Dominance Seeking Behavior
Dominance seeking is an archetypal human behavior. The musical group, Tears for Fears wrote a song about it. They did so after studying at the Jung institute. “Everybody,” their famous lyrics proclaim, “wants to rule the world.” Simply put, we all tend to think it better if we were in charge of things. That’s just one way our ego tends to operate.
Dominance seeking actually occurs among many species. Moreover, this behavior can take many different forms. Interestingly, in many ways, it’s an adaptive behavior. And, historically, men have tended to display it more frequently and overtly. But cultural norms influence who exhibits it and how they do so. And in our times, both genders display it and in many ways. Not all of these ways are problematic. But dominance seeking by character-impaired folks always creates big problems.
Disturbed Characters and Dominance
The more character disturbed someone is, the more problematic it is when they seek dominance. Some among us seek power rabidly. And they seek it for its own sake. Psychopaths and sociopaths are among such types. And they will inevitably abuse power whenever they have it.
Malignantly narcissistic characters don’t just tend to be dominance seeking. They relish in any power they might corral over others. These heartless characters have little or no conscience. Accordingly, they have no compunction about hurting others to maintain control. I’ve written about this before many times. Sadly, for some life itself is all about achieving and holding a position of power over others.
Sometimes, dominance seeking behavior is carefully veiled. Such is the case with manipulative personalities. And I describe such folks and their tactics in In Sheep’s Clothing. In a way, such folks can be even more dangerous. It all depends on what their actual but hidden agenda is.
Discerning Character and Fitness for Positions of Power
Character matters. It always has. It always will. That’s why I’ve spent my career touting its importance. It’s also why I hope my latest book, Essentials for the Journey reaches many folks. We’re all in this human enterprise together. So, we have to restore character to its rightful place of importance. To do that we have to hold each other and ourselves accountable. And we have to devote more time and attention to fostering character. Similarly, we have to expect it and reward more routinely. That’s how we’ll stop “enabling” character dysfunction.
We can no longer afford to confer power on the most disturbed characters among us. There’s simply too much at stake. Malignantly narcissistic dominance seekers inevitably bring tyranny and destruction. And we’re seeing this play out right now on the world stage.
I have some interviews coming up that I’ll be sharing links to soon. And I invite you to listen to the latest edition of Charcter Matters on my YouTube channel.