What is Machiavellianism? The Traits of People with High Mach.

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Niccolo Machiavelli, a man known as the father of modern political science, was an Italian of the Renaissance period who wore many hats.

Machiavelli was a politician, historian, humanist, poet, author, and diplomat, among others.


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He wrote a book in 1513 titled “The Prince”.

In this book, Machiavelli described and endorsed the use of unscrupulous means to gain and maintain political power

From this book and his endorsements arose the term Machiavellianism, which was used to refer to the type of political leaders and tactics that Machiavelli described in his book.

This term was later borrowed by psychology experts to describe a personality trait that is characterized by a lack of emotion and a desire to achieve at the expense of others be it through deceit, manipulation, or flouting of common rules of decency and morality.

In the simplest terms, a person who exhibits Machiavellianism is willing to do just about anything it if means winning.

Machiavelli is the reason why the phrase “the end justifies the means exists”.

Since the adoption of the term Machiavellianism in psychology, much research has been undertaken to determine exactly what drives the individuals who score highly on the Machiavellianism test, otherwise known as high Machs.

It has been found that high Machs tend to value power, money, and competition above everything else.

High Machs place a very low premium on things like community building, family, and even love.

The reverse is true for those who score low on the Machiavellianism scale, otherwise known as low Machs.

High Machs are all around us.

You probably know one or even work for one in your current workplace.

High Machs are driven and often successful.

They have worked hard and smart to be where they are, often stepping on others’ toes unapologetically.

If you know someone who is highly successful and seems to be feared by everyone around them, then you are likely dealing with a high Mach.

Here are some of the characteristics of High Machs;

High Machs lack empathy

  • Empathy is defined as the ability to share the feelings of another.
  • Seeing that high Machs are not emotionally attuned to people or situations, it goes without saying that they are not exactly in the best position to be empathetic.
  • This lack of empathy also works to their benefit in that they can easily harm others to get ahead without blinking.
  • After all, if you are incapable of feeling someone’s pain, you really have no problem causing them the pain in the first place.

They can make good teammates but not good friends

  • When you are competing in a sport or in a debate, you want to get the teammate who will help you win the top prize.
  • Because of their competitiveness and willingness to use any means to get ahead, high Machs make very good teammates in competitive scenarios.
  • The same cannot be said for personal relationships.
  • While many people will rush to team up with a high Mach, not too many will be willing to date them or be best friends with them.
  • This is simply because they do not make very good friends.
  • A high Mach will throw you under the bus at the drop of a hat even if you have been friends for years.
  • Then again, high Machs do not really make friends they simply collect pawns and instruments for later use.

Also, High Machs are highly opportunistic

  • While other people go through life smelling the flowers and doing other cliché things that make normal people happy, high Machs look at life as a game where they must win.
  • They think of life as a giant chess board where every move must get you closer to winning.
  • As such, high Machs are highly opportunistic and will leap at every chance they can grab to get ahead.
  • They have no concern for others on the chessboard because they believe that there can only be one king while the rest stay on as pawns to be used as instruments for the achievement of power and status.

Moreover, High Machs hate structure

  • Structure comes with rules, and high Machs hate rules and hate structure as well.
  • High Machs would rather be left alone to make their own rules as they go by.
  • They abhor having to do something simply because someone else said so.
  • Rules do not make sense to them, and the structure is imprisoning.
  • High Machs, therefore, thrive in environments where they are boundless and free to be as creative as they want.
  • As far as professions go, high Machs tend to prefer business environments while shunning any profession that involves helping other people.
  • High Machs, for instance, makes very effective salesmen by count of the fact that they are willing to tell lies to sell a product if it earns them a commission.
  • An individual who scores lowly on the Machiavellianism scale might feel guilty about selling hot air to a consumer.
  • Not so for a high Mach.
  • As long as the benefit of a fat bonus and commission is awaiting him, a high Mach will ensure that customer gives them their money in return for whatever they are selling.
  • In other words, the end will always justify the means for a high Mach.

In addition, High Machs are emotionally detached

  • High Machs have the uncanny ability to remain emotionally detached from every situation that they are in.
  • They avoid commitments and will often make very frustrating relationship partners.
  • For high Machs, emotions, and feelings are just distractions that will keep them from achieving their goals.
  • If you are married to a high Mach, you might find yourself very lonely when all family time is replaced with work commitments.
  • To the high Mach, work must be done, so that power and money are achieved.
  • It does not matter to them that they are neglecting their family.
  • They simply must do what needs to be done.
  • This, however, does not mean that every workaholic is a high Mach.
  • However, more often than not, this is usually the case.
  • Because of their ability to detach their emotions from situations, high Machs are also prone to having numerous sexual encounters, often with people they are not well-acquainted with.
  • There are two reasons for this.
  • Oscar Wilde once said this: everything in human life really is about sex, except sex.
  • Sex is about power.
  • Nobody relates to this better than a high Mach who has convinced yet another conquest to join him in bed.
  • The second reason for the numerous sexual partners is the ability for emotional detachment, which allows a high Mach to jump from person to person without feeling any sort of commitment to anyone.

To conclude, High Machs are often mysterious

  • Since they believe they are playing a game, high Machs rarely put their hearts on their sleeves.
  • They are hard to figure out and will often come across as aloof.
  • Most people often have no problem mingling with others and sharing bits of information about themselves.
  • A high Mach will find this frivolous and unnecessary.
  • Thanks to their emotional detachment, they have a hard time bonding and sharing with others.
  • Also, since they believe that life is a game to be played and won, they are fearful of divulging any information that may cause them to lose.
  • As such, they would rather hold people at a distance than let them in.
  • High Machs also prefer to be feared than loved and hence do not have much time for hand-holding and other niceties reserved for friendships.

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