48 Laws of Power: Law #14 Pose As a Friend, Work As a Spy

Law 14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy

  •      Learn to probe and find valuable information.
  •      Ask indirect questions.
  •      Every occasion is a chance to spy.

I’m not the biggest fan of Law 14 at the surface and here’s why. I don’t think one is clever when he asks questions that inevitably lead to an answer that reveals any information not intended for that individual. When people probe in this manner I purposely give them an off the wall but believable answer to see just how much the cogs in their minds churn. You can see their interest suddenly peak as they sense they got something juicy, at which point I shut down and ignore them and let their mind wonder. This is usually done by older people who think they are clever, and in my opinion their intelligence is revealed by the reaction they have to me saying something off the wall. One has the advantage of judging the spy because the spy often thinks he is the only one spying. The basic reasoning for this is that idea of probing reeks of the attitude that the person is a source and an intelligent individual can quickly recognize you think he is a source and simply misinform you.

To avoid this pitfall you need to genuinely understand the person you’re speaking to and not probe or pry but change the flow of conversation on a by topic basis. So rule 14 should basically be summarized as be attentive and go with the flow of conversation.

Allowing the speaker to become emotional helps you gauge his/her real motives, which is basically a small window(or sometimes large depending on how emotional the individual is) into their personality. With this information you follow through with topics that further stimulate their excitement. The more excited they are around you the more they will begin to like and even trust you, and as they do they will give you all the real information you want by simply being more or less receptive to your conversational suggestions to do so.

SUR

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48 Laws of Power: Law #13 When Asking For Help, appeal to People’s Self-Interest, Never to Their Mercy

Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy

  •      Do not remind people of past deeds.
  •      Find something that will benefit them and emphasize it out of proportion.

I wouldn’t say I disagree with this law, instead I have a different method.

As the God of Networking outlines in Never Eat Alone the key to getting what you want from your contacts is… GENEROSITY.

There is a law(forgot the name) that when you do something for people, when they return the favor they will be compelled to do something bigger. Think about it guys, if you go out with a new acquaintance and he pays for the drinks, the next time you go out it feels somewhat improper if you just paid for the drinks again, so you are compelled to do something more e.g. buy him/her a lunch.

So now you know you have to give in order to get.

With regards to gifts, it’s not about the money, it’s about the experience.

Sure expensive liquor and a fancy lunch are impressive, but top execs get that all the time. So in order to stand out, you gift them a good experience, a good feeling.

  • I remember in a podcast how Noah Kagan(entrepreneur) got together with one of senior people in Reddit. He found out the guy was an avid runner, got him a nice pair of running shoes and a year-long subscription to a runner’s magazine. The guy didn’t care about the shoes or the magazine, but the fact that Noah took the time to know him, impressed him. He got $20,000 worth of advertising space on Reddit for $1,000 in return!

SUR

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48 Laws Of Power: Law #12 Use Selective Honesty & Generosity to Disarm Your Victim

Law 12: Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim

  •      One sincere move will cover over a dozen dishonest ones.
  •      Honesty can bring down the guard of suspicious people.
  •      Open their shield with honesty, then deceive.

Selective generosity should be used as positive reinforcement for good behaviour. I like to keep a bit of chocolate on me. If a bitch goes and makes me my coffee I’ll offer her some of my chocolate and a bit of attention. If she is NOT annoying or I find her genuinely pleasant, I’ll give her attention/chocolate. Sounds hilarious but it’s amazing what your attention and a bit of cheap chocolate can do to alter other people’s behaviour, women particularly. It’s completely harmless and if anyone notices it and calls you on it you say “Well you don’t give people things who won’t do things for you, do you?” spinny spin spin, plausible deniability and a chuckle is all it takes.

Selective generosity can also be about making people feel indebted to you. The reverse law is law 40 – “despise the free lunch.” It basically plays on the Benjamin franklin effect (google it) so that people give you back more than you gave them at a later date. Like say when we first meet I insist on buying all your drinks. First impressions are strong. The next 3 times you meet me you’ll probably be happy to get at least half my drinks, which will total more than what I got you the first time. Why? Because your first impression of me was I was such a generous guy now it has clicked in your brain you don’t mind getting me stuff because “I’m the kinda guy who would do that for you.” And as long as I’m not obvious about trying to get free stuff out of you, you won’t care (unless you’re the kinda guy who is dirt poor, but then you’re gonna be frugal and rarely socialise anyway.)

As a businessman who is even mildly successful you should always budget some money for taking people out to lunch. Not just any people, not women, but people who you want contracts from. Always pay for their food, charm the fuck out of them, that’s how you get big deals and get paid. Fuck if you cant get a direct meal you may have to do that with their right hand just so you can go and do the whole thing all over again with them once the right hand “OK’s you.” Some businessmen are cautious like that and get people to do stuff like meet potential clients on their behalf because that person is unproven and they don’t wanna waste their own time vetting the guy. Take note tradesmen, you can’t take the building site demeanour into the damn restaurant.

Selective honesty is a deeper topic, I wanted to keep this brief so I’m not going to say much more other than lies can borrow credibility from half-truths, trickle truth is a form of selective honesty (admitting to something less contemptible that you did while omitting the worst that you did.)

