The Machiavellian Personality

I had never heard of this. Yes, I’ve lived under a stump most of my life. I was actually introduced to this term by a link on another person’s blog. I’d never heard the word before, and it had me curious. I clicked on the link and there, in print, was my X-monster! The best article I’ve found on this disorder is;  I’ve learned a lot over the last year and a half, but this one is the most validating for me. Please read this article, so you are up to speed on what I’m talking about as well as the traits associated with a Machiavellian. This is my life for over a year. This is what I endured from a Psychopath. As I have said before, my X was good at his game.

Machiavellianism is considered one part of the “dark Triad“, which includes Narcissism, Psychopathy and Machivellianism. These are all considered to fall into the realm of Antisocial Personality Disorder. Personally, I believe if one is considered a “high mach”, they are all of the above, in spades. I don’t think it’s possible for a Machiavellian personality to be anything but Psychopathic. In order to manipulate others in that grand of a scale, it’s proof positive that there is no empathy, conscience or remorse. None. Zilch. Nadda.

I’ve spent this last year and a half trying to make sense of things. Don’t get me wrong, I have been at peace regarding the abuse and abuser, but I still had questions. I still remember each thing he did, each gas lighting endeavor and extreme manipulation, yet something was still missing in finding the name of the monster. I was and am 100% positive I was dealing with a Psychopath. Even with everyone’s stories that I could relate to, my experience still seemed unreal and over-the-top, in comparison. I still felt crazy because I knew everything that happened, caught him in several cons and setting up schemes months in advance, yet even the Psychopaths I had learned about from other women didn’t match completely with my experience. I knew what I knew. I lived it. I was there. There were many “spot on” similarities, where our experiences as survivors have mirrored each other’s, yet when I would describe the patient schemes and con-games my X would set up, how he baited others (including most of all, myself) into acting a particular way in order to see a scheme through to fruition, it felt exaggerated. There is no exaggeration.

They seem innocent and confident. They are always charming and precise in everything. They will drop surprise gifts with a smile on their face, without any notable reason. They will talk to you about subjects that are only important to them. At times, they will ask you why something is important to you, then use your answer in order to destroy it. Know that, even though they seem nice and friendly, Trustworthy and ethical, understand that they are FAR from it. If your skin crawls for no reason while talking to someone, it’s best to get away from them and avoid that person in the future.

The Machiavellian is extremely dangerous. Not only are they skilled in destroying you from the inside, out, they are also very adept at ruining other’s lives, while using the “subject” as their own pawn. There are no limits to what the Machiavellian is capable of. They will blind-side you, even when you feel you have done well to cut him/her off at the pass. When you have trained yourself to think like them, in order to protect yourself. You will never be fully aware of what this individual is doing, until it’s already happened. I caught mine in a final scheme against me, using my friend to set me up. He was care-less in his set-up. He didn’t think I would be able to see it. I did and the rest is history.

I have to re-emphasize the fact that I am NOT a Psychological professional of any sort. I talk like I know my shit, but the fact remains that I am still learning. I’m sharing what I’m learning with the rest of you. I may not have all my facts perfectly straight, and I might be misguided in my thinking at times. Please let me know if that is the case, now. With that being said…

Thank you to all of you fellow bloggers. Without you, I would be lost.

18 thoughts on “The Machiavellian Personality

  1. You are an expert in your situation and learning more all the time. Experts area always to be taken with a grain of salt, so to speak, because research is all about proving the experts wrong. Some of your situation echoes mine, but some of it doesn’t, which in no way invalidates what happened to you or me. I have a responsibility to become an expert in my own situation or choose to allow the expert manipulators control. Not happening. Thanks for sharing, lifebegins45.

    1. Thank you for that, Judy. I hope I didn’t sound like I was discounting anyone’s experiences. I didn’t mean to, as we all have the lives and experiences we have lived through and with. If it wasn’t for others experiences, I wouldn’t have even been able to believe I was in the least bit sane, for the memories I have and my experiences with my X. I’ve just known that “something” just wasn’t complete. My X sounded very similar to others’ descriptions of their abusers, as did our experiences. At the same time, I remembered how calculating and patient my X was. I remembered how good he was/is with manipulating others and being able to hide his schemes in the mean-time, and literally for days or months. He could cover his steps and mask actual reality from being seen by others. This is what set mine apart from so many other psychopaths. I know I haven’t been the only one to experience this, yet that particular characteristic of our “relationship” had gone without any validation for me. That is, until I discovered Machiavellianism.

