“Taken together, the evidence points to a clear conclusion: Dark Triad individuals obtain a higher number of sexual partners through a combination of strategies, including enhanced charm and style, ability to read emotional cues from behavior, constant strategizing and mentalization, persistence, opportunism, coercive sexual tactics, and reduced levels of empathy and self-control.”
– “Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love” By Glenn Geher, PhD, Scott Barry Kaufman
The dark triad is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.
Narcissism is characterized:
- High sense of entitlement
- Seek status and prestige
- An aura of cockiness
- Can be highly self-centered
- Engage in a lot of short term hook ups
- Easily aggressive in the face of criticism
- Loves praise
Machiavellianism is characterized:
- Manipulates others to get their own way
- Very cunning and calculative
- Very intelligent
- Highly observant
- Very aware of situations and surroundings
Psychopathy is characterized:
- Has a superficial charm
- Have an inflated view of their own abilities
- Lack of empathy for others emotions
- High levels of deception, manipulation and craftiness
- Lack of remorse or guilt
- Highly impulsive
- Generally has a bad temper
Every one of these traits would be used to describe a jerk. Someone who put their self first and did whatever they pleased. Of course, you would never want to hang out with anyone that displayed some or all of these traits…
In looking through this list I don’t see many of these traits as bad, evil or even wrong. I disagree that my charm is superficial, but that could be my narcissistic side talking. While psychopathy has a really bad rap for murderers and serial killers, many of those same traits are exactly how I would describe the average girl. Or CEO. Government leader. Or even comedian…
“Although the traits in question are known as “psychotic”, Claridge said, they can also represent healthy equivalents of features such as moodiness, social introversion and the tendency to lateral thinking.”
Wow, we needed a study to figure that out?
I don’t believe manipulation is wrong if the end result is a positive outcome. I have “tricked” my son into eating his vegetables for example – a manipulative gesture for sure, but one that helped him develop healthy eating habits. When we think of manipulation, we always think of the kind where someone “controls” another person into doing something self damaging. But the most powerful sales technique employed by most large businesses is the “fear-then-relief” technique where the advertisement is geared towards eliciting strong fear based emotions then solving these fears with a product.
Another one I discuss in my training is the Law of Reciprocity. Basically buying a drink for a girl (offering a gift) in exchange for her time. The gift is used to “guilt” her into paying attention to you, and is one of the major reasons buying a drink for a girl as an opener is a horrible ideal. I could get away with it, but I would be coming from a completely different mindset – my energy would not be one of guilt or trying to get anything from her. I would likely use the “buy a drink” opener as a way to display dominance, then distance myself from interacting with her – which is a form of manipulating her impression of me into very non-needy i.e. confident.
While it is a strategy men attempt to use a lot for opening, women are the true masters of this strategy. In the book “The Dynamics Of Persuasion” this strategy is described as:
“an interpersonal persuasion strategy in which Person A provides Person B with a tangible or psychological reward; in exchange, when Person A approaches B with a request for compliance, B feels pressure to comply.”
Exchanging favors and doing things for others is a basic part of human society, but this can be manipulated to extremes by using guilt as the glue.
And exactly who tends to use guilt the most?
Have you ever seen a girl acting mad, upset and put out who magically becomes “normal” when the phone rings? I personally cannot do that, but every woman I have met can. The very “act” of mad or pouty is to guilt the other person into compliance. And damn it works on most men.
The Short Term Mating Strategy Of The Dark Triad
While many researchers say the The “Dark” part of this Triad is useful in a “short term mating strategy” they would be wrong about the “short” – as most men who don’t understand seduction would be. They assume because men that are good with women have many partners, therefore the strategies only work for short term relationships. The truth is most men who are good with women do not want a single long term relationship because the benefits a single woman brings to the relationship is not typically greater than the experiences to be had by dating multiple women. However, a man can have either a short or long term relationship regardless of the “less moral” or “politically incorrect” view of social interactions from these traits. Having a short term mating strategy (getting laid fast) is a very good way to have a long term relationship. As most guys in the friendzone know, being nice isn’t going to win the fair maiden. But if you make her feel attraction and sexual tension which is what all of these “short term” mating strategies do, you can dictate the direction of the relationship.
I have no doubt that 15 years ago I scored a little higher than average for Narcissism, but closer to average for Psychopathy and Machiavellianism. I believe this because we took psychological exams when going through the custody battle/divorce, and I had a Doctor testify that while I was narcissistic, it was a trait that likely helped me be a good business leader and entrepreneur. He explained that low vs. high was not the issue, but how someone with a high narcissistic rating used their personality in society. I assume the same is true for Psychopathy and Machiavellianism based on the amount of stars, business executives and politicians that display many of these traits.
Doing a little more research I found that John Rauthmann and Gerald Kolar’s “Positioning The Dark Triad In The Interpersonal Circumplex” where they asked non-university adults ranging from 18 to 75 years of age to judge the perceived “darkness” of each Dark Triad quality.
“Of the three, narcissism was judged to be the “brightest.” People who are high on psychopathy and Machiavellianism can cause you harm but many narcissists seem to only harm themselves. The argument can even be made that narcissists possess qualities that others find desirable, such as being more physically attractive, charming, conscientious, and achievement-oriented. They also suggest that narcissism should be seen as distinct from the other, which they renamed the “Malicious Two.” However, other studies suggest that over time, the initial glow of the narcissist’s bright qualities does tend to fade.”
