, represents the full range of self-orientation possibilities, from healthy to dysfunctional.
The continuum of self is a qualitative construct because it can predict a relationship’s degree of healthiness or dysfunction. It is also a quantitative construct because it demonstrates relational compatibility and stability through the use of interacting numerical values. Through “relationship math,” or simple addition and subtraction of single-digit numbers (the continuum of self values), it is possible to identify relational compatibility and stability. The term stable is used to describe relationships that are enduring and resistant to breakup. Conversely, an unstable relationship is likely to either not progress beyond the initial courtship stage or end when frequent conflict or discord is present.
As a whole, the continuum of self measures the full range of self-orientation pairing possibilities. It is designed to measure only interacting self-orientations; it does not purport to measure any other personality construct.
The continuum of self theory suggests that all people are consciously and unconsciously attracted to romantic partners who have an opposite, but proportionally balanced, self-orientation. It predicts that OSOs and SSOs will be attracted to each other while experiencing feelings of relational compatibility. Like an award-winning dance couple, because the care “needer” (SSO) leads the dance and the care “giver” (OSO) follows, the dance is perfectly coordinated; neither steps on the other’s toes. The resulting bond of opposite yet balanced self-orientations may not be happilyconnected, but it will likely endure hardships and be resistant to change.
By definition, people who are codependent (severe OSOs) are prone to focus on the love, respect and care of others, while dismissing, devaluing or being afraid of seeking the same from others. Conversely, people who are pathological narcissists (severe SSOs) are disposed to satiating their own love, respect and care needs, while devaluing, ignoring or neglecting those same needs in their romantic partners. As opposite but balanced personality types, they almost always experience immediate and intense feelings of romantic chemistry.
Continuum of self values
In total, there are 11 values on the continuum of self, representing the full range of self-orientation possibilities. Continuum of self values increase or decrease in a series of single digits. (Examples of each continuum of self value can be viewed at http://goo.gl/gT1dMD.)
Because individuals who are codependent and individuals who are pathological narcissists have diametrically opposite self-orientations, they are represented on the farthest ends of the continuum of self (-5 and +5, respectively). As a person’s relational health improves, so does his or her self-orientation, which is represented by a lower positive or negative continuum of self value. The middle value is zero, which represents an equal balance of love, respect and care given and taken in a relationship. The positive or negative designation does not imply that one self-orientation is better than the other but merely that they are on opposite sides.
The farther the values pairing moves away from zero on the continuum of self, the less mutuality and reciprocity are evident in the relationship. In other words, higher negative and positive values pairings (for example, -4 and +4) represent a relationship that lacks a fair distribution of love, respect and care. Conversely, lower pairings on the continuum of self represent an increased mutual exchange of love, respect and care. The former represents a dysfunctional relationship, while the latter represents a healthy relationship.
According to the continuum of self theory, romantic relationships remain viable or endure because the matching opposite self-orientations create a sense of relational equilibrium. If one partner becomes healthier, as evidenced by a shift in his or her lowered continuum of self value, then tacit and direct pressure is placed on the other partner to respond with similar positive movement and growth. If the partner of the healthier individual does not want or is unable to change and grow, then stress is placed on the relationship. The stress will either lead to a breakdown of the relationship or create pressure for the healthier partner to regress to former levels of dysfunction. Failure to maintain a balanced inverse bond may result in the failure of the relationship. It should be noted that family systems theory influenced the conceptualization of the continuum of self theory.
Corresponding zero values do not signify an absence of self-orientation. Instead, they represent an exact balance of love, respect and care being given and received. Although having a zero value would be ideal, in reality, the vast majority of people fall somewhere on one side or the other of the continuum of self.
The lower inversely matched couples are able to ebb and flow because of the reciprocal and mutual nature of their well-matched self-orientations (continuum of self values). They are able to ask for what they need — and even disagree with each other — without experiencing resentment or conflict. However, higher inversely matched couples create a dysfunctional relationship. With polar opposite higher continuum of self values, the two are unlikely to reconcile their vast differences in self-orientation. In particular, the person who is a pathological narcissist is an unlikely candidate for any substantive personality change.
