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Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist

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Narcissism is a modern epidemic, and it’s spreading rapidly. But how do you know if you are in a relationship with one—and, what can you do about it? We live in a world of romance and rescue, where many believe love will conquer all, and that the more we endure unacceptable behavior, the more likely that we can “fix” our relationships. It doesn’t always work that way—despite what the fairy tales tell us. There are a few hard facts about pathological narcissism that most people don’t know and most psychologists will never tell you. Should I Stay or Should I Go? uses checklists, clinical wisdom, and real stories from real people to prepare you for the real terrain of pathological narcissism. It raises the red flags to watch for and provides a realistic roadmap for difficult situations to help you reclaim yourself, find healing, and live an authentic and empowered life. Whether you stay. Or go.

157 pages, ebook

First published November 24, 2015

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About the author

Ramani Durvasula

8 books451 followers
Dr. Ramani Durvasula is on a mission to demystify and dismantle the toxic influence of narcissism on all of our lives. Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica and Sherman Oaks, CA and Professor of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, where she was named Outstanding Professor in 2012. She is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg.

She is the author of the modern relationship survival manual Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist (Post Hill Press) She is also the author of You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life, as well as the author of numerous peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. In September 2019, her overview book on narcissism in our world, our hearts, homes, and workplaces entitled DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM? How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement and Incivility will be released.
Dr. Ramani received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Connecticut, and her MA and Ph.D. degrees in Clinical Psychology from UCLA.

She brings a wealth of expertise in relationships, sexuality, health and wellness. Dr. Ramani was the co-host of Oxygen’s series My Shopping Addiction, and has also been featured on series on Bravo, the Lifetime Movie Network, National Geographic, the History Channel, Discovery Science, and Investigation Discovery as well as in documentary films on health and narcissism. She has been a featured commentator on nearly every major television network, as well as radio, print, and internet media.

Dr. Ramani is also involved in national governance in the field of psychology and has served as the chair of the Committee on Socioeconomic Status at the American Psychological Association and is presently chair of the Advisory Board of the Minority Fellowship Program of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Ramani recognizes that narcissism and technology have changed the landscape of love and relationships and provides keen insights on how to survive in the new territory of love and commitment.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 131 reviews
Profile Image for Fadi Antwan.
127 reviews53 followers
March 8, 2020
This is probably one of the most important books I've ever read/will ever read, and I am going to get a little personal here because I do believe this is important enough to share and could help someone else.

Emotional/psychological abuse is real, and it’s incredibly hurtful and damaging, possibly even more so than other forms of abuse because it’s so pernicious and difficult to recognize, especially when perpetrated by highly manipulative and intelligent people that are entitled and lacking in empathy. You bear the scars inside of you while having no proof to show for them. It kills you from the inside out while you are clueless to what is happening and made to question your sanity and worth every step of the way long after having been sucked in. I’ve been unfortunate enough to experience this type of abusive relationship twice in the past two years and to temporarily lose a part of myself in the aftermath of each one. Reading this book is a part of my healing journey and an effort to immunize myself against becoming entrapped in such relationships ever again. I don’t know if that is realistic, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

If you are or have ever been in any type of relationship where something feels off, where you’re constantly walking on eggshells and only existing to validate, please, and give attention to the other person, then this book might be eye-opening, insightful, and even lifesaving. To paraphrase Dr. Ramani, unlike the story, the beast won’t change into a prince, and there’s no special place in heaven for trying to rescue abusive people, who in all likelihood are never going to change.

