Understanding The Dark Triad – A General Overview

The Dark Triad

The Dark Triad is an immoral trifecta of personality traits that result in immense personal power. It grants high social status, tight control over interpersonal social dynamics and elicits intense sexual attraction. It’s for these reasons that many men interested in red pill philosophy likewise have an interest in the dark triad and idealise ascertaining the psychological state of “being dark triad” or at least a simulacrum of such a state.

These men see power embodied within specific personality traits and they want to know “how can I be like that?” “How can I be the successful asshole?!” The truth of the matter is that if you did not neurologically develop a dark triad personality as a child, you will never be completely dark triad in the truest sense of the classification. The dark triad is essentially not something one can be trained to become, however it can be reverse engineered and emulated. I’ll elaborate on this later on in the article however first I’ll outline what the dark triad actually is.

Not too far back I mentioned the dark triad is a trifecta of personality traits. To be more specific, it is composed of three “anti-social” mental schemas which work in tandem to form “the dark triad.” Those comprising psychosocial mental schemas are as follows:

– Understanding Narcissism

Excessive self-love as well as ridiculously high, bordering on, or far exceeding, obnoxious self-confidence. Dark triad individuals are egotist incarnate, this component of the triad forms the superficial glazing which masks and distracts one from the murkier depths of the dark triad persona. It is this device that achieves a dark triad individual baseline social acceptance in most social situations, for people are innately drawn to those who exhibit vast self-confidence.

The narcissism is clinical, deep-rooted and intensely internalised. The individual truly believes they are superior to everybody else simply because they are who they are and they exist. This is something akin to a god complex. Naturally, this has the effect of rubbing off on other people despite being completely unsubstantiated. People assume subconsciously that someone who loves themselves that much must have a basis for their self-image and therefore wrongfully assumes such an individual is high value. Narcissists, in the absence of significant worldly success are huge proponents of the “fake it ’till you make it” mantra. Except unlike your average Joe who exhausts himself with the pretence, it takes a narcissist almost no effort to maintain it, because despite the objective invalidity of their assertions they believe in their own delusions.

The strength of such concentrated narcissism in tandem with the fearlessness of psychopathy (more on that later) is that such extremely high confidence generates an abundance of courage. This facilitates rampant opportunism that manifests as a keen risk-taking eye as well as concise, solid decision-making. So it follows that by extension of this the narcissist has a high rate of success when engaging in personal aspirations, presuming that, they can rationalise away failure rather than let it consume them. This is oft dependant on the individual and the type of narcissism that they exude, for there are two different types of narcissism I consider to exist: functional narcissism and dysfunctional narcissism.

The average person is insecure and low in confidence. Regardless of that, even other confident people will naturally gravitate towards someone who is highly confident. This then has the knock-on effect of raising the social status and popularity of the narcissist and circularly fuels their narcissistic supply by giving it logical and tangible reasons for existing in the first place. How this manifests is via all the positive feedback that the narcissist receives in their theatricism of audacious assholery. This is what is known as a “positive feedback loop.” The contrast: “nice guys finish last.”

Narcissism is very infectious and has a tendency to make people addicted to the individual displaying it. Especially by those who are low in self-esteem and strive to be like the person they admire. People of low self-confidence can vicariously ascertain confidence through the narcissists own confidence and have it “rub off on them” via prolonged exposure and mimicking the narcissist’s mannerisms.

The weakness/negative aspect of the narcissistic element of the triad is that normally it is so pronounced that the individual in question’s ability to reason can become impaired as they value their ego over truth. If they do not avoid or completely ignore an attack on their ego (which is common – they often feel above random remarks) they will deny reality/logic outright to preserve their ego. On occasion they may even go so far as to maliciously shut you down in order to make you pay for your insubordinate behaviour/threatening posture. They will do this by framing themselves as superior to you in a very aggressive manner, and highlighting a flaw (or two, or three) of yours to rebalance the frame of the interaction in their favour.

When a dark triad man exhibits his narcissism in his game with a girl, he essentially negs the fuck out of her, guilt trips her, makes her qualify herself (jump through a hoop) then rewards her for being complicit. This is a form of operant conditioning and ties greatly into the next element of the triad (as each part of the triad is inherently linked with the others)

With training and self-improvement borderline narcissism (far healthier than clinical narcissism) can be acquired and utilised to improve one’s self-confidence, which as previously briefly touched upon is essentially all about forming and sustaining positive feedback loops.

