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Is Machiavellianism Advantageous or Disadvantageous for Close Relationships?

I was reading Lucio's latest article on Machiavellianism.
There are some disadvantages to being Machiavellian in close relationships.

At the same time, I was thinking that the article mentions some points on how being Machiavellian can get people to follow you.
Which is good for close relationships.

Some advantages where Machiavellianism can help in close relationships:

  1. White lies can be good for relationships
  2. You can fake empathy even when you cannot empathise which can be healthy because your partner feels heard & recognised
  3. You know when to give & take strategically to maximise your own interests while preserving the relationship

As such, I think Machiavellianism becomes disadvantageous for close relationships when you mix it with narcissism.

Because you forgot that, by serving your partners' interests within a collaborative frame, you serve your own interests in the long term.

The thing is that I think the dark triad traits are correlated.
So Machiavellian people tend to be slightly more narcissistic.
This makes sense because focusing on one's self-image may lead to a focus on self-interest.

Lucio Buffalmano and Ali Scarlett have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoAli Scarlett

It seems like you're considering Machiavellianism without the trait of "callous uncaring for others" and "opportunistically taking advantage of all situations that foster self-interest".

In that case, then Machiavellianism indeed is helpful, you make a great point.

And that's the type of Machiavellianism we teach, learn and share here.

Might add that to the article maybe?

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?


Thank you Matthew, your note led to an important redesign and some important additions in the section on "enlightened Machiavellianism".

For now I called it "Add "Machiavellian Mode" Atop Your "High-Quality Personality Foundations".

That's something that was in my mind, but that I had failed to properly convey.

Ali Scarlett and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettMatthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

A pleasure Lucio.

Something else that comes to mind when it comes to relationships, which you have already talked about.

Machiavellians who focus on building value and relationships rather than calculating the obvious, tangible benefits may end up ahead in the long run.

Relationships have less tangible value but one can argue that the upsides can be high whether business or personal.

By focusing on win-win outcomes, the foundation of power is more stable.
So one encounters less backstabbing, betrayals.
Even further is that people may voluntarily want to add value to your life.

This also lowers the need for micromanagement of relationships as well.
One can see this in cutthroat company environments vs the more enlightened ones.
Some companies squeeze the value out of every employee. (the calculative approach)
Whereas other companies focus on having an environment that employees want to stay in. (the building approach)

The Machiavellian thing to do is to split the winnings unequally.
Everyone wins but you take more of the wins.
But keep highlighting the wins of everyone around you and hide your own wins.
People are happy, and you win.

There is one government investment body.
The executives keep highlighting the money earned through their investments.
But their salaries are secret.

In short, I think the most successful Machiavellis have an abundance mindset when it comes to resources and power.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano