If you have ever taken a Psych class, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Dark Triad. Not all psychopaths, Narcissists and Machiavellians are serial killers and rapists. No. Most of these types are right here among us (Scary, I know)! They’re in the classrooms, the hallways, on the street, in the boardroom and yes, even in our own homes if we are unfortunate enough to have a family member who possesses either one of such traits.
Here are a few indicators:
1. Most seasoned bullies are experts at avoiding detection. They are charming to the right people, mainly those in positions of authority (supervisors, teachers, etc.)and they are convincing when they lie. They are good at embellishments and spin. Bullies never tell boldface lies. Their deceptive stories always have a grain of truth to them. However, it is that grain of truth which makes their little white lies so darn convincing. Bullies will often start smear campaigns against their victims for the purpose of silencing them and keeping them from speaking out. If everyone thinks the victim is a bad person, the least likely they are to believe them when they report the abuse. Narcissists, Psychopaths and Machiavellians are known for this.
2. Bullies are deliberately charming to those in authority or those with influence. This charm is just another way to go undetected and make any victim look guilty. They also mask any insecurities, giving off an air of oozing confidence to draw others to them. They build a good name for themselves because they have caught on that having a good reputation is a weapon all it’s own. Who’s going to believe that the All-American Prom Queen, the star of the basketball team, or the most popular and loved kid in town would ever mistreat another person? People with any of the three traits are known for superficial charm as well.
3. They are all about themselves and are completely devoid of empathy. Often, a person such as this has an overinflated sense of their own importance. These people will step on anyone to achieve their own agendas. Having no conscience, they deliberately set out to destroy anyone who does not acknowledge their (the bully’s) importance or who ignores them and doesn’t give them the praise they think they deserve. Seasoned bullies always have to be the center of attention and will not share the spotlight with anyone else. If someone outshines them in any way, this person is in danger of becoming a target of the bully. This are the characteristics of Narcissism and Machiavellianism.
4. They are well-liked by those in authority and they often excel in school and in the workplace due to their bullying. Supervisors and superiors see bullying as being tough and a way to get things done. This is only another characteristic of all three.
Understand that these are the ways bullies get their power and how they are able to destroy others.
Anytime you encounter a bully, please quietly assess the person and how others act around them. If they seem to be the “Golden boy/girl”, you might want to look closer. Sadly, bullies are not how they are portrayed in the movies…stupid clods who have no social skills. Real bullies are sneaky, wily and good in the social arena. They are silver tongued wordsmiths who have a knack for sounding convincing and getting people to like or be impressed with them. So, be on the lookout!