For those who wish to emulate narcissism, it can be learned and is considered academically to be a “social maladaptive trait.” Basically, narcissism is nurtured, you can become a narcissist, or something akin to a narcissist in your chosen level of severity, should you desire it. It’s not something restricted to the realm of genetics.

 Understanding Machiavellianism

Machiavellianism is the tendency to see all social paradigms and scenarios as games of strategy that require meticulous manoeuvring. Machiavellians are emotionally and socially manipulative; they have a tendency to dehumanise and objectify humans down to their skills and utilitarianism rather than perceive them as entities with personalities to be admired. In a nutshell, Machiavellians have a tendency to view things purely in terms of value exchange “what does this person bring to the table?” and care little, if at all, for anything else.

Highly skilled Machiavellians manipulate themselves via stoicism to attain the outcomes they seek (something of a perverse form of delayed gratification) however dark triad individuals have no need for stoicism because they possess an underlying psychopathic element. Machiavellians quite simply are very tactical individuals who execute the vast majority of their social interactions like a metaphorical hybrid game of chess and poker.

The narcissism is their poker face for appearances and is the physical representative for all their manipulations. Their Machiavellianism is their core, their chess-like mind. They think 10 moves ahead of those around them, use smoke and mirrors (misdirection), leave bait for you and then switch the outcome from the expected outcome (a nuance on misdirection.) They pretend to be busy when they’re not to convey a false image/sense of importance, making their target feel disposable when they in fact, value them. They outright lie to achieve ends. They indulge in jealousy plotlines, making a person jealous via the deliberate inclusion and flaunting of another – creating competition anxiety. They ignore you because they want to attract you. Then there is dread game: making someone who values the dark triad individual doubt the stability of their relationship with them, causing the target to supplicate and be more malleable. The dark triad individual does not limit this scarcity mentality/competition anxiety to romantic endeavours. The list of manoeuvres goes on and on, Machiavellianism is the art of duplicity which forms the core intellectual component of the dark triad.

If you had to think of an animal that is inherently manipulative, it’d be a domestic cat. Most women adore cats, so go figure that one out, projection much? Women at a baseline level tend to be more Machiavellian in nature than men. The presiding theory in red pill philosophy is that men evolved to have a genetic advantage physically, making them more violent and physically dominant, whereas women evolved to be non-violent due to inferior musculature and small stature. Instead it is thought they evolved to use their adeptness in Machiavellianism to have men fight for them on their behalf, giving them a far more intricate and diverse psychological skill set primed for co-option and manipulation.

If she’s a beautiful Machiavellian she can use her beauty to captivate a man and exploit him by controlling his desires, further facilitating her desires and devices. Think of the guy as a bear who loves honey, the queen bee leads the bear to a seemingly empty bee hive full of honey, the bear puts his paws in to eat the honey and then the bear is caught by surprise as an army of bees come out to collectively sting him. Now the queen bee can dictate to the bear how he must behave because he tasted her honey and she has an army of bees to punish him if he does not comply. Women are controlling, they will always fight for control of the relationship, but once they get it they are dissatisfied and will move onto another man. It’s an unending test you are not allowed to fail should you desire continued association with the woman in question.

“Gold diggers” as a stereotype are a societal acknowledgement of women’s inherent tendency to perceive men as little more than useful idiots, resource providers. Gold diggers are essentially people with the ability to “use others for what they’re good for” rather than value them for “who they are as personalities.” It is Briffault’s Law on steroids: they prioritise what a person can do for them over forming emotional bonds. They don’t identify who a person is and what they can do for the manipulator in question as separate components, to a Machiavellian these things are both one and the same.

For example a Machiavellian wouldn’t think along the lines of: “John is great, I like John because he’s a decent guy” and form any sort of emotional bond. Their thinking would be something more akin to “John is a great negotiator, if I win his favour he can negotiate on behalf of me in hypothetical situation X, if I can’t win John over then I have no need for John and I should cut my losses.” Thus any emotional bond that appears to be forming is the product of superficial charm, glibness which is used to win John over so his utility can be put to use at a later time. No relation is formed out of legitimate admiration or desire for John; merely it is but a manipulation to commodify John into a redeemable asset.

