The Benefits of Being a PsychopathContrary to popular opinion, psychopaths aren’t all violent murderers – in fact, a lot of them are very successful professionals with exceptional charm and confidence. Kevin Dutton, an Oxford research psychologist and author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success argues that psychopathic personality traits can actually be pretty beneficial:
Psychopaths are assertive. Psychopaths don’t procrastinate. Psychopaths tend to focus on the positive. Psychopaths don’t take things personally; they don’t beat themselves up if things go wrong, even if they’re to blame. And they’re pretty cool under pressure. Those kinds of characteristics aren’t just important in the business arena, but also in everyday life.
The key here is keeping it in context. Let’s think of psychopathic traits—ruthlessness, toughness, charm, focus—as the dials on a [recording] studio deck. If you were to turn all of those dials up to max, then you’re going to overload the circuit. You’re going to wind up getting 30 years inside or the electric chair or something like that. But if you have some of them up high and some of them down low, depending on the context, in certain endeavors, certain professions, you are going to be predisposed to great success. The key is to be able to turn them back down again.
March 5th, 2015