The other side of narcissus: the dark triad of narcissism

Of narcissism we have already spoken, we have tasted the arrogance and presumption of the grandiose one

Then there is a variant that leads us to feel the cold sweat on our backs.

This happens at the mere thought of running into someone who best represents the dark triad.

The dark triad of narcissism

Then there is a final variant that sees narcissism as part of a much more articulate construct: the dark triad.

A concentration of Machiavellianism, psychopathy and, of course, narcissism.

All three linked by antagonism.

At first glance, it might sound like a sci-fi name, something to do with magic or Star Wars’ ‘dark side of the Force’.

It might sound less like a research topic that has been of interest to scientists and clinicians around the world for a few decades.

Yet, that is exactly what it is.

No magic. Zero science fiction.

An eerie, black mixture. Like pitch. Manipulation. Aggressiveness. Lies. Selfishness. Indifference to the suffering of others. Cynicism. Criminal behaviour. Grandeur. Fame. Success. Sense of superiority.

Numerous TV series bear witness to this. Francis Underwood (House of Cards), Pablo Escobar (Narcos), Tywin Lannister (Iron Throne), Dominic Morgan (Devils), Cyrus Beene (Scandal).

All examples of how feeling bigger, more powerful, superior by manipulating anyone who, unfortunately, crosses their path, are indispensable ingredients for grabbing resources.

The predatory system is the primum movens.

There is no room for suffering and pain inflicted on others, nor for guilt.

A cunning, often seductive disregard. Every step, gesture, breath enslaved to ambition, power, control.

About narcissism, references

Dimaggio, G., Semerari, A. (2003). I disturbi di personalità. Modelli e trattamento. Editori Laterza, Bari-Roma.

Dimaggio, G. et al. (2013). Terapia metacognitiva interpersonale dei disturbi di personalità. Raffaello Cortina, Milano.

Dimaggio, G. (2016). L’illusione del narcisista. Baldini&Castoldi, Milano.

Dimaggio, G. et al. (2019). Corpo, immaginazione e cambiamento. Raffaello Cortina, Milano.

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