Except in the case of a pathological narcissist, who may have a personality disorder, a person’s self-orientation and continuum of self value are neither fixed nor permanent. A person’s continuum of self value typically rises and falls throughout his or her lifetime. It is even possible, albeit not usual, for a person to move from one side of the continuum to the other. In the case of a switch in self-orientation (from SSO to OSO, for example), the person usually begins with a lower positive or negative continuum of self value. In addition, this person has likely participated in some form of long-term or regular mental health service. With motivation, emotional fortitude and good counseling, most OSOs and SSOs are capable of learning to practice a mutually satisfying level of give-and-take in the areas of love, respect and care.
The zero-sum relationship
Relationship stability is achieved when the negative and positive continuum of self values of each partner equal a zero sum. In other words, zero-sum relationships occur when two partners have an exactly opposite self-orientation.
Note that the zero-sum relationship describes the quantitative state of a relationship, not the qualitative state. To illustrate, a -5 continuum of self value, or someone who is codependent, will likely form a stable and lasting dysfunctional relationship with a +5 value, or someone who is a pathological narcissist. On the contrary, a mildly giving and overly empathetic person with a continuum of self value of -2 would make an ideal partner for a mildly self-centered person with a value of +2. Therefore, a zero-sum relationship isn’t necessarily healthy or stable. It is just balanced.
Consider this vignette of a healthy -2/+2 zero-sum relationship. Sandy (-2) is a mother and wife who enjoys her role as a busy stay-at-home mom. She stays busy caring for her family and serving in several volunteer positions. She is married to Dan (+2), who is a successful corporate executive. With the support of Sandy, Dan works long hours to build his status and reputation in the family business. Although Dan likes the attention that being in the public eye brings him, he still makes himself available for the personal and emotional needs of others, especially when it comes to his family. Sandy and Dan’s lower opposite continuum of self values result in mutual feelings of love, respect and care. When Sandy is sick and can’t care for the children, Dan doesn’t hesitate to take a few days off work to cover her domestic responsibilities. If Dan needs help, Sandy steps up in any way she can to help him.
Now consider this vignette of an unhealthy -5/+5 zero-sum relationship. Ken (-5) works two jobs to care for his wife, Allison (+5), and their three children. Ken harbors deep resentment toward Allison because he has to work multiple jobs to make ends meet for the family. Allison has been largely unresponsive to and, at times, unaware of Ken’s unhappiness. Although Ken is highly bonded to his children, his work schedule keeps him away from many of the quality moments with them. When they got married, Allison unilaterally decided to quit her successful accounting career because she wanted to be a stay-at-home mother. Despite Ken’s repeated assertions that they needed two incomes, Allison insisted that she needed to be at home with their kids and that Ken was being unreasonable. Ken’s fear of conflict and fear that Allison might leave him resulted in the suppression of his resentment. Allison’s narcissism prevents her from understanding Ken’s need for mutuality and reciprocity in the relationship. They are likely to stay married but remain miserable (particularly in Ken’s case).
Continuum of self values are categorized into three groups: healthy/balanced, problematic and unhealthy/dysfunctional. Lower values pairings illustrate healthier relationships that are characterized by higher levels of mutuality in the exchange of love, respect and care. Higher continuum of self values pairings demonstrate less healthy relationships that are characterized by a lopsided exchange of love, respect and care, with more going to the SSO and less to the OSO. Couples who fit into a specific category can move forward or backward on the continuum of self as they either evolve or devolve relationally.
According to the continuum of self theory, individuals who are codependent have a severe OSO, which is numerically represented by a continuum of self value of -5. When in romantic relationships, they focus almost completely on the needs of a pathologically narcissistic partner, while ignoring, diminishing or neglecting their own similar needs. Although unhappy and resentful, they remain in this relationship.
In contrast, pathological narcissists have a severe SSO, which is numerically represented by a continuum of self value of +5. When in a romantic relationship, they predominantly focus on their own needs, while ignoring, diminishing or neglecting their partners’ similar needs. They seem oblivious to their partners’ resentment or unhappiness about the relationship. Therefore, they have no investment or interest in changing the relationship.
