Machiavellian motivation and purpose is to take advantage of others at their expense.

Machiavelli was a 16th century philosopher and political adviser who wrote of the principle in favour of deception and pragmatism over honesty and morality in his manifesto The Prince. This is the origin of the definition Machiavellian.

The Machiavellian personality type could be described as manipulative and deceiving and having a blatant disregard for the feelings of those they manipulate. Unlike the Narcissist their motivation isn’t the need for attention but rather to control others for their purposes. While in conversation with the Machiavellian, you may feel a lack of engagement and a certain emotional distance even though the interaction may be very engaging. What is occurring is an interaction that is devoid of empathy. From their perspective you exist only to serve their purposes.

The Machiavellian is calculating and clinical in both their personal and non-personal relationships. They are emotionally detached from their partners and have no apparent difficulty in leaving them as they have alexithymia. It is not surprising any relationship they have is abusive and dysfunctional. They will run rough shot over someone rather choose a diplomatic approach. Their choice to damage an individual for personal gain is a key Machiavellian trait.

The Machiavellian can successfully climb the corporate ladder but are subject to their own unscrupulousness. They can make too many enemies and burn too many bridges. Compared to the Narcissists who will actively seek others attention, the Machiavellian may seem withdrawn because of their scheming nature. As an outcome of this they do not appear to take action. This apparent hesitancy is a misinterpretation of the Machiavellian’s calculated and unscrupulous intentions. If it suits them, they will turn people against each other without the need to take any action at all.