Harvey Weinstein’s behavior makes my stomach turn. It deserves punishment, and Hollywood needs reform, but I leave that discussion for others. My intention is to adjust our expectations of leaders and normalize understanding of low-functioning character deficits. Personality psychology has models which predict bad behavior. That a disparate, artistic industry should be filled with sexually sadistic entrepreneurs (Weinstein) or manipulative, hedonistic comedians (Cosby) should be expected, so it can be actively prevented.

Personality theory everyone should know:

Expect that:

  • A loyal marketer or achiever may see you as a tool, then use and discard you;
  • A loyal, trustworthy supporter may ignore your faults – until they shut you out for perceived corruption or threat of loss from elsewhere;
  • A hardworking peacemaker, writer, or designer may ghost you or move on despite stated intentions of relationship;
  • A helpful challenger, builder, or entrepreneur may be sexually sadistic or promiscuous and may exploit the brilliance they can draw out of you;
  • An artistic helper, champion, influencer, or counselor may egotistically snub or denigrate you;
  • A perfectionistic artist who inspires you may be jealous or steal without cause;
  • A leading reformer, pastor, doctor, or lawyer may reject or scapegoat you, even severely, if they feel threatened;
  • An loving generalist, comedian, therapist, or life-of-the-party may be a hedonistic addict, manipulative, and false;
  • And a building thinker, an intellectual may refuse to give, even from their abundance when you have need;

Character Causality

Character is formed by deficits in the early stages of development. Lauded characteristics therefore come with a high probability of a particular overcompensation.

Let’s rephrase that. Our personality is the product of our interest. Our interest is produced by desire, which comes from need. Need is rooted in incompleteness which seeks to be complete, but is terrified that emptiness will prevail. Therefore shame, fear, and anger gain footing at the root of character. The naturally resulting archetypes have predictable vices which can then be identified, even as early as 2 years old.

This cycle will repeat without end. It will be on display in entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, pastors, psychologists, researchers, CEOs, generals, and diplomats as typical personalities work – without thought – to regain what was lost at an early age. The greater the early loss, the greater the passion for fulfillment, and the neurosis.

Grace for one’s self is the remedy: to overflow.

But rest assured that if we cannot curb ourselves, the moral arc of the universe is just.


~ Dave Wallace, MS Psy


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