      You are soo completely 100% right 😀 We are all experts in our experiences. Words fail me, very often, when I try to write everything out. When I was mentioning Machiavellianism, I am only just grazing the surface with this type of ASPD/Psychopathy. I know I’m onto something, here, in finally finding something that talks of my X and his M.O. I just don’t fully understand it (Machiavellianism), yet.

      The article I mentioned, talks of the ‘high mach’s’ ability to “display a keen and opportunistic sense of timing”. Mine was able to plan things perfectly, knowing when to set up what, how to cover steps and when, who to bring in as a pawn for the implementation of the scheme. He set up the perfect lie, told at just the right time and to the right person, to make sure the scheme (usually to be finalized months down the road, or weeks) would come to fruition.

      It’s just nice to know and feel validated “finally”, that it really did happen like I remember, even though I knew it already. I was always amazed at how perfectly he set things up, brought people into the game, and finalized everything. Everything was precisely placed at just the right time. Always. Most of the time all I knew is that “something” was up. I couldn’t pin-point anything until “it” was all said and done, then i could map each step he took, how and why, when looking back. Its just nice to know. Hard to explain.

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  6. Being Machiavellian does not always make you a psychopath or a narcissist. I myself am a diagnosed High Mach, (on a scale of 0-100 I am a 92.), but I do not consider myself entitled, nor do I take pleasure in hurting innocent victims. I work with animals, for goodness sake, (and horse back riding is very therapeutic!)! However, I am a very accomplished liar, not that I am proud of it, (well, maybe a little bit). But, I happen to hate the same people you do. The difference between myself and others is that I use my “talents” on the very people you write about. In my opinion, there is nothing satisfying or that I even condone about picking on a weaker individual. However, I have no qualms about beating a psychopath or a narcissist at their own game. I “pick on people my own size”, if you will. It’s satisfying to watch these people being put in their place as you hand them their own ass using the very same tricks that they use on others. So, please do not paint us all with the same brush. Not all of us are “evil”. Some of us are on your side. Not a lot, but some. We all think in different ways, and have different “gifts” and strong points: it simply depends on how you use them.

    1. As an actual expert with a Ph.D. in Counseling I can definitively say that a number of points made in Sara Weisbrodt’s comments are inconsistent with the topic at hand..which usually means it is being written by a person with traits stemming from the Dark Triad in attempts at manipulating the blog host.

      For instance…

      Example 1: Diagnosis

      Most people who would be diagnosed as having a Personatlity Disorder, Sociopathy, Psychopathy, a Machiavellian personality disorder (not an official category, but considered a subset) are never diagnosed. Typically, someone is not diagnosed unless they are caught in criminal acts and required to meet with a professional who would assess and diagnose them based on their case history, records, testing, etc… Sara Weisbrodt doesn’t coime across to me as likely to fit that profile. People who are likely to score high on any diagnostic tool that would identify them as having any of these disorders almost never, and I mean very very very nearly never voluntarily submit to assessment, testing, or diagnosis with a professional. The features of their disorder keep them from that.

      Example 2: Self-Awareness/Admission

      A “High-Mach” would rarely disclose, publicly, openly, honestly, or even in this and anonymously…that they are a diagnosed High-Mach. I suppose it’s possible, but if it’s not a monitored support chat for such people, high-machs are the most likely to create a false persona on line to join a conversation, and not “come out” as Sara Weisbrodt has done above.

      Example 3: Self-Defeating

      High scoring personality disordered people from the categories mentioned in example 1 would never offer factual information that would undermine their own ability to control the conversation or other people. A High-Mach 92… no way. Has to be a manipulation. How can we tell? The Sara Weisbrodt profile was created purely to comment on this site. There is no other activity associated with that profile. Might someone like that offer up little crumbs of vulnerability or disclosure to lure someone in? Hell yeah. But to offer up their biggest darkest secret from the outset? Not happening.

      Example 4: The Good Kind of Machiavellian

      There’s no such thing. You cannot score a 92 or even close to that on a diagnostic scale and be a functional do-gooder..nearly impossible. The upcoming remake of the movie Point Break, based on the trailers for the film, seeks to depict the Robin Hood Machiavellian (non-existent in real life). They are willing to break the rules, break laws, and engage in dangerous and risk-taking behavior in order to achieve good outcomes for others? Sorry. Doesn’t happen. The closest we might see that in reality is the online phenomenon of Anonymous whereby, as far as anyone knows, the collective operates to keep each other in check from using the collective resources for crime or other nefarious outcomes…and focuses their ablities and resources on “justice” oriented activities.

