Reputation and Narcissism: Dr. Jordan Peterson

By | August 4, 2022

[August 4, 2022]  Dr. Jordan Peterson explains the idea of “reputation.”

The most valuable thing you possess is your reputation; by any stretch of the imagination.  Your reputation is an indicator of productiveness, generosity, and competence.  If you have a good reputation, people can trust you to properly engage in reciprocal and productive social interactions with them.  They can trust you to take their interests into account as well as your own.  And do this in the medium and long term.

Nothing is more valuable than your reputation.  This means that some people try to game the reputation system.  That’s what narcissists, Machiavellians, and psychopaths do.  Psychologists call this the Dark Triad, and you can read more on this here, here, and here.  There is a lot of research into this Dark Triad personality cluster, all variants of anti-social behavior.

Narcissists have the confidence of the competent without the competence.  So what narcissists do is over claim their contribution.  If you work with a narcissist, everything that goes wrong is your fault, and everything that goes right is their doing.  And, they will loudly declare that, especially to their superiors and will denigrate you if you dare offer a counter proposition.

In some sense, narcissism is a camouflage system.  Narcissists pass themselves off as competent and confident people.  One way to raise your reputation is to claim unearned moral virtue.  We see this in the “woke” crowd that insists that the mere act of feeling sorry for someone constitutes a moral virtue.  This is an attempt to claim a reputational status without doing any of the work whatsoever to be a genuinely good person.

To be a good person, you have to be productive.  You have to be generous.  And, you have to engage in medium to long-term voluntary social behavior with others.  All that is very hard.  To be good requires a high degree of diligent, upward-oriented work to put you in that position over the years.

Whereas, if you make an unwarranted moral claim such as “I’m compassionate,” you are instantly wonderful and held in the highest esteem.  This position allows you to vilify others you regard as unworthy while simultaneously enhancing your moral virtue.  Beware of narcissists.

Remember that your reputation is everything.  Read and listen to Dr. Jordan Peterson, you will not be disappointed.


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

23 thoughts on “Reputation and Narcissism: Dr. Jordan Peterson

  1. JT Patterson

    To be a good person, you have to be productive. POW. Got that right Gen. Satterfield. Of course, you can be productive in many ways. But when you start tearing down statues and burning buildings and killing people, you have certainly gone off in the wrong direction. That is what leftist progressives have been doing.

  2. Mikka Solarno

    Narcissists to the left and narcissists to the right. They are everywhere because we have raised now two generations of priviledged kids who won a trophy for finishing last.

  3. Lynn Pitts

    “Cry-baby tantrums won’t win over the public. These nonstop puerile meltdowns have turned off most Americans who tire of whiny narcissistic hypocrites.” — Victor Davis Hanson. See today’s Daily Favorites. Two articles from Mr. Hanson. Read him. He makes a lot of sense.

    1. Linux Man

      Great man. I’m glad he writes like he does. I’m obviously a big fan of Victor Davis Hanson and Dr. Jordan Peterson.

      1. Kenny Foster

        I agree. Read him all the time. One of my favorite article writers on the internet.

  4. Max Foster

    I’m happy today that we are still in the Summer months. It gives me more daylight time and more time to read. Today, I was up early and read this blog – forgot to post my reply – but back now. Just a comment that others have touched. Narcissism is a growing problem. What to do about it is not even discussed nor is it recognized as a problem. As long as we have the progressives in charge of our schools and government, nothing will be done because they encourage and fully support narcissistic behavior. Most of them are narcissists as well. Keep up the great work all of you are doing to stomp this evil out wherever you find it.

    1. North of Austin

      Once again,you’ve nailed it, Max. Right. What to do about this growth in narcissism. This will not bode well for America.

      1. Plato

        I think that is the 64-dollar question. I will start the idea (not really) that we each need to begin the process and not wait on others.

      2. Arena of Fools

        Max, well said. Looks like we are at least “on target.” When you are over the target, expect some flak.

  5. 76 Wife

    Loved this article that has Dr. Jordan Peterson in it. More of these are okay, thanks!

  6. Bryan Z. Lee

    The most valuable thing you possess is your reputation; by any stretch of the imagination. Now, I was a little surprised by that sentence in General Doug Satterfield’s blog this morning. I would have thought, he would have said your ‘character’ instead. Don’t lie, take on responsibility, reject evil, stand up straight and look people in the eye. Those are the things I believe Gen. S. stands for most.

    1. mainer

      I believe that Gen. Satterfield was paraphrasing Dr. Jordan Peterson.

  7. Dead Pool Guy

    Great leadership blog post! I like reading about narcissism because I run into them more and more. Looks like we are grooming a lot of kids today to be narcissists. I wonder why that is?

  8. Lady Hawk

    Every day, I enjoy coming to this leadership blog by Gen. Satterfield. Every day is a surprise and a happy surprise at that. Keep up the great work you are doing Gen. S. and just remember that you have a huge number of fans out there like me.

    1. Jake Tapper, Jr.

      Yes, I’m too a big fan of Gen. Satterfield and his blog. I also bought his book. If you haven’t do so yet, go out and purchase it now before the price goes up.

      1. Shawn C. Stolarz

        Hi Jake, I haven’t seen you on this leadership blog in a long time. Hope you and your family have been well. Your past insights have helped me personally. Keep reading and keep posting your thoughts.

  9. Tom Bushmaster

    ✔ “Narcissists have the confidence of the competent without the competence. ” Well said.

  10. Frontier Man

    Dr. Jordan Peterson is a great guy and I’m happy that he’s on my side.

    1. Harold M. Smith II

      Frontier Man, I think he would say that he is on the side of us all but that there are certain was of thinking and behaving that are dangerous and counterproductive. Things such as purposefully lying – evil – are clearly something he stands against and for freedom.

      1. Desert Cactus

        Harold, true! I also think that Gen. Satterfield’s choice of ‘narcissism’ as the main effort today speaks volumes. Reason? We are teaching our kids to be narcissists.


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