There are 3 ingredients of a toxic personality. These character traits can be developed as a result of bad influences and beliefs gleaned here and there along the path of existence. Let’s take a look at the dark triad and how to develop opposing qualities.
We all have a certain amount of narcissism, which isn’t inherently bad. What’s problematic is when this narcissism is exacerbated. Narcissism is falling in love with yourself, thinking you’re the most important person on earth and that your attention should be focused on contemplating yourself.
Reasons Why Narcissism Is Bad
When you’re a narcissist, your perception of the world is distorted: everything revolves around you. On the other hand, this over-valuing of oneself is accompanied by a devaluing of others. It’s no fun being friends with narcissists, because they inevitably end up neglecting you. The narcissist can’t love others, because he only loves himself, or at least his self-image. In reality, the narcissist ignores himself; he has never really set out to get to know himself. They’re simply delighted to admire their appearance, their material success, the image they project to others. In short, he’s superficial. Narcissism is an obstacle to personal development, which is why you need to learn to fight it in order to conquer yourself.
How To Treat Narcissism?
Paradoxically, to put an end to narcissism, you need to conquer an intimate knowledge of yourself, your spirit and your soul. This means really getting to know yourself, getting to know your imperfections and contemplating a more subtle beauty. It’s through true self-knowledge that we put aside our narcissism and begin to love others. If spiritual knowledge seems too vague for you, I’ll tell you something else: it’s by confronting difficulty that you’ll get to know yourself. By overcoming obstacles, you’ll have to tap into inner resources that require a deeper understanding of yourself. This will enable you to become more intimate with yourself once the ordeal is over. What you’ll admire will no longer be your image, but what you’ve achieved. This will generate genuine confidence that doesn’t need to scorn or deny others in order to exist.
The Machiavellian Personality
A Machiavellian person is characterized by manipulating and exploiting others for his or her own benefit, with no regard for morality.
Some books glorify manipulation as a means to an end, particularly in the field of seduction. It’s a short-term calculation, since you can always con someone, but in the long term you’ll be found out and you’ll lose your reputation and the trust people have in you. Machiavelli was a Florentine who advised princes on how to gain or retain power. Acting in a Machiavellian way means pursuing the quest for power, ignoring moral considerations and sacrificing the long term.
Having A Set Of Values
If you’re Machiavellian, you have no values to speak of. As the end justifies the means, you’ll go beyond any possible limits normally set by an ethical code or spiritual obedience.
The Psychopathic Personality
The psychopathic personality is characterized by impulsive action-seeking, and by its “primal” form of selfishness, lack of empathy and remorse. This is perhaps the most disturbing feature of the dark triad: the person sows evil around him or her and feels no remorse. It’s blood-curdling. You may be sympathetic and benevolent, but the other person can treat you like a dog and without remorse. I don’t need to tell you that you should stay as far away from this type of personality as possible, because you have everything to lose with them.
The Psychopath Is A Zombie
What a zombie and a psychopath have in common is that they’ve both lost their humanity. They move forward automatically, unaware of the harm they are doing to those around them. Their insensitivity would make them alien to the human son-in-law, but they are above all sick: “pathos” in Greek. The zombie has been contaminated and the psychopath has a psychological illness, hence the name. Both are toxic, both are to be avoided if you don’t want to end up like them: their illness is contagious.
How Can We Avoid Developing The Traits Of The Dark Triad?
First of all, you have to be aware of its existence, and then you have to have faith in the idea that it will only bring misfortune in the long term. For some, the Dark Triad may bring benefits: increased power and influence, seduction and so on. All these apparent benefits are really just short-term gains. It’s like building a colossus with feet of clay: sooner or later it will collapse.
Knowing The Existence Of The Clear Triad
As well as the dark triad, there’s an element that’s the opposite of it: the light triad. Since nature abhors a vacuum, you can’t avoid developing the dark triad if you don’t try to develop something else, namely the light triad.
Kantianism is about treating people as ends, not as means – the opposite of Machiavellianism. If you value people to the point that what counts is the relationship you can establish with them, not the benefits you can derive from that relationship, then you are in line with Kant’s philosophy. To develop it, all you have to do is develop empathy and make humanity sacred. Someone who is Machiavellian uses people, alienates them, that is, reduces them to the sole dimension of an object, is in himself someone who has cut himself off from the relationship with the sacred that exists in everyone.
Faith In Humanity
It could be said that there are two opposing worlds: those who believe that humans are inherently evil, and those who believe the opposite (and perhaps another group who believe a mixture of the two). A glass can be half-empty or half-full; reality doesn’t change, but our outlook does: we’re either optimists or pessimists. It’s the same for faith in humanity: if we believe that man is good, we’ll induce a particular behavior that’s more open and understanding. Conversely, if we believe that man is bad by nature, we will be intransigent and vindictive.
Every individual has dignity and value in his or her own right. Humanism consists in recognizing both these things, and induces a healthy and benevolent attitude towards others. Everything comes from the beliefs we hold. If we are vigilant about the ideas we hold, we become more respectful of ourselves and the people around us.
Using the Dark Triad
Knowledge of the Dark Triad helps us to protect ourselves, particularly by identifying negative characteristics in others. Knowing Machiavellian behaviors allows us to unmask people, rather than becoming Machiavellian ourselves. As mentioned above, there’s nothing really to be gained in the long term by being such a person.
A Spiritual Approach To Developing The Clear Triad
Essentially, the dark or light triad tells you something about the quality of your soul. If you don’t make a daily effort to improve your soul through prayer or other spiritual habits, you will necessarily deviate from your ideal. Cultivating an ideal allows us to move in one direction every day, which prevents us from making major mistakes in character education. Continuous improvement in character is the challenge of a lifetime, and in fact, it must never cease. If you think you don’t need daily effort, you’ve already somehow left the path of virtue.
The Importance Of Your Surroundings
When it comes to self-improvement, it’s vital to surround yourself with people who are in some way moving in the same direction. If you let people get too close to you who have opposing values or who don’t make the same efforts as you, you’ll feel a weight on your shoulders that will hold you back on your journey. It’s therefore important to develop early on an ability to read people and guess their hidden agendas, which often requires experience in the field. In short, it’s all the more reason to constantly assimilate new concepts in personal development: what you learn and master makes you both more resilient and agile.