Machiavellianism when concentrated towards a single person for an extended period of time is a form of mental abuse. It robs one of their agency (ability to freely make choice) for Machiavellianism as covertly as it can be deployed is inherently coercive in nature. It creates an invisible prison of sorts, a person thinks they’re free but they’re so trained to behave in ways specific to the desires of another that they’re actually enslaved. That’s Machiavellianism at its least destructive, non-violent, and passive. However it is important not to characterise Machiavellianism as purely a source of evil, as that is an inaccurate generalisation. How Machiavellianism is deployed is contingent on the agenda of the person deploying it and their relationship with the person they wish to influence. Machiavellianism can for example be used benevolently by people like parents and such; to protect, to preserve, to foster and to nourish. In dark triad individuals however it tends to be utilised for destructively selfish purposes, eg: hedonism and profit. Dark triad individuals are on their best days, amoral, at their worst, their capacity for immorality will fully manifest.

Machiavellianism can be present in either gender, however as a baseline women tend to have a much more pronounced proficiency in the skill set and utilise it far more auspiciously. Man’s physical advantage is outlawed by the legal system, woman’s mental advantage is not. Combine this with their innate sexual appeal to men and it is fair to say that womankind has the edge in modern developed western societies. A woman’s logic being inherently contingent upon her emotional state only helps to facilitate and foster her Machiavellianism because her lack of consistency makes her seem more complex than she actually is. Not even she understands half the bullshit she pulls, and she is constrained neither by logical arguments nor an introspective need to understand her own irrationalism. She simply does what she feels she must do, and if that makes her feel happy, she is mentally and physically placated.

The sheer amount of weak effeminate behaviour characteristic of men at large in our modern society is indicative that many the great majority of men lack Machiavellian traits and capabilities to any beneficial self-serving extent. Governments want men complicit and mentally unaware so that they don’t rise up, but instead continue to pay the tax bills which fund for-profit wars and the welfare state. They want men to “man up” which means to be productive little economic slaves for the benefit of the state, and to a lesser extent the feminist bureaucrats and politicians who can only fund their perverse laws and practices with the aid of your sweat n’ tear tax dollars. Then when a man losses everything because he was too naive in matters of Machiavellianism to see what was going on around him, he is profusely blamed and shamed for his naivety. Dark triad men and women are proficient Machiavellians and can run rings around the average person, making them jump through all kinds of mental hoops and subjecting them to all kinds of tests and power plays; be it out of a desire to seek entertainment or to ascertain control over a situation. Machiavellianism is inherently in and of itself the most logical part of the dark triad persona which runs counter to the inherently delusive nature of the triad’s narcissistic component. Naturally, this makes it possible for said components to clash.

Dark triad men who are abusive and have women pining for them, wanting to fulfil their every whim do so by emotionally addicting said women. Their very presence causes said women to have rushes of dopamine/serotonin/cortisol/oxytocin as well as other neurochemical shit I don’t know about. It’s this hormonal cocktail of an emotional rollercoaster (better simplified as: drama) which causes women to form an addiction to said man. Women are addicted to dramatics; it is the basis of every modern soap opera, chick flick and romantic comedy. By associating the systematic release of these neurotransmitters and hormones with the company of a specific man who acts as the stimulus for these releases, they become biochemically addicted and thus mentally dependent upon him. The removal of such a powerful man from a woman’s life can thus elicit withdrawal symptoms similar to that of a drug comedown.

The stimulus is the dark triad man because if he’s absent for long enough the chemical processes stop and she has withdrawals from the cycle which leads her to start proclaiming shit like “needing him to go on” despite the small little fact he’s an abusive asshole. Controversial conclusion: mental abuse can be chemically addictive to women, as painful as it is, they get off on the theatrics. Women to this degree demonstrate a predisposition for masochistic tendencies, especially in relation to love and sex, this however is a topic that falls outside the spectrum of this article and is a topic for another time.

In summation of this section: dark triad individuals tend to pull people in with narcissism, control them with Machiavellianism and then addict them with the emotional rollercoaster previously described. The final element of the triad complements Machiavellianism quite brilliantly in how it aids in forming emotional addictions to the manipulator, that element is psychopathy.

For those who wish to emulate Machiavellianism, it can be learned and is considered academically to be a “social maladaptive trait.” Basically, Machiavellianism is nurtured; you can become a Machiavellian by studying the arts of political and military strategy and then applying the principles to your own social interactions.

