As I mentioned in the title above, this is a work in progress and therefore I would welcome any and all of you who read this to weigh in on it.
Is it valid?
If so, why?
If not, why not?
If it is valid how would you improve upon what follows?
All of us have personality styles. Those styles become personality disorders when they become so exaggerated or extreme that they become destructive to others or ourselves and hurt our lives, relationships, careers and futures.
As I look out at the leadership landscape in the world, both political and in business, I too often see that tyrants make the news. You can fill in the blanks who you believe TPD applies to.
To keep this in perspective and to not fan the flames among the peoples of the world, non-tyrannical leaders – who are duty bound to serve their stakeholders - far outnumber the tyrants, but they don’t make the news.
What are the traits of someone with a TPD?
- They go out of their way to dominate and control people through fear and intimidation. This may distinguish them from Narcissistic Personality Disorders (NPD) who may not look for ways to dominate others, but almost always seek to do so when a conversation comes up. People with NPD often act that way in reaction to others contradictory behavior. In contrast, people with TPD actively look for ways to dominate and control. TPD people are power hungry. Many people with NPD are not power hungry, they’re just a-holes.
- They take delight in bullying others. Whether they show it publicly or not, they privately get off on being able to run over people. What distinguishes them from Sadistic Personality Disorders (SPD) is that people with SPD consciously look for ways to be sadistic at their core. People with TPD are not sadistic at their core. At their core they are dominating and controlling as in 1 above and become sadistic only when frustrated.
- They often attract a fanatical following of people. Such followers vicariously get to vent their anger and outrage through the TPD’s behavior.
- They invoke their wrath upon anyone who disagrees with them or tries to thwart them. A big part of that is due their being “momentum junkies” and when they are on a roll, they feel especially powerful (i.e. they’re on an adrenaline rush) and become furious with anyone that would interrupt that rush.
- They have a “Reality Distortion Field.” This was made famous by Steve Jobs where they convince many of what they believe and also come to believe it themselves.
- They are unable to feel or demonstrate remorse. That’s because they never feel they are in the wrong.
- They feel and act justified in attacking other because of the following unconscious processes:
a. Projective paranoia – They believe others must hate them, because that is what they would feel if they were those others being treated the way the TPD person treats or has disdain for them
b. Denial and disavowal – They are unaware of their projection of their feelings on others and therefore believe it to be truly coming from their opponents
c. Justifiable preemptive retaliation – Given the fact that they believe their opponents are out to get them (because of a and b above), they feel justified and compelled to pre-emptively retaliate for something that has only happened in their minds and that has not actually happened in reality.
TPD may also be what perpetuates white male racism towards black males
Regarding another equally disturbing phenomenon, this process is what fuels much of the continued racism by many white males towards black males. In that case, racist white males project on black males the anger these white males would feel if they were treated in such a demeaning and humiliating way. Believing that, racist white males are always looking for black males to show that anger. Then when blacks get fed up with this projection on them and show their frustration, racist white males think, “See, I told you so, they are angry!” And that leads to preemptive aggression towards black males to get them before they get the white males.
What can be done about TPD?
This is where it gets challenging and maybe even discouraging.
TPD will continue unless and until those individuals who have it recognize and accept that they are projecting their angry violent feelings on others which as explained above just perpetuates the justified and entitled to get angry and belligerent behavior of people with TPD towards anyone who sees the world differently than them.
What do you think?