Monday, July 31, 2017

Narcissism pros and cons

A reader sent me this article discussing recent research on the pros and cons of narcissism in business leaders. According to the research, narcissism is good up to a point because it often gives people the determination, confidence, and drive to pursue difficult and risky tasks. At a certain point, however, people don't like dealing with the narcissist as a boss, motivation drops, and unchecked narcissism can lead to unnecessary and stupid risks and an personal agenda substituting for the broader group agenda.

The article uses Steve Jobs as an example. Being a raging narcissist facilitated his early development of Apple, but once the company achieved a particular size and needed to keep attracting new talent, it became a detriment. During his time away from Apple, he learned lessons in humility that helped him become an even better business leader when he returned to run Apple 11 years later.

Not only does the article/research do a good job of examining both the pros and cons of a trait that we often associate as being negative, it also deals explicitly with the idea that people's personalities are more fluid than many people give them credit for, otherwise how would Steve Jobs be able to learn humility:

“Even if you have a narcissistic leader, and in a sense it’s causing them to be less effective in certain ways, people can proactively practice virtues like humility and develop their character,” Owens said. “Over time, it will begin to stick and enhance their leadership effectiveness.

Also, I don't know why this did, but one thing that surprised me about people's reaction to the book was some people were really turned off by what they perceived to be my narcissism and some people were really turned on by what they perceived to be my larger than life confidence. For some reason, it tended to split along gender lines with women being much more likely to be turned off and men much more likely to be attracted to it. I wonder why?

36 comments:

  1. I think your terminology is confused. Arguably one could say that Steve Jobs had huge self-confidence, derived from a sense of inner strength and technical and artistic expertise. And that Donald Trump has huge levels of narcissism, derived from insecurity, mediocre intellect and physical cowardice.
    As for the gender thing, male psychopaths tend not to get on irl, due to the competition thing, which also applies to female ones. Two people of the same gender who are equally highly assertive in a room is one too many. With one of each gender, there's less competition and more complementarity.

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  2. “… one thing that surprised me about people's reaction to the book was some people were really turned off by what they perceived to be my narcissism and some people were really turned on by what they perceived to be my larger than life confidence. For some reason, it tended to split along gender lines with women being much more likely to be turned off and men much more likely to be attracted to it. I wonder why?"

    Why? Frankly, the most bold, alluring and fearless act is being yourself while, simultaneously, thinking for yourself. Audibly and distinctly, before the entire world. Out-loud.

    A man always remembers a woman who seems to wipe out everything else around, one who, through her writing and candid nature, perpetually seeks to unearth a color darker than black. That means not betraying your real passion, while arousing a man’s true nous: curiosity. And, perchance, you might pluckily remind him of this divergent instance from ”Perfect Sense”. As Steve Jobs would feasibly say, “It’s risky, but possible.” At that juncture, you would smile and call him “sailor.”

    In my view, sociopathic personality traits and behaviors have their own language, but compressed to an arrangement or configuration that expresses sophisticated, erudite thought – even sans the sense of sight. In order to be accepted and grasped, it must be heard at high-tech volume.

    “The Invisibilia piece oddly excepts sociopaths… But baby steps.”

    Right. One would hope.

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  3. 1992hfs here


    Its funny i am half way into your book now and you posted this, being a male highly functioning sociopath i could resonate which much much of the content. I was kinda turned off for a moment when i read a part of your book where you mentioned something along the lines of " being more intelligent than most of you reading this except the rare few" but i rationalised and thought who am i to judge you? you could really be and if i were to be upset means i was doubting myself, how could i be upset when i know your book was to be read predominatly by nts?

    " For some reason, it tended to split along gender lines with women being much more likely to be turned off and men much more likely to be attracted to it. I wonder why?"

    My take would both male and female sociopaths can be very confident and logical but their reaction to jealousy would be different(socios can feel jealousy/envy too). Females sociopathic however highly functioning they are still react like a female definitely more emotions than a male sociopaths so for that moment when they are affected they might not be able to rationalise as they take it personally thus being turned off, while males will detach, think and assimilate thus being attracted to it.

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    1. "Females sociopathic however highly functioning they are still react like a female definitely more emotions than a male sociopaths" What word salad nonsense garbage is this? Anyone can take things personally and having a dick increases likelihood of rage...testosterone increases reactivity...hmmm, more male socios behind bars than female socios...coincidink? I think not. Y'all out here swinging ya dicks around while I am calm, cool, collected...

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  4. Please post more information like this! I/O psychology interest and also personal interest. Love article; the idea of humility as a "buffer". I'm a woman and I was very attracted to the confidence in the book. It was almost to the point where I was sure some of it was too good to be true and perhaps a result of the sociopathic tendencies themselves.

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  5. ana kasparian: i'm better than you!

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  6. I only post here because this is one of the only places where I haven't been banned yet.

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    1. “…but you put on a pair of shoes, and walk into the New York Public Library!”

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    2. Why have you been banned from places Anon730AM?

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    3. It's a conspiracy, anon.

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    1. Swivel onto and click on the dot/spot above. Something is there in today's "Curious and Curiouser."