 Understanding Psychopathy

Psychopathy is the reason you cannot train yourself to be a dark triad individual, psychopathy is how your brain connects your behavioural choices to your sense of guilt/remorse. These are essentially the body’s way of morally provoking you to cease immoral activity. If you felt no guilt or discomfort for making immoral choices, your likelihood of committing immoral behaviour increases tenfold. Furthermore if you actually derive pleasure from immoral behaviours, that can act as a social reinforcer for being immoral (read: sadistic pleasure, crime being profitable etc.)

Psychopathy defined in relation to the dark triad is the inherent ability for the dark triad individual to show no aversion for immoral or harmful behaviour, predominantly because they feel no empathy, guilt or remorse when doing bad things. This is perceived as a skill of sorts in the ruggedness of the oft unfair modern world but is medically defined as a mental disorder.

Commonly new and naive followers of red pill philosophy think “hey I can do that too via stoicism/Zen meditation.” The difference between stoicism and psychopathy however is that stoicism is the suppression and self-control of emotions that are released either after performing an action, or prior to an action. It is the suppression of detrimental emotion that elicits strong feelings which inhibit the ability to self-control, such as suspense, eagerness or anxiety. A psychopath on the other hand has neurologically weak connections between the emotional centre of their brain and the part of their brain responsible for behaviour/decision-making. This means they feel nothing or very little (dependent on the individual’s brain) when doing something immoral and thus have nothing to actually suppress to begin with. This isn’t a question of desensitization for them but more of an inability to care about the feelings of others. It is thus by extension of that inability that they are not limited by the element of guilt that would normally follow in the aftermath of such dubious choices.

This lack of ability to feel guilt or fear as consequent of their personal choices is a great source of the dark triads power (the power of fearlessness.) It’s this ability to ruthlessly exploit people which addicts women to dark triad men. Psychopathy is very closely linked with the Machiavellian component, however the sheer unpredictability and audaciousness of the psychopathic element is what addicts women to these individuals, the spontaneity and impulsivity is electric. It’s like crack to them.

The constant highs and lows psychopathy generates is the drama that women thrive off of. Psychopathy is the delivery system of the Machiavellian core, the spontaneity, the audaciousness, the guile; it’s the creme da la creme in executing a tactical manoeuvre. However, when psychopathy gets out of control and manifests itself independently (say the dark triad person loses their temper,) it’s completely illogical and separate from the Machiavellian element, perhaps utilising elements of Machiavellianism but not actually being pre-meditated in nature. You may know this as “someone going batshit crazy.

Psychopathy is a clinical condition and state of mental-being. The people who are afflicted with psychopathy have abnormal neurological structures, short of going and getting yourself brain damage no amount of self-determination will result in ascertaining psychopathy. You can mimic a psychopath and even fool others you are one with some degree of success, but neurologically you will not be one. You will still have to deal, introspectively, with the emotional consequences of your actions, something an actual dark triad individual does not. Hence your efforts will make you an imitation, not an actualisation of that which you lust to become.

Dark triad people are very powerful individuals. They are harmful both to society and themselves, as by nature of their personalities they are extremely unstable individuals. The fact of the matter is they tend not to care about changing their negative aspects even if they are self-aware enough to realise what the negative aspects of themselves are. They are more concerned with concealing the existence of their negative aspects and convincing others they do not exist or are otherwise justifiable or acceptable within the context of a situation. Rather perversely, they appear to be at peace with their deepest faults even if they verbalise the contrary.

Due to the psychopathic element of the triad a person cannot become “fully dark triad” as this element in particular appears to be something imbued either genetically or in the development stages of childhood brain formation. Dark triad individuals cannot be “fixed,” a dark triad individual will remain one for the entirety of their lives. Most of them don’t want to be fixed as they’re addicted to their own power and sense of self-importance. They can be emulated, you cannot “become one” but you can “become like one.”  With training and study, one can demonstrate borderline or sub-clinically dark triad qualities and that is much the purpose and topic of this blog. So should you find this topic to be of interest, I recommend you follow this blog. You can do this by entering your e-mail in the top right corner of the sidebar.

