Emotional Wellbeing


Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

The dark side in all of us


half moon photo

The dark side in all of us

I believe that we all have a dark side within us. The side that tempts us to be mean/nasty or to take revenge on someone. Research shows that we all have dark thoughts. Those of us that are balanced and have a strong inner moral framework can dismiss the random intrusive thoughts whereas there are people who find it harder to ignore the intrusive thoughts and may be more easily led into negative behaviour.

So, if we all have a dark side within us, why does it emerge in some and not others? This is a complex question without a specific answer. There are many circumstances that lead towards anti social behaviour being displayed. When I worked in a mental health hospital for offenders, I soon learned that their crime had not been spurred on by one specific event. Instead, it was a culmination of many factors:

  • Their personality and genetic make up
  • Their childhood – whether they were nurtured or neglected, abused in some ways
  • Their individual coping skills for dealing with conflict and adversity
  • Their support network – do they have good role models and positive people in their lives?
  • Their personal circumstances, the environment they live in, the type of people they are in contact with

As you can see from the above, there are many factors that contribute towards a catastrophic event and often, there are many warning signs that are missed before a crime or serious behaviour emerges.

The dark side in all of us isn’t something to fear. Instead, it is healthy to acknowledge that e all have poisonous, irrational thoughts at times but it is only when we start to pay attention to them and bring them into our reality by acting upon them that we need to start being concerned.

Intrusive thoughts pester all of us, it’s okay. It shows you are normal.

Mandy X