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  • James 19:15 on November 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Crna Gora, , Kotor, Montenegro, narcissism, , , , , ,   

    Postcard to myself 

    20181120_200645

    There are venomous snakes in this box. You think it’s chocolates and that I’m sorry, but I’m not and it’s snakes.

    I have been going through some cards, letters and postcards from my life up until now. My old room is getting ripped out and replaced with something new, to cater to my parents’ obsession with decorating and modernising their house, so all these forgotten bits and pieces have been coming to light for the first time in 10, 15, in some cases 20, years. What can I say? I’m a magpie.

    And there’s this stash of old post, which has given me a new perspective on my upbringing. Because I was relatively late to become aware of psychopathy and specifically that it pertained to who I am (this I discovered at the age of 18; I’m now 25), I have been under the impression that other people in my life were similarly clueless about my nature. Not so.

    There’s the card in the picture, sent to me one Christmas by a school friend, who wrote that it “reminded me of you… happy Xmas, you weirdo.” There’s another card, sent by family friends, with reference to an atlas they bought me: “You always said you wanted to take over the world. Let this inspire you.” Rereading that today reminded me that, yes, I was a megalomaniacal motormouth at one stage of my childhood, and had evidently revealed some or all of my plans to this family – rookie Bond villain mistake. And that is why I will never get the chance to be tried for war crimes in The Hague.

    Then there was this bizarre Wallace and Gromit birthday card, sent to my grandad from all of my family, which read inside, in my mother’s spiky handwriting: “Happy birthday, Dad. This card was chosen by Jamie on the understanding that you’ll post it back to him.” It was dated 1997; I was three. Little control freak.

    Sure, so there’s no smoking gun. No “Ohhh my God, my baby’s a psycho, what do I dooo?” letter. But there’s knowledge – and acceptance – of my personality. I’m lucky to have parents who have never tried to deny who I am, and who have supported me from the start. It just goes to show that sometimes close friends and family know you better than you do yourself.


    Image result for kotor postcard

    In the same pile, I also came across a postcard from Montenegro, sent in 2008 by me… to me. It was postmarked and everything, sent par avion across Europe from the tiny Balkan state to my home in England. This is it, folks – peak narcissism:

    Dear future self,

    Ha! Ha! I’m on holiday, you’re not!

    Classy.

    It goes on –

    Hope the ol’ ear has cleared up by the time I get this.

    Oh, that’s right. I got an ear infection from the poorly-chlorinated swimming pool. I had to get some strange ear potion from the apothecary in Kotor. Yes, apothecary;  Montenegro’s a hell of a place.

    I am sitting on my apartment’s balcony. Jealous?

    Yes. Fuck you.

    Anyway, fuck you.

    Be you later,

    James

    Great, well thanks for that, 15-year old James.

    The moral of the story? Never meet your heroes, because they’re sure to disappoint.

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    • nowve666 20:53 on November 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      This is the weirdest post of yours I’ve seen. So you wrote a postcard to your “future self” and taunted your future self that you were on vacation and he (you) were not?

      Like

    • 1jaded1 21:42 on November 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I laughed and I’m not ashamed. The first card with the snakes is just too funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  • James 21:08 on January 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2018, Advance to Mayfair, , cheating, , , , , , , , , narcissism, new year, , , , , , Sorry!, The Old Kent Road - a nice little earner   

    Just being psychopathic 

    So, New Year’s Day, 2018. I spent it in the company of my mother for the most part, playing board games. It was nice to reconnect, nice to not have anything else to do but play a few games and enjoy spending time with the woman who birthed and raised me. It’s not often that there’s literally nothing else I’d rather be doing than what I’m currently doing, or that there’s nothing else that really has to be done.

    The way my mind works, it’s goal-oriented. Win this. Get that. Do such and such. Beat him. And when I have a goal, everything I do, every bit of effort is put into achieving that goal. You could say I have a sort of tunnel vision, a razor sharp focus on the prize, outside of which nothing else matters. When I’m trying to achieve a goal is when other people are most likely to be adversely affected. This single-mindedness is what causes me to manipulate and use people like tools. You see, people who have been hurt by psychopaths get it all wrong. They take everything personally. They act like there was always a plan on the part of the psychopath to ruin their life or to make them unhappy. This is rarely the case. The psychopath was just doing what he or she needed to do to get what he or she wanted. You just got unlucky, by being in the way or by being the key to achieving his or her goal.

    Sometimes, I am accused of deliberately hurting someone or of setting out to cause them harm. This is fair enough; people are inclined to take things personally, as they love to imagine themselves as more important than they really are, being at the centre of their own universe. I don’t blame people for feeling like shit when they’ve been cheated or taken an emotional battering. It’s not a good place to be in. But it’s when they call me cruel or sadistic, they’re wrong. I’m not cruel. I’m not sadistic. I don’t wish anybody harm. On the other hand, I am single-minded. I am selfish. I am ruthless.

