Dark Psychology????

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I was raised to be a PollyAnna type. Always look for the good in people. Turn the other cheek. Mostly to do with my off the wall Catholic upbringing by my adoptive parents. It was in direct conflict with the two years prior to my adoption by people I will call 'dark' now that I have found this information on dark psychology. I have spent the better half of the last 10 years trying to understand how people can do to a child/infant/anybody really, what my birth parents did to me.

I picked up a book on Dark NLP and started reading it a while ago. That lead to another book on dark psychology. I didn't realize that dark psychology even existed as a 'real term'. But it does. And it isn't just about narcissism. There seems to be a mixture of personalities that make the 'real deal' or darkness and the havoc that they spread.

The Dark Triad is what it is called. And the Dark Triad, mixed with sadism seems to be the top end of the spectrum with these people.
The dark triad is a subject in psychology that focuses on three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy

All I can say is just 'Wow!' This explains a lot. I mean, it is great that I learned reading, writing and arithmetic in school, but I am going to have to say that all of those things mean diddly squat at this point because I learned nothing about people..... and that this even existed. I have seen no MOOC courses on it, I have researched relentlessly for 10 years on psychology and have never come across this concept. But man, this explains a ton.

Anyway, it is a hard read, but I am still going through the Dark Psychology book. All I can say is, knowledge is power and lack of knowledge can lead to massive amounts of shame for the victim, untold suffering, loss of everything one has worked for in their lives, and even death. It seems like important information to me.


<tilts head> It's covered in most Psych 101 textbooks... And then -clearly- in abnormal psych, criminal psych, criminal profiling, and similar adv courses. I'm probably a little biased, as my sister works -mostly- in psychopathy (the past few months it's been borderline, borderline, borderline), so it's dinner table convo with her. But I remember it coming up rather a lot in school. <grin> But then, I managed to avoid nearly all reference to PTSD & trauma in school. Psych is so damn big, it's very easy to miss whole areas.

Here. I just asked her. She recommends reading

Without Conscience ... Robert Hare
The Anatomy of Violence ... Adrian Raine
Psychopathy As the Observer (academic paper) ... MR Levenson

She also asks if you've heard of the "Vulnerable Dark Triad" which is a newer proposal and consists of Borderline, Vulnerable Narcism, & Psychopathy II (secondary psychopathy)... & thinks you /anyone researching the dark triad, might find it equally interesting.


Vulnerable Narcism, & Psychopathy II
Yes, I stumbled upon the Vulnerable Narcissism today. I am learning a ton right now about it. Thanks for the links to the books. I will check them out.

I think a ton of this stuff has come to light, in the context of how it affects us socially, quite a while after I was in school. It would have been a really useful parenting tool. It would have been a really useful tool for picking an appropriate husband as well. *heavy sigh*


@shimmerz, I'm extremely familiar with the Dark Pyschology NLP methods. It's not the main issue that I've been dealing with in the present, or the cause of my cptsd in my opinion, so I haven't referenced it much here in the forums.

A family member was in a religious cult in the 60's and 70's that was obscure, there were a lot of those loosely based on eastern religions, hippy type things then. They became a leader, very successful and aslo a psychopath, although I usually refer to them as just a narcissist to normalize it a little and avoid too much interest in the back round from other people. I did that here out of habit when I didnt need to.

I know that the NLP concept was a huge movement in the 70's and 80's, not necessarily negative in intention, but it is an entire 'empowering' tool that is based on manipulation and domination with verbal skills. It was very popular with salesmen and entrepreneurs. I know for a fact that the Dark NLP methods were being developed and used far before there was any reading material on it, and they knew what they were doing.

All people in the ' dark triad' category...or Axis ll personality psychopathy disorder profile use these methods whether its deliberate or just a natural instinct depends on the individual.

The Vulnerable Dark Triad that Friday recommended is a really important resource, because in reality most of these people are complex mixtures involving many factors. Understanding what under and overlays are present in anyone with psychopathic traits is important. Because it is crucial to understand whether they are indeed 'traits' or Axis l....or you are in fact dealing with the full pathological disorder of sociopathy and psychopathy.

It was my own personal horror that I was raised by a psychopath, escaped it completely, and then married a sociopath after I had been free of my father for ten years. The mistake I made there, was believing that because he appeared to be the opposite of my dad I was safe. In reality I was responding to subconscious cues that he was totally familiar to my parents dynamic and early family life. We will gravitate towards what we know because its familiar, even if its a nightmare.

Another really important book is

The Empathy Trap
by Tim and Jane McGregor

I really cant recommend that highly enough, it explains so much about how they suck you in, why you're vulnerable to it, and methods they use to gaslight.

The book by Robert Hare that Friday suggested is really good, all of Robert Hare's books are helpful.

It's not unusual at all for people in that triad to be involved in religion. It's also common for them to be involved in any profession that attracts vulnerable people, and they will be an authority figure of some kind within their field.
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they will be an authority figure of some kind within their field.
Thus, my psychiatrist from hell.

Coco and Friday, thank you so much. I used to have a HUGE problem with rampant empathy. I don't find it to be so much of an issue with me now, thank god. I will definitely read these books. Good to know that I am ready for them finally. Very interesting and helpful information from you both. I think this will be quite a life changer for me.


Psych is huge. It always amazes me how I managed to avoid almost anything relating to PTSD and trauma. And dissociation. Expert at denial and avoidance though. Also always thought of those with eating disorders as them and while I was being treated for one. Reading things and doing are also two different things.

I too had Pollyanna tendencies early on and it certainly didn't help me keep out of trouble. I was extraordinarily good at projecting less dark motivations onto people than they had. Over empathising, I couldn't get my head around those on this end of the spectrum of humanity. I use the word purposefully. For the last 10 years it has been an obsession to understand aggression and abusive personality types in any way I can. I thought I did in the past but in truth I was approaching it from a slightly Stockholm syndrome ish over empathic state. My goodness it has been hard to change that and to realise that behaviour immediately glued me to anyone unhealthy. I was like an unhealthy person magnet. They tend to looove me. I'm used to dealing with them.

I have taken to obsessively checking for red flags in all my relationships. It has made a huge difference and I hope it does so for you too Shimmeriz. Realisations are hard but fabulous.


I was like an unhealthy person magnet. They tend to looove me. I'm used to dealing with them.
Yes, and I am certain I was Stockholm Syndrome as well. I think it was so bad with me that I didn't know there was any other way of keeping a relationship together. Jeez, man, I say that and shudder.

Always picking up stray dogs, cats, birds, insects, which turned into stray people as I got older. I can really relate to the projection of good intentions over the most horrifying treatment against me. I still fight it. So happy that you have been able to identify it and adjust @Abstract.


I can really relate to the projection of good intentions over the most horrifying treatment against me. I still fight it.
Sorry to hear that Shimmerz. Its amazing to me how much effort and practice I have needed to start to change those behaviours. Those initial realisations are hugely helpful aren't they? And frightening. I guess part of why children start over identifying is as a way of protecting themselves from the truth. Taking away that veil is never going to be easy. You sound like you are doing great work on this.


Yes, very disturbing. But also good to know. Narcissist just didn't cut how my experiences were with my birthfather and my first husband. Learning about parts has been helpful too, because my second husband was never like this. But turned into it when he inherited a bunch of money. It totally threw me as I was certain that I had picked the right man the second time.

It really has me looking at relationships in a totally different way. After having all of my other relationships fall by the wayside, because I was finally 'seeing' and not projecting', I now am going to try to establish some bonds but with less of the Catholic 'everyone is beauuuuuutiful......' overlay. Thanks all, I appreciate your input very much.
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