For my new Human Magnet Syndrome website, I am putting together graphics. Here is one for the reviews.
Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
In 1984, Dr. Otto Kernberg, a Cornell University psychoanalyst, coined the diagnostic term “malignant narcissism.” Kernberg believed that there is a narcissism continuum, with NPD at the low end, and malignant narcissism with psychopathic features at the high end. Malignant narcissism appears to be a hybrid of NPD, as it is a combination of four pathological extremes: narcissism, psychopathy, sadism and paranoia. Even with the other forms of psychopathology, they are still distinctly narcissistic as they demonstrate most narcissistic traits/symptoms. The difference, though, is that malignant narcissists are able to force their grandiose fantasies onto others.
Like NPDs, they are entitled and grandiose. However, malignant narcissists take it to a more extreme level because they believe they have a special destiny in life. By believing in their special status or destiny, their extreme sense of entitlement and grandiosity in their relationships is reinforced. They are outwardly selfish and unapologetic, while also feeling compelled to direct the lives around them. They are often suspicious of others, especially those who could remove them from their position of power. They are belligerent and scheming, while manipulatively casting themselves as the injured party. They often rise to influence by claiming they are victims of oppression. As a direct result of their beguiling charm and calculating nature, they are able to sympathetically rally support for their cause. With legions of dedicated followers, they are able to lead and inspire rebellions, which in turn secure their leadership and power structure.
Because malignant narcissists are fundamentally insecure and paranoid in their relationships, they counter by maintaining complete and total control of others. With a rise to power through popular support, they believe there is a mandate for them to maintain power and strict control over their legions of followers. Once they have achieved control, they will do almost anything to maintain it, including rape, murder, and even genocide. As a direct result of their paranoid and psychopathic tendencies, they challenge, defy, demean and even murder anyone who is either an authority figure or has the power to hurt them. Examples of malignant narcissists include Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.
Malignant narcissists are known to be emotionally, physically and/or sexually abusive and will purposely and maliciously harm others. Their cruel and harmful treatment of others is reinforced by their need to maintain power, control, and a sense of superiority over others. Although they seem similar to psychopaths or those diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder, they are different in that they can internalize right and wrong, form meaningful personal and social relationships and rationalize their actions as a desire to advance society. They may be loyal in relationships, but because of their paranoia, may hurt or harm those who pledge loyalty to them.
Codependency Anorexia occurs when a codependent surrenders to their life-long relationship pattern to destructive pathological narcissists. I define codependency as an individual psychopathology that manifests within relationships. The codependent habitually finds themselves in relationships with pathological narcissists, with whom they give the lion’s share of love, respect and care (LRC), while being denied the same. Although they are consistently on the short end of the receiving stick, they stay in the relationship because they are both afraid of being alone and believe that if given enough time, they will be able to change or control the narcissist’s selfishness and entitlement.
Codependency Anorexia occurs when they hit bottom and can no longer bear the pain and the harm meted out to them from their malevolent pathological narcissists. It is paradoxical in a sense, as it occurs during a moment of clarity, when the codependent realizes that they are completely powerless to stop their attraction to lovers who, in the beginning, feel so right, but shortly thereafter, hurt them so badly. In an effort to protect themselves from the long line of “soul mates,” who unexpectedly convert to “cellmates,” they flip their vulnerability switch to “off,” which results in a complete shutdown of their emotional, relational, and sexual machinery.
Although their intention is to avoid getting pummeled again by the next narcissist, they unknowingly insulate themselves from the very human experience of intimate romantic love.
This defense mechanism serves to protect codependents from the cascade of resulting consequences of their debilitating codependent love choices. Although their intention is to avoid getting pummeled again by the next narcissist, they unknowingly insulate themselves from the very human experience of intimate romantic love. By denying their human need to connect and love passionately, they are, in a sense, artificially neutralizing The Human Magnet Syndrome. Or in other words, they are removing themselves from any possibility of close romantic love, healthy or not.
To maintain their codependent anorexia, codependents ultimately have to divorce themselves from their emotional and sexual selves. As a result, they “starve” themselves from the very human need to connect romantically, intimately, and sexually. Such deprivation often leads to long-term mental and relational health problems.
