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Authoritarian people share these 7 characteristics

Authoritarian people share these 7 characteristics

May 6, 2021

The authoritarianism it is more than a form of government in which a privileged person or few. Authoritarian people also exist; are those that, consciously or unconsciously, tend to reproduce behaviors in which the criterion itself is imposed on others without worrying about justifying why it must be obeyed.

Identifying authoritarian persons is relevant both outside the psychological intervention and within it. In this last case, do this makes it possible to establish a communication channel with them and to see together how this type of trend could be corrected .

How to recognize authoritarian people

The way in which authoritarian people try to try to hold power and direct the decisions and actions of others can go unnoticed on many occasions. After all, many of them have no means to impose their will by force directly , so they try to influence others in more subtle ways and in ways in which often they themselves do not have to realize how harmful their behavior is.


However, it is worth keeping in mind what are the characteristics of authoritarian people, both to identify them in other people that could be a bad influence and to review the possibility that we ourselves fit, even partially, with some of these descriptions .

Let's see what these fundamental features of authoritarian people are.

1. The belief that one is right "by default"

The tendency of a person towards authoritarianism can be detected if this directly or indirectly states that, in the absence of any indication to the contrary, it is she who is right in all subjects in general.


The belief that one is the one who is most capable of deciding how things have to be and how they have to be others, together with the associations and apprenticeships made in the past in which this type of attitude has been rewarded, is the basis of this behavior style.

2. Leadership is not questioned

Authoritarian people see the questioning of their own leadership as something personal, an offense. This is so because, by assuming as a fundamental belief that one commands and the rest obey, it takes leadership itself as something natural, that is, normalizes , in the same way that for centuries the ability to command of kings and queens was not questioned and was valid by itself.

To question that the rest of people have to let themselves be carried away by the instructions of oneself is seen as a transgression or something that has to be justified very well in order to be accepted as an exceptional fact.


3. Minimizing the work and skills of others

So that the belief that oneself has a special and "privileged" criterion to decide what needs to be done, It is necessary to maintain the illusion that the merits of other people are not so much . That is, to avoid the cognitive dissonance of seeing that other people can be as or more capable than oneself to decide and act correctly, we must interpret their success as a result of luck or we must interpret them as partial successes.

For example, if a person obtains a university degree in the shortest possible time, a markedly authoritarian person can resort to the discourse that she knows the world more outside the classroom, implying that she is still in a position to instruct the other in the topics related to his career.

4. Showing merits

For the same reason that they tend to underestimate the merits and abilities of others, Authoritarian people are especially prone to make their achievements visible and make attention to them. In this way, they themselves will keep in mind these superficial justifications about why one has the authority, and at the same time take the attention of others towards these more or less exaggerated merits.

However, in those cases in which authoritarian persons can exercise power without having to seek even these minimal justifications, this characteristic may not be present. This happens, for example, when someone has the material capacity to bend others to their will, either by having greater physical strength or a socioeconomic status that can be used to harm others.

5. The constant demands

Authoritarian people are not limited to using this facility to manipulate others just to meet some objectives, but in many cases they end up falling into a dynamic in which they begin to demand from others many things and all nature . This is because they learn that being authoritarian can be useful in the short term.

6. Tendency towards aggressiveness

The fact of demanding many things from others leads to the creation of situations of conflict and dissatisfaction, and this type of phase is the authoritarian they respond forcefully to punish the other and that the episodes of disobedience do not happen again .

These punishments do not have to be based on physical strength, but can be expressed symbolically and verbally.

7. Authoritarianism in multiple contexts

Authoritarian people are not only in certain contexts and not in others. How his behavior is based on learning that has been done in many different situations, they will try to impose their point of view on all the varieties of possible scenarios .

Modifying authoritarian behavior

Let's talk about authoritarian people it does not mean that these must always be , as if that adjective was a label that defines the depth of his personality.

By unlearning certain dynamics of relationships and learning more adaptive ones, it is possible to become more tolerant, and many forms of psychological intervention can be helpful in providing tools that make this change possible.


Authoritarianism: The political science that explains Trump (May 2021).


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