48 Laws of Power According to Robert Greene 1-20

Lionne Club - March 27 2008, 5:10 PM

Law 1
Never Outshine the Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior.

In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite - inspire fear and insecurity.

Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.

Law 2
Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies
Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical.

But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove.

In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies.

If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.
Law 3
Conceal your Intentions
Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions.

If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense.

Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.
Law 4
Always Say Less than Necessary
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control.

Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike.

Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.

Law 5
So Much Depends on Reputation - Guard it with your Life
Reputation is the cornerstone of power.

Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once you slip, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides.

Make your reputation unassailable.

Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen.

Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations.

Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.
Law 6
Court Attention at all Cost
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing.

Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion.

Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses.

Law 7
Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit
Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause.

Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed.

In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered.

Never do yourself what others can do for you.
Law 8
Make other People come to you - use Bait if Necessary
When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control.

It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process.

Lure him with fabulous gains - then attack.

You hold the cards.

Law 9
Win through your Actions, Never through Argument
Any momentary triumph you think gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion.

It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.

Law 10
Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
You can die from someone else's misery - emotional states are as infectious as disease.

You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster.

The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.

Law 11
Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted.

The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.
Law 12
Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim
One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people.

Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift - a Trojan horse - will serve the same purpose.

Law 13
When Asking for Help, Appeal to People's Self-Interest,
Never to their Mercy or Gratitude
If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds.

He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion.

He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.

Law 14
Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
Knowing about your rival is critical.

Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead.

Better still: Play the spy yourself.

In polite social encounters, learn to probe.

Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions.

There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.

Law 15
Crush your Enemy Totally
All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely.

(Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge.

Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.

Law 16
Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear.

If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired.

You must learn when to leave.

Create value through scarcity.

Law 17
Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people's actions.

Your predictability gives them a sense of control.

Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable.

Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves.

Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.

Law 18
Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself - Isolation is Dangerous
The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere - everyone has to protect themselves.

A fortress seems the safest.

But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from - it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target.

Better to circulate among people find allies, mingle.

You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.

Law 19
Know Who You're Dealing with - Do Not Offend the Wrong Person
There are many different kinds of people in the world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way. Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge.

They are wolves in lambs' clothing.

Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then - never offend or deceive the wrong person.

Law 20
Do Not Commit to Anyone
It is the fool who always rushes to take sides.

Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself.

By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others - playing people against one another, making them pursue you.

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