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Trumansfangs
Missouri Fan
Town & Country
Member since Sep 2018
2290 posts

Can You Spot a Sadist?
For most people, hearing the word “sadist” conjures up portrayals of sinister characters or villains from horror movies and books, recognizable through a visibly frightening appearance and despicable behavior. But this stereotype may cause you to miss dangerous, sadistic wolves in sheep’s clothing in your own life.

You certainly hope you don’t know such callous, heartless people. But you might, because they walk among us. They can be in our neighborhoods, schools, and workforce. We may meet them in the classroom, the boardroom, or over Zoom. Many of them seem very nice, even charming at first, before you get to know them. And because of the danger that lies beneath the surface, your best defense is your ability to recognize their true colors and negative emotional proclivities sooner rather than later.

How do you spot a sadist? By knowing what to look for. Although many people lose their temper on occasion or become disrespectful or unkind in response to frustration or provocation, sadists actually enjoy such conflict. Here's how to detect the darkness.

The Dark Tetrad

Many people have heard of the Dark Triad constellation of personalities: psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism. Recent research has suggested a potential fourth: sadism.

Laura K. Johnson et al. (2019) explored subclinical sadism and its relationship to the existing Dark Triad of personalities.[i] Recognizing the Dark Triad as a constellation of the three notoriously antisocial personality traits—narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy—they acknowledge that researchers have introduced the “Dark Tetrad” to include subclinical sadism. Although recognizing that some researchers suggest there is significant overlap between psychopathy and sadism, they set out to examine the relationship of the dark traits.

In their research, conducted using 615 university students, Johnson et al. found that sadism is properly included within the Dark Tetrad as a unique construct, although it does in some ways overlap conceptually with psychopathy.

Defining terms, Johnson et al. adopted definitions of Machiavellianism as an interpersonal style that is exploitative, holds a cynical view of humanity, and believes that the “ends justify the means,” narcissism as including feelings of superiority and entitlement, accompanied by self-enhancing behaviors, and psychopathy as including characteristics of impulsivity, shallow affect, physical aggression, and risk-taking.

Sadism, however, is a bit different. Johnson et al. note that in particular, subclinical sadism, which is sometimes referred to as “everyday sadism,” implicates the “dispositional tendency to engage in cruel, demeaning, or antagonistic behaviors for pleasure or subjugation.” They note that sadists actually experience pleasure in witnessing or causing or acts of cruelty, noting that the rewarding aspect of such observation or behavior is the suffering of others—which for a sadist, is a reward in itself.

But before we consider such people to be far-removed from the general population, Johnson et al. recognize that sadism exists on a continuum, meaning that sadistic traits are present within the “normal” population as well as clinically, and within the criminal element.

For Sadists, Motive Matters

Regarding status as dark personalities, Johnson et al. note that narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and sadism display common features, including “the embodiment of an emotionally cold, callous, and dishonest character.” But they distinguish the sadistic motivation for cruelty and aggression, noting that while all four traits are linked with aggression, people who are high in sadistic tendencies engage in violent behavior for “sheer enjoyment,” while psychopaths employ violence instrumentally or when provoked, narcissists may become aggressive when reacting to ego threats, and Machiavellianists may only resort to aggression when it will result in significant benefit to them.


Psychology Today


Much more in the link.




Wendy L. Patrick, JD, Ph.D.
Why Bad Looks Good



Harry Rex Vonner
Arkansas Fan
Member since Nov 2013
14453 posts

re: Can You Spot a Sadist?
Sadists and psychopaths are similar, I'll say after the first few paragraphs

I'll go back reading now

Wendy is not bad


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Harry Rex Vonner
Arkansas Fan
Member since Nov 2013
14453 posts

re: Can You Spot a Sadist?
Needs to include sociopaths

Not all narcissists are sociopaths

All sociopaths are narcissists

Sociopaths are 4% of the population


awestruck
Auburn Fan
Member since Jan 2015
6865 posts

re: Can You Spot a Sadist?
So a sadist might be a Bama fan
But not all Bama fans are sadists
And a narcissists might be from Vandy or Georgia
While of course our masochists tend to be Aggies.
Which Leaving the rest of us to simply suffer from delusions of grandeur.


Trumansfangs
Missouri Fan
Town & Country
Member since Sep 2018
2290 posts

re: Can You Spot a Sadist?
quote:

So a sadist might be a Bama fan
But not all Bama fans are sadists
And a narcissists might be from Vandy or Georgia
While of course our masochists tend to be Aggies.
Which Leaving the rest of us to simply suffer from delusions of grandeur.



Thats very good !

If we were all just fictional attorneys like HRV the world, and these boards would be much better place.

Oh, its true. It's damn true


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Kentucker
Kentucky Fan
Cincinnati, KY
Member since Apr 2013
16153 posts

re: Can You Spot a Sadist?
quote:

How do you spot a sadist? By knowing what to look for.


Worse than spotting a sadist in your life is tolerating them. They are generally very negative people. Best to be alone than to have negativity in your life.


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Freon
South Carolina Fan
Sah Kurlahna
Member since Dec 2018
429 posts

re: Can You Spot a Sadist?
I can’t think of one off the top of my head but I’m a South Carolina football fan so there’s a lot of masochism there


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