Today is a great day to start valuing and taking care of ourselves.
Profile Image for Tania Ginoza.
39 reviews
February 24, 2016
The only thing I didn't like about this book was the title. It was not about whether you should stay or leave a relationship with a narcissist. Rather it was about the signs of a narcissistic personality, understanding what motivates a narcissist and the effects on those who are in a relationship with one. The author recognizes that it may take some time and adjustment to gain the strength and motivation to leave the relationship. Therefore she does offer some tips on how to minimize additional damage to self esteem and spirit while still engaging with a narcissist. However, that is only one portion of the book. I can't review the book as someone in the throes of such a relationship as my relationship ended a while ago. I'm healthy and almost fully recovered now. The book was easy to read and while she was blunt about the reality of the situation, the author also exercised a tone of understanding and empathy while also encouraging accountability for one's own personal self care/health. It was a practical and empowering read. The book focused primarily on romantic or family relationships with a narcissist, rather than neighbors or co-workers. For someone who may suspect they are involved or have been involved with a narcissist, it is also helpful and hopeful to find that what you have gone through or are going through is not unique to you.
Profile Image for Finn.
13 reviews1 follower
November 13, 2018
This no-nonsense book is a lifesaver. I've been listening to Dr. Ramani all over the Internet (I highly recommend her podcast "Sexual disOrientation"). She's a very eloquent woman and it shows in her writing. Also, she's an expert in her field of clinical psychology. After spending nine years with narcs, I was finally heard and talked to (as opposed to "talked at").

The book will help you identify narcissists and it even gives different categories. For example, narcs that I've been with are not your typical narcissists, so it took me a really long time to figure out what was up. Incidentally, they both claimed depression and the book does in fact write that this type of narcs could be misdiagnosed with depression.

In the core of the book, Dr. Ramani breaks down everything that has happened in a relationship with a narc and everything that will happen should you stay. She gives practical advice on how to conduct yourself if you stay and what to expect should you leave. It is a very pragmatic book that at times sounds like come to Jesus. However, anyone who has ever been destroyed by a narc wishes there had been someone who would have taken them by the shoulders and made them see the reality and helped them get out before it was too late. I know I do. Alas, I was blinded and my story is a cautionary tale now, which is why I can vouch for this book.

The main idea of the book, narcs won't change so you have to get on with the program, is reinforced in every chapter. It is harsh but that one simple sentence will change your perspective on your relationship and will save your life.

This book is brilliant and easy to read. I highly recommend it to anyone in an unfulfilling relationship where it feels like you're never good enough and everything is your fault.
Profile Image for Melody Sams.
63 reviews30 followers
September 30, 2018
Durvasula does what most mental health care professionals aren’t doing right now: having a real discussion about the narcissism epidemic and its consequences on society and everyday personal relationships. This book throws down some harrowing but true statistics, and implores people to wake up to the societal plague we are currently facing. It also functions partially as a guideline for how to deal with narcissism in a relationship, and gives advice on how to move past the often painful consequences of being involved with someone who exhibits these traits.
Profile Image for Jessica.
19 reviews
April 4, 2018
A MUST read if you've been/are in in a relationship w/ a narcissist or even if you haven't, just so you know what to look for so you can RUN!! Great practical information to help you spot one in the beginning so you can make an informed decision about what to do before you commit to one AND practical tips for how to take care of yourself if you, for whatever reason, decide to stay.

I'd say this is really helpful for dealing w/ 3 of the 4 types of narcissists and kinda helpful for the 4th kind, which is what's been called shy/introverted/vulnerable/covert narcissist. I was hoping it would have more info on that since my last relationship was w/ a vulnerable narcissist and I'm seeking more info on how to identify these types but from what I've read thus far, they are quite hard to spot until quite a bit later into the relationship as you keep observing the patterns of behavior. I did just reach out to the author though and she responded w/ a few other options for reading about these types of narcissists from the works of Dr. Elsa Ronningstam and also Dr. Craig Malkin, who wrote Rethinking Narcissism.

I'd def recommend this book though. In my search it's been hard to find books not riddled w/ bitterness due to past relationships, which over shadows any actual info the person may be presenting. Dr. Durvasula did a wonderful job of that, even w/ her own past experiences.
Profile Image for Reet.
35 reviews2 followers
July 31, 2020
This book was recommended by my mental health therapist.
Dr. Ramani is doing great by writing such self help books:)
Profile Image for Inga Grencberga.
Author 1 book331 followers
May 15, 2023
Šī grāmata ir pamācība - par to, kā palikt attiecībās. Vai - kā no tām aiziet. Kā pieņemt otru cilvēku, vai gluži pretēji - ja tas mums sagādā sāpes - aiziet.

