I read this book with the intention of diagnosing every person (man) who has ever hurt me, but ended up coming to the conclusion that I myself might be an actual narcissist.
Dombek writes humorously but clearly knows what she's talking about. I think that 140 compact pages were the perfect amount for this essay. She focuses on (you guessed it) narcissism - what different psychologists speculate it originates from, how it is growing, how it manifests, why we're so afraid of it, and what we can do to combat it. The one thing that hasn't been conclusively decided upon is whether narcissism stems from a deep, deep lack of self-esteem or whether it comes from a true belief that one is incredibly superior to all others. Sometimes it is a combination of both. (For me, it's the former.)
Dombek references Ovidian tales quite often and I felt grateful that I spent four hours a week during my final semester of college in an intensive seminar on Ovid's tales. I didn't think that that seminar would ever come in handy, but hey! I'm one year out of school and already it's been of use. Who knows how much my knowledge of forest nymphs will come into play in the future!
The book also often references a test called the NPI (which I immediately Googled and took) and am now having an identity crisis over whether or not I'm a self absorbed monster. One of the things about narcissists is that they are incredibly insecure but low-key love attention (me?!) and that they regularly display empathy in traditional ways (volunteering, social media posts, general activism/protesting) but also think that everything bad is happening to them (me?!! x 2)
Another thing she pointed out was how much the use of "I" has grown in fiction/non-fiction and the rising prevalence of memoirs. Maybe we're all becoming narcissists? Anyway, below are a few quotes that I underlined in my late-night frantic reading.