In the codependent anorexic state, the codependent is hypervigilant of any person or situation that would lead to a potentially harmful and dangerous intimate relationship. They often over compensate in social situations to avoid either showing interest in someone else or accidentally reacting to someone else overtures. To that end, they also deprive themselves of everyday social events, in order to not accidentally bump against a vulnerable or threatening situation or person. And if a person or event does threaten the codependency anorexic barrier, a shock of extreme anxiety uncomfortably steer them back onto their self-depriving but safe course.
At the end of the day, they are not hurt by another pathological narcissist. But, they also live their life in a barren desert of loneliness and fear.
The anorexic codependent is unable to recognize that their disconnection or disassociation from their vulnerable relational and sexual self is harmful, if not debilitating. Notwithstanding, they continue the path of intimacy deprivation so that they are able to maintain their distorted and deluded sense of power and control over real and invisible threats. At the end of the day, they are not hurt by another pathological narcissist. But, they also live their life in a barren desert of loneliness and fear.
So what is the codependent anorexic supposed to do? The moment of decision is best summarized in Anaïs Nin’s famous saying, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” The following is a list of 10 must do’s if one is suffering from Codependency Anorexia.
2015, Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Ross Rosenberg, LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC
The inherently dysfunctional “codependency dance” requires two opposite but balanced partners: a pleasing, giving codependent and the needy controlling narcissist. Like a champion dance partnership, the dancing roles are perfectly matched: the leader needs the follower, and vice versa. Or, in other words, the giver taker dance role combination enables the two dance effortlessly and flawlessly.
Typically, codependents give of themselves much more than their partners give in return. As “generous” but bitter dance partners, they find themselves perpetually stuck on the dance floor, always waiting for the “next song,” at which time they naively hope that their partner will finally understand their needs; but, sadly, it never happens.
Codependents by nature are giving, sacrificing and consumed with the needs and desires of others. As natural followers in the “dance,” they are passive and accommodating to their partner. Although narcissists are typically selfish, self-centered and controlling, when paired with a codependent, they are enabled to become champion dancers. As natural leaders and choreographers of the dance, their ambitions are focused only on fulfilling their needs and desires while ignoring the same for their partner.
Codependents experience their narcissistic dance partner as deeply appealing, especially because of their boldness, charm, confidence and domineering personality. Narcissists are delighted with their partner choice as they found someone who exudes patience, deference and a yearning to help them find greatness and recognition. With this pair up, the dance sizzles with excitement – at least in the beginning.
Narcissistic dancers control or lead the dance routine because they are naturally and predictably attracted to partners who lack self-worth, confidence and who have low self-esteem. With such a well-matched companion, they are able to control both the dancer and the dance. Similar to their codependent partner, this dancer is also deeply attracted to a lover who feels familiar to them: someone who lets them lead the dance while, at the same time, allowing them to feel in command, competent and appreciated. The narcissist dancer is most comfortable when they are either encouraged or allowed to dance boldly and decisively while garnering attention and praise from others.
Having little to no previous experience with mutually and reciprocally affirming dancers, codependents anxiously reject invitations by healthier individuals. Without self-esteem or feelings of personal power, they are actually afraid of dancing with a mutually-giving and unconditionally loving partner. Dancing with such a person, would feel confusing, uncomfortable and awkward.
When a codependent and narcissist meet each other, the dance unfolds flawlessly. The narcissist effortlessly maintains the lead while the codependent automatically and willingly follows. Their roles seem natural to them because they have actually been practicing them their whole lives. The dance is perfectly coordinated: the pleasing partner naturally and reflexively gives up their power and the needy partner thrives on power and control. Both feel like they have practiced this dance their whole life. No one gets their toes stepped on!
The magnetic-like attraction force that brings codependent and narcissist dancers together (and keeps them together) paves the way for a dancing experience that is explosively pleasurable while feeling strangely familiar. To illustrate, the selfish and controlling narcissist effortlessly leads the dance while the codependent intuitively and reflexively predicts and follow his moves. Clearly, one was “born” to lead while the other to follow. As well-matched and exquisitely coordinated dancing partners, the dancing experience is euphorically exciting and deeply satisfying – at least in the beginning.
