Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D., MPP explained how people evolve into becoming a tyrant in a report for Psychology Today It explained that if we knew what caused people to become cruel and oppressive rulers then maybe they might be able to be stopped.
“If we knew what makes them tick like time bombs, we would deal with them more strategically. But tyrants are slippery. They’ll gaslight to keep you from figuring them out. Parents argue in circles about what drives their tyrannical child as do the victims of any tyrant. The tyrant likes us confused,” the report said.
The report outlined that multiple behaviors result in people becoming tyrants and that the behaviors can be noticed. It challenged people to determine if they see these behaviors in themselves.
“See if you can find these behaviors in yourself from time to time,” the report said. “Without giving it much thought, compromising your scruples for some immediate advantage, or to avoid losing some advantage you have. Rationalizing to maintain your sense of self-worth and status.”
It explained that this behavior should be taken seriously.
“It makes us more prone to take their indignance seriously as though they really care about whatever makes them indignant. They can lead us by the nose into the weeds, weeds they only pretend are important to them when actually they’re just blindly preserving and gaining whatever advantage they can,” the report said.
Dr. Sherman lists the behaviors to watch:
Without giving it much thought, compromising your scruples for some immediate advantage, or to avoid losing some advantage you have.
Rationalizing to maintain your sense of self-worth and status.
Hoping no one challenges you and when they do, deflecting, rejecting and denying their challenges.
Holding a higher standard for other people’s behavior than you hold for your behavior.
Getting righteously indignant: When angry at someone for doing something bad to you, forgetting that you do it too.
Feeling victimized, wanting to square things up by gaining the advantages you’re owed, and when you gain them, feeling like you’re entitled to them.
Not thinking about any of this. Just living from moment to moment, enjoying what success you gain without worrying about how you gained it.
Read the full report here.