Dienas beigās - ir tikai viens cilvēks, ar kuru attiecības ir īpaši svarīgas, noturīgas visa mūža garumā - katram pašam ar sevi. Šī grāmata ir labs padomdevējs, kā nedarīt pāri sevi un neļaut to darīt citiem.
Profile Image for Richard.
60 reviews1 follower
February 19, 2021
It is really a survival guide! I highly recommend this book.

My father has narcissistic personality disorder and it really has a big impact in our family. All the things that Dr. Ramani says in this book is really happening in my family. I am not lucky enough to find this book early, but strangely and naturally we already did all the recommendations in this book, especially about managing our expectation.

My family internal relationship started to get better when I was in my clinical rotation and learned this personality disorder. I learned about narcissistic personality disorder, its nature and the prognosis and the outcome of this kind of disorder. And I must say, narcissist will not going to change. My mother keep staying in this relationship because she hopes that my father will change. And after 27 years, I am sure that he's not going to change. With limited knowledge about this disorder, I decide to help my mom and coaching her about tools that we can use to cope with my father. But before doing that, I went into therapy first.

While in therapy, I found that I suffer from codependency, a type of mental issue that is happened because I've been raised by a narcissist. And I'll tell you that I took 2 years of therapy just to be the way I am now. While in therapy, I was reflecting on my previous relationships and how surprise I was that I was jump from one narcissist to another. I acquired this tendency because I grew up with narcissist father, that is the reason why I had never been in a reciprocal and satisfying relationship. I've never feel how satisfying it is to have a partner that love me back. A partner who being emphatic to me. A partner that has kindness and loving soul in their sleeve. I spent many years just to jump from one toxic relationship to another, because I didn't aware about this disorder. And it is true that they just use you to fulfill their grandiose fantasy. I was emotionally abused that I didn't realize that I adjusted myself. I became self-doubt, second-guessing and going to depression. I realized at that time that narcissist not only destroy you as a partner, but also your child and generations. I am the living proof of how dangerous this disorder is.

Now, I am recovered from my codependency and this narcissist relationship. It takes me years to be in this state. To start believe in myself again. To show what I feel, what I think and what I want to be, after years I learned to be silence so that I wouldn't make my narcissistic partner feel inconvenienced. My mom and my siblings use tools that we learned together to cope with my father. We manage our expectation and stop believing that narcissist will change.

Narcissist is a dangerous creature. I admit that narcissist is really charming, you will adore them, but when you connect with them, you'll know that they are not the one that you want to live with.
Profile Image for Jesús  Erro.
48 reviews31 followers
June 1, 2021
En este libro de la doctora Ramani Durvasula - reconocida especialista en narcisismo y con un interesante canal de Youtube - encontrarás, no sólo una guía sobre relaciones afectivas, sino además una descripción técnica de cada uno de los trastornos de la personalidad más comunes que podrías observar en tu pareja... y ¡en ti mismo! El libro analiza las fases de enamoramiento, convivencia y separación de una relación. Si detectas que algo no funciona en tu historia de amor, te ayuda a tomar una decisión - ¿sigo o no con mi pareja? El libro señala diferentes "banderas rojas", que nos alertarían de futuribles abusos por parte de nuestra pareja. Los posos del desamor son amargos, crean heridas y resultan difíciles de digerir, así que es mejor estar preparados.

Es uno de esos libros que pueden superar tus expectativas. Si esperas respuestas sobre tu relación actual, puede que te encuentres ante un espejo de tu propia alma, y termines descubriendo tus propios demonios. Es la belleza de este libro, te ayuda a conocerte a ti mismo. ¿Cómo? llegando hasta los más oscuros rincones de tu ser y revelando tu verdadera identidad - con sus luces y sombras - mediante la descripción detallada de los principales trastornos del comportamiento. Todos presentamos rasgos narcisistas en mayor o menor medida. Podrás descubrir algunos de los que quizás no eras consciente y que probablemente te perjudicaron en el pasado: ser descuidado, falto de energía, falta de firmeza, comunicación defectuosa, etc.