The unhealthy/dysfunctional range for relationships is -4/+4 to -5/+5. Although “balanced” and “stable,” these dysfunctional pairings result in one-way “narcicentric” relationships. The +4 and +5 SSOs receive the lion’s share of love, respect and care, while the -4 and -5 OSOs are typically on the short end of the receiving stick. As such, the OSOs suffer in the relationship significantly more than their SSO partners do.
In an effort to avoid upsetting the narcissistic partner, the -4 and -5 OSO partner tolerates and, consequently, adapts to the SSO partner’s narcissistic ways. Because the OSO partner is neither adept at nor comfortable with communicating anger, displeasure or resentment, he or she is likely to suppress these feelings. In addition, the OSO partner may have learned that communicating resentment or anger is likely to result in rejection, conflict or harm (personal or relational), all of which he or she actively avoids. Therefore, the OSO partner perpetuates or enables the dysfunctionally balanced relationship by adjusting to the other partner’s narcissistic behaviors.
The -5/+5 zero-sum relationship is typically resistant to change, mostly because of the pathological narcissist’s inability to acknowledge his or her role in the relationship’s dysfunction. Denying culpability or responsibility for the relationship problems reinforces the narcissist’s position that psychotherapeutic services will be neither personally beneficial nor helpful to the relationship.
The partner who is considered codependent is correspondingly resistant to change because it would potentially result in emotional, psychological or even physical harm or in deep and profound feelings of guilt, shame and loneliness. However, people who are codependent are sometimes able to accept responsibility for their problems and seek help.
Although the -4/+4 relationship also constitutes a dysfunctional relationship, both individuals have some capacity, albeit minimal, to break free of their polarized self-orientation differences. To illustrate, the -4 OSO is minimally capable of setting and maintaining boundaries regarding the love, respect and caring imbalance in the relationship. Likewise, the +4 SSO partner, who does not have a personality disorder, has some limited capability to demonstrate concern and some limited willingness to better meet the partner’s needs. This relationship is still resistant to change because the +4 SSO is negatively reactive and fragile about accepting constructive or critical feedback about his or her narcissism.
According to the societal and cultural standards of most developed Western countries, the -3/+3 relationship is often considered problematic because the distribution of love, respect and care is not equally and fairly distributed. In this relationship category, the balance is significantly tilted toward the SSO. Even with the inequity of love, respect and care that is given and received, this couple is still capable of minor to moderate levels of mutuality and reciprocity. For example, the OSO partner is able to set some boundaries and communicate some of his or her needs. Conversely, the SSO partner is capable of minimal to moderate levels of empathy and motivation to meet his or her partner’s needs, while also being open to some constructive and critical feedback.
The delineation between healthy and unhealthy continuum of self values pairings is not always clear. From the vantage point of modern Western culture, a couple with a -3/+3 pairing may be considered unhealthy because of the distinct disparity between the exchange of love, respect and care. However, from the perspective of other societies, cultures or ethnic groups in which the norm is oriented toward an acceptable discrepancy between the giving and taking of love, respect and care, the relationship would be considered healthy and normal. If these romantic partners are satisfied and happy with their relationship and there is no harm perpetrated against the OSO, then their somewhat polarized exchange of love, respect and care may actually constitute a culturally specific healthy relationship.
The healthy values pairings in the continuum of self are -2/+2, -1/+1 and 0/0. Healthy relationships are defined by both a zero-sum balance and an equitable distribution of love, respect and care. Although a -2/+2 couple may not share an exactly equal exchange of love, respect and care, they still experience an affirming, balanced and mutually satisfying connection. This relationship is considered healthy because both partners are content and satisfied with their unique flow. In other words, this relationship works because both partners feel loved, respected and cared for in a manner that satisfies their healthy self-orientation.
An example of such a relationship is a healthy counselor who enjoys helping others but still sets boundaries when feeling ignored, or a healthy writer who lives for affirmation and recognition but can still fulfill his or her partner’s needs for the same.
