Red Pill TheoryMachiavellianism and You: A Primer (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by 1atticusfinch1973

If you look at the field of alternate psychology, there is an area of personality traits called the Dark Triad. It contains three different “negative” personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. The tests for this are all over the internet so it is easy to find and take one, which I recommend to anyone who wants to improve themselves.

When I took one for the first time, I scored exceptionally high on the Machiavellian end (between 60-70). All this means is: “Machiavellianism in psychology refers to a personality trait which sees a person so focused on their own interests they will manipulate, deceive, and exploit others to achieve their goals.”. This is something I am exceptionally good at. I was low on the other two. Once I did the research (https://psychcentral.com/lib/machiavellianism-cognition-and-emotion-understanding-how-the-machiavellian-thinks-feels-and-thrives/) into what causes this trait to come out, it made a lot of sense.

If you were bullied as a child, this tends to cause either complete loss of self-esteem or the ability to use traits of power to defend themselves. Since I was a small child and teenager, I learned to use my brain to manipulate social situations effectively. This is a strong indicator of Machiavellianism. You are not a sociopath or completely devoid of morals – you just have an alternate way of looking at things.

One thing any person can do to improve themselves is to take a close look at their true personality and use it to their benefit, especially once they are an adult.

The point of this post is that this type of thing (just like ADD) doesn’t need to be a deficit. In fact, it can be something that you can use to your advantage and here’s a few ways I have been successful at it:

Turn Your Emotions Off

People with this personality trait tend to be very cold emotionally. In certain situations, this is a benefit in that you can calmly assess a situation and not react with emotion. For example, you just found your LTR cheating? Pack her stuff calmly and throw her out. Getting confronted by an aggressive douche? You can easily chuckle and come up with a way to diffuse the situation or just walk away.

It’s easy to brush off conflict in a social or work situation. When your partner needs a rock, you can just stand there stoically and support them without having to worry about them seeing you being emotional. If there is a tough decision to be made at work, it is much easier to evaluate. I have found that this trait along with reading about stoicism has helped greatly when stressful situations come up.

When my oldest daughter broke her arm, it was easy for me to contain any panic, take her to the hospital and deal with the situation calmly, which really helped her through the process. In any leadership scenario you are at an advantage because you can think and not react based on emotion.

Use People To Your Advantage

People with this trait manipulate and deceive to get what they want. As a person with this trait I don’t see this as a negative thing. Throughout my life I’ve learned to be everyone’s friend even if I don’t like them at all because every person can be an asset at some point. In the workplace this type of behaviour is essential. I used to refer to it as “chameleon mode” because I could get along with the 50 year old secretary just as easily as the 19 year old intern.

What this gives you is the ability to get things you need from people. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve gotten preferred treatment and been promoted or put into a better situation at work simply because I can manipulate people. Now that I work for myself, when I need something I can simply ask whomever I know that has that specific skill and receive what I need without an issue.

Achieving a Long Term Goal

What some men today tend to do is only look towards next weekend or next month at the outset. Being more Machiavellian allows you to formulate goals based only on your desires – not limiting your beliefs based on what you think might be possible based on your upbringing. It also allows you to take off the social and emotional filters when thinking about a long-term plan, which is essential for success in business. The reality is that you’re going to have to step on some people if you want to rise up in life.

Developing a plan is much easier when you are focused mostly on yourself and not worried about the people that you will encounter along the way. While you don’t want to make enemies of anyone, strategically working around (and sometimes going over) people is easier when you have the Machiavellian mindset. This allows you to plan years ahead of the game and go around or over personal barriers that others might have a problem with ethically.

Often with my business I make effective but difficult decisions (Years ago while running a gym I once fired 8 people within a span of two weeks, completely decimating my department) and some people see them as ruthless and say things like “you can’t do that!”. My immediate response is “why can’t I?”. To achieve the long-term goal, the Machiavellian person will do what they need to. The term it is much easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission often applies. However, the true Machiavellian doesn’t even need to beg for forgiveness.

Now, before you all go off and start acting like assholes, the true Machiavellian can achieve all of this while still being friends with everyone. You won’t find many people who have a poor opinion of me, in fact if you asked pretty much anyone in my life they would likely say I’m a great guy. However, I have no trouble manipulating things behind the scenes to achieve what I want without anyone knowing.