The accommodating dancer confuses caretaking and sacrifice with loyalty and love. And why should they think otherwise, as this has been their life-long experience in relationships. Although proud and even boastful of their unwavering loyalty and dedication, they end up feeling unappreciated and used. This codependent dancer yearns to be loved and cherished, but because of her dance partner, her dreams will never come to fruition. With the heartbreak of unfulfilled dreams, codependents silently and bitterly swallow their unhappiness, while dancing furiously toward the finals of the dance competition.
The codependent is convinced that she will never find a dance partner who will love her for who she is, as opposed to what she can do for them. Over time, they are essentially stuck in a pattern of giving and sacrificing, without the possibility of ever receiving the same from their partner. They, however, pretend to enjoy the dance while harboring deeper feelings of anger, resentment and sadness. Over time, their low self-esteem and pessimism deepens, which later morphs into feelings of hopelessness. But they continue to dance, not for the joy of it, but because dancing with a narcissist is familiar and natural for them.
Since familiarity breeds security, the meaning of love for the codependent dancer is distorted into exciting but dysfunctional dips, twists and turns. Just because the blue ribbons and trophies accumulate, love, respect and thoughtfulness often do not follow. Such familiarity creates the paradox of the dance: remaining secure with what you know, but what doesn’t feel good, versus risking the unknown so that a relationship with a loving and respectful partner can be an actuality.
After many “songs,” the codependent’s enchanting dream-like dance experience predictably transforms into drama, conflict and feelings of being trapped. Even with the selfish, controlling and antagonistic nature of her dance partner, she dares not stop dancing. Despite feeling deeply unhappy, she remains committed to her partner while helping him achieve his glorious dancing ambitions. For most codependent dancers, remaining with the narcissistic partner is preferable to being on the sidelines where they predictably feel worthless and lonely. To the codependent, loneliness is a toxic and unbearable experience.
Sadly and unfortunately, codependent dancers were taught the codependent/narcissist dance routine early on in their life. Hence, their dancing choices are connected to their unconscious motivation to find a person who is familiar – someone who reminds them of their parents, who abandoned, neglected and/or abused them when they were a child. Their fear of being alone, their compulsion to control and fix at any cost, and their comfort in their role as the martyr who is endlessly devoted and patient, is a direct result of attachment trauma that they experienced at the hands of their own narcissistic parent.
Codependents cannot bear a prolonged period off the dance floor because of the wave of self-doubt and loneliness that predictably follows. Being alone is the equivalent of feeling lonely, and loneliness is an excruciating debilitating experience for codependent dancers. Like withdrawal from a drug addiction, they are unwilling to cope with the resulting deep and throbbing pain of loneliness and feelings of worthlessness, which is indicative of the childhood trauma they endured.
Although codependents dream of dancing with an unconditionally loving and affirming partner, they submit to their dysfunctional destiny. Until they decide to heal the psychological wounds that ultimately compel them to dance with their narcissistic dance partners, they will be destined to maintain the unsatisfying and potentially dangerous steady beat and rhythm of their dysfunctional dance.
Through psychotherapy and, perhaps, a 12-step recovery program, codependents can begin to fulfill their dream to dance the grand dance of love, reciprocity and mutuality. Through a challenging and at times heartbreaking journey, codependents have an opportunity to heal the childhood trauma that is at the root of their codependency.
Ultimately, the recovering codependent’s healing and transformative journey will result in deep and profound feelings of self-respect and self-love. They will have learned that the true measure of their value is determined by who they are, not what they do. Such will lead them into the arms of someone who is willing and capable of sharing the lead, communicating their movements and pursuing a mutual loving rhythmic dance.
Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
From the Upcoming Book, The Codependency Cure: Breaking Free From Narcissists
Codependency recovery has the capacity to change your life. My writings and YouTube videos are intended to inspire, motivate and guide you on a journey to solve and overcome the obstacles that are responsible for your codependency. It is backed up with my own recovery experiences and 28 years working with trauma survivors and codependents and my book, The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us. My transformation is proof that a person doesn’t have to be weighed down by the childhood trauma that compels them to form long-term relationships with people who cannot love or respect them, but will inevitably hurt them.