Tras una reflexión madura sobre nuestras historias afectivas, caemos en la cuenta de que también nosotros hemos podido ser responsables de los fracasos. La autora nos ayudará a no castigarnos por ello y perdonarnos a nosotros mismos. Además, podrás sentirte identificado y ver reflejadas algunas de tus relaciones con una precisión asombrosa - por ejemplo, esos patéticos emails de rabia e impotencia, dirigidos a tu pareja tras romperse la relación. Ver que tu experiencia ha sido compartida por otros, alivia la pena. Así que tienes también en este libro una píldora medicinal. Además el libro da pautas para mejorar tu comunicación afectiva, enseñándote a ser asertivo con tu pareja narcisista. No es bueno dialogar con el diablo, es mucho más listo que nosotros y siempre saldremos perdiendo.

Es un libro estrictamente científico. La autora apenas menciona la religión en sus páginas, pero como creyente, no he podido evitar mirarlo desde una perspectiva espiritual. Leyéndolo me ha venido a la cabeza el episodio bíblico del endemoniado de Gerasa (Mc 5, 1-20) Es un pasaje representativo de lo que hoy los psiquiatras denominarían "trastorno de la personalidad". Aquel hombre de Gerasa vivía apartado entre "sepulcros y montes", siendo una clara prueba de cómo nuestros demonios nos aíslan de los demás. Como dice la autora en este libro: vulnerabilidad, descuido, indecisión, distanciamiento - pueden ser demonios a combatir si realmente queremos construir una relación sana. Probablemente fueron algunos de los demonios de aquel hombre de Gerasa, cuyo espíritu se autodenominó "Legión" - porque eran muchos (Mc 5:9) Como apuntaba San Jerónimo (Commentarium in Marcum 2) el cuerpo de aquel hombre de Gerasa era la morada de Dios - y los demonios unos "ocupas" - y Cristo reclamó poder habitar en su casa (Apocalipsis 3:20) La doctora Durvasula nos describe al detalle, en este libro práctico y sin ambages, la pinta de esos demonios. La fe nos revela que son una entidad personal, pero no visten de Prada, ni son de piel roja, ni tienen cuernos, ni rabo, ni portan un tridente en la mano.
Profile Image for Natalie.
16 reviews
April 26, 2021
This is an absolute must read if you identify with feelings of hopelessness, powerlessness and confusion (self doubt) in a relationship.
You don't know what you don't know!
I had no idea why i felt that way...
Why I went to bed each night feeling like failure for never being able to make my partner happy, and why i woke each morning with fear of failure.
Every step i took in my life was on raiser stones and brittle egg shells, either to be cut or fear to tread.
This book saved my life.
Dr Ramini explained to me, they effects of gaslight and manipulation. The book is a lifeline to those who are sinking in an abyss of despair...
If you require a light to guide you to understanding the spiritual melancholy of being in a narcassist relationship, this is it.
Profile Image for Dasha.
28 reviews2 followers
September 18, 2018
Я мечтаю о том, чтобы эту книгу как можно скорее перевели на русский и включили в обязательную школьную программу. Чтобы она была в каждой библиотеке и в каждом доме, где соседствовала бы на книжной полке с собранием сочинений Пушкина и «Энциклопедией по выживанию».
Это — энциклопедия по выживанию с нарциссистами. В ней очень подробно и ясно объяняется, что такое нарциссизм, как он влияет на окружающих и что с этим делать. Во время чтения меня не отпускало ощущение узнавания: огромная часть описанных ситуаций как будто взята из моих воспоминаний. Книга помогла мне соединить точки и увидеть полную картину.
Раньше мне казалось, что вокруг сплошь нарциссисты и что я сама не исключение, но по мере чтения я поняла, что хоть нарциссические черты действительно есть у всех нас, в целые паттерны поведения они складываются только у некоторых. Сейчас я ясно вижу, кто именно из моих родственников и друзей нарциссист. Их немного, но они есть и их влияние на мою жизнь, характер и самочувствие мне только предстоит оценить в полной степени. Шансы таковы, что скорее всего нарциссисты есть и среди ваших близких людей. Поэтому очень советую обратить внимание на эту книгу, она правда отличная.
Profile Image for Maria Torres.
50 reviews3 followers
January 9, 2020
I heard somebody referring living with a narcissist as a "upside down" reality, referenced from Stranger Things on Netflix. The more I read about the disorder, the more I witness it in my own life, the more it starts to make sense. Frequently one can't read the label from the inside of the bottle, so I'm grateful for this resource as well as many others what help the victims of narcissistic abuse and myself see the true light, and not the one painted by the the person with particular disorder traits. Do victims deserve such a treatment? Definitely no. Can we make positive changes right away, which usually consist of leaving the abuser? That depends on things too many to count. Sometimes the only way to leave "the upside down" is "to slay the monster"(leave the abuser). I just wish it wasn't easier said than done.
Profile Image for Lena.
32 reviews8 followers
October 8, 2022
This book was like medicine to my soul! It is not my partner but my sister that I had suspected being a narcissist. Reading this book I feel certain. It is uncanny how accurate both the characteristics, behaviors and mentioned examples are. Also the descriptions of how the person in a relationship with a narcissist reacts gave me chills. This is me, I do that! This book gave me so much recognition and healing! It made me feel less alone, seen, heard, accepted. It made it clear once again that I am not crazy, that I am worthy, that I am enough. I do not have to put up with this any longer.

