I did a writing course recently that had a profound effect on me. It did little to improve my writing skills but it did force me into a startling revelation – could I be a villain? The lecturer listed a number of traits of villains and while I failed a few (my best friend is not called Igor, and I do not live in a haunted castle / lair / cave / extinct volcano) a few of them were surprisingly close to home.
I invite you to review the list below – and really think about your everyday actions – in truth if you were a character in a book, could you be the villain?
- Able to logically explain why they are in the right.
- Ever been involved in a car crash? Was it ever your fault?
- Ever yelled at someone in the service industry? Did they totally have it coming?
- Ever have a fight with your Partner/ Mom / Sibling? Even if the fight wasn’t 100% their fault – did they provoke your reaction in some way?
Unless you have been in one of these situations or similar, and had the maturity to stand back and think – do you know what, I did not …
- check my blind spot
- remember that I actually ordered the steak medium and not rare like I intended
- overreact to good natured ribbing about the three stone I have gained
then you too may be a villain
- Are efficient, organised, determined. Has follow-through.
If you have ever organised a large party, created a filling system, said you were going to do something and then did it, you too have the skills required for world domination.
Are you swimming at the bottom of the barrel, a no-hoper or dropout? Have you achieved something with your life? Do you strive to make your living situation better? Are you willing to work to get what you want? Better be careful …
- Is an active agent in their own lives
Moriarty acted, Sherlock reacted. The Joker acted, Batman reacted. The villain acts. They do not sit around and wait for things to change or magically get better, they stand up and are counted. They do something to improve their lives.
- Always reacts when provoked
Hotheads beware, that temper is going to get you into trouble.
- Always defends their honour or reputation
Don’t like it when people talk trash behind your back? Are you totally cool if somebody tries to imply you are bad at your job and besmirches your professional reputation, and therefore threatens your livelihood? Really?
- Has double standards
Normally this takes the form where it is acceptable for the villain to steal, but never ok for others to steal from them. However in real life this might look more like screaming at the kids for eating in the sitting room in case they spill on the new couch and then later that night, when the kids are in bed, sitting on that same couch with a glass of wine and bar of chocolate, seeing no hypocrisy.
- Holds a grudge and believes in the healing power of revenge.
Ever uttered the words “serves them right”? Ever thought “oh I’ll remember this when …”? Ever gloated internally when karma kicked someone else in the ass?
- Has a strict moral code, but morals are not aligned to society’s morals
Killing people is wrong, but I do believe in the death penalty for certain crimes.
Stealing is wrong, but borrowing your sister’s new jumper when she wasn’t looking with no intention of returning it is not really stealing.
- Excellent recruitment and people/henchmen-management skills
Have you been on a recruitment course as part of your professional progression? Do you supervise others’ work? Do you know the sneaky questions to ask during an interview?