Please or Register to create posts and topics.

Inside the mind of a Machiavellian

What percentile on the Machiavellian scale are you in?
PreviousPage 2 of 2

What I think machiavellian does not account for is emotions/bonding. When I'm being machiavellian at work, I'm more into "thinking" mode so I achieve the desired outcome but I don't feel closer to the people as I basically "outsmarted" them. So I feel like it breeds more separation from the people around us. It leads us to see them more as a mean to an end than an end in itself. So it can disconnect us from other people. At least that is my observation and experience. I will hypothesise that machiavellism breeds power in exchange for connection/bonding. When I feel that I outsmarted someone it also makes me feel like I have less respect for them.


Hello John. What you wrote back then has remained very present to me to this day. I did not expect that a person who is not a Machiavellian could nevertheless put himself in the position of one.

Something that I personally have trouble with is that I am in "thinking mode" all the time. This probably also leads to the fact that I show/feel almost no emotions and am often distant. However, I do not know if I should really solve this problem at the moment because such a change, as many here can certainly imagine or have already accomplished, is psychologically very demanding. In any case, thank you for the interesting conversation!


Lucio Buffalmano, John Freeman and Jack have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanJack

Hello Roberto,

thank you, it's an honor. If you would like to dig deeper and are open to more feed-back, based on what you say I would dig on why you feel the need to distance yourself from your emotions. Most of the time it is to protect ourself from emotional harm. So it can happen that we are cautious around some people because we've been "burned" in the past. In some settings it's warranted, for instance in a highly political or dysfunctional work environment.

However, if one finds that it is preventing him/herself to get close/connect with others I would introspect around past emotional wounds IF you find what I wrote relevant for your situation. It is a bit like the avoidant attachment style which is a reaction from childhood to an engulfing/fusioning mother (possibly father). To exist, the child has to be an autonomous being. Therefore, the child chooses to over-detach because when he/she is being close to the mother (for instance), the mother is too close, preventing the child to become autonomous. Therefore, the avoidant (or the anxious) attachment style is an over-reaction to inadequate parental emotional distance.

So underlying all of this is the matter of trust I believe. Who can we trust? And how far can we trust? Who is our ally and who is our enemy? When unsure, being emotionally distant with most people or all people is a valid default and logical approach in order not to be hurt. However, this prevents one from feeling close to others from whom we would benefit of being close. I think it's more productive to have a default trusting approach than a default cautious approach. There is more to gain and less to lose as a minority of people are out there to hurt us by default. Also by being defensive (if only through body language) we risk to provoke a mirror reaction that can trigger aggressiveness from others (I know this from experience that being too cold preventively triggered aggressiveness in others towards me).

I'm open to feed-back on my feed-back as I'm throwing some hypotheses based on assumptions based on what you wrote.

Thanks to you for the open exchange as well! More to come!

Roberto has reacted to this post.

Hello John

I appreciate you taking the time to give me such a detailed answer!

I am of the opinion that my distant behavior has nothing to do with any of the different attachment styles. I remember my early childhood where you could really say that everything was perfect. Even then I had this feeling of being different from everyone else and that no one understood me. Of course, the problems I faced in almost all of my later youth didn't help. It didn't bring out anything new, but rather served as an amplifier. But it made it much more complicated to solve the things in my head. However, one can conclude that not everything about it is bad. Without all the problems I've overcome I wouldn't be where I am today, I wouldn't have the urge to make the best version of myself. I would never have found this website. I use all the past to keep my inner flame burning and to keep going even in difficult times.

It amazes me how many people, because of past hurts/traumas, decide to make the best of their lives. For example, Ali's story about this from the book "The Social Strategist" was very inspiring. Especially since we are about the same age. It's amazing what people can achieve at such a young age. Wow!

Have a successful day

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman

Thanks for your answer!

Adversity is our friend I think. It makes us stronger and better.

Roberto has reacted to this post.
PreviousPage 2 of 2
Scroll to Top