What is the dark side of psychopaths

The Dark Side of Force: What We Can Learn From Psychopaths

09.12.2015Share article B4B impulse from 5 star speaker Dr. Susanne Kleinhenz

Are the world's economic rulers getting crazier? Or are we living in a narcissistic age where self-centered behavior and recklessness have become normal?

Charismatic - Narcissist or Psychopath?

People have always wanted charismatic leaders. But what is charisma? Are there charismatics who are not narcissistic at the same time? Karl Weber represents charisma as one "God's grace" which cannot be learned. But he also describes the charismatic as one “Berserker, who, like in Greek mythology, the god Achilles was only given the ability to heroic ecstasy through a manic attack (Weber 2001). Weber also points out that charisma always has to do with the well-being of his subjects. If the ruler does not benefit a population, he very quickly loses his charisma - as was also seen with President Barack Obama. Charisma is therefore closely related to the light, but also to the dark side of power, e.g. in the form of excessive narcissism.

Why Narcissists Are More Successful

Research shows that people with more narcissistic personalities make careers faster and easier than others. The rationale is that power-oriented people enjoy competing with others and are willing to pay a much higher price for their careers. They do without free time or have a happy family without regrets and pay no attention to their health. In the same way, they would forego friendship in favor of a career at any time.

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Narcissists and psychopaths alike have dedicated themselves to the dark side of power. You do not use the authority conferred on you by your office for the benefit of an organization or society, but above all for your own benefit. That doesn't mean they are cheating. Her thoughts just do not revolve around the benevolence of everyone, but her inner mantra is:

"How can my actions best serve my own advancement and my reputation in the company management?"

This way of thinking then makes scandals possible, such as those we experience at Volkswagen or FIFA.

What we can learn from psychopaths

Even more extreme than narcissists are psychopaths. In his research, the English scientist Kevin Dutton shows that the management floors are riddled with managers who get close to the maximum score of 40 in the psychopathological inventory. This shows that one cannot always speak of a personality disorder. Like the narcissists, these psychopaths are in no way disturbed; they often work far better in power societies than the so-called "healthy personalities".

What distinguishes a “psychopath” from a “normal person” is how he deals with fear and empathy.

With the help of computed tomography, Dutton was able to determine that in psychopathic test subjects the fear center in the amygdala (almond kernel = oldest part of the human brain) is virtually empty.

You feel almost no fear. So it is understandable that this is seen as a high level of competence, especially in special police and counter-terrorism units. No “normal” person would expose himself to such dangers as suicide bombers on the side of terrorism would. Except that the “cultivated psychopaths” made a conscious decision to go for the light side of power. So a psychopath is quite capable of deciding where to use his extreme personality.

The second phenomenon is empathy. It has long been believed that psychopaths could not be empathic at all. But this could be refuted. Rather, you have the option of turning empathy on and off, so to speak. So there are especially among the marriage swindlers, such as Helg S., the blackmailer of Susanne Klatten, very big empaths, but who only use this characteristic for their own benefit - and never have compassion for someone else. It is precisely this ability that makes the psychopath so interesting for the business world. Because only such a personality is even able to deprive thousands of employees of their livelihoods without sleep disturbances and stomach pains, because it serves their goals.

The narcissistic culture of the ego society

We live in a narcissistic age (see Lasch 1995). In this climate, in which career and the pursuit of success still come first, the ego-centered characteristics of a personality are rewarded more than empathy and humility by society as well as by companies. With an attitude that everything has its price, it is basically quite normal for something that sloshes to the surface from time to time, which is hidden in the deep cauldron on the dark side. It is astonishing when this society is appalled that they had to pay for a summer fairy tale too.

How can individuals keep the balance between good and bad?

Anyone who is an entrepreneur cannot afford to be Mother Theresa all the time. Even so, not all successful people are great narcissists or even psychopaths.

One way to find your own balance between good and bad could lie in the following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve in this life?
  • How high can the price be for it?
  • Does the end really justify any means?
  • Where is my limit
    • Loss of health
    • Loss of good relationships with family and friends
    • unscrupulousness

Those who are aware of what they want and what price they are willing to pay to achieve their goals cannot, at the end of their life, reproach themselves for not having lived consciously and made their decisions.

In this sense, the bright force be with you and yours!

To person

Susanne Kleinhenz is a doctor of philosophy with a focus on organizational development and differential psychology. As an author, speaker and owner of the live academy, an academy for personal development and organizational psychology, the personal and professional development of people is particularly important to her. As a certified trainer and theater pedagogue, she is particularly interested in management and sales communication, gender marketing and man-woman communication.

Her book “The Dark Side of Power: A Typology of Leadership” will be published in February 2016 by Springer Verlag.

Share article B4B impulse from 5 star speaker Dr. Susanne Kleinhenz December 9, 2015

Are the world's economic rulers getting crazier? Or are we living in a narcissistic age where self-centered behavior and recklessness have become normal?

Charismatic - Narcissist or Psychopath?

People have always wanted charismatic leaders. But what is charisma? Are there charismatics who are not narcissistic at the same time? Karl Weber represents charisma as one "God's grace" which cannot be learned. But he also describes the charismatic as one “Berserker, who, like in Greek mythology, the god Achilles was only given the ability to heroic ecstasy through a manic attack (Weber 2001). Weber also points out that charisma always has to do with the well-being of his subjects. If the ruler does not benefit a population, he very quickly loses his charisma - as was also seen with President Barack Obama. Charisma is therefore closely related to the light, but also to the dark side of power, e.g. in the form of excessive narcissism.

Why Narcissists Are More Successful

Research shows that people with more narcissistic personalities make careers faster and easier than others. The rationale is that power-oriented people enjoy competing with others and are willing to pay a much higher price for their careers. They do without free time or have a happy family without regrets and pay no attention to their health. In the same way, they would forego friendship in favor of their careers at any time.

We need your consent to load this ad!

We use a third party service to serve ads that may collect data about your activity. Please check the details and accept the service to see this ad.

This content must not be loaded due to trackers that are not disclosed to the visitor. The website owner must set up the website with their CMP to include this content in the list of technologies used.

powered by Usercentrics Consent Management Platform

Narcissists and psychopaths alike have dedicated themselves to the dark side of power. You do not use the authority conferred on you by your office for the benefit of an organization or society, but above all for your own benefit. That doesn't mean they are cheating. Her thoughts just do not revolve around the benevolence of everyone, but her inner mantra is:

"How can my actions best serve my own advancement and my reputation in the company management?"

This way of thinking then makes scandals possible, such as those we experience at Volkswagen or FIFA.

What we can learn from psychopaths

Even more extreme than narcissists are psychopaths. In his research, the English scientist Kevin Dutton shows that the management floors are riddled with managers who get close to the maximum score of 40 in the psychopathological inventory. This shows that one cannot always speak of a personality disorder. Because like the narcissists, these psychopaths are in no way disturbed; they often work far better in power societies than the so-called "healthy personalities".

What distinguishes a "psychopath" from a "normal person" is how he deals with fear and empathy.

With the help of computed tomography, Dutton was able to determine that in psychopathic test subjects the fear center in the amygdala (almond kernel = oldest part of the human brain) is virtually empty.

You feel almost no fear. So it is understandable that this is seen as a high level of competence, especially in special police and counter-terrorism units. No “normal” person would expose himself to such dangers as suicide bombers on the side of terrorism would. Except that the “cultivated psychopaths” made a conscious decision to go for the light side of power. So a psychopath is quite capable of deciding where to use his extreme personality.

The second phenomenon is empathy. It has long been believed that psychopaths could not be empathic at all. But this could be refuted. Rather, you have the option of turning empathy on and off, so to speak. So there are especially among the marriage swindlers, such as Helg S., the blackmailer of Susanne Klatten, very big empaths, but who only use this characteristic for their own benefit - and never have compassion for someone else. It is precisely this ability that makes the psychopath so interesting for the business world. Because only such a personality is even able to deprive thousands of employees of their livelihoods without sleep disturbances and stomach pains, because it serves their goals.

The narcissistic culture of the ego society

We live in a narcissistic age (see Lasch 1995). In this climate, in which career and the pursuit of success still come first, the ego-centered characteristics of a personality are rewarded more than empathy and humility by society as well as by companies. With an attitude that everything has its price, it is basically quite normal for something that sloshes to the surface from time to time, which is hidden in the deep cauldron on the dark side. It is amazing when this society is appalled that they had to pay for a summer fairy tale too.

How can individuals keep the balance between good and bad?

Anyone who is an entrepreneur cannot afford to be Mother Theresa all the time. Even so, not all successful people are great narcissists or even psychopaths.

One way to find your own balance between good and bad could lie in the following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve in this life?
  • How high can the price be for it?
  • Does the end really justify any means?
  • Where is my limit
    • Loss of health
    • Loss of good relationships with family and friends
    • unscrupulousness

Anyone who is aware of what they want and what price they are willing to pay to achieve their goals cannot, at the end of their life, reproach themselves for not having lived consciously and made their decisions.

In this sense, the bright force be with you and yours!

To person

Susanne Kleinhenz is a doctor of philosophy with a focus on organizational development and differential psychology. As an author, speaker and owner of the live academy, an academy for personal development and organizational psychology, the personal and professional development of people is particularly important to her. As a certified trainer and theater pedagogue, she is particularly interested in management and sales communication, gender marketing and man-woman communication.

Her book “The Dark Side of Power: A Typology of Leadership” will be published in February 2016 by Springer Verlag.

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