Relevant Reading:

Blog Material:
Everything in the Dark Triad Portal

Also, specifically:
Utilising The Dark Triad: Machiavellianism
Utilising The Dark Triad: Psychopathy

Book(s) on Psychopathy:
Buy “The Wisdom of the Psychopaths” in the USA
Buy “The Wisdom of the Psychopaths” in the UK
Buy “The Wisdom of the Psychopaths” in Canada
Buy “The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success in the USA”
Buy “The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success in the UK”
Buy “The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success in Canada”

Book(s) on Machiavellianism:
Buy “The 33 Strategies of War” in the USA
Buy “The 33 Strategies of War” in the UK
Buy “The 33 Strategies of War” in Canada

Buy “The 48 Laws of Power” in the USA
Buy “The 48 Laws of Power” in the UK
Buy “The 48 Laws of Power” in Canada
Buy “The Art of Wordly Wisdom” in the USA
Buy “The Art of Wordly Wisdom” in the UK
Buy “The Art of Wordly Wisdom” in Canada
Buy “The Craft of Power” in the USA
Buy “The Craft of Power” in the UK
Buy “The Craft of Power” in Canada
Buy “The Prince” in the USA

Buy “The Prince” in the UK
Buy “The Prince” in Canada

If you have a problem you wish to discuss with IM, you can [seek a consultation here]

68 thoughts on “Understanding The Dark Triad – A General Overview

  1. This was really good. I lurk on /r/theredpill, and this sums up a lot of what I have to say about dark triad’s and the guys who idolize them.

    Looking forward to your next post.

  2. Okay I’m late to the party here but I just read this post for the first time.

    I disagree with your sentiment about psychopathy needing to be in-born.

    “Psychopathy is the reason you cannot train yourself to be a dark triad person…short of going and getting yourself brain damage no amount of self-determination will result in ascertaining psychopathy, sure you can mimic a psychopath and pretend you are one and even fool others you are one, but neurologically you will not be one”

    The general idea that our “core” neuronal structure can’t change has been the prevailing idea for many many years. However, neuroscientists have been recently been exploring the idea of neuroplasticity.

    This has been due to many practitioners of Buddhism claiming to actually have changed their underlying thought patterns AND EMOTIONS. What researchers are finding more and more is that the underlying neuronal structure CAN change with dedicated effort via meditation, or cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Overall, I think dark triad traits CAN be learned, but the psychopathy would require years of intense, focused meditation and practice. I think your actual core internal neuronal structure is initialized by nature but can be changed via nurture (albeit people rarely are able to dedicate enough to do this).

    Read a bit about Matthieu Ricard, who is the pioneer in this endeavor.

    Some Sources:

    Davidson, R.J. and Lutz, A., “Buddha’s Brain: Neuroplasticity and Meditation”, IEEE Signal Process Mag. 2008 January 1; 25(1): 176–174.

    Treadway, M.T. and Lazar, S.W., “Meditation and Neuroplasticity: Using Mindfulness to Change the Brain,” Assessing Mindfulness and Acceptance Processes in Clients, Illuminating the Theory and Practice of Change, Chapter 7, 2010.

    1. I must agree with Deep Thrill.

      Psychopathy is not inherently a disorder. It is a formation of the mind. While it can indeed be biologically based, it is also something that can be instilled in an individual through specific measures.

      Deep Thrill’s comments on Buddhism and neuroplasticity are worth your consideration. I would offer Takuan’s “The Unfettered Mind” as a useful working primer.

    2. I think not, has to be born with a genetic predisposition.

      You can even accept these readings, accept immorality, but in time to an intense experience you’ll feel.

  3. Here’s to looking in the mirror! My goblet raised high with the sweet red elixir, fangs reared back and my mind in a twister.

  4. I wont say which dark triad trait i have. I can say that I instinctively do what I do without even thinking about it. Most of my life I was only semi aware of what I was doing. Never thought about how devious my strategies were. To try to imitate the dark triad without already being naturally in the triad would be next to impossible simply because a persons conscious would destroy them in the long run. Unless of course you have the stomach to ignore it.

  5. I am interested in subject of telling one just by the looks at it
    Even just by looking at photos, usualy people with normal reasoning and intuition can tell them shit bags apart
    Is there any signs to look for?

    1. If you suffered narcissistic trauma and have been imprinted by a narcissist or psychopath for many years, you can’t easily tell them apart. If you are a person with a good heart and conscience you may think everyone thinks and feels like you, therefore you will attribute your emphatic traits to these cunning and intelligent Dark Triad souls. There is also a spiritual component to all of this 🙂

      1. The overt selection of psychopathic traits within the ruling class is one of the ways that said class is perpetuated. Remember that the upper class did not marry for love, but rather via arranged matches designed to breed for desired traits.

        That is why it is called “breeding”. It is not about gracious behavior or good manners.