Maslow’s hammer and nail
As much as the continuum of self theory attempts to identify and quantify human relational behavior, it is neither feasible nor appropriate to rely on just one theory to explain complicated human behavior patterns. There are inherent dangers to having a limited or narrow view of human psychology.
Abraham Maslow, one of the founders of humanistic psychological theory, said, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” My hope is that the continuum of self theory can serve as just one of the many tools in a counselor’s toolbox to help understand and change our clients’ or our own dysfunctional relationships.
I would also like to offer some disclaimers. First, because an addiction can mimic pathological narcissism, a significant period of recovery is needed before determining a person’s baseline self-orientation.
The continuum of self only measures a person’s self-orientation. It does not purport to measure more complicated and multifaceted personality or relational characteristics or dynamics. Also, the theory should be applied only in a clinical setting with a competent and qualified counselor who is trained in the continuum of self and other related psychological theories.
Although the continuum of self theory attempts to explain and simplify the complex attraction dynamic, it does not pretend to be bigger and more inclusive than it was designed to be. It is a narrowly focused explanatory paradigm that measures an individual’s self-orientation, while accounting for the attraction dynamic of opposite but compatible personality types. It is not intended to be a stand-alone or comprehensive theoretical explanation. However, it may be useful as an adjunct to other psychological theories.
As a new psychological theory, the continuum of self has not yet met the rigors of scientific scrutiny. However, I hope that it will contribute to the current understanding of human behavior and stimulate further thought and discussion on the topic.
Ross Rosenberg is a licensed clinical professional counselor and professional trainer. He is the author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us. Contact him at email@example.com
Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us
Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT Candidate
Expert codependency psychotherapist, writer, and professional trainer, Ross Rosenberg presents his compact and revolutionary 4-stage codependency treatment model and his “Surgeon General’s” Codependency Recovery Warning.
Both were developed as a direct result of his own codependency recovery and 27 years of working with codependent clientele. These new and innovative codependency recovery concepts have been met with universally positive feedback from both professionals and non-professionals alike.
The Four Stages of Codependency Recovery realistically represents both the hardships and the rewards that occur in the codependency recovery experience. It depicts the incremental nature of the recovery in an accurate and intuitive manner.
If you’re struggling with codependence, the Four Steps Codependency Recovery treatment will:
– prepare you for the fight of a lifetime
– inspire you with optimism and a vision of future relational health
– arm you with information about the challenges and potential losses ahead
– offer life-changing benefits and rewards
– provide strategies and prepare you for potential self-sabotage or relapse during recovery
The Four Stages of Codependency Recovery are:
Stage 1: Setting Boundaries
Stage 2: Maintaining Boundaries in a Hostile Environment
Stage 3: Building New Relationships
Stage 4: Reinforcing/Strengthening New Relationships
Like the real Surgeon General’s warning, Ross prepares his clients for the battle of their lifetime. His “Surgeon General’s Warning” is an ethical and moral mandate that all therapists working with codependents should utilize. The “Warning” facilitates an accurate understanding of positive and negative experiences of codependency recovery. Similarly, it sets up the important cost/benefit dialogue that instills hope, while preparing the codependent client for this challenging transformation. Knowing both the positives and negatives, recovering codependents can make a life-altering informed decision.
Bio: Ross A. Rosenberg has been a therapist since 1998. He is considered an expert in the areas of codependency, trauma and ssex, love and Internet addictions, for which he provides comprehensive psychotherapy, training and consultation services. He is the owner of Clinical Care Consultants, an Arlington Heights Illinois counseling center, and Advanced Clinical Trainers. He is an accomplished professional trainer; just in a two year period gave his seminars in 27 states (60 cities). He is the proud author of the best-selling book, “The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us.” Ross’s YouTube channel, which highlights his work on codependency, narcissism and ssex addiction has garnered 500,000 views in just the last year. Ross has blogged with Huffington Post and Psych Central. And is working on his second book, entitled Reversing the Human Magnet Syndrome: Codependency and Trauma Recovery.
By clicking the “Register Now” button you submit your information to the Webinar organizer, who will use it to communicate with you regarding this event and their other services.