Following the 48 Laws of Power is essential for this type of personality to work well with others. Many of them apply to the Machiavellian personality, most notably Numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 14, 19, 24, 29, 31, 35, 38, 43 and 47.

I could cite several recent examples of how I used this personally, but the point of this article is to show you that something perceived as a weakness by many need not be – you just have to learn how to use it effectively. I hope it helps some of you.

[–]AriesAsF 79 points80 points  (5 children)

Being liked by those around is actually KEY to successful Machiavellian tactics. If everyone actually thinks you are a cold manipulative asshole, you won't get anywhere with anyone.

[–]telytuby 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Idk, “it’s better to be feared than liked” seems to work pretty well. Of course it’s a fine line between fear and hate which will lead to isolation but you know. I see what you mean, you can’t be outwardly cold and sociopathic, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to let people know what they’re dealing with.

[–]AriesAsF 8 points9 points  (2 children)

I agree that you shouldn't be a pushover, but I would disagree that fear and hate is a good way to inspire people to do what you want (in a free society), and so would Dale Carnegie. Take a look at his book "How to Win friends and influence people". One of his big lessons is that if you lose your temper and engage in an argument with any person, you have already lost because people don't remember facts or logic, only how you make them 'feel'. And if you make other people feel stupid, small or criticized they will hate you forever and work against your goals. Inspiring loyalty and convincing people that your goals are their goals is the way to go and that book is great at teaching how to do that.

[–]telytuby 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I agree, what I meant was sometimes fear can be a good motivator and if you’re in a position where you can get away with it, it can work in your favour. Of course it has to be in moderation, like for instance in a job sometimes it’s necessary to assert yourself- not be a complete sociopath though 😂

[–]NormalAndy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I am amazed how ruthless people tend to get away with so many of the risks they take. They are unafraid to hurt people and focus on meeting their objectives and getting the jobs done.

Ultimately, I would say that being a sociopath is a distict advantage. Being liked is very useful when climbing the ladder but ultimately being feared is what commands obedience.

[–]jonpe87 24 points25 points  (4 children)

For most people this involves a moral dichotomy. They don't want to make the world a worst place or contribute to that, and yet, sometimes to have success you have to be dark triad. This got me on college when I realized that everyone was trying to use me because I was very smart but very nice. One day even my most closed friend was trying to take advantage of me, and when I showed it to him he got very angry, angry because I didn't help, angry because was true, as the principles of game in IM: "Repeated favours become obligations.", so I said fuck it, and I was reading red pill on those days, I became very machiavellian, realizing that people don't want to be in a position of leadership I took every opportunity that I could to have people working for me, life was eaaazyy after that. I'm not a bad person, but I m not a good either today, I understood that in the game of life you have a choice where you have to fight to have the best.

[–]rmandan 4 points5 points  (3 children)

I’m going through the same thing you’re talking about regarding a moral dichotomy for almost a year now. It’s so mentally draining and debating the two sides in my head never seems to stop. I’m no pushover at all, and not a “nice guy” but, I don’t know whether to put morals as the main goal in my life or success. Morals are internal succeess is external and you can’t pick both.

Since you went through the same thing, I’d love to hear any advice you’d have for me.

[–]jonpe87 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I would say that first you have to understand the concepts of good and evil and good and bad, and how the understand of that makes you frame reality. For example: trying to win to be the first don't make you a evil person, but a bad person for your competitors only, but our culture has evolved moral principles that say you are evil. This is Nietzsche btw, you have to understand the genealogy of your moral. You can't choose a side because of one thing: guilt. Guilt is the weapon of the weak, because is evident that the strong must survive, we are not equals, and our individuality don't matter that much for nature and our species, this way our moral system has evolved to control not evil people, but egoist people, this system dictates who are evil, you see the fact that you feel guilt say that you are against your nature, against your inteligence, otherwise why would you even think about all this? You would just be "good" without even think. The thing is, to act upon your own interest is a good thing for our species, I don't care if you are trying to be the best, because I'm trying to, I will be glad to have a worth foe, and even die to a worth foe in times already gone. Also once you begin to act upon your own interest you will see that your nature is beyond good and evil, it's like a thermometer, that adapts through differents contexts. To finish this then, what makes you really confused is how you see others and not how you see yourself, our culture call you to build a world of good and benevolent people to control your actions, but you need to have a more realistc view of human nature, we are egoists, this idea of equalism raises from the egoism too. If we had a culture that say you must be strong, you must be the best we would have a much more sane society, people think that they deserve everything nowdays, we have life to easy, but some millennia ago the idea of good and evil sure was not even a question.