This book healed me in ways I cannot put into words. It helped me find the closure I could not ( and probably will never) find with my sister.

I can recommend this to anyone in a relationship (romantic or otherwise) with a narcissist!
Profile Image for Ellen Van Den Broecke.
15 reviews1 follower
August 28, 2020
genius survival manual for when you struggle with emotionally unavailable persons in your life. Dr Ramani makes it her life project to help educate us on the landscape of pathological narcissism. I would argue it is a more severe epidemic than the current crisis we are facing. Narcissism is on the rise, already approximately, 1 out of 10 persons scores high on the diagnostic scale, meaning they leave behind a huge trail of wounded psyches. they thrive in our day and age and that is problematic and that is the issue that ought to be addressed. Thus diminishing the narcissistic abuse suffered by such a big group of our population, all across the world.
Profile Image for Ruby.
342 reviews9 followers
September 9, 2018
Not a review... Just a disclaimer. I am not in a relationship with a narcissist! I would hate for anyone to think that about my beloved partner. I read this book because I believe I was in a relationship with a narcissist in the past. This book helped me understand and clarify that whole experience.
14 reviews
December 8, 2018
I highly recommend this book.

This book has been the turning point in helping me to move forward after the devastating abuse our family has suffered. It brought me peace I couldn't find anywhere else. I only wish I had read it before our 4 years of hell. This book will help you recognize personality types and make wise choices. It's a must read.
Profile Image for Sanela K..
128 reviews9 followers
November 17, 2020
20. knjiga koju sam pročitala u 2020. godini je "Ostati ili otići?" ("Should I stay or should I go?") koju je napisala kolegica Ramani Durvasula, klinički psiholog i profesorica psihologije na Državnom univerzitetu u Kaliforniji. Ovo je knjiga koja na pristupačan i konkretan način objašnjava narcistički poremećaj ličnosti koji, nažalost, u modernom društvu ima savršene uslove za razvoj, a međuljudske veze i odnosi, te fizičko i mentalno zdravlje osoba koje su s njima i oko njih - predstavljaju tek kolateralnu štetu. Naslov je zaista primamljiv i zapet će za oko svakoj osobi koja razmišlja da napusti partnera ili posao, ili da se odseli... U prvim poglavljima su detaljno opisane stavke sa ček liste na kojoj možete procijeniti da li trpite jer ste u vezi sa narcisom... Zatim su detaljno opisane razne situacije, iskustva ljudi koji su to prolazili, te njihovi savjeti, bilo da su odlučili da odu ili da ostanu. Autorka je dala detaljne upute šta možete da očekujete bilo koju od te dvije odluke da donesete, te kako da se pripremite i zaštitite jer svaka odluka nosi svoju težinu i za svaku je potrebna enormna snaga da se provede u djelo. I napomena da nam se isto može dogoditi i u porodici i radnom okruženju gdje je dovoljno da se pojavi samo jedna takva osoba da to destruktivno djeluje na čitav sistem u kojem se ona nalazi (porodica, komšiluk, radni kolektiv itd.) Osim toga, često iz djetinjstva nosimo obrasce koje ponavljamo u zrelom dobu pri izboru partnera, prijatelja i slično. Bilo je izuzetno zanimljivo, ali i teško čitati ovu knjigu jer sam, nažalost i sama u svim periodima života imala nesreću da budem okružena takvim ljudima od rane mladosti pa do današnjeg dana. Autorka je dala i objašnjenje zašto su takve osobe takve kakve jesu i pozvala nas na razumijevanje, ali istovremeno ne i na mazohističko praštanje, nego na oprost i nezaborav, da se pobrinemo za sebe i da na kraju, ma koju odluku donijeli, iz nas izađe nakupljena gorčina, a nastupi duševni mir.