    But not today. Today, there was nothing to do but play games and enjoy being with my mother. I suppose that was a sort of goal, and could be reimagined as an objective: ‘spend time with Mum and enjoy self’, which would require of me such behaviour as ‘be polite’, ‘be charming’, ‘be loving’, ‘be upbeat’ (yes, that is really how I think). However, there was nothing beyond this simplistic ‘goal’, no detailed planning or second-guessing required!

    And it was enjoyable. We both had a good time. We drank cups of tea, and later glasses of beaujolais. We played ‘Monopoly’ and ‘Sorry’, and I won four out of five games. I was probably thinking more strategically than Mum, because she was just having fun with her son, while I can never really ‘switch off’ one hundred percent. I manipulated and cheated my way into winning four times, but always with a cheeky smile, playful banter and a joke to make my parent laugh. She could see what I was doing most of the time, both when I was giving ‘advice’ on what move she should take next, and when I tried to bribe her with 500 Monopoly money, but she didn’t hold it against me because she loves me, and because I was on top social form. I like that kind of interaction. Being charming and having someone hang on to your every word – it’s a good feeling, even when it’s with someone who is pretty much biologically-programmed to love you.

    Still, the way I look at it is although my Mum can’t help but love me, the fact that she also likes me must count for something, and says something about our relationship.

    New Year’s Day 2018 – it was simple, but fulfilling.

     
    • nowve666 09:22 on January 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      How does someone bribe another player in Monopoly? Give her the $500 to let you go twice? Have her buy a property she wasn’t going to buy? Fun game.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Amaterasu Solar 11:39 on January 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      James, You fascinate Me, and I do like You. Thanks for sharing this! I will surely not be trusting You, but I can grasp why Your mom likes You.

      Like

  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 09:26 on October 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , dark triad, ego, , , , narcissism, , , ,   

    A Narcissist, a Psychopath, and a Machiavellian Walk into a Bar… 

    The bartender asks, ‘who has the darkest personality out of you three?’ The Narcissist says ‘me’, the Psychopath says, ‘I don’t care’ and the Mach says ‘it’s whoever I want it to be’.

    All embarrassing jokes aside, the Dark Triad of Personality rather ominously named, is an area of Psychological research which is attracting significant attention. It is however only a young field, in fact, it was just over a decade ago that Paulhus and Williams (2002) coined the term ‘Dark Triad’. It’s an area of research that seems to intrigue Organisational, Clinical and Forensic Psychologists alike and of course, has important implications for society as a whole. However, is there any real merit, use and/or empirical rigour in the study of these traits? I was inspired to delve a little deeper into the Dark Triad after last month’s blog on office politics, which touched on certain characteristics which fall within the remit of these traits i.e. manipulating others for self gain.

    So what does the Dark Triad consist of?

    Narcissism: characterised by grandiosity, entitlement, dominance, and superiority (Corry, Merritt, Mrug, & Pamp, 2008). The scale largely used to measure this trait is the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI; Raskin & Hall, 1979).

    Psychopathy: characterised by high levels of impulsivity and thrill-seeking along with low levels of empathy (Hare, 1985). It has been described as the most ‘malevolent’ of the Dark Triad (Rauthmann, 2012). The scale which is largely used in the literature to measure Psychopathy is the Self-Report Psychopathy (SRP) scale, version III forthcoming (Paulhus, Neumann, & Hare). It was modelled on the Psychopathy Check List (Hare, 1991), which is largely seen as the ‘‘gold standard’’ for the measurement of forensic Psychopathy.

    Machiavellianism: characterised as being cynical, unprincipled and using manipulation of others for self-gain and life success (Jones & Palhaus, 2009). The scale which is most used to measure this construct is the Mach IV (Christie & Geis, 1970).

    Global measures of the triad have recently been created such as the Dirty Dozen, a 12 item scale (Jonason & Webster, 2010) and the Short Dark Triad, a 27 item scale (SD3; Jones & Paulhus, forthcoming).

    Both Narcissism and Psychopathy have migrated from the clinical literature as personality disorders found in DSM-IV, whilst Machiavellianism has been distilled from the philosophy and tactics of Nicolo Machiavelli. In this instance, they have been applied to the sub-clinical population in much the same way as the Big Five personality factors. It is suggested that there are extreme personalities in our communities, which cross the boundary over into subclinical Dark Triad territory. In fact, a recent TED talk* highlighted the fact that as many as 1% of ‘normal people’ could be classed as a Psychopath, rising to 4% in CEO’s and business leaders.

    Much of my research into the Dark Triad was precipitated by an excellent new review of the literature by Furnham, Richards & Paulhus (2013). Hence please refer to this for a more detailed account of this area. They do a particularly good job at highlighting the major outcomes which the Dark Triad predict, across the workplace, educational and evolutionary literature.

    Focussing on workplace behaviours, they cite research which shows that while leaders who are high in such traits can be successful in navigating their way to the top (when coupled with high IQ and attractiveness, apparently), most eventually fall or derail in the end (Furnham, 2010). They are described by Hogan (2007) as being able to ‘get ahead’ but not ‘get along’ – which eventually comes back to haunt them. Specific behaviours include Narcissists’ softer methods of manipulation, while Psychopaths use harder, more direct methods and Machs are able to be flexible and switch between both methods (Jonason, Slomski, & Partyka, 2012). With extremely successful publications such as Snakes in Suits raising awareness of Dark Triad traits and behaviours, leadership derailment and management style are more relevant and important than ever.