The shame is not in you to want the best of life, but on those that want to pass their lifes lying to themselves and not even know that.

To understand better this look for genealogy of morals in nietzsche, dont read it, look for resumes in the internet, youtube has a loot of good ones.

here is a good one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzxo0Ds6lA8

[–]rmandan 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thanks for the help. I appreciate you taking time out of your day today.

[–]jonpe87 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You are welcome, let me know your resolutions of this problem in the future.

[–][deleted]  (3 children)


[–]JagungPhP 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Hey, how do you learn this skill/improve yourself in terms of EQ?


[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]couid 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    No questions from me - just an earnest thank you for this contribution.

    [–]trp1784 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    You make a lot of good points, my boss has told me I need to be "like a chameleon" and adapt my approach to managing each individual. He's incredible at it, he does almost nothing most of the time, but nearly everyone likes him and respects him. He absolutely manipulates people to get results, but he does it in a way that they leave the conversation feeling good about themselves and the company. Machiavellian tactics can be used to benefit yourself without harming people or being a complete emotionless psychopath.

    [–]Endorsed Contributorredpillcad 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    When my oldest daughter broke her arm, it was easy for me to contain any panic, take her to the hospital and deal with the situation calmly, which really helped her through the process.

    TRP teaches fathers that when shit hits the fan, if dad is calm, kids and wife can relax. They assume the frame of Dad.

    The patriarch is real and despite the shrieks of catladies and soyboyz, it can also be very loving and kind

    [–]Sendmoneytofly 18 points19 points  (3 children)

    This reminds me of Petyr Baelish in GoT. Small and frail and got his girl taken away by Chad. Down the road he knew he couldn't compete physically, leading to a path of deceit and manipulation.

    [–]Oby89 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    True...but in the end he got killed anyway though...

    [–]Sendmoneytofly 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    That shit was hikarious. Kid got some sort of time hack and once again how could Baelish compete against that?

    [–]0fficialRider99 -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

    Do I look like one to care about such trivial things? Do you want a screenshot, just ask..💯

    [–]KrakaLakak 6 points7 points  (11 children)

    machiavellianism = genetics

    personalities = genetics

    U can mentally masturbate over wanting to be a "badass psychopath" all u want. Will never happen if u don't have a genetic basis for it.

    [–]StrifePrevails 1 point2 points  (3 children)

    I disagree. I scored highly on the psychopathy and narcissism traits but average on machiavellianism. I started reading IllimitableMan and other machiavellian literature and brought it up higher than my narcissism score. It is learned behaviour

    [–]AssumeFormlessness 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    According to a different test, I apparently have an IQ of 356.

    [–]StrifePrevails 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Obviously some are more reliable than others but I get your point. Guess there's no way to know beyond a vague estimate unless you get professionally evaluated

    [–]Cairnsian 0 points1 point  (5 children)

    Bullshit. Behaviours can be learned and unlearned.

    [–]KrakaLakak 0 points1 point  (3 children)

    False, every single one of us has a genetic basis, the "YOU". If you are born a cunt, you can learn to be either less or more cunt but you'll still be a cunt.

    People don't want to accept that personalities, the way we think, is set in stone just like our heights. People want to argue that, because it's not as obvious as height.

    [–]Cairnsian 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Well I have to agree there. People can have a genetic predisposition to lack of empathy. Additionally, trauma can be passed down through genes. The behaviours that manifest due to these traits can be modified through conditioning.

    [–]Companyinternational 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Trauma is passed via epigenetics not the genes directly but otherwise yes. The fact that your environment has direct influence on your kids behaviour (gene expression -phenotype) long after that environment is gone is kind of frightening and stupidly empowering at the same time.

