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  • Writer's pictureZebulon McCain

The Intergrated Man

Psychology uses the term “dark triad” to refer to the overlapping combination of three traits: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy. Like most traits they are a question of degree. Ladies be cautious out there; science says that more men possess the dark triad traits than do women. Successful men tend to exhibit these traits most of all. Clearly there is direct causal effect not only in finance, but in the sexual realm also. A May 2016 article from Grazia Daily online has an article by Vicky Spratt entitled The Dark Triad: The Scientific Reason We are So Attracted to Fuckboys (Or Girls). Interestingly, in the short term, women can be extremely attracted to these traits in men (traditionally called “bad boys” or more currently called “fuck boys”). The author explains research that shows the dark triad in men indeed tends to make them attractive to young women. If they are honest with themselves, my female readers would likely agree with Spratt.

Obviously, the dark triad is generally a bad thing in society, yet we rarely consider that these traits are simply exaggerations of desirable traits. I need to stress that those same traits at a lower and more sensible level in a man will help him become more successful in life and more attractive to women. Unfortunately, the softening of masculinity in our culture has led us to completely conceal our dark side, creating generations of unattractive and ineffective “nice guys”. Polite and outwardly empathetic “nice guys” finish last because they have not integrated their dark traits. Low levels of self-confidence, lack of self-interest, and a high level of agreeableness are a guaranteed recipe for pussy repellant. I know a few “nice guys” and as a recovering one myself, can easily recognize the traits. Fear of negative judgement from others, seeking the approval of others, and “giving to get” are just a few nice guy behaviors. Nice guys usually have covert contracts in their own mind that tell them the more they give and the shittier behavior they tolerate, the better they are as man and the more they will receive as reward.

I know a few nice guys that tolerate terrible behavior from their spouse and/or children. A man incapable of standing up to his spouse or child is also incapable of standing up for them too. He is simply ineffective and those around him know it. Dad has set no boundaries as far as what behaviors he will allow nor what expectations he has of others. Secretly of course, he does have these expectations, but is too frightened and insecure to make them known. This inevitably leads him to quiet desperation as he is repeatedly tested. He will hide his growing anger until he blows his top, showing the dark side he was working so hard to repress. This is unhealthy and entirely avoidable.

The local Nurturing Fathers class I have volunteer facilitated for four seasons has a curriculum encouraging the setting of boundaries and expectations up front. This involves calm discussion with one’s household, writing down household rules along with the expectations, boundaries, and their appropriate respective consequences. All parties get input. This makes it much more practical and far less emotional when a boundary is eventually crossed or an expectation isn’t met because the topic was previously discussed when heads were cooler. No need to repress anger, or really any need to be angry at, simply enforce the consequence. Dad is in charge, but that doesn’t mean he must be a nice guy or a bad guy; in fact, he can and must reward good behavior. When my family sat down to prepare the household rules, we made sure to include positive consequences too, i.e. when my son brought home good grades my wife and I extended his curfew time. Let us take every opportunity to make win/win scenarios.

I tell the fathers in my classes to be the type of man that shares power, not authority. Be the man that doesn’t seek approval, but instead gives it. Be the man that is disciplined in his habits of diet and exercise. Be the “bad boy” that fight trains at the local gym and thus fully integrates his dark side into his character. Clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson famously said “A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control.”


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