Did you pick that up? A narcissist was judged the “brightest”. One key concept in teaching dating strategies is to have the mental frame of “I am the prize.” This is nothing more that placing yourself ahead of others, and seeing yourself with more value – a very narcissistic thing to do. But it has the added benefit of making you look smarter – which can be a way to demonstrate higher value.
Through the years I have no doubt these three traits have blossomed in me.
Increasing Your Own Dark Triad Scores
As I built my confidence, I also became cocky & funny, prideful, with a very high view of my abilities.
As I learned NLP and social patterns, I learned to be very observant of people, specifically women. I also learned how to influence behavior using socially accepted patterns. These patterns are used every day by most people, but the fact I consciously know these patterns and can influence them could be described as manipulative.
As I learned the true nature of women, I removed the pedestal that I (and most of society) had placed them on, I began to lack empathy, remorse or guilt. The more I saw women manipulate men, and crush nice guys for no real reason, the less concerned with their feelings about my views I became.
And what does having these traits get you in the dating market? Just about anything you want.
“In conclusion, the results of our study demonstrate that the Dark Triad male personality is attractive to women and this effect is not mediated by these men’s greater perceived Extraversion or Neuroticism. Further work in the sexual marketplace could usefully pursue interactions (statistical and social) between sellers (Dark Triad men) and buyers (women).”
“The two studies reported here indicate that females can identify dads and cads from written dating adverts alone, a key development from previous studies looking at Dark Triad characteristics and mating success, which have relied on male self-reported mating success. Moreover, females seem to show a preference for cads in a short-term rather than a long-term mating context (Study 1), despite being able to identify (from their adverts) cads as being less likely to invest in them or their potential offspring (Study 2). This suggests that it is not necessarily that females are being deceived by cads into short-term relationship s, rather females are choosing these types of relationships, possibly because of increased fitness consequences (Gangestad et al., 2007; Vernon et al., 2008 ).
Although this goes against the traditional view that men exploit women into short-term mating, our study provides clear evidence that some women are less easily exploited , at least in this scenario i.e., when given the chance to examine written advertisement s in detail with no time restrictions. Women in Study 1 also identified dads as better long-term partners, as the highest attractiveness ratings were given for dads in long-term relationships. Our study demonstrates women’s ability to assess adverts written by males both high and low in Machiavellianism in an evolutionary relevant manner. Moreover, ovulatory status had an effect on these decisions, as fertile participants gave higher ratings than contraceptive users when contemplating dads for long-term and cads for short-term relationship s. These preferences mirror nicely some of the existing theories and empirical findings (e.g., Gangestad & Thornhil l, 2008 ).”
From personal experience, I can tell you why most girls would chose the “Cad” over the “Dad”. It’s not that the woman is thinking in a logical manner that the dark triad “cad” will be a short term relationship or that she gave any thought to the length of the relationship AT ALL. The dark triad “cad” excited her, and through that sexual tension she had sex with the male. Afterwards, she likely wanted a relationship with the man. He, being a dark triad individual with lots of options, decided to pursue other interest. While women may pick relationships with the average man, that dynamic goes out the window with Alpha males that display dark triad traits.
A man that has these traits and skills flips the script on the “normal” mating pattern which puts him completely in control.
So why do women love these traits in men? I believe it comes down to one major item – Ultra Confidence. Everyone of these traits, whether used for good or evil demonstrates an extremely high level of confidence.
Forget what women say they want and watch what they do. Most hot women date men with these traits, and I have observed that most of my Alpha friends display a high level of these traits. Every Alpha man I have ever known had extremely high confidence, which accounts for most of the listed symptoms of these dark traits.
Test Your Own Dark Triad Traits
Below are my test results with links to the free online test. I really wish I had taken these test 15 years ago and saved them for now.
You have completed the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale.
The LSRP measures two scales.
Scores range from 1 (low) to 5 (high).
Your score from primary psychopathy has been calculated as 4.1. Primary psychopathy is the affective aspects of psychopathy; a lack of empathy for other people and tolerance for antisocial orientations.
Your score from secondary psychopathy has been calculated as 3.3. Secondary psychopathy is the antisocial aspects of psychopathy; rule breaking and a lack of effort towards socially rewarded behavior.
With two scores, results of the LSRP are very suitable for being plotted. Below is the distribution of how other people who have taken this test have scored.
You score for primary psychopathy was higher than 91.63% of people who have taken this test.
You score for secondary psychopathy was higher than 81.09% of people who have taken this test.
Your score was 90 of 100.
This puts you in the category of the high Machs, people who do not believe in the goodness of the world and that because that it must be manipulated, people who Machiavelli would approve of.
A graph of how others who have taken this have scores is below. These scores should not be taken as population norms though, the people who seek out tests of Machiavellianism on the internet are most likely not representative.
These are your results on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory.
Your score is 38, out of 40. Higher scores indicate greater levels of narcissism.
Below is a graph of how other people have scored on this test.
Your score was higher than 99.2% of the sample. The people who have found this online test are probably not that representative of the general population though, so the averages from a few other groups are tabled below.
US University undergraduates (Raskin and Terry, 1988) 15.6
US Adults (Pinsky and Young, 2009) 15.3
US Celebrities (Pinsky and Young, 2009) 17.8
Be careful that you do not take these scores as absolute norms for the specific groups though, measuring a norm is very tricky and may not even exist. For example, scores on the NPI among university students have been increasing almost since it was first developed. Below are two figures taken from Twenge et. al. (2008) showing NPI scores for American undergraduate samples across time.
In addition to the primary score, investigation into the structure of the NPI has found that there are seven different “facets”. Your scores for each are graphed below.
Honestly, I just can’t believe my self-sufficiency score was that low….