Do These 12 Ingredients Make Up the Dark Triad?

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” —Carl Jung

What is our fascination with “dark personalities”? So many of us, like the proverbial moth to the flame, are drawn to people who don’t exactly follow the Golden Rule. Narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism—for the Dark Tetrad add “everyday sadism”.

The media romanticizes these traits, and there may be some sick chemistry early on in (often dysfunctional) relationships. On average, dark traits are often disadvantageous, setting us up for future issues, including an increased risk for emotionally abusive relationships and pathological narcissism when present in parental interactions.

There are evolutionary arguments as to why dark traits persist in the population, and some evidence to back it up. Exploitative and opportunistic behaviors are adaptive during time of scarcity. Research shows that people high in narcissistic traits are able to paint themselves in the best possible

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