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    2. Why use a barely visible dot as a hyperlink?

      Why must you torture me so?

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  8. “But, I also think (using Auden's tautology) that not all of my seductions involve a false enchantment. I know they don't, because many of them have led to life long friendships.”

    This sounds quite true for an explicit reason: I do not believe that a person with a high-functioning sociopathic personality would invest a great deal of effort, and a prolonged period of time, into a false or deceptive relationship, especially one that extends over a period of months or even years. And as the same post also emphasizes by using Chester Kallman as an apt example, being involved with the right person is a crucial factor for the establishment of longevity, trust and authenticity.

    As a continuing aside, I can favorably grasp Karen Thomas’ thoughts in this extract, substituting painting with my current musings:

    “It’s what I do. It’s a bit obsessional, really. I like to see things that make me want to rush back to my studio to get my brushes out. This year, I am showing a new body of work entitled 'Figurer le Féminin,' drawn from random observation....”

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    1. On further thought, the extract reminds me of a series of crafty shots and memorable scenes from "High Art." As the roll of film turns over - positioning the camera and protruding its fulsome screen - it gravitates toward palpable, visible picture-taking.

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  9. UKan is embarassed of himself now because he posts as Traffic. Lol!

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    1. I thought there was something familiar about traffic.

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  10. Hmm. Narcissism is real. It is kind of funny to watch as long as one knows what they are seeing. I personally observe my sociopath as comic relief. In some ways, he points the way to understanding how ridiculous humans really are. In terms of it creating success...well. It also creates a razor's edge of rage. When the narcissistic sociopath begins to live IN the delusion rather than using this delusion (magic) to charm others into "believing" and hence creating 'success' albeit an illusion of success...and for whatever reason the floor caves in and they are exposed...well. One doesn't want to be on the receiving end of that vicious cycle of anger and self pity. I do wonder if the famous narcissists end up in such states and suspect that they do and we see this in the media...so and so acts out on Transatlantic flight and is arrested upon disembarking the plane.. I actually feel very sorry for those existing in a dulusional state of self aggrandizement. But then they or rather he..does something so incredibly wrong that pity and empathy drop to zero. True sociopathy isn't a choice in my humble opinion...it is literally a difference in the organization of the various components of the brain that serve such things as memory and remorse...two filiments of the psyche that protect us from agony as well as protect others from victimization. It's not a disease. It is a difference. Sociopaths must either teach themselves or be taught things that the rest of us take for granted.

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  11. “This is exactly their problem. They will give away everything for it. This is true even if the feeling they get is just their own subjective fantasy, created wholly by their own mind, with some encouragement from the other party.

    They don't want autonomy, they're to weak to enjoy it.

    North would you take his love in order to to feel that way yourself, even if it was only an illusion? Even more, would he likely see you as someone who would jump at such offer, or would he imagine you would recoil back from it, out of self-respect?”

    Although the moniker of this commenter downright declares it, I feel as though I can state my opinion and question this assertion: Were these words written by a sociopath? In this case, I am inclined to take a countering view for a reason that sounds quite cogent to me. You see, a sociopath would not offer autonomy and expect one to enjoy it. And that is due to the fact that a sociopath is, by nature, possessive in a key situation or toward a chosen individual.

    While still contemplating “Figurer le Féminin,” at 3:31 this morning, I understood how ”Matisse’s Most Treasured Possessions Inspired His Art.” However, that understanding pointed to the same conclusion – every single time: These objects in themselves, together with the original motive for being collected, were not his true possessions at all. If one closely examines the paintings in the article, each one alludes to and reflects his growing, inherent desire to devour, fully experience and possess “Figurer le Féminin” – especially the deftly-contoured, statuesque, blown-glass vase and the silver chocolate pot, since one fervently consumes from them behind….

    In essence, what high-functioning, bona fide sociopath would label Matisse as an early, middle or late 20’s tosser in love? In this spirit, I, too, avow that “an artist must never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success…”

    “At the opening of the 20th century, Matisse – along with painter André Derain – became a leader of the radical Fauvist group, known to the press and public as the ‘wild beasts’ of contemporary Paris for their vigorous and unrestrained use of colour.”

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    1. It was the illusion of love that was on offer. One who takes the bait is too weak to enjoy autonomy. Moron.

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    2. Then your thick, two-dimensional thinking has been already extended too much credit. Your second attempt falls short once again, since all that I hear is shrinkage and concentrated fear. You, alone, have exposed your own expectorating weakness by spitefully labeling it as an illusion.

      In essence, all that I see in your failed attempts is an insufferable, scheming cuckoo who is stupidly hitting against a tree.

      Here is some cognitive assistance, in case you will, once again, crawl within your “autonomous” two-dimensionality: Ample evidence showed and, in my view, disproved - beyond a reasonable doubt - that he was not a sociopath/psychopath.

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    3. ...proved - beyond a reasonable doubt...

      Also, only hate operates in complete autonomy.

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    4. Stop blathering it's becoming annoying. Let me rephrase: Two-dimensional moron.

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  12. Potential morning thoughts from Charles Marston. If he were still alive, what would his own thoughts sound like today?

