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Beware of These Traits in People


Whether we like it or not, we all have what’s called a dark side, when we’re not putting our best foot forward and resort to irrationality and immaturity. But for some people this side is their only side. Their personality is composed of mostly unhealthy traits. “The Dark Core of Personality” highlights ones to watch out for and steer clear of in people.

A team from Germany and Denmark calls these traits the General Dark Factor of Personality or D-factor. Morten Moshagen, professor at ULM University, describes it as “the basic tendency to maximize one's own utility at the expense of others, accompanied by beliefs that serve as justifications for one's malevolent behaviors.” These people are anywhere from selfish to narcissistic to psychopathic.

The nine factors that compose the D-factor are:

  1. “Egoism. The excessive concern with one's own pleasure or advantage at the expense of community well-being.
  2. Machiavellianism. Manipulativeness, callous affect and strategic-calculating orientation.
  3. Moral Disengagement. A generalized cognitive orientation to the world that differentiates individuals' thinking in a way that powerfully affects unethical behavior.
  4. Narcissism. An all-consuming motive for ego reinforcement.
  5. Psychological Entitlement. A stable and pervasive sense that one deserves more and is entitled to more than others.
  6. Psychopathy. Deficits in affect, callousness, self-control and impulsivity.
  7. Sadism. Intentionally inflicting physical, sexual or psychological pain or suffering on others in order to assert power and dominance or for pleasure and enjoyment.
  8. Self-Interest. The pursuit of gains in socially valued domains, including material goods, social status, recognition, academic or occupational achievement and happiness.
  9. Spitefulness. A preference that would harm another but that would also entail harm to oneself. This harm could be social, financial, physical or an inconvenience.”

These are permanent personality traits and you cannot change people who have them. Avoid or distance yourself from folks who have any of them and immediately disengage if they’re already in your life. They will only hurt you and make your life miserable. You are not perfect but these people are far more unhealthy than you are, I guarantee.