There are three specific personality traits that when combined, can create a truly toxic, sinister, and vengeful person. People often have a couple of these toxic traits, but with careful therapy and treatment, they can be managed and go on to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
However, when combined, some researchers believe that they foster a truly malignant personality that wreaks havoc in their surrounding environment.
Together, these three personality traits form what psychologists call the “Dark Triad”.
The three traits that form the Dark Triad are Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy. The malicious and malevolent qualities that they have can create havoc in people’s lives, so it’s best to be aware of them! Don’t worry, if you think you might know someone with the Dark Triad, we’ve got you covered.
1. Luring Co-workers into Wild behaviors or Seducing Coworkers or Supervisors into Romantic Relationships
Studies have shown that people with dark personality traits actually appear more attractive to those around them, and like everything else, they use that to their advantage. Whether it’s for personal desires or to promote themselves, you’ll often find them seducing coworkers and supervisors into romantic relationships.
Research has also shown that those with the mentioned dark traits are prone to enjoy short-term or one-night stand relationships more.
2. Bullying or Criticizing Coworkers to Distract Focus Away from Tasks
Chaos and self-interest are often dark personalities’ motto, and this is where the sadistic part of their mindset also comes out. They enjoy bullying their coworkers and criticizing them in order to distract focus away from tasks. This strategy is employed to create general chaos and distrust, especially if we’re talking about a workplace.
When this person disrupts their coworkers’ work time and personal lives, they’re now free to pursue their selfish personal agendas without detection. Not only does their sadist side enjoy the hurting of people around them by humiliating or bullying them, but there’s the added “benefit” of having attention shifted away from their own shady behavior and activities.
3. They Fight Against Authority Figures, Rules, and the Status Quo
People with this triad of characteristics question authority figures and disregard laws and boundaries, no matter who enforces them. This could be because of their psychopathy and narcissism causing them to feel above even those with authority.
If they’re caught breaching the law, they may feel like they can outsmart police or judges. Due to their machiavellian nature, they often even begin to abuse the courts if persecuted.
4. They Act In Ways That Show “Moral Disengagement”
Moral disengagement is the experience in which individuals disengage themselves from immoral situations as a method of convincing themselves that the rules and regulations don’t apply to them. They do this as a way to avoid self-condemnation and guilt, instead of enabling and justifying their bad actions.
For example, if someone with the dark triad is fighting for a promotion with another member on their team, they might begin spreading negative rumors about their competitor or take credit for their work. They have no issues lying or slandering as a means to get what they want.
Accompanying that risk-prone side of their personality, these people often make bold decisions without any regard to rules or ethics. This can also be called “moral disengagement.” They literally disengage themselves from situations to convince themselves that the normal ethical rules and standards that everyone abides by don’t apply to them.
So, they won’t feel guilty for undercutting someone for a much-needed promotion. They won’t mind taking credit for others’ work. As long as they can explain away the context, they can escape any moral dilemma that other people might otherwise struggle with.
5. They Don’t Take Criticism Well
People with the traits on the Dark Triad often act aggressively when someone confronts them with criticism, even if it’s presented delicately. Often their Narcissism protects their ego and makes them feel as though their actions are always handled perfectly. If someone rejects their offer on a date or says their work could use improvement, they may lash out in a dark manner.
6. They Make Quick, Short-term Decisions Without Considering the Consequences
People with the Dark Triad of personality traits are often impulsive in nature. They’ll make quick, often spiteful, acts without considering the consequences they may have on their future. Whether it’s impulsive spending, using substances irresponsibly, or getting revenge, they often do what feels good to them in the moment.
7. They Compete, Not Cooperate
If there’s someone in your life with this dark personality, it might feel like they’re always competing, rather than cooperating with you. Even in relationships, instead of feeling like there’s a team effort in ensuring it works, you might feel like they’re always belittling you or keeping score of their good deeds. Or, if you’ve had a recent accomplishment, they might insist that theirs’ is superior.
In the workplace, they might ruin the flow of a team project due to this nature by creating tension within the environment. Their competitive nature might seem like a good, headstrong trait initially, but when it’s ongoing, it can become draining.
8. They Seek Revenge
People with these traits often seek revenge when they feel rejected if offended. Their narcissism intertwined with their manipulative nature and disregard for morals creates a dangerous combination when they’re seeking revenge.
For example it’s not uncommon for people with this personality trait to act out maliciously when they are dumped by a significant other. They’ll often slander their reputation amongst their friends and family, black mail them, refuse to return their possessions, all because someone had the nerve to leave them.
Sometimes this revenge seems so shocking due to their charming and charismatic nature from the beginning. Often those with this personality can appear so sweet and innocent from the beginning then turn dramatically once they’re offended.
9. They Use Manipulation to Reach Goals
One of the pillars of the dark triad personality is what psychology calls “Machiavellianism,” which refers to the Italian diplomat, Niccolo Machiavelli. Like Niccolo Machiavelli, they firmly believe that the end justifies the means. They’ll manipulate and use other people for whatever they feel is fit.
Ethics aren’t that big a thing in their world, and as long as they can reach the results they had their eyes set upon, it doesn’t matter how many heads they stepped upon in order to achieve that goal. Along with that, they’ll also justify their behavior and think they’re in the right all along.
10. They Don’t Share Knowledge
Knowledge is power, and the dark triad likes to hoard power to themself. They’ll play dumb when asked about something. They’ll pretend to be ignorant of the requested knowledge, or they’ll boldly give unrelated information. Manipulation comes into play here. They’ll give out promises, which they of course have no intention of fulfilling, to help out in the future.
This individual will rationalize hiding knowledge by saying they’re unable to provide it or just entirely shift the blame on another person.
11. They Try to Control or Minimize Other People’s Influence
Another dark trait we see is they try to control or minimize other people’s influence.
These individuals have what’s called “psychological entitlement.” Without a doubt, they believe that they’re simply better than everyone else around them. Using manipulation as their armor and weapon, they’ll try to control you or find any way to minimize the influence you have over others in order to reap that influence and power for themselves.
So to achieve this dominance that they want, they may only choose the battles they know they can win.
12. They’ll “Scapegoat” Those Who Don’t Boost Their Egos
Dark Triads treat valued members of the organization better than they treat those who don’t boost their egos. At this point, we call them “trophy colleagues,” which means they have an exaggerated belief in their abilities and expect constant praise and awards.
In contrast, they’ll scapegoat anyone else they decide they don’t like and treat them negatively. Often, they’ll ensure that the other person knows that they’re disliked and will turn the rest of the group against them.
13. They Actively Promote Themselves
If someone is acting like they’re perfect, you have a right to be suspicious.
Oftentimes people with the dark triad traits believe that they are brilliant, and thus will talk excessively about themselves and how wonderful they are. However, it’s important to pay attention to how they speak about other people. If you find they have nothing nice to say about anyone else, yet are constantly trying to make themselves seem great, they might be trying to manipulate you into believing them. Alternatively, they often do believe they are actually great and everyone else isn’t.
If you notice this behavior in someone, it’s best to be cautious! They might have all the traits of the dark triad!
And that’s a wrap on the 13 Signs Of A Dark Personality! Do you recognize these traits in somebody you know? If so, let us know in the comments below!