    "‘It is much more difficult to re-create the hand skills of a Rembrandt or Vermeer or Velazquez than the splatter of Jackson Pollock,’ Amore said.”

    Horizontally-focused technical improvements and vertical musings. “As the armor breastplate is being removed, I could attempt an illustration of Wonder Woman in a contemporary Ta-Ta Towel, together with some visually-personified, sociopathic traits.” After Pu’er tea.

    It is a possibility.

    Mark it as an In-Private page.

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  13. At one point, I put it to him that his persistent fantasy is the same as my love. I meant that it serves the same function of keeping us working through issues to enjoy each other.

    Later on, after we had been intimate, I told him I loved him. He was thoughtful and talked about the sex.

    This week, when reuniting*, he said he was addicted to me, that he loved fucking me, and that he liked me. He also said he can't trust, that this is a subconscious thing and that's how it is.

    His experience is different to mine. I know and accept this; he knows I know it. I don't think there's any illusion.

    *as you will have guessed, he contrived for this to be a situation he could control, one he could escape from. I've said everything I needed to say.

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    1. You are his original, North. Most likely, he has said it - whispered it close to your ear - while you were sleeping and tucked for further assurance. He has never given that to anyone else before, not as a similarity - in his likeness. It takes one a long time to become young, and you have become so to him. Afterward, he might have noodled your first preference - by Joe Cocker.

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  14. Narcissism is definitely a continuum of healthy and not so healthy - I can spot gem if I choose to be very observant and hyper focused. Which my personality ADHD and ptsd work great for that. Some are at the gym I work out at but they aren't necessary mean spirited. They are very charming. And I will play the game. ;) They are just into themselves - which is not necessarily a bad thing but as soon as you get to know them you start seeing the gaps. I don't judge harsh - my personality has gaps too but these individuals can wreck havoc on other relationships if you don't watch. So I like them from the surface slot not to be best buddies with. But I'm sure they do have healthier relationships with people they choose to care about. It's who they happen to be interested at the time. Then when you aren't fulfilling anymore and boredom sets, there on to the next. Which is how the personality works. Haha ! I have my analogy in the work place for them too but I'm tired now .....,, :)

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    1. My dad's partner handles him well. He is mellowing a little in his old age... a very little. He actually said he was very proud of me this weekend... a few weeks ago I explained to him that all my brother's recent behaviours were screaming pleas for Dad to be proud of him. I guess he listened, I said it very gently. He has also at least tried to chat about emotional things. He's less competent at that than **-* even, so points for his trying. We've had some amazing conversations recently in which he has allowed me to express myself (about work) and provided practical advice after I challenged his aggressive way of shutting down my feelings.

      Terrible attention seeker, though. After a finished a race on the weekend, he decided to push his partner in her wheelchair (broken ankle) across the laser beam finish line. Everyone was screaming - initially it sounded like cheering, but no... they were telling him not to fuck up the time for the next rider. His partner was mortified and I covered my face in embarrassment. It's amazing how physical and autonomic that cringe reaction is.

      He has very strong characteristics too. He's very goal-driven and motivated to overcome challenges, an excellent problem-solver, very logical and calm in a crisis. As you say, Superchick, he's not malevolent, just hyper-focused on himself; he has no idea of how he tramples on people.

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  15. I'm pecking on my phone so ya the fricken errors ;)

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  16. With bona fide intent or purpose, there is no illusion – yes, even for a person with a sociopathic personality with narcissistic traits. North grasps the legitimacy of this rather well. Veritable intimacy cannot be smirched by tricks. It exists, constantly conceiving its soothing trajectory. One might even call it ”Project Blue Boy”. That whole site is dedicated to Blue Boy. “Gainsborough painted the work in 1770 on his own initiative. No client commissioned it. ‘The Blue Boy’ was Gainsborough’s first foray into creating a Van Dyck-style court portrait, hence the characteristic 17th century garb of silk knee breeches, doublet with slashed sleeves and lace collar. The identity of the sitter is unknown. The painting will be removed from public view on Tuesday, August 8th, and will first undergo preliminary analysis. That phase is scheduled to end on November 1st, after which conservators will use the new information to plan an extensive year-long conservation from September 2018 through September 2019. In total, Project Blue Boy will take two years.” Patience seems to be a necessary, restorative substance – allowing time for tying all of those possible loose ends.

    This is not a ruse. It cannot be one. This is not an illusion. It would break it in a split second, and, in my view, it would be indescribably hard to fake. This is not an illusion, either. It can crystallize things. A lasting connection (to be found as Corey Helford Gallery exhibit) cannot be artifice, a sleight of hand.

    Not being your own self kills the you in you. That is, most certainly, not a mirage.

    In its most believable form, love is someone who knows everything about you and still loves you - and you keep being there….sociopathic, narcissistic traits and all.

    Everything. I have no notion of loving one by halves.

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  17. https://sociopath-community.com

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  18. Why are there so many fairytale-addicted posers writing here?
    Why is there always this annoying background?

    Is "psychopathy" nowadays referred to as a term for being seriously fucked in one's head without the ability of recognising the laughableness of it?

    PS: You aint hardcore, motherfucker, stop pretending!

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