      The difference is:
      -Anonymous is a collective, not any one individual
      -Surely nefarious and disordered people get involved in Anonymous; their nefarious activities are kept in check through distributive action; in other words, any misdeeds they may attempt or actually perpetrate cannot be done in the name of Anonymous; in fact, they are likely to be involved in the group to play along cooperatively so they can actually attempt deeper manipulations against people within the group itself
      -We don’t know who is in Anonymous, or which activities are truly due to their actions versus other groups; therefore, we can never know if their actions are truly benevolent, purely benevolent, secretly malevolent, occassionally malevolent, never malevolent but sometims have unitended negative outcomes, etc, etc….

      An individual high scoring narcissist, sociopath, psychopath or machiavellian would manifest more like a Trump, Madoff, Clinton, etc who reach the pinnacles of wealth/power/politics…they obviously bend the rules to their own uses, sometimes defy the rules, sometimes hurt others along the way, etc, etc..but they are clearly highly functional, effective, successful, and know the boudnaries and limitations. Such people would never end up being diagnosed as it would totally destroy their ablity to maintain what they’ve attained/achieved. The only way they would know their score on any diagnostic is because they fell from the heights of power and were forced into assessment/diagnosis. And they would never admit to anyone else that they are “a good liar” or anything like that.

      Seems like Sara Weisbrodt is attempting a manipulation of some sort, with little success. If you’re a do-gooder open a Foundation, consulting firm, run for office, etc…but..then you’re not likely to be known as a Machiavellian or Sociopath unless you’re facing criminal charges. Doesn’t mean they aren’t one of those…but until faced with that confrontation…there is no such thing as “picking on people their own size”. For a 92…everyone else is beneath them. Beating others at their own game is code for people yet to destroy or take down so I can be on top. That’s not do-gooder kind of behavior.

      1. I really appreciate your comment. You have confirmed what I believed and learned about the Machiavellian. You also affirmed my own suspicions about the previous commenter. Have a great weekend.

  7. @lifebegins45 My sincerest sympathies for what you had to go through. While I can only relate partially, admittedly you have a good understanding of us.

    @Sara I’m not as Machiavellian as you are, but I do concur with the fact not all of us are evil.

    @ alifetimeofmulligans I’m no Phd, but psychology is my greatest passion, and many points you have discussed are not true from my humble perspective. As a 77 out 100 on the Mach IV test, the test does not measure empathy. Additionally, I take no pleasure in hurting anyone because I wouldn’t like someone manipulating or hurting me. Now, if someone was trying to hurt or manipulate me, then I go dark side. Bottom line, I CHOOSE to go dark side – it is not impulsive. True Machs however, you are spot on though.

  8. I believe that someone can have Machiavellian traits, but not have the full blown disorder. (All people have narcissistic traits to a certain extent, but not all people are narcissists.)
    I rank as a high mach, apparently, but I’m also highly sensitive with unusually high empathy. I do manipulate and I do lie, but I use writing as an outlet. (And group work: when I got stuck working at University with people who would attempt to get me to follow all the work or treat me as a doormat, I’d manipulate them into doing some actual work, because I was worried they’d fail the class otherwise.)
    I believe human behaviour is far more complex than many psychologists would like to admit, because they do tend to like to categorise and place people in neat boxes. (The while point of the dsm, apart from diagnosing illnesses, of course.) I have dealt with both psychopaths and narcicists on their own terms, and I won’t lie, it’s fun to manipulate other people who are not “nice”. (and who are, therefore, fair game)
    You’re free to agree or disagree with me, I don’t really mind either way.

  9. All of you have talked about the Machiavellian personality, can someone tell me how to deal with it? Please give specific examples. This person is not a spouse or lover, it’s someone I work with, he’s obsessed with control and power, among all the rest of the things you talk about. I am so close to catching and exposing him, please help!!!!

