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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default The Dark Triad - do you know anyone, or are you one?

    I was reading Daniel Goleman's book Social Intelligence and found the section on narcissists, Machiavellians and psychopaths very interesting.

    Apparently there are many people who are at least sub-clinical examples of these types. Do you think you know anyone who falls into one of these categories? What have your experiences been with them? Or do you think YOU might be one...?

    I've run up against a few people in recent years who I've thought might have these tendencies, but then it's hard to tell for me sometimes if I'm just being over-sensitive because someone hurt my feelings, or if I just caught them on a bad day (though when you realize it's been a bad several months, or years, of empathy-deficiency, you do start to wonder)...sometimes I give people way too much benefit of the doubt, and sometimes no benefit of the doubt at all.

    I really would like to read some concrete examples of these types from your own life if you have them. Also, does anyone have a good link with descriptions of these types and the differences between them? Too lazy to find one myself right now
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  2. #2
    Riva
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    There is a thread about Psychopaths right on top of this thread.

    But after I hit the enter button this thread would go to the top and that thread would go one notch down.

    So what you have to do is look down.

    But technically it is still on top of this thread.

  3. #3

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    I've got a couple of books on Narcissism, Eric Fromm, a psychologist who despite writing years ago and having some of his concepts muddled up had some great ideas about social character and what he thought was necessary to overcome what he considered modern character neurosis, developing out of your own narcissism was one of them.

    I tend to believe that modern society can actively channel and shape people so that their behaviour reflects machavellianism, narcissism or psychopathy even if they arent any of those things at heart. Although the thing is that you could very well sleep walk into this sort of thing if you dont try to develop the right insights. I think that goes for everyone, whether they're more or less vulnerable or susceptible to it as a result of their early life experiences, family culture, community or neighbourhood culture etc.

    I've known about a dozen people who fit the narcissistic frame, I've met pleasant ones, unpleasant ones, domineering or masochistic ones and some of the better books on the topic like those by Alexander Lowen's talk about how being overly altruistic and/or self-sacrificing could be an indication of narcissism. People tend to think of these sorts of individuals as being selfish, overblown egotists but in reality they are highly invested in false personas which might not conform to the popular stereotype.

    I've met one person who I believe was a perfect narcissist, like really ill with it and with seriously diminished self-insight, they were crazily deployed and every relationship and often every conversation with them was very adversarial, it was a psychological defence against chronic self-doubt. In fact I think if reality ever dawns on them they are at real risk of doing themselves in or hurting someone else.

    The classic definition of those personalities is that they dont have a conscience or havent developed one, I tend to think there's something about consciousness too, not just conscientiousness.

  4. #4
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curzon View Post
    There is a thread about Psychopaths right on top of this thread.

    But after I hit the enter button this thread would go to the top and that thread would go one notch down.

    So what you have to do is look down.

    But technically it is still on top of this thread.
    LOL. Yeah, I did see that, I need to have another look. I think I'm asking for something a bit different in this one though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've got a couple of books on Narcissism, Eric Fromm, a psychologist who despite writing years ago and having some of his concepts muddled up had some great ideas about social character and what he thought was necessary to overcome what he considered modern character neurosis, developing out of your own narcissism was one of them.

    I tend to believe that modern society can actively channel and shape people so that their behaviour reflects machavellianism, narcissism or psychopathy even if they arent any of those things at heart. Although the thing is that you could very well sleep walk into this sort of thing if you dont try to develop the right insights. I think that goes for everyone, whether they're more or less vulnerable or susceptible to it as a result of their early life experiences, family culture, community or neighbourhood culture etc.

    I've known about a dozen people who fit the narcissistic frame, I've met pleasant ones, unpleasant ones, domineering or masochistic ones and some of the better books on the topic like those by Alexander Lowen's talk about how being overly altruistic and/or self-sacrificing could be an indication of narcissism. People tend to think of these sorts of individuals as being selfish, overblown egotists but in reality they are highly invested in false personas which might not conform to the popular stereotype.

    I've met one person who I believe was a perfect narcissist, like really ill with it and with seriously diminished self-insight, they were crazily deployed and every relationship and often every conversation with them was very adversarial, it was a psychological defence against chronic self-doubt. In fact I think if reality ever dawns on them they are at real risk of doing themselves in or hurting someone else.

    The classic definition of those personalities is that they dont have a conscience or havent developed one, I tend to think there's something about consciousness too, not just conscientiousness.
    Thanks, hope I will read those books some time. I agree with what you said about modern society encouraging these traits even if the people may not have the deficiencies innately of those types. Me-first culture can have a sinister outcome.
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  5. #5

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    Me-first culture can have a sinister outcome.
    I agree that it sure can, provided you can read them in their context Eric Fromm's books The Fear of Freedom and Sane Society are good on the topic of social character.

