How to Identify Machiavellian Behavior in a Conversation

How to Identify Machiavellian Behavior in a Conversation

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and felt like something was off? That they didn’t give off a good vibe? You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know that they don’t seem genuine. You have these feelings because you have sensed some signs of manipulation coming from a Machiavellian person. What is a Machiavellian person you might ask?

 Well, a Machiavellian is part of the dark triad. It is a personality trait that lies, manipulates, and takes advantage of others to get their interest. What is interesting about people that possess this quality is their ability to lure a lot of people in with charm and wit. A lot of people have met people like this through work or school. This quality can rub some people the wrong way, but easily manipulated people are drawn to this charisma.

So, since we have kept your attention this long, keep reading to learn how to identify a Machiavellian in everyday conversation.

Number 1: Their stories don’t always add up.

 Have you been talking to your coworker recently and noticed these elaborate stories they tell about themselves are just not adding up? It may be the minor details that make the huge difference. You may find that many Machiavellians are pathological liars. But why lie so much? Well, they will always want to look better than the person they are next to. They will also lie and say things people want to hear, to gain people’s trust. Most people don’t want to hear from your friend or coworker that they just want to manipulate you and use you for their own personal gain.

 Usually, that would not sit right with people, so lying and deceiving others is the next best trick. These lies can range from small to large. The lies can be about themselves or someone they know. It can be easy to spot a Machiavellian if you pay close attention to the person’s stories. You may also hear them be cynical about others if they are doing something better than the Machiavellian. They lie when they feel inferior to someone else. It’s a common defense mechanism.

 Number 2: They are all about controlling others.

 In the 16th century, Niccoló Machiavelli said, “It is more important to be feared than loved.” It is safe to say that Machiavellians feel that same exact way. You may begin to notice when talking to someone who exhibits Machiavellian traits that they are very prone to belittling other people and saying how easy they are to trick. They are constantly worried about how to rise above everyone else and how to gain power. You see this a lot in coworkers who want to get all the way to the top.

 A Machiavellian example would be, “I’m a lot smarter than half of the people in this place. These people wouldn’t know how to function without me here. They would be so lucky to have me as their boss. ”They are also worried about other peoples’ work. And they like to make sure no one can surpass them in quality of work. You may also see people with Machiavellian traits in relationships lie and deceive their partners through gaslighting. Through daily conversations, they manipulate and lie to their partners to appear like their partners can’t function without them.

 A quick way to identify a Machiavellian in relationships is if your partner is quick to tell you that you are crazy and wrong about a lot of things. This can range from small simple things like where they left their keys to catching the Machiavellian lying or cheating. This creates power and that power is exactly what the Machiavellian craves.

 Number 3: They make it clear how much better they are than everyone else.

Sometimes, you meet people in passing, at work, or at school who put themselves so high on the pedestal you may think they can never get down. It can be easy to spot a Machiavellian by this trait because they constantly talk about how great they are. Unlike some narcissists who like to hear it from others and will fish for the compliment, a Machiavellian will just tell you how they feel about themselves. This causes listeners to either eye-roll or become invested in what the Machiavellian has to say.

 Once a listener is hooked, they know they may have a person they can manipulate and use. You see this a lot in coworkers or classmates who believe they are the best in everything and they don’t settle for anything less than perfect. These hints and clues are things to look out for when conversing with a Machievillan.

 Number 4: They are selfish with knowledge.

You will find when talking to Machievillan that they are very secretive when it comes to knowledge. They have the mindset that knowledge is power and they are quick to not help anyone who could go above them. They will withhold information regarding anything that can help someone else. This is a very common control tactic. They usually play very dirty and don’t believe in fairness with others. Some Machiavellian examples would be, “I don’t think it is my job to help them. I’m not their parent,” or, ” If I tell everyone my secrets to success, then how am I supposed to be the best?” Some of these phrases exhibit the mindset of selfishness.

Number 5: You don’t see any remorse from them.

 When conversing with them you may hear that they don’t ever really feel bad about any situation that happens because of them. For example, if a coworker gets fired on their behalf, a Machievillan will not feel any guilt about it, especially if the fired coworker did not deserve the termination. A Machievillan will see them as one less obstacle in their way. You might be taken aback by how little empathy or kindness is expressed.

 Most people would feel bad if something happened to another person on their account, but not a Machievillan. Look for lack of empathy and not a general sense of consequences for their actions. Look for lack of empathy and not a general sense of consequences for their actions. They may trick their coworkers or friends into doing things they know will have severe consequences. Once the person has had their punishment for what they did, the Machievillan will deny any part in it and not show any remorse. They are known to be pathological liars and can convince others, even themselves at times, that they did nothing wrong.

 Number 6: They don’t know how to work as a team.

 Let’s just say, you are assigned with someone in class or work to work on a project and present it to your boss or teacher. This project is so important and could make or break your next raise or whether or not you fail that class. You keep making an attempt to sit down and discuss the project. You try to assign tasks so it’s fair. And You start to notice that when you talk to your partner about it, they don’t seem too interested in playing fair.

 They may try to push most of the work onto you through gaslighting, guilt, or lying. Then when it comes time to present the project, they will take as much credit as possible. This can cause tension and irritation from the partner who worked so hard. If they try to confront the Machievillan about it, they can lie and convince their way into getting out of the confrontation.

Number 7: They see friends more as followers.

When speaking with a Machievillan, you may notice they are bossy, manipulative, and at times degrading. These traits are used against their so-called “friends.” They find people who they consider sheep and use their neediness for companionship as a means of control. They will manipulate their friends into doing things for them, committing acts for them, or may even use them to let other people know to listen to them.

 This type of behavior is common in leadership roles. Listen for key phrases such as “this person will literally believe anything anyone says” or “if you sweet talk them enough, you can get them to do anything. ” Listen for backstabbing behavior and things you know friends should never say to one another. It can be easy to identify a Machievillan by listening carefully to them talk about their loved ones.

 Number 8: They never have a positive outlook on life.

 We know this concept has been mentioned multiple times in this video, but it’s important to discuss. Machievillans are known to be really cynical towards people, ideas, and even places. They have negative energy consistently surrounding them. You’ll be able to identify them by their constant criticism of others. You may also notice they have criticized everyone and everything but themselves. You can talk to them about something great that is happening to you or that will happen and they will find a way to bring you down. They love to ruin other people’s joy if they are not feeling the same amount of joy.

 They will also criticize decisions you make for yourself, your school, your career, or even your children, They are cynical about anyone who’s happy, and They may also even make up lies to kill your happiness. Ending your happiness causes them great joy. It is part of their manipulative, aggressive attitude. This cynical and judgemental behavior can be one of the first signs of a Machievillan. While sometimes they may pretend to gain someone’s trust, most of the time they will tell you to your face how unhappy they are with you.

Read More: 8 Clear Signs to Identify a Narcissist.

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