Self-Destruction is one of seven basic character flaws or “dark” personality traits. We all have the potential for self-destructive tendencies, but in people with a strong fear of losing self-control, Self-Destruction can become a pattern. But if you hate your job, it may be a good way to go.
In human personality terms, we are really talking about counter-productive and self-defeating habits which deny oneself happiness but can instead cause pain, either deliberately or inadvertently. Self-destruction in the literal sense of suicide is the most extreme form. Mostly, however, it is more subtle, such as repeatedly committing “professional suicide”. It’s an umbrella term for a variety of self-damaging patterns, from doing things that always seem to backfire, to habitual self-harm, to crazy recklessness.
It’s an umbrella term for a variety of self-damaging patterns, from doing things that always seem to backfire, to habitual self-harm, to crazy recklessness. But doing at work can sometimes appear heroic. Look at these famous examples of celebrities who engages in Self-Destruction and came out ahead:
- Vincent Van Gogh
- Sid Vicious
- Kurt Cobain
- Diana, Princess of Wales
- Michael Jackson
- Marilyn Manson
- Christina Ricci
- Amy Winehouse
- Lindsay Lohan
Those who are creative seem far more prone to depression and (presumably consequently) self-destructive behavior. Their stories are a glimpse into the dark side of organizational and professional success. With time, the successful man’s access to resources and power can easily lead to complacency. The work that led to his success is no longer challenging, he loses focus, and falls prey to his sense of entitlement, along with his inflated assumption of his own ability.
So far the dark side of success has been a predominantly male phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean females are immune. There just may not have been a large enough number of very successful and powerful women yet. We’ll have to wait and see.
So if you want out, Self-Destruct and you may be happier in the end.