It isn’t very vogue to talk of issues at work with a spiritual slant. But in this case, I don’t think there is any getting around it. Whether you believe in “demonic” activity or not, I have seen this altered personality, “The Jezebel Spirit” and its cohort of “Ahab” several times in personal life, church, and yes, the workplace.
Mind you, these are archetypes we are talking of. A Jezebel Spirit can describe a man or woman, as Ahab can also be a man or woman. But these two spirits usually set up a symbiotic union of destruction in the environment they choose to work. They need each other, and you will most often seem them in pairs.
In my observation, the Jezebel is a type of disingenuous “caring” person who reaches out to another in order to “help.” Their victim is a person that is in some way, vulnerable-not to a great degree, but just temporarily experiencing a “low” in the normal turmoils of life. It’s important that their victim is not too broken at the onset, for the The Jezebel Spirit relishes in the total destruction of a worthy opponent. The victim is one that people may admire, and have “undue attention” in the eyes of the Jezebel. It’s that- the attention– that is the main motivation for a Jezebel to attach itself to a victim and completely undermine them. The attention, in their mind, is a distraction from themselves, and THEY MUST HAVE THAT ATTENTION ON THEMSELVES AT ALL COSTS.
Their ways of doing this is manipulation and deceit. They are masters at control and influencing perception. They will study holy writings or profess beautiful beliefs, or be active in charities, or attend church everyday; it is all to create a facade of a truly gorgeous spirit. They seem to have it all together, in many ways. But on closer examination, they are exhaustive in their nitpicking, and relentless criticism, whether unfounded or partly-valid, and they will wear down others around them. There will be many who will decide to break and give in to the Jezebel, rather than stand up to them, even if just standing up to them is quietly doing the “right thing” rather than defending themselves.
That is how the Ahab spirit comes into this. These two characters are based from the actual Ahab, the Jewish king in the Old Testament who married Jezebel, the evil queen. The Jezebel usually finds an Ahab, a relatively weak person, who demands strength of everyone else around him to compensate for his own frailty. The pay-off of allying with the Jezebel can be varied: it can be an illusion of strength living vicariously through the viciousness of the Jezebel, or it can be mutual goals that the alliance is, temporarily, focused upon. However, Ahab senses that the alliance is tenuous at best, and at any moment, the wrath of Jezebel can turn and become focused upon him, rather than an outside victim. Therefore, at all costs, Ahab,feels compelled to appease the Jezebel, and what unwittingly happens, is that in the effort to keep the focus off themselves, the Ahab becomes a co-abuser and destructor, in the Jezebel’s pursuits.
These are, in a nutshell, a description of The Jezebel and The Ahab personalities, with a glance at their motivations. It goes much deeper than what I’ve described here. At the end of this series, I will list other resources one can read to learn more.
In the next part, we will discuss what it is like to encounter a Jezebel, or the infamous duo, as their targeted victim.
In the third part, we discuss how to handle these toxic personalities, and in the fourth, how to protect yourself from them.