Safeguarding your email address and Webinar registration information is taken seriously at GoToWebinar. GoToWebinar will not sell or rent this information.
A Rosetta Stone For Relationships, March 5, 2014
By Farrell F Neeley
After reading Rosenberg’s work, I can highly recommend it to people who have been ‘hit’ by the runaway train of a love that turned out to be anything but love. The writing is insightful and easily accessible to both lay persons and academics. I also think it can provide valuable insight for those in management positions who encounter Narcissists and other disruptive personalities in their workplace. I believe that this book can be an asset to both the every day people that Rosenberg directs it at, and the academics and counselors out there who may need a fresh perspective.
Farrell F. Neeley, PhD
Relationships and marriage are difficult., March 1, 2014
I found this one of the better books as it talks about people’s differences without placing blame on one side or the other. Sometimes you can love a person very much but find it almost too hard to be in a relationship with them. This helps explain the problems and helps you figure out whether or not you can work through this.
Enlightening book page after page, December 25, 2013
By Amazon Customer “Melaphant N.”
This review is from: The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found my jaw drop several times as the ah-ha’s kept rolling out. I’ve recommended it to everyone I know.
Amazingly concise, extraordinary but simple to understand insight,
February 2, 2014 By Joe Bernard
I have had a lot of therapy including psychoanalysis, but never has anyone written down my problems with my self-value with such great insight and power as Rosenberg. He is actually talking about the guy inside me, one that no-one really knows or can figure out. His simple language struck me like a tidal wave. It is the best purchase I have ever made, His book has made me change. “Mr. nice guy” no more, from now on I am becoming me.
Inspirational and healing… giving light to the dark path, January 23, 2014
This book was authentically written from the perspective of the authors own personal journey to wholeness and transformation. Rosenberg is walking the walk that many of those with codependent traits wish to transform into like a chrysalis. Thank you for sharing your personal journey with us. Your vulnerability will open the steel doors which trap ourselves when we look down and see we are holding the key. We just need the courage to open the door
Gives you the Ah-Ha factor. May be the motivation you need., November 23, 2013
By K. Michael
This Is a great book that’s a quick read. Ross does a fabulous job explaining why we continue the dysfunctional dance and why we are attracted to these toxic people. After four years of struggling with a man who cheated, lied and repeatedly gave me punishments of silent treatments I found it very satisfying that i was NOT crazy and this behavior was not going to change. This book has helped me pick myself up and dust myself off. I am ready to focus on me for once and start healing. It Is not an easy process and sometimes I still crave that passion, chemistry and love I thought we shared but I realize it wasn’t real. That was my Co-dependency..You may have to remind yourself you deserve a healthy relationship. I pray that we all find a mutually satisfying, balanced loving relationship and if we find ourselves faced with another narcissist or whatever it may be, we RUN.
A very helpful guide, October 30, 2013
By Harvey Kelber
I have had a private counseling practice for 35 years,and I specialize in couples counseling. I think Ross Rosenberg has made a significant contribution to the literature on this topic for the general public and for professionals. Ross builds on the shoulders of Harville Hendrix, Susan Forward , Robin Norwood, John Gottman, and others who have insights on this topic. His continuum of self conception and graph gives a uniquely easy way to conceptualize his thesis. I strongly recommend this book.
The Human Magnet Syndrome, July 2, 2013
By Charles S.
Ross Rosenberg’s book, The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us, is clearly written; explaining complex ideas in a very accessible manner. I really appreciated the way Mr. Rosenberg wove in psychological concepts without getting overly clinical or unnecessarily intellectual. I especially appreciated his openness about his personal journey. His self-disclosure was impressive and heart felt. As a career & relationship coach, I think it’s really an important and accessible book. I was talking to one of my clients about it before it was published, and she ordered it when it came out. She said the book resonated with her and helped her understand why she keeps making unfortunate relationship choices that don’t work out. I definitely recommend it to therapists, coaches, consultants, and anyone who wants a better understanding of a powerful and profound relationship dynamic that has an impact on most of us.
A Breakthrough Book!, June 26, 2013
After years of trying to understand my codependency, and having different counselors at the same time–this book clearly explains in an understandable way the pull of the codependent with the narcissist.