Also, if someone is suspicious of you/low trust, being really forthcoming about loads of information that cannot be weaponised against you (it’s too impersonal, or you’ve just made it all up) is a good way to win trust.

SUR

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48 Laws Of Power: Law #11 Learn to Keep People Dependent On You

Law 11: Learn to keep people dependent on you

  •      To maintain independence you must be needed and wanted.
  •      The more you’re relied on, the more freedom you have.
  •      Make people depend on you for happiness.
  •      Never teach them enough so they can do without you.

I can see this rule applying beautifully in relationships.

If you are able to make your SO dependent on you and I’m not talking in terms of income or materials though that applies too, but also in emotional terms i.e. there are certain emotions that she feels only when she’s with you, then you are going to be truly independent.

Why do women so often refuse to dump their cheating boyfriends? Because only these dudes(at least in their eyes) can make them feel happy, like a woman etc.

Instead let your SO know that you need her more than she needs you and the timer on your relationship begins to tick.

SUR

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48 Laws Of Power: Law #10 Infection: Avoid the Unhappy & Unlucky

Law 10: Infection: Avoid the unhappy and the unlucky

  •      You’ll die from other’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as diseases.
  •      The unfortunate draw misfortune on themselves and will draw it on you.
  •      Associate with the happy and fortunate.

People are selfish by nature so it only make sense that they try to find someone to share the pain with. They believe it lightens the load rather than just creating more misery.

Anyone who ever got into trouble as a kid knows this feeling. Going to the principal’s office always felt better when you were going with your boys than facing that dickhead by yourself. People don’t really grow out of this mindset: they lack the emotional maturity to deal with their problems on their own

It goes back to the concept of creating value. Those who create attract other people into their sphere of influence. However, some of those they attract are parasites, even if they don’t realize it. They find value and they suck it out due to the fact that they are incapable of creating it on their own. You are a landlord, they are squatters.

“Misery loves company sums this one up.”

SUR

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48 Laws Of Power: Law #9 Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument

Law 9: Win through your actions, never through argument

  •      You never win through argument.
  •      The resentment last long.
  •      It’s more powerful to agree with actions.
  •      Demonstrate, do not explain.

The core of this law is that you should avoid arguments at all costs. If you start an argument you will automatically put your opposite on the defensive and thus make it much harder to persuade him!

Example: You work in sales and have a customer who talks nicely about his current product. You tell him how awesome your product is and belittle his purchase. An argument arises and maybe you will be able to convince him, that your product really is a much better choice and that he wasted his money. Big success! You walk out of the door with the feeling “Oh boy I showed him!” but without any sale. You both lose. Better try a more subtle approach, agree with him (no matter how stupid he sounds) and prove him wrong following the principle of don’t explicate, demonstrate

If you were invited to a dinner and the host thinks a quote from Shakespeare was actually made by Mickey Mouse, why argue? You have nothing at all to gain. Think of him as a fool and get over your ego. If you can’t get over your ego and have the urge to prove him wrong, take out your phone, say well I might be wrong but I believe this quote comes from Shakespeare and show him the source of the quote. This will make him resent you less than if you would start an argument.

ALWAYS ASK YOURSELF: What’s in it for me, what is to be gained if I start an argument.

SUR

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48 Laws of Power: Law #8 Make Other People Come to You – Use Bait If Necessary

Law 8: Make other people come to you – use bait if necessary

  •      When you force others to act, you’re in control.
  •      Make opponents come to you.
  •      Lure with gains, then attack.

Bring people into your reality. Do not bend and stretch to accommodate the lesser – attract them, genuinely or not, and wait. This is the fine line that separates the puppet from the master. This is pulling others into your frame.

This has been epitomized countless times in The Manosphere:

  • Don’t go on a date with a girl if her friends are present
  • In an LTR, you both operate in one reality – yours or hers
  • Maintain frame (often over-used and under-explained)

Real Power is the degree to which a person has control over their own circumstances. Real Power is the degree to which we control the directions of our lives. – Rollo Tomassi

Real power is putting your entire reality above everything and everyone else. It is a my way or the highway mentality. It is you being the master, the boss, the King.

Luring: In the chapter, Greene talks about using bait to lure your enemies into your reality, giving you ultimate control. When luring others, you must appeal to their self-interest. Find their motivations and weaknesses. Put yourself in their position – see through their eyes, and give them what they want need. Make them an offer they can’t refuse…

Pull them into your reality; into your frame. Act. Do not react.

SUR

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48 Laws of Power: Law #7 Get Others to Do he Work For You, But Always Take the Credit

Law 7: Get others to do the work for you, but always take credit

  •      Use the skills of others to do the work for you, never do yourself what others can do for you.
  •      Your efficiency will appear god-like.

A great example of this law would be Steve Jobs. He is revered as a legend. He certainly was extremely important to Apple’s success but he never actually developed any of Apple’s products going all the way back to when Wozniacki actually built the first Mac. Most people seem to think he single-handedly came up with the Mac, the iPod, iPhone, iTunes and the iPad. This of course is not true. He masterfully marketed Apple’s products and himself. But he always had very talented and skilled people doing the actual nitty gritty work of developing Apple’s products. He became a cult of personality and cultivated an almost magical