    [–]Shrenegdrano 9 points10 points  (3 children)

    It's not "alternative" psychology. It's a frame for well-known, widely studied concepts. Psychopathy-machiavelism-narcissism are mainstream concepts in psychology of personality, psychopathology, and psychodiagnosis.

    OTOH, the 48 laws of power and similar pop culture are not. I would be wary to take seriously a self-inconsistent set of rules written by a loser.

    [–]lazordoge 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    Care to elaborate why it’s so bad? I’m halfway through it and it seems pretty good so far. Sure some rules are a bit extra/unnecessary imho but I can’t say it’s garbage?

    [–]Shrenegdrano 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    The 48 laws are FORTY-EIGHT very specifical tools targetted to very specific situations. Really, again: 48. It's a ridicoulus approach because there's no integrated picture or core structure. Often they are contraddictory: be in plain sight but shadowy; beat the big boss but don't challenge the big boss; be brilliant while appearing dumb; be bold but surrender; be yourself but be the person people want you to be; and of course do long convoluted plans but be flexible. WTF. This is not strategy, is micromanaging like crazy. It's really misleading, as I would expect by a master of power struggle which never managed to get actual power. Leadership is not seduction; it requires vision, self-criticism, and flexibility. It's about strategy above all. Manipulation is just a tool, not the goal. The book present an incomplete and idiosincratic set of tool without explaining how and why to use them.

    [–]n4freedom 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Pretty sure this guy hasn't read the book at all...

    [–]drnaline 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I always feel bad when i pull a win/lose situation (machiavellian), but reading about it makes me more less of a lose/win situation. That applies with colleagues who i work with and life in general. With girls i'd go full machiavellian, and perhaps you become one naturally when you have constant connection with them (with other guys also who obey when you around with that chick). People only want value from you, what can you provide? It doesn't mean materialistically but emotionally too. They'll remember if you did them wrong, that's my 2 cents. if you happen to meet people day by day i'd go 50/50, and not hungry mode. "Fast rises to the top are dangerous, take small steps that before they know you have acquired an empire." - Also from author of 48th laws of power

    [–]Atlas_Clone 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    What's an example of " stepping on someone to rise up in life" ?

    [–]xiannnnnn 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Pretty self explanatory.

    ‘Alphabet sued Uber for allegedly conspiring with a former Alphabet employee to bring self-driving trade secrets over to Uber in a bid to accelerate Uber’s autonomous technology.’

    The alphabet employee would be a prime example of stepping on someone, or something, to rise up in their experience.

    [–]Idontwatchtv1986 0 points1 point  (3 children)

    I might be going meta but I just took the test and I found out I have a mostly narcissistic personality trait ,second comes machiavellian and third comes the psychopathic as the most inferior trait. Could you guide me towards some literature to learn more about my result?

    [–]StrifePrevails 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    Read IllimitableMan's blog and the literature he recommends. I scored low on machiavellianism but really high on narcissism and psychopathy. His posts are really useful for understanding the why's and how's

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)


      [–]StrifePrevails 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I disagree but I'd be interested to know why you think so

      [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      The problem is that if everyone behaved in this way, then the world would be a shit place because everyone would be manipulating and decieving one another. We all have common goals and aspirations in life. When everyone helps each other out then we all get more of what we want in life.

      Not to mention empathy can be extremely beneficial to personal sucess in the right situations. If you are kind and generous to others it shows that you are invested in their interests as well as your own, and you therefore become a much more likable person. People will be kind and generous to you. If you cut your neighbour's lawn while he is on holidays, then your neighbour will baby sit your kids while you are out for dinner, etc.

      [–][deleted]  (3 children)


      [–]KrakaLakak 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Self diagnosed test lmao, edgelord calm down.

      [–]6ixtyisdead 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Do you care about what people think of you?

      [–]Dartleather 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Where can I take this test?

      [–]Companyinternational 0 points1 point  (2 children)

      The ability to switch off empathy is a trait of psychopaths by the way.... just saying.

      [–]boredatworkbored 3 points4 points  (1 child)

      Psychopaths don't actually have the option. They can fake empathy giving the impression that they can turn it on and off, but actual empathy is not something they have access to.