    1. Hi Candy. I apologize for only just now responding to your question…

      I’m no expert, but what I have come to learn about people of each facet of the dark triad, (narcissism, psychopaths and Machiavellians) is that no two are absolutely the same. Their methods are basically the same, mirroring, etc… The best defense I have found against them when we’re stuck in those types of situations, is #1 Be yourself and make no apologies about it. Be true to who you are, with confidence. #2, Stand by your convictions and boundaries. Recognize that the only way someone can have any control over you, or your emotions is to allow it. I understand that these people are very covert in their attempts, and most times you don’t know what is going on until you are either in the middle of it, or freshly out of the situation. Remember you are a tool for him, no matter how low or high you are on the totem pole at work. He/she will use you to further his career, or to make someone else look bad, in order to go unnoticed when he does something slimy. Do not tell him about your family, or anyone he associates with. The best way to deal with them is to give them NO attention. Walk away when he approaches you for any reason. Keep detailed log (when able) of what he does pertains to you, personally. If he can’t suck you in…he can’t use you. There will be rumors of all kinds that he will start, in order to get you to react. Don’t feed the monster.

      I don’t know if this will help, but I do hope so…I have been there. Of course I didn’t know anything about these types until I lived it. In doing so, I also found failsafe (sort of) ways to deal with it, begin with ourselves. When you expose him, make sure you don’t mention Machievelians or psychopaths. Just let the evidence you have point to what a slime ball he is. I wish you luck and peace about this situation you are going through.

  10. Conservative Womble

    I think this was honestly written by the Mach as a means of congratulating themselves, not by the victim. I guess you must have gotten bored of keeping your ‘brilliance’ to yourself. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire thing is made up.

    1. Conservative, Care to explain your comment? You are entitled to your opinion and comment, as this is an open forum. However, to be so presumptuous implies that you have some inside “facts” about my life. Care to enlighten me? Or was your reply intended for another commentor?

      This is, in all fact, an online journal. Yes, all of the stories are true. Names have been changed or completely omitted for safety sake, alone. My silence has been due to lack of time and privacy to write. Nothing more. I leave this up to hopefully help others know that they are not alone, #1…and #2 to allow myself a safe place to reflect inside of my own thoughts. If you notice, I have NOT included my own name, either…so the entire thought of going through the trouble of making any of this up, is ridiculous at best. Don’t you think I would want some recognition for my trouble? For the years of writing? I don’t. But it is nice to get to speak with others who have been through this, too. I do congratulate myself, though… Not in the “I’m better than you” sense, but that I have grown past the experiences and have made some very painfully hard changes in myself, which have needed to change for a life-time. I’m not done growing and changing. I’m far from it. I’m not done learning and learning from my own mistakes. I’m just not the same person I was, then. That is all…

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Remember, this is a safe place for victims to stay for a time, and reflect as well. I respectfully request that you respect those who are here.

  11. While I’m not an expert, just a survivor of many of truly dark relationships, Sara’s post doesn’t match up with what I’ve learned about the 3 components of the Dark Triad. IMO, it’s important to review the triad any time we’re assessing any exploitative relationship.

    After reading LifeBegins45’s posts – and thank you for your excellent, thoughtful blog, and doing some independent research on Machiavellian traits, I am in doubt about the claims Sara makes in her post. Agree with ALifeTimeOfMulligan. There appear to be a lot of holes in Sara’s story. Agree with LifeBegins45’s theory that to be Machiavellian is to be psychopathic. Anyone who admits to being good at manipulation, etc. and makes ambiguous claims about themselves, and is so obviously manipulating us with these claims, I’m highly suspicious of.

    I’ve run into to too many of these people personally, with an ex-husband and many ex-boyfriends ….one personal relationship with a so-called “friend” who turned out to be a highly toxic pathological narcissist … a pathologically narcissistic (and probably psychopathic) mother … a recent psychopathic client… at work …. with family members. I’ve been up to my eyeballs with these exploiters and have had quite enough, thank you very much. I admit I’ve become very suspicious and check out everyone’s energy.

    I’ve taken some time off recently to ask myself some important questions about where I want my life to go from here. Been doing a lot of research, soul-searching, spiritual work. It does seem that Sara is manipulating this blog. Which is not “bad” because each of us is able to come to our own conclusion about Sara’s claims.

    Before I forget, recently discovered clinician and therapist, Ross Rosenberg, who works with children and adults. Ross has an interesting childhood history. He has written books and presented workshops about narcissism, codependency etc, with his own channel and videos on YouTube. One point Ross makes is that the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath is that psychopaths are sociopaths who are very dangerous. He is a survivor just as we all are and has put his own life back together again. He puts a slightly different twist on this scene. His latest book – The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us – is a complete and total revision from the original and will be out 1/27/18. Wait until then to buy the brand new book with the latest information.


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