        “Well-bred” means that you are representative of your class, and possess the traits of rulership. After all, in a system where power is transferred through hereditary lines it doesn’t make sense to breed for anything else.

        This is why my father’s slightly raised eyebrow was sufficient, and my elder brother’s casual shrug with a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes, is such a genetically validating pleasure.

      2. Agreed-
        Also know when to hold them know when to fold and walk away…..

    2. look at their eyes; you see utter emptiness. Even when they are smiling, their eyes can’t match it.

      1. That’s people whose Ego has shifted onto their Mask. The majority of them are trying to emulate Dark Triad types and gain social status, not necessarily are Dark Triad people.

  6. Maybe I’ve missed it, but you seem to gloss over narcissism as a characteristic of the Triad. It’s my highest tested score (3.3/4) and I’m wondering if there’s anything more to be learned on applying it. I’ve already developed intense self-love and love shoving it in people’s faces – I’m mostly curious if there’s anything more to add.

  7. Wish I was born a psychopath. I seem to suffer from all the negatives of psychopathy (loneliness & paranoid distrust) without the positive(fearlessness).

  8. I need to reference something from here for my essay, is that okay to do? And if so, who wrote this? I would need an author’s name and date of publish! Thanks!

    1. Yes, “Illimitable Man” – 17/11/2013.

      I have never gone by any other pen name. You could put “I.M” if you want it to look more professional on your essay, I wouldn’t object.

      My real name is a carefully guarded secret.

  9. Great article. just a note, I myself “suffer” from dark-triad. (clinical) narcissism has two sides and you attract the other side with your type of game. An overbloated ego is just there, to hide deep hidden insecurities (often unknown to yourself) introverted, insecure and shy, who deep down believes that he is extremly special. You can read tons of books about narcissism and codependent narcissism.

  10. Psychiatry is not science, is pseudo-science. Anyone who seriouly study philosophy and epistemology will come to this conclusion. It´s nothing more than an cristian/slave morality packaged in ¨scientific¨ non-sense.It´s sophistry.It´s superficial and foolish. Do your research, and let you gut tell you if this not the case.

  11. I did the test. Scored 2.8 in narcissism, 3.7 in Machiavelliansm and 2.1 in psychopathy. To be honest I was surprised at the 3.7, but no matter. I wish the psychopathy was slightly higher though to compliment the Machiavelliansm. The combo would be great for those narcissistic girls (there are hordes of them these days) who need a hard neg.

    1. Psychopathy enables the other traits the most. Without fearlessness, your other traits are constrained by your courage. Courage is redundant with psychopaths.

      1. Well said. The basis for it stems not merely from courage (overcoming of fear) but the absence of fear itself.

        1. Right. The neurotypical has to manage fear as part of their stress management, or in actual fact, to enable effective stress management. An effective neurotypical is good at minimising fear but it’s never absent. Neurotypicals have to enter altered states (typically drug induced) to experience life with an absent fear response. The psychopath doesn’t. As an aside, it would be very interesting to see the effects of MDMA on a clinical psychopath.

          1. I would describe my experience of MDMA as inconclusive, primarily since it was ingested almost immediately in parallel with a vastly more powerful psychoactive. I did note an an efficacious increase in threat assessment and directed focus prior to the onset of the second psychoactive. I would assume that such processing improvement could be profitably harnessed.

            As that was over twenty-three years ago I can’t speak to the typical potency of MDMA as available today, nor would I recommend it. That is the caution of maturity and experience speaking, along with a personal preference for unflavored perception.

            I would add that we’re discussing visceral fear, as opposed to cognitive onanism (worry or dread). The former is either present or not. The latter is self-manufactured and essentially unhelpful.

          2. I would hypothesise that MDMA would stimulate the pathways responsible for affective empathy (thus increasing non-cognition based empathy – the feeling of sympathy) rather than act on the fear response. Of course, the amygdala is in the empathy circuit so I would presuppose whether fear was heightened as well would depend on the original extent of damage to the amygdala which varies from psychopath to psychopath. EG: a completely broken amygdala is not going to have its function restored, but a damaged one may be stimulated enough to see some sort of increase in an altered state.

            In that way we could say “all psychopaths are different” in so much as the neurology responsible for their condition varies, eg: the areas of the empathy circuit which are broken that effectively “enable psychopathy” can differ from psychopath to psychopath. Therefore, not all psychopaths are psychopaths due to identical brain damage, but due to varying levels of brain damage in different brain structures present in the empathy circuit.

