Psychopaths are everywhere in the news today but nobody (except me) is calling them that. Which is part of the problem. We don’t recognise psychopathy when we see it, so we do nothing systematic about handling it.
This story about NZ politicians doing stupid things might be signs of psychopathy. Of course it could just be normal stupid human tricks, but a) we know psychopaths are attracted to power, so there is likely to be a higher concentration of them in politics than in society in general; and b) you would think that people in positions of power and high media visibility would know not to do such stupid things that might be more understandable in people who aren’t so much in the spotlight.
And this story about people not obeying COVID isolation rules after entering QLD is another indication of psychopaths because a) they don’t think the rules apply to them; and b) they don’t care about the welfare of others, so making a bunch of people sick, maybe even dying, and destroying the economy, is something that would hardly register in their minds.
It’s a weird experience to watch your kids break out on their own. Often these days I look at my older boys and think “where the hell did you come from?” They are running around as young entrepreneurs doing things I barely understand.
I’ve got three boys. Taylor Reilly is 19. He’s been getting a ton of media coverage lately about his entrepreneurial adventures. Hunter Reilly is also 19. He’s got over 200,000 followers on TikTok and millions of views. Fox is only 6 and thinks his big brothers are legends. He doesn’t have a social media profile yet but keeps asking me to make TikTok videos of him.
I’m quite sure one of these days they are all going to be far more successful than I am – and that’s a good thing. As a parent I can’t think of anything more fantastic.
I just read this great post by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup and a Professor of Business Psychology at University College London (UCL) and Columbia University, co-founder of Metaprofiling and Deeper Signals, author of ‘Confidence: How much you really need it and how to get it’, and ‘The Talent Delusion: Why data – not intuition – is key to unlocking human potential’) on Forbes “Are Narcissistic Leaders As Confident As They Appear?“.
He talks about how narcissism often masks a deep feeling of insecurity and how “their confidence is unlikely to reflect actual competence”. So what happens when you get insecure, incompetent narcissists who manage to talk themselves into positions of leadership? As Tomas points out, when you get leaders who “display a type of narcissism that shows no traces of insecurity, let alone self-awareness” and which “coexists with psychopathic tendencies”, this can become “a particularly brutal and toxic cocktail”.
I’ve reached out to Tomas via Twitter to see if he’d be willing to come on my podcast for The Psychopath Epidemic to discuss further.
You can now watch Marketing The Messiah online! Go here to rent or buy. It’s not on Netflix, etc…. yet. You can only get it on our site for now.
The best way to tell if someone is a narcissist is apparently just to ask them. A narcissist will reply “oh yeah, I’m a narcissist”. It’s called the Single Item Narcissism Scale test. I learned this during my recent interview with neuroscientist David Chester for the Psychopath Epidemic podcast.