However, you should be warned that there is no “quick fix” for your life-long patterns of codependency. Nor is it intended to repair the part of you that makes you to fall in love with a person who started out as your soul mate, but ended up as a “cell-mate.” To that end, there is not a secret formula that neutralizes your pattern of establishing and maintaining relationships with pathological narcissists – people you love but who consistently hurt you.
However, you should be warned that this book does not contain an illustrious new-fangled theory that will quickly fix your life-long patterns codependency. It is not intended to fix that part of you that compels you to fall in love with a person who began as a soul mate, but ended up as a “cell-mate.” To that end, it will not provide you with a secret formula that neutralizes your life-long pattern of forming and maintain enduring relationships with pathological narcissists – people you love but who consistently who hurt you.
Since you have not put the book down yet and are still reading it, I am morally obligated to give you my “Surgeon General’s Warning.” Similar to the warning on a pack of cigarettes, if you decide to move forward with the difficult and at times heart-breaking challenges inherent to codependency recovery, there is no doubt that painful experiences will befall you. There is no way around this cold, hard fact.
My warning differs from the real Surgeon General’s Warning. First and foremost, I am neither a surgeon nor a general! Secondly, you won’t die from a progressively painful physical ailment. You will suffer, though, but only for a distinct period of time. Third, and best of all, this warning also predicts future emotional and relational freedom and happiness.
However, if you can persevere through the losses, emotional pain and suffering, which go hand-in-hand with the initial stages of codependency recovery, then you may very well experience, perhaps for the first time in your life, joy and freedom from the pain and suffering caused by the selfish and harmful narcissists in your life. You will save yourself from being placed on the giving and sacrificing end of most of your relationships. And what’s more, you will learn to love yourself more than anyone else in your life, which in turn will set you on a path to love another similarly healthy and self-loving person.
Considering the predictable hardships and obstacles inherent in the first two stages of Codependency Recovery (Chapter 5), you will need to prepare for one of the biggest and most difficult battles of your life. As demonstrated in Chapter 10, codependency is an addiction with terrible withdrawal symptoms. You will experience bitterly painful bouts of loneliness, codependency’s most potent withdrawal symptom. The insidious pathological power of loneliness will make you second guess any gains that you have made and hypnotically compel you to return to your former codependent ways. If you have ever kicked an addiction, you will understand exactly what I mean.
You will invariably get knocked down a few times and sustain bumps and bruise along the way. But…because you can get up and move towards your goal of recovery, you will. You will not have to do this alone, though, as you will have developed a support network that will be there for you during times of darkness and despair and moments of triumph and success. Although the warning may frighten and perhaps, discourage you, I urge you to keep your eye on the prize. I know it is there, because I have walked the path myself.
As difficult as the uphill battle may be, it is not going to be all doom and gloom. Like any mountain climber will tell you, reaching the top of the mountain is a harrowing and extremely demanding experience. But, being on top of the mountain and planting your flag is like nothing else! After savoring that moment, you will happily proceed downhill, which you will find to be so much easier than climbing it. Not only is going down the mountain much easier that the upward climb, but once at the bottom, you will have the opportunity to savor this personal victory for the rest of your life!
An honest depiction of the codependency recovery process, “the good, the bad and the ugly,” will not only prepare you for what lies ahead, but also for the necessary sacrifices that are part and parcel to breaking free from the malignant hold pathological narcissists have over you. There is no getting around the fact that you will need to financially, psychologically, personally and relationally prepare for the daunting challenges that lie ahead[i]. Such preparations will embolden you, while mitigating and buffering the potential consequences you may endure by standing up to and setting boundaries with narcissists who, by now, have exacted a great deal of pain and suffering upon you, as well as, perhaps, your family.