Upravo zbog znakova upozorenja koji nas upućuju na to da imamo posla sa narcisom - preporučila bih ovu knjigu svima, a naročito ženama, jer se na ovim balkanskim prostorima uloga žene u braku često svodi na to da se sve podredi mužu i da se živi život da bi se njemu ugodilo i olakšalo, što samo po sebi ne mora biti loše ako imate posla sa mentalno zdravom osobom, sposobnom za empatiju, uvažavanje i zrelu ljubav... ali, kada se ugađa narcisu (a njemu je nemoguće ugoditi) onda se to svodi na to, citiraću autorku - da se umilostivi zvijer... Zbog izuzetno devastirajućeg uticaja života i rada sa narcisom na naš zivot i zdravlje, bilo bi dobro da pročitamo ovo, da se pobrinemo da našu djecu odgajamo da ne budu poput njih, ali da ne budu ni njihove žrtve...
Ocjena? 🤔 Čista petica ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
Profile Image for Lorrany.
409 reviews50 followers
June 18, 2021
Leitura incrível, aprendi muito! Conheci o trabalho da Dra. Ramani Durvasula através do Red Table Talk e fiquei especialmente interessada por esse livro no episódio sobre narcisismo. Conheço uma pessoa que, pelo que pude perceber, preenche todos as características do narcisismo patológico descritas no livro. Claro, não posso diagnosticar ninguém por meio de uma leitura (não sou psicóloga), mas foi muito esclarecedor entender um pouco do possível motivo de essa pessoa agir da forma que age e aprender como lidar com a situação quando precisar entrar em contato com ela. Apesar de ser um livro teórico em inglês, a leitura é bem tranquila e livre de termos técnicos, tornando-o acessível para quem não é fluente no idioma. Recomendo muito a leitura, acredito que todo mundo tenha pelo menos um narcisista patológico com quem precisa conviver. Aprender mecanismos para lidar com esse tipo de pessoa é muito importante para nossa saúde mental.
Profile Image for Olja Zeradjanin.
68 reviews2 followers
October 12, 2020
Jedna od najboljih knjiga koje sam procitala iz ove oblasti ove godine i svakom bih preporucila da procita i poseduje. Naziv knjige bolje da je bio Narcisoidnost - bolest danasnjice.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
Author 1 book17 followers
December 27, 2022
Dr. Ramani does an excellent job of providing real tools to understand the motivation of, identify traits of, and make practical sense of a narcissistic partner. She brings much needed clarity to a word that has been incredibly overused so that those truly struggling with a partner with massive ego and crippling insecurity can see beyond the day to day confusion and make a plan. Her checklists and research provide guidance into identifying what can often be very unsettling to try and wrap our heads around. Her book is a valuable tool for anyone dealing with a narcissist or questioning their own sanity in their relationships. Dr. Ramani makes it clear that we must not simply evaluate our partners, but also ourselves to understand our situations and act accordingly. Her knowledge and writing style make for an informative and thought provoking read.
Profile Image for Leah Stewart.
7 reviews2 followers
June 15, 2019
This book has been amazing at coming to terms with why I felt like I was never “enough” and honestly, I think I have a ways to go with understanding how and why I found myself in a relationship like this. I feel like my whole personality has shifted, and I thought there was something deeply wrong with me. I eventually chose to leave but if you choose to stay, there are tactics in here that I employed daily without realizing they were tactics. It’s hard, exhausting, and nasty. But if you’re here till the end, then “manage your expectations” because your partner will never change, but it’s never your fault.
Profile Image for Breanna.
138 reviews
April 3, 2020
Dr. Ramani Duvursala is excellent at educating her audience about narcissism. Written with couples in mind, the book gives a well rounded description of the pathology of a narcissist. As an adult child of a pathological narcissist, I found this to be a good refresher on the topic as well as a powerful reinforcement to stay NC for my own health and well being. I highly recommend this book as well as Dr. Ramani’s other work for anyone in any type of relationship with a narcissist.
123 reviews
August 22, 2021
This book manages to be both full of information and a helpful no nonsense attitude without the mean judgement and is instead full of empathy and respectful of its readers opinions, choices and experiences.