            It is therefore feasible that a psychopath with a low functioning amygdala could experience fear on MDMA, but one with a broken amygdala wouldn’t. That’s the difference between a psychopath with a very low fear response and one with an inability to experience fear. Additionally, as non-cognition based empathy is controlled by more than one part of the empathy circuit, whereas the amygdala dominates fear, I would amend my original assertion to contend a psychopath on MDMA has a high chance of heightened empathy and a lower chance to experience fear.

            Should my hypothesis prove wrong, that neither an increase in empathy nor fear was experienced, I’d have to re-evaluate my understanding of the neuroanatomy of psychopathy, which is at best, a contentious and poorly understood field as it is even by experts. That, or re-evaluate my understanding of MDMA. In the event there is no effect whatsoever, I’m more inclined to blame the failing of my hypothesis on a crude understanding of the physiological effects of MDMA.

          3. I noted no increase in empathy, merely the more rapid processing of threat assessment. I would attribute that to simple stimulant effect, and add in more rapid utility assessment.

            I would also suggest that psychopathy not be considered inherently a function of damage. Psychopathy can be bred for, and the ruling classes have tended to include it as an expected trait within their class even if not overtly identified. Rather than damage, perhaps consider it as a difference.

          4. I’d say it’s damage that causes the difference, but unlike say a broken leg, which by its very nature is a damage that leads to inability, this inability bestows greater ability by virtue of its presence. In this way we can see psychopathy as an enhancement, at least at the micro level and to an extent, even at the macro level.

            But then when we look at psychopathy at the macro level and ask “if even half the population was enhanced with psychopathy, would society work?” and the answer is “no because a lack of empathy would create too much division and lead to social collapse” then you see psychopathy is much like a large amount of money – it only has value whilst few people possess it, when everybody possesses it, its very utility becomes obsolete.

            If everybody was a psychopath in a theoretical tomorrow, the value of psychopathy would plummet via inflation to a point of near worthlessness, much like the Zimbabwean dollar. Fearlessness isn’t as freeing when everybody is fearless, because other fearless people will have less problem blocking you (visibly or invisibly) if they see you as a threat, whilst an empath can be ruled with fear to prevent their obstruction.

            Much like the rich need their money to have economic value in order to have an advantage over and even control the poor, psychopaths need empaths to have an edge in society. Try to imagine how a society that is 100% psychopathic would function, if it even could.

            I believe in “peak psychopathy” that is, a small amount of psychopathy in society is NECESSARY, beneficial and useful, (surgeons, soldiers etc) but once psychopathy is common (schools, shopkeepers etc), it harms more than helps society. When everybody wants to lead, nobody viscerally cares beyond cognitive based cost-analysis, and everybody is prone to risk taking, an advanced social order cannot be maintained as arguably psychopaths are poor cooperators when not in a position of power or esteem. Of course, humans are hierarchical psychopathic or not, and not everybody can be in such a position.

            It would be very interesting however if I could be proven wrong, to see if psychopaths could effectively run their own society with zero empaths and do so successfully – that would blow my “peak psychopathy theory” out of the water.

            Any thoughts?

          5. I still disagree with the consideration of psychopathy as inherent damage. It may be a difference resulting from damage rather than hereditary or practitioner cultivation, but damage is simply one end of the impact spectrum.

            I am in complete and seamless agreement with your theory of peak psychopathy. I find your theory to be illimitably correct.

            There are those who will complain that this is unfair.

            Yes, that is the Great Game.

          6. Ah, my view has long been:

            genetic/hereditary = damage or offshoot of natural selection

            environment/accident = damage such as car crash

            environment/purpose = early onset narcissistic detachment with psychopathic comorbidity to deal with trauma that’s physical (rape, violence) or mental (rejection, neglect)

            It’s a very fascinating subject area that I don’t think anyone with an interest in psychology/how people work/power can afford to avoid.

          7. It is indeed an essential and critical knowledge base for success in the dark world. That most avoid it is the root of the peak paradigm. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” (Thoreau).

            Your sources of psychopathy are reasonable and I find them valid. In my own case, it is deliberately fostered through heredity and augmented from environmental crucibles.

            I would be interested in a correlation study of cumulative concussions and emergent psychopathy.

