Niccolo Machiavelli, from whom the term Machiavellian originates, was an Italian diplomat who wrote the classic, The Prince, a book of advice on acquiring and maintaining power, in 1512. Said “advice” is actually more of tactics for manipulation. Because of the books manipulation tactics, it lacks completely in traditional values (such as trust, honor, and decency).
This is how Machiavellianism came to mean “the manipulative strategy of social interaction and with a personality style that uses other people as tools for personal gain.”
One with a high Machiavellian Personality is more: “manipulative, has a cynical worldview, treats other people as tools to be used for personal ends, does not trust other people, and lacks empathy.” Whereas one with a low Machiavellian Personality is more: “trusting, empathetic, believes that things are clearly either right or wrong, and views human nature as basically good.”
In theory, this would mean that high Machiavellian people use friends for their own personal gains and/or end up betraying the friends they do have and that low Machiavellian people are cooperative and enjoy helping out their close friends. It is because of these two strategies that high Mac people have short-term friendships and low Mac people end up with lasting friendships.
In addition to friendships, this manipulative personality also applies to relationships. In relationships, high Mac people are more likely to lie in order to get their needs, such as sex. Example: One may say “I love you” to their partner just so their partner will sleep with them. Another common way a high Mac person achieves intimacy with their partner is through the use of alcohol; high Mac people are more likely to “get their partner drunk in order to induce the partner to have sex with them.” They are also more likely to be unfaithful in a relationship-usually by cheating.
So watch out ladies! Machiavellianism is stronger for the male than for the female.
Edited by: Amogha
All of the quotes used were from the book…
Fifth Edition: Personality Psychology Domains of Knowledge About Human Nature. 2014.