Dr. Ramani takes her patients and readers seriously.
So often self-help books seem condescending, holier than thou, there is only one right way to do things. It turns into a talk at the readers instead of a conversation with them. I gave this book a try after having seen her youtube videos on narcissism and I‘m glad I picked it up.

This book is not so much about leaving or staying but understanding patterns, managing expectations and getting to know yourself to figure out what your options are, what you can handle and if you even want to. It‘s about understanding narcissism and understanding your reactions to it. Taking care of yourself and finding joy again.

From my personal experience it gets better and more concrete in the later chapters, though it is just as informative and helpful at the start. One thing I wish was more elaborated on was the vulnerable narcissist. But her three part series on her youtube channel on this topic as well as other videos mentioning this type are really all you need.

Even the quotes (that I admit I often find a little cheesy in self help books in general) I thought were fitting. Comforting even.

It feels like every sentence in this book is there for a reason and shows how much time and thought went into writing it.

Profile Image for Lyn Yuen Choo.
17 reviews
July 6, 2021
I got this book to better understand my narcissistic family dynamic, which has impacted my mental health for all my life. However, when I started reading, I started noticing and relating every page of the book to my current relationship. This book made me realize all the red flags in my current relationship, and made me realize my tendency to be with narcissists because it is familiar to the environment I was raised in.

I think Dr. Ramani is very realistic with her writing, which I really appreciate. It is extremely difficult to leave a relationship with a narcissist. I am thankful that she wrote about how to manage expectations when in a relationship with a narcissist, because so many victims are unable or not ready to leave.

I watch Dr. Ramani's YouTube channel on narcissism as well. She has done a lot of great work in this area, and her work has healed many victims' lives. This is a great read for anyone who is struggling in an abusive relationship.
Profile Image for Stella Daniel.
29 reviews4 followers
May 26, 2019
The book has good insights and tells you what you can do to stay away from an abusive relationship. But 'Should I stay or should I go?' Is rather a silly question.

A person who decides to stick with a narcissist, in my opinion, must be a narcissist themselves. It's not the emotionally weak or the incompetent or the inferior who falls prey to a narcissist. -It's the subtly proud and the arrogant who believe they must have what they wish to have, and the 'I can change him' attitude; those who'd rather barter they're self-respect in order to own or change a person who eventually do. You cannot twist the fabric of reality and hope you'll get away with it.

Humility breeds self-respect.

If it hurts, leave.
Profile Image for Vijayan Joseph.
23 reviews1 follower
July 17, 2020
Detailed description of how a narcissist behaves, how the victim experiences narcissism and the ways in which to manage it (unfortunately, not many ways). A simple book for the layman to understand the concepts and not going deep into why something like this disorder exists
Profile Image for Eugene Pustoshkin.
441 reviews70 followers
April 24, 2022
Книга «Уйти или остаться: Как выжить в отношениях с нарциссом» (2021) Рамани Дурвасулы имеет свои недостатки, но весьма верен её главный посыл, основной месседж — о необходимости выйти из фантазий для встречи с «пустыней реального». В данном случае — с выжженой землёй реальных последствий вступления в отношения с человеком, имеющим нарциссическое расстройство личности. Это призыв к трезвому взгляду на эти сложные и, увы, очень распространённые аспекты человеческой природы!

Книга написана популярным языком, содержит довольно много воды, не раскрывает, на мой взгляд, сути патологического нарциссизма, смешивает в нарративе нарциссические черты и клиническое нарциссическое расстройство, однако первые и последние главы всё равно весьма полезны. Также в книге содержится опросник на определение нарциссических черт у вашего романтического партнёра.