          8. Wow, key “the ruling classes have tended to include it as an expected trait within their class even if not overtly identified” I love this discussion, great read, great exchange of ideas, thank you

  12. The real question is, is it worth the efford to forgo morality and become a despised asshole just for women’s sake? That just proves how much men are controled by women. If you feel unjustice by the current state of things, either quit interacting with women or get one from a much lower socioeconomic status or from a patriarchal non-western country to have under your control.

    1. Or maybe just one who is a normal decent person…. Arseholes come from all social groups…If you have a history of abusive partners then its worth exploring the choices you make…Both men and women with certain issues resulting from their upbringing can be attracted to people who will treat them badly. Armed with this knowledge and with some good therapy you can make better choices.

  13. How can you learn to neg, guilt trip and make women jump through hoops?

    Is there any mental model you can apply to learn it? Some guide that you suggest, IM?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Enjoy the rest of your day 🙂

  14. Wow. I had many of these thoughts myself before i came across this post. the one especially about how mens strengths are basically illegal and womens modus operandi isnt and is in some cases praised and promoted

  15. So Red Pill men decry Dark Triad women who presumably they have been victims of and who are obviously a minority in society….and they want to emulate the characteristics which have harmed them through someone else…because…..???? Thats completely bizarre..Why would anyone want that? Surely the things to build on are healthy self-esteem and protection against DT people in the future,,,If you have any kind of conscience, being a successful asshole isnt going to bring you any sort of fulfillment or happiness…

  16. “For example a Machiavellian wouldn’t think along the lines of: “John is great, I like John because he’s a decent guy” and form any sort of emotional bond. Their thinking would be something more akin to “John is a great negotiator, if I win his favour he can negotiate on behalf of me in hypothetical situation X, if I can’t win John over then I have no need for John and I should cut my losses.”

    If you say women are more Machiavellian — which is all right — you can’t leave out the intrinsic unconsciousness of Machiavellianism — especially women Machiavellianism!
    As we know, lesser morality is coupled with lesser psychological courage — therefore a bigger need to believe oneself moral.

  17. Almost all of “guilt, empathy and remorse” is societally programmed, and pertains the Super-Ego, not what or who people are deeply.
    Thus psychopathy seems like… being immune to social programming.

    What makes someone immune to social programming still abstain from doing harm is, and pertains to what or who the person is deeply is, I believe, sympathy.
    That feeling (since a feeling is what it is) that the other (human, “animal”, plant, …) and you are somehow the same thing, and you could be in their shoes.

    So a sociopath (someone who has seen the truth about society) can still be not a psychopath — sympathy is what marks the two conditions apart I think.

  18. So, how do you go about buying the required books inside your price range?
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  19. great article. i inherently possess all three of the above traits and let us recognize that modern psychology agrees that saying that its a mental disorder and its a negative trait etc are false assumptions. every coin has two sides, it just depends on how you look at it.
    nothing is good or bad in and of itself. i can manipulate the shit out of anyone wherever i go, my confidence knows no limits, literally, and i am very defiant and enjoy braking every rule i come across with no guilt whatsoever. and yet i refuse to use these negatively. i do not take advantage of others, i know theres no such thing as one being better than the other etc.
    so it really is just a matter of perspective as usual.

  20. Really interesting account, a great read. I am always rather uncomfortable with guys in game trying to emulate Dark Triad traits because they feel it might help them. I gather from your cool blog here that these dark little ponies are born not made.

  21. I’ve been on a self improvement journey for the last two years. In the last six months I’ve been noticing that a large amount of people (males and females) seem to be almost addicted to me. I’ve been in the red pill space for about three years now and have came across dark triad a few times but it didn’t intrigue me, until about six months ago.

    I was a bad kid growing up. I did many bad things that I didn’t feel bad about but was angry when I got caught. I liked and behaved for pretty female teachers and I tormented ugly female teachers. I manipulated male teachers. I didn’t get good grades because I was too busy getting in trouble or flirting with girls or “making friends”. I never felt (nor do I now) like these “friends” were friends. My family didn’t have much money but as a kid I did a lot outside of my parents income because I got good at making “friends”. I haven’t spoke to let alone seen them in over 10 years. Nor do I care too.

    After reading this, I’m dark triad as fuck. I do many of these things talked about in the article without even realizing it, it’s my default mode It’s a blessing and a curse. I’ve gotten far in life (and gotten out of trouble a lot) because of it but I feel incredibly lonely much of the time. It easy for me to get girls but meh. I am married but for me its more a contact than a relationship. That’s just how I see things.

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