Be warned that there will be blowback from your narcissist, who will likely try to sabotage your treatment in an attempt to throw you off course. Because your narcissist has a great deal to lose by you getting well, he may try to intimidate, abuse, isolate and/or hurt you. Adding insult to injury, your resistance to the harm perpetrated against you may even result in custody and financial threats, job loss, and even abrupt termination of important and meaningful relationships.
But don’t worry, as this book will prepare, lead and guide you toward a life outside of the control of the people you love, but who predictably hurt you. In this book, you will come to understand The Four Stage Codependency Treatment Model, the backbone of codependency recovery. It will provide you with concrete illustrations and descriptions of the linear and sequential paths of the recovery experience. It will also demonstrate how the path of codependency recovery predictably leads one to rewards beyond their imagination. This model and the challenges outlined in it will prepare you for the ins and outs, the challenges and the payoffs of each step. Not only will it provide you with a bird’s eye view of what’s in store for you, but it will also anchor you to the treatment/recovery process.
This is the time to ask as many questions as possible because, the more you know about codependency recovery, the higher the probability of a successful outcome. It is recommended that you, with the help of a trusted recovering codependent or a therapist, create a cost-benefit analysis between the two starkly different conclusions: remaining unappreciated, neglected, deprived and/or harmed by the narcissists in your life, or discovering healthy love of self and others. Such should show you all that you stand to gain and all that you will continue to lose if you don’t move forward with your decision to break free from codependency. As described in Step Four, if you stick with the program, you will eventually experience, perhaps for the first time, safe, supportive, affirming and respectful treatment from others. You will also have learned about the sustaining nature of self-love.
You will get to a point where you will be able to courageously and confidently extract yourself from any relationship where you are abused, neglected and/or deprived. You will also possess the motivation to pursue challenges and neutralize obstacles like you never imagined. Be ready, as you will be able to form relationships with healthy partners who will want to unconditionally love, respect, trust and support you, while also being dependable, responsible, sharing and fair to you. Moreover, you will develop feelings of personal efficacy and increased self-esteem that you have not previously experienced.
Through your commitment to solve you codependency dilemma, you will have broken free from your suffocating and soul-scorching dysfunctional relationship dance with your pathological narcissistic partner. Let my warning inspire you to put your nose to the grindstone and tough it out, so you can experience self-love and relational joy and freedom!
As we flip the calendar forward to January, we’re taking some time to reflect on the more than 150 articles that were posted at CT Online in 2014. From a remembrance of Maya Angelou to an in-depth piece on eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), we’ve focused on the news and issues that affect the counseling profession.
Milestones of 2014 include approval of a newly revised ACA Code of Ethics and the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC)’s first-ever conference, held in New Orleans in September.
1. 2014 ACA Code of Ethics approved by Governing Council (Online Exclusive, posted in March) bit.ly/1i4ehSO
2. Addressing clients’ prejudices in counseling (Knowledge Share, posted in January) bit.ly/1i3TuAG
3. A living document of ethical guidance (Cover Story, posted in May) bit.ly/1B28EP1
4. The toll of childhood trauma (Cover Story, posted in June) bit.ly/1JOMshA
5. EMDR for the co-occurring population (Magazine Feature, posted in May) bit.ly/1JON7Q5
6. Counseling goes to the movies (Online Exclusive, posted in December) bit.ly/1AWKDcq
7. The inner life of the counselor (Knowledge Share, posted in April) bit.ly/1CCkktk
8. Sex offender therapy: A battle on multiple fronts (Magazine Opinion, posted in March) bit.ly/1HvTqU
9. Connecting with clients (Cover Story, posted in August) bit.ly/16Nb2Az
10. ACA’s first counselor compensation study reports varied pay, good benefits (Online Exclusive, posted in September) bit.ly/1xdNJLT
11. Quieting the inner critic (Cover Story, posted in January) bit.ly/LZ0Uu9
12. America’s mental health disparities (Online Exclusive, posted in December) bit.ly/1E7Z2bA
13. CACREP degree to be required for counselor licensure in Ohio (Online Exclusive, posted in May) bit.ly/1x0e4uP
14. The toughest kinds of groups (Knowledge Share, posted in February) bit.ly/1mBAfAq
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