    There's a lot going on when the invisible hand meets the unconscious mind, to be honest I think we're all being transformed into addicts slowly and surely, although me-first can look pretty different from the traditional archetype of Scrooge or Midas, it could as easily be a controlling-carer or self-sacrificing saintly behaviour fronting for contempt for others.

  6. #6
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I agree that it sure can, provided you can read them in their context Eric Fromm's books The Fear of Freedom and Sane Society are good on the topic of social character.

    There's a lot going on when the invisible hand meets the unconscious mind, to be honest I think we're all being transformed into addicts slowly and surely, although me-first can look pretty different from the traditional archetype of Scrooge or Midas, it could as easily be a controlling-carer or self-sacrificing saintly behaviour fronting for contempt for others.
    Do you feel like people are becoming increasingly confused about their motives? Like, it's increasingly difficult to tell if you really feel an emotion, or if you're just displaying a semblance of the emotion appropriate to the circumstance? Or, are you being "altruistic" out of genuine altruism or to make yourself look good...Maybe these questions have always been surrounded by a lot of confusion.

    My undestanding, though, is that narcissists/Machs/psychopaths don't think there's anything wrong with their behaviour so they aren't exactly confused about their motives. Sorry, rambling a bit, not sure where I'm going with this
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  7. #7
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    I would say my ex husband was a psychopath based on what I've read about it on wikipedia lol. That's not just because I'm an F, and I'm sensitive. I am those things, but it's honestly from stepping away from the bad memories and removing the emotional pain I can still say he was a psychopath.

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder whose hallmark is a lack of empathy. Researcher Robert Hare, whose Hare Psychopathy Checklist is widely used, describes psychopaths as "intraspecies predators who use charisma, manipulation, intimidation, sexual intercourse and violence to control others and to satisfy their own needs. Lacking in conscience and empathy, they take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without guilt or remorse". "What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony."

    Yep, all true of him. Psychopathy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Psychopaths are glib and superficially charming, and many psychopaths are excellent mimics of normal human emotion; some psychopaths can blend in, undetected, in a variety of surroundings, including corporate environments. There is neither a cure nor any effective treatment for psychopathy; there are no medications or other techniques which can instill empathy, and psychopaths who undergo traditional talk therapy only become more adept at manipulating others. The consensus among researchers is that psychopathy stems from a specific neurological disorder which is biological in origin and present from birth. It is estimated that one percent of the general population are psychopaths
    Again true, he used anything he learnt to increase his ability to manipulate and control people around him.

    Psychopaths lack a sense of guilt or remorse for any harm they may have caused others, instead rationalizing the behavior, blaming someone else, or denying it outright
    True. What's worse is they even believe their own rationalizations, as you stand there gobsmacked, stuttering, and wondering where exactly the lobotomy was performed on them at some stage in their life.

    Even though it estimates only 1% of the population as having this, I've become suspicious of all people having the potential to be like this.
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  8. #8
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BerberElla View Post

    True. What's worse is they even believe their own rationalizations, as you stand there gobsmacked, stuttering, and wondering where exactly the lobotomy was performed on them at some stage in their life.
    I have had this experience with people for sure, as most of us probably have...not sure I was dealing with psychopaths etc, though, I just thought these were very unaware people...well, who knows...

    What a terrible experience to have been married to someone with those tendencies.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Do you feel like people are becoming increasingly confused about their motives? Like, it's increasingly difficult to tell if you really feel an emotion, or if you're just displaying a semblance of the emotion appropriate to the circumstance? Or, are you being "altruistic" out of genuine altruism or to make yourself look good...Maybe these questions have always been surrounded by a lot of confusion.

    My undestanding, though, is that narcissists/Machs/psychopaths don't think there's anything wrong with their behaviour so they aren't exactly confused about their motives. Sorry, rambling a bit, not sure where I'm going with this
    No, its not rambling, lots of good points made.

    Man For Himself is another of Fromm's books, in which he works out a typology of his own, describing what he posited were healthy characterological traits and the unhealthy or pathological alternatives.

    He went into some depth about something he called the Marketing Personality, I think its grown widespread too, people conforming to the marketing personality are likely to fit the frame of the dark triad and I'd say whether they are that bothered by it, when they discover or suspect their inauthenticity, would be a strong indicator of whether or not they were genuinely narcissistic, psychopathic or machavellian or just conforming to the social unconscious.

  10. #10
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    He went into some depth about something he called the Marketing Personality, I think its grown widespread too, people conforming to the marketing personality are likely to fit the frame of the dark triad and I'd say whether they are that bothered by it, when they discover or suspect their inauthenticity, would be a strong indicator of whether or not they were genuinely narcissistic, psychopathic or machavellian or just conforming to the social unconscious.
    It has a lot to do with self-awareness, doesn't it. I found another thread where someone said "I think I might be a narcissist." Someone else pointed out that if you're questioning if you are one, and are worried about it, you probably aren't one, or at least your tendencies are mild...
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