Pastors, military leaders, workplace bosses, teachers, administrators — yes, even parents — have one thing Dark Hearts or narcissists crave: automatic authority.
The added dimension of authority makes it so much easier to be a narcissist or emotional predator. They feed on the expected deference, relish the ability to control others, and jump at the chance to build ongoing ego strokes. Their constant quest for personal gratification and attention (also known as Narcissistic Supply) is facilitated by being the one holding the reins to family, workplace, school, military unit, or church.
Their elevated position allows them to
I’m the senior here, wiser and more experienced. Follow my directions and everything will work out just fine. I won’t stand for creativity and new ideas. Just do the work, and you get a paycheck.
- Berate (after being a crazy-maker and blame shifter)
I don’t like your attitude recently. If I want an employee’s opinion, I’ll tell it to them!
You told me, when the project started, that you were a bit unsure of yourself. Now I see why. Haven’t you learned anything? You better shape up, or I’ll put your administrative assistant in charge.
Enough of the lone guns and lone wolves. This project must come together under my direction. I want people I can trust — people who understand what I’m trying to build here. I want people who care about what is important to me as a businessman and are willing to sacrifice to build it.
They can also:
- Sow discord — Pit one person against another so they don’t trust or team-build:
I shouldn’t be telling you this, but at our last meeting Joe actually made fun of your volunteer work.
- Withhold info — Hoard needed information so that others must ask for it:
We have to keep a lid on what goes out to others. We can’t have everyone interpreting the data willy nilly.
- Fuel fires — Create drama, and then relish the adrenaline rush of knocking heads and settling things down:
Stop what you are doing right now. We need to have a meeting over a very important topic, and some of you aren’t going to like it.
Have you ever been under the thumb of a Dark Heart in authority?
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Photo credit: bixentro