    In terms of specifics, research indicates that Psychopaths tend to make negative impressions in short meetings (Rauthman, 2012), while Machs have the most questionable morals and are most cynical towards others (Rauthman, 2012). Lastly, Narcissists believe themselves to be good leaders, with high emotional intelligence even though they are perceived negatively by those around them (Petrides et al, 2011). Globally, however, all three Dark Triad traits exhibit a drive for ruthless self-advancement (Zuroff, Fournier, Patall, & Leybman, 2010).

    A word of warning; whereas Psychopaths react aggressively to physical threat, Narcissists do so to ego-threat (Jones & Palhaus, 2010). However, Machs are more deliberate and cautious as to how they react and respond as they don’t give into temptation as easily as the other two typically do (Williams, Nathanson & Paulhus, 2010). Therefore, when thinking about corporate crime, Jones et al (2012) suggest that it is the Mach who is unhindered by the impulsivity of the Psychopath, and displays of hedonism of the Narcissist to be the most successful perpetrator of white-collar crimes.

    All jokes aside, the next time you face an aggressive bully, you could be dealing with a Psychopath. The next time you face an overtly arrogant manager, you could be dealing with a Narcissist. And finally, the next time you find yourself manoeuvred out of an opportunity, you may have just been made a victim of a Mach’s manipulation. The Dark Triad does exist, perhaps in all of us. However, in the vast majority of us, they do so to a much lesser extent than that 1% of the population that they truly manifest themselves in.

    Written by Raj Chopra, TPF committee member.

    Follow me on Twitter: @Raj_Chopra24, follow TPF on Twitter: @TPF_UK.

    References

    Christie, R. C., & Geis, F. L. (1970). Studies in Machiavellianism. New York: Academic press.

    Corry, N., Merritt, R. D., Mrug, S., & Pamp, B. (2008). The factor structure of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 90, 593–600.

    Furnham, A. (2010). The Elephant in the Boardroom: The Causes of Leadership Derailment. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

    Furnham, A., Richards, S.C. & Paulhus, D.L. (2013) The Dark Triad of Personality: A 10 Year Review. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7/3, 199–216,

    Hare, R. D. (1985). Comparison of procedures for the assessment of psychopathy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 7–16.

    Hare, R. D. (1991). The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.

    Hogan, R. (2007). Personality and the Fate of Organizations. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Jonason, P. K., Slomski, S., & Partyka, J. (2012). The Dark Triad at work: How toxic employees get their way. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 449–453.

    Jonason, P. K., & Webster, G. D. (2010). The Dirty Dozen: A concise measure of the Dark Triad. Psychological Assessment, 22, 420–432.

    Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2009). Machiavellianism. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior (pp. 93–108). New York: Guilford.

    Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2010). Different provocations trigger aggression in narcissists and psychopaths. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1, 12–18.

    Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. forthcoming. Introducing the Short Dark Triad (SD3): A brief measure of dark personalities. Manuscript under review.

    Paulhus, D. L., Neumann, C. S., & Hare, R. D. forthcoming. Manual for the Self-Report Psychopathy (SRP) Scale. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.

    Paulhus, D. L, & Williams, K. M. (2002). The Dark Triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of Research in Personality, 36, 556–563.

    Petrides, K. V., Vernon, P. A., Schermer, J. A., & Veselka, L. (2011). Trait emotional intelligence and the Dark Triad of personality. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 14, 35–41.

    Raskin, R. N., & Hall, C. S. (1979). Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Psychological Reports, 45, 590.

    Rauthmann, J. F. (2012). The Dark Triad and interpersonal perception: Similarities and differences in the social consequences of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3, 487–496.

    Williams, K. M., Nathanson, C., & Paulhus, D. L. (2010). Identifying and profiling scholastic cheaters: Their personality, cognitive ability, and motivation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 16, 293–307.

    Zuroff, D. C., Fournier, M. A., Patall, E. A., & Leybman, M. J. (2010). Steps toward an evolutionary personality psychology: Individual differences in the social rank domain. Canadian Psychology, 51, 58–66.

    Reblogged from: A Narcissist, a Psychopath and a Machiavellian Walk into a Bar…  by Raj Chopra, June 23, 2013

     

    Psychopath TEST Politicians

     

    .

     
    • nowve666 09:47 on October 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think Machiavellianism is a strategy, not a personality characteristic in itself as if Narcissism and Psychopathy. Both Narcs and ‘Paths can be Machiavellian to achieve their ends. An NT can also use Machiavellian tactics at times. But it’s a technique, not a personality “disorder.” Therefore, I don’t think “the dark triad” should be treated as a “thing.” Three people might have walked into the bar but the third one can be a Narc or a ‘Path or an NT.

      Liked by 2 people

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