Я бы поставил книге два балла из пяти, если бы не её востребованность сегодня: это часть ликбеза по проблематике «психопатологии обыденной жизни», с которой мы все так или иначе можем встретиться (и встречаемся) и с которой ознакомиться нужно всем, поэтому ставлю три балла. Пожалуйста, читайте, и при этом не ограничивайтесь только этой книгой.

Сегодня эти книги активно переводятся на русский язык, рассматривают проблематику нарциссизма, психопатии, социопатии. Это очень важно!

Из минусов книги: хотя автор говорит иначе, книга всё же ориентирована на женщин, пострадавших от отношений с носителем «тёмной триады» (нарциссизм, психопатия, маккиавелизм), соответственно портрет патологического нарцисса рисуется на основе стереотипного мужчины-нарцисса. Цельного, охватывающего оба гендера взгляда на клинический нарциссизм, к сожалению, здесь вы не получите.

С другой стороны, название книги очень честное и точное: «Уйти или остаться» — в оригинале: «Should I stay or Should I go: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist» — «Следует ли мне остаться или же уйти: Выжить в отношениях с нарциссом».

Имеет смысл привести содержание глав, которое опубликовано в книжных интернет-магазинах:

Книга «Уйти или остаться» — практическое руководство и инструмент для сверки с реальностью. Это честная энциклопедия нарциссизма, не уводящая в тщетные надежды, бесконечное прощение или попытки изменить себя.

В этой книге вы найдете поддержку в случае, если решите уйти, необходимые инструменты, если решите остаться, и информацию, которая поможет вам вновь не попасть в ловушку нарциссических отношений.


Глава 1. Инструкция по выживанию

Из этой главы вы узнаете, о чем эта книга, что такое нарциссизм и созависимость, а также о том, что вырваться из порочного круга можно.

Глава 2. Нарциссизм — это новый черный

Мы подробнее поговорим о нарциссизме, его главных чертах и Темной триаде — макиавеллизме, нарциссизме и психопатии. Вы узнаете об истоках нарциссизма и понятии здорового нарциссизма, а также о том как наша культура поддерживает нарциссизм.

Глава 3. Ваш партнер — нарцисс?

В этой главе мы рассмотрим некоторые из характерных черт нарциссической личности — признаки того, что вы можете быть в отношениях с нарциссом. А также поговорим о различных типах нарциссов и соответствующих моделях поведения, присутствующих в ваших отношениях.

Глава 4. Как вы втянулись в эти отношения?

В этой главе мы подробно поговорим о тех притягательных чертах, которые привлекли вас в вашем партнере, чтобы вы ясно увидели, перед какими типами личности вам трудно устоять. Поняв, в чем заключается привлекательность этих нарциссических черт, вы сможете лучше справляться с тем, что происходит в ваших текущих отношениях, или избежать подобной ловушки в будущем.

Глава 5. Какие чувства вызывает нарцисс?

Эта глава поможет разобраться с чувствами и расскажет о некоторых распространенных моделях поведения, которые вы можете обнаружить у себя — придумывание оправданий, склонность к изоляции или постоянный страх разочарования.

Глава 6. Пора отказаться от фантазии о спасении

Вы уже достаточно хорошо представляете, что из себя представляет патологический нарцисс, какие эмоции вы испытываете в отношениях с ним и почему вы оказались вместе. Пришло время решить, что делать дальше. В этой главе поговорим о том, что такое фантазия о спасении и как она мешает вам вернуть свою жизнь себе.

Глава 7. Остаться?

Теперь вы знаете, что чудовище никогда не изменится. Но что, если вы не хотите уходить? В этой главе я расскажу о некоторых п��лезных инструментах, которые сделают вашу жизнь легче, если вы решите остаться.

Глава 8. Уйти?

Глава о том, как решиться уйти, как подготовиться к этому, какие трудности могут вас ожидать и как с ними справиться.

Глава 9. Новая глава

В этой главе речь пойдет о том, какие уроки можно вынести, пережив отношения с нарциссом, как все это на вас повлияло и как не попасться вновь в эту ловушку.
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