Friday, September 2, 2011

A Business Model

I found the following article here and thought the information was very interesting. It immediately made me think of people I have known in the past, namely NMIL, though there are others, who were very successful in business (or on their way up-and-up). I find that skilled manipulators such as narcs and sociopaths are the kind of people who always seem so lazy and incapable, yet there they are, running their own businesses and living rich lifestyles we can only dream of. With NMIL, any time we were in her presence, I just couldn't help but think that she was completely incapable of, well, anything. I couldn't see this woman scrubbing her kitchen floor or decorating her jumbo house. I actually found myself wondering who unpacked all her Christmas decorations every year, because it couldn't possibly have been her. She gave off such an air of uselessness, which is probably because she just got everyone else to do all the heavy lifting for her. She paid someone to take care of her yard. She probably had a house-keeper. She's filthy rich, though only when she wants to be - and by that I mean, when she's trying to get her son to feel guilty as a way to escape blame for her lies, THEN she's not doing well financially, of course.

I think there is a reason why so many narcs are rich, and it has nothing to do with work-ethic, desire, or capability. Instead, it has everything to do with the fact that they are highly-skilled manipulators who work their way to the top (and stay there!) by dark and insidious means. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but NMIL is quite wealthy and owns her own business. This article seems to describer her well. Does anyone else see similarities in their own narcissistic FOOs?

One in 25 business leaders may be a psychopath, study finds
by Steven Morris
September 1, 2011

One out of every 25 business leaders could be psychopathic, a study claims.

The study, conducted by the New York psychologist Paul Babiak, suggests that they disguise the condition by hiding behind their high status, playing up their charm and by manipulating others.

Favorable environmental factors such as a happy childhood mean they can function in a workplace rather than channeling their energies in more violent or destructive ways. Revealing the results in a BBC Horizon documentary, Babiak said: "Psychopaths really aren't the kind of person you think they are.

"In fact, you could be living with or married to one for 20 years or more and not know that person is a psychopath.

"We have identified individuals that might be labelled 'the successful psychopath'.

"Part of the problem is that the very things we're looking for in our leaders, the psychopath can easily mimic.

"Their natural tendency is to be charming. Take that charm and couch it in the right business language and it sounds like charismatic leadership."

Babiak designed a 111-point questionnaire with Professor Bob Hare, of the University of British Columbia in Canada, a renowned expert in psychopathy. Hare believes about 1% of Americans can be described as psychopaths.

The survey suggests psychopaths are actually poor managerial performers but are adept at climbing the corporate ladder because they can cover up their weaknesses by subtly charming superiors and subordinates.

This makes it almost impossible to distinguish between a genuinely talented team leader and a psychopath, Babiak said. Hare told Horizon: "The higher the psychopathy, the better they looked – lots of charisma and they talk a good line.

"But if you look at their actual performance and ratings as a team player and productively, it's dismal. Looked good, performed badly.

"You have to think of psychopaths as having at their disposal a very large repertoire of behaviors. So they can use charm, manipulation, intimidation, whatever is required.

"A psychopath can actually put themselves in your skin, intellectually not emotionally.

"They can tell what you're thinking, they can look at your body language, they can listen to what you're saying, but what they don't really do is feel what you feel.

"What this allows them to do is use words to manipulate and con and to interact with you without the baggage of feeling your pain."


  1. Great post! Makes perfect sense.

    My NM worked in ladies' wear and was invariably promoted to management within a few months of her employment at a number of high end stores. Thinking back, she always resigned after someone slighted her.

    NF was in a management position in the shoe industry and president of the related trade association. At 53 he began a consulting business and made enough money to retire at 63. His retirement party was a love-in with employees, customers, and former bosses singing his praises. I was overwhelmed by people coming over and telling me how lucky I was to have him as a father...I had endured one of his rages on the drive over!

    I (gladly) bust my ass volunteering for the local heritage committee while the elected chair sits back and takes all the credit. IMO politicians are the biggest psycho/narcs in the world!

  2. no, my parents aren't rich. they've complained about money since i was born, the both of them playing martyr. my dad, working so hard. my mom, suffering so much from a stingy husband and always always always complaining about her allowance. and my dad complaining back how he's the only one who knows anything about money and blah blah. at the same time though, we have NEVER suffered despite the fact that the both of them act like every day is suffering. weve ALWAYS been firmly middle class and sometimes even higher. unfortunately all mom could talk about was how all her friends were richer and this made her feel ashamed. but i do not remember a time when we ever had to do without. (but my mom, everything is always doing without. all she can talk about is the shame she feels over having had the same couch for 15 years.) i do not understand my parents and my understanding of the financial situation is extremely anxiety ridden because none of it makes sense. we are in dire straits yet we buy a big screen tv. i dont know who to believe or trust as both of them have extremely warped, random, and shifting egotistical emotionally warped self-serving points of view.

    so screw money, i'm glad i'm out of that hellhole.

    as for this article, i'm not surprised. narcissists are good at being 'successful' because they manipulate to 'get what they want.' they either go after people like objects or actual objects, like money. and psychopaths care a lot about money. and they can be very 'charming' and good at making things 'sound good', which i guess helps especially if you are dealing with commercialization. isn't so much of it about 'looking good' and 'sounding good'.

    this reminds me of a guy who used to be at my old job. he was SWARMY. eww. completely narcissistic. i hated him very much. while i was there, he branched off, took his branch of the company and made it his own business. from what i can see, it looks like they are doing very well. *barf*.

    i'd hate to be the guy who sold his soul to the devil to work with him. nothing would be worth it. their business 'branding' is nothing but a bunch of snobby shit. psychopaths suck because they believe the very worst of people and believe that all people care about is 'looking good' and 'being better/cooler than others.' this makes them good at manipulating people. this can help them breed completely soulless companies and works in a commercial sense.

    yeah, psychopaths can definitely be 'successful.'
    though mine aren't!

  3. Crikey. I reckon I've worked for and with a few of these in my time! And there is a least one of these in my family xx

  4. Hm! That's very interesting reading indeed, Jonsi ...

    It goes with a convo I had with Gibson the other night. I was telling him how I had a few meetings the other day at work, and I was amazed at how very stealthily some people snuck little facts into a conversation that made them sound kick-ass awesome. I was just blown away by how very sneaky it was. "It was so subtle!" I told Gibson. "They managed to share some incredible fact about themselves but so casually. And we all knew that they were Important." It just was crazy skilled.

    As an ACoN, I totally lack that skill. I'm the one trying to disappear into the wallpaper. And you know what? That sort of attitude doesn't rake in the big bucks.

    Like I told Gib, "Well, we'll never be rich, baby, but we've got love, and ... and ..." And Gibson said, "And that's everything."

  5. Nice post. Seconding this comment:

    "psychopaths suck because they believe the very worst of people and believe that all people care about is 'looking good' and 'being better/cooler than others.'"

    This is in a nutshell what NPD-people are like, there seems like there's a lot of crossover between NPD and psychopathic behavior.

    Ns care about money in that they believe it raises them in the social hierarchy (it does NOT), and they also like to use it to manipulate people (which people resent, and most people are turned off by). It's strange how preoccupied they are with money.

  6. Dang.... Why couldn't my NM be one of the ones good at making money? I wouldn't be living with her if she could support herself.

  7. Cassandra - You're right, I suppose having a relationship with a narc who has money is slightly better than having a relationship with a narc who has none. At least then you run the chance of occasionally getting material needs met (either their own or yours).