The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age


In the tradition of The Sociopath Next Door, Joseph Burgo’s The Narcissist You Know is a guide to help you identify, disarm, and coexist with extreme narcissists.

In today’s social media and selfie-obsessed culture, we are living in an age of narcissism that often celebrates this potentially harmful trait rather than understanding it as a psychological disorder. Scientists are beginning to learn that narcissism exists on a spectrum—much like autism—and most of us exhibit some mild tendencies. But one in twenty people fall into a category the author refers to as Extreme Narcissism, in which these self-absorbed characteristics result in destructive behavior that harms not only the individual but everyone around them, including friends, family, and coworkers.

With more than thirty years of experience studying personality disorders and treating extreme narcissists, Dr. Joseph Burgo has developed a useful guidebook to help you identify, understand, and manage narcissistic personalities. Relying on detailed profiles, vignettes from the author’s practice, and celebrity biographies, The Narcissist You Know offers easy-to-understand tools and solutions you can use to defuse hostile situations and survive assaults on your self-esteem should you ever find yourself in an extreme narcissist’s orbit.

Don’t let narcissism destroy your relationships. Get the tools you need to understand, work with, and live with the narcissist you know.


North American publisher: Touchstone

Foreign rights sold: Simplified Chinese to Beijing Mediatime; Turkish to Paloma; ANZ to Pan Macmillan; Korean to BACDOCI; French to Ixelles; Russian to Alpina; Polish to Amber

Foreign rights: The Marsh Agency, Foreign Rights Management

Jessica Woollard ( for the United Kingdom

Camilla Ferrier ( for Arabic World, Bulgaria, China, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy*, Japan, The Netherlands**, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

Jemma McDonagh ( for Baltic States, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Rupublic, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy**, Korea, The Netherlands*, Poland, Romania, Scandinavia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Turkey


Film rights: Gillian MacKenzie (


“A guide for understanding our own narcissism and for figuring out the roles these people can play in our lives. Clear, easily digestible pop psychology.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Joseph Burgo helps us recognize the variety of ways narcissism can look. By unveiling the early pain and trauma behind these extreme defenses, he not only gives us a way to make sense of these vexing and often cruel behaviors but to feel some compassion for those who, out of desperation, resort to them. A clear and useful guide to navigating the Extreme Narcissists in your life.” —Jasmin Lee Cori, MS, LPC author of The Emotionally Absent Mother and Healing From Trauma

“A terrific book! Dr. Burgo has written an extremely readable and clear exploration of Extreme Narcissists. He presents effective strategies for protecting your emotional well-being and your self-worth from their bewildering and often destructive behavior. I highly recommend this timely and important book.”—Susan Forward, PhD author of Toxic Parents and Mothers Who Can’t Love

“Dr. Burgo explores the many faces of narcissistic personality, among the least studied and understood of psychiatric conditions. In layman’s language he describes various sub types of narcissism, venturing past the usual stereotypes of unsympathetic and unlikable grandiosity. Dr. Burgo presents guidance in dealing with 'the narcissist you know.'”—Jerold J. Kreisman, MD co-author of I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality

"Engaging and spot on! Joseph Burgo explains the many faces of Extreme Narcissism and what you need to know to stay out of trouble.”—Sandy Hotchkiss, LCSW author of Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism

“An interesting and insightful book on a problem that confuses and frustrates almost everyone: narcissists and narcissistic personality disorder. As the world catches on to the importance of dealing with narcissists effectively, this book will be one of the primers. It describes a wide range of their dysfunctional dynamics, as well as revealing many of their childhood traumas. Dr. Burgo has provided an important blend of wariness and empathy -- both for narcissists and for those who know them all too well.”—Bill Eddy co-author of It's All Your Fault at Work: Managing Narcissists and Other High-Conflict People

"A smart, fresh, and invaluable guide to the types of narcissists and their behaviors, as well as life- and soul-saving advice on how to deal with them or fend them off."—Peg Streep author of Mean Mothers

"Fresh insight into the troubling narcissism epidemic, providing us with signs to help us recognize and disarm ‘the narcissist we know.’ A fascinating, timely bookby a leading expert who offers a real guide to dealing with self-absorbed individuals in our 'all-about-me' culture. Highly recommended!"—Michele Borba, PhD author of UnSelfie

"Just when we had girded ourselves against the sociopath next door, Burgo alerts us to the narcissist across the street. What a neighborhood!"—The New York Times Book Review

"Many of us hear the word 'narcissist' and automatically think about a self-absorbed person who constantly talks about himself—and yes, that's a very irritating (but small) part of it. ... It can be very difficult to know if he's simply charming because he's into you (normal),or he's charming because he's into you being into him (narcissist). ... Nobody wants that, so here's how to spot narcissists out there in the dating wild."—Glamour