After a divorce from a 30-year marriage, I still wanted to go back, but not understanding the reasons why. Thank you so much, Dr. Rosenberg. Your book is outstanding, and life-changing!
A dysfunctional dance, June 18, 2013
I recommend this book to anyone recovering from a failed relationship and asking the question WHY.The Human Magnet Syndrome is not a “how to” book. It is a WHY book. In that sense, the book is more akin to a blueprint than a tool box. Once you understand your personal “blueprint”and why a relationship failed, you can begin to address the HOW to fix it. By “design” in my blueprint, I am a codependent – who married an “emotional manipulator”. That was not by chance – it was by design – thus the “magnet” metaphor in the title of the book. We danced the perfect and dysfunctional dance that the author explains.This book helped me see an early blueprint of my relationships.
As a codependent – I ALWAYS sought out “emotional manipulators”, not because we were the same – but because they had strong and opposite qualities that appealed to me as a codependent. Cracks in my foundation – now evident in my “blueprint” have been evident from my early childhood. They contributed directly to the failure of several relationships, including an over 20 year marriage.The book helped me better understand WHY I and my partner were initially so attracted to each other, loved each other, achieved many positive things, but ultimately ended a very long marriage. Now that I understand some of the WHY – I can begin to move on to other more healthy relationships.I highly recommend the book. It helped me make some sense out of chaos in my life…..
Excellent book that will help many, August 14, 2013
By Joyce Marter, LCPC
As a licensed psychotherapist with nearly 20 years experience, I highly recommend this book for therapists and all people interested in gaining insight and improving their relationships. Rosenberg hits the nail on the head in this book about one of the most prevalent yet under addressed issues I have seen in my practice—why givers are attracted to takers and how to achieve balance in relationships. He cites the classic books that address codependency and narcissism, while taking the discussion further–his “continuum of self” and “sum zero” concepts are ground breaking and extremely helpful. I really appreciate Rosenberg’s authenticity in bravely sharing his own therapeutic journey and discussing codependency among therapists and helping professionals. He is a positive example for clinicians and offers a wealth of insight in this user-friendly book.
For Professionals and People Who Want Healthier Relationships, July 1, 2013
A fresh approach to view relationships. A way to understand complicated personality types and apply those traits to your life. Whether you are a professional guiding your clients, a life coach offering tips, or just someone who needs to understand why they have difficulties attracting nice people, this book is for you. Highlights include: understanding others’ selfishness, identifying takers and givers, providing a scale to see where one fits in, and identifying what about ourselves attracts these types of individuals. Most of the books I’ve read, as a professional Social Worker/Therapist, about Narcissism are complicated. So having this book to aid in not only understanding Narcissists, but also to have a book to be able to recommend to my clients, is appreciated. Thank you.
Donna Crunkilton-Stiegel, MSW, LCSW
Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC
Psychotherapist & National Seminar Trainer
On TV Again! The Taylor Baldwin Show is on San Diego’s U-T TV Network
The Taylor Baldwin Show is on the U-T TV network, and my host has several health and beauty products on the market, and can be seen in national commercials. Being an anchor is her second job, and we like to focus on health and beauty segments, and overcoming divorce is a great topic!
Meet Taylor Baldwin
Taylor Baldwin’s enthusiasm and talent are unparalleled! One of today’s most exciting media stars, Taylor Baldwin is a successful news anchor / TV host, as well as an accomplished DRTV host, television spokesperson, actress, and media/product development consultant. She’s been a mainstay of several major television outlets, working in a variety of roles for Fox Sports Net, CBS, and KTLA / Tribune Entertainment – where she served as their prime time entertainment anchor.
Her acting roles include TV’s “7th Heaven” and other feature films. And Taylor is no ‘One Trick Pony’. She is the founder and president of Taylor – Made Productions. Under her company she produces and develops products. Her latest hit ‘Hot Buns’ – is a commercial that falls into beauty product category.
And we’re not done yet! Taylor creates a successful bio-weekly video blog called “Taylor Time” that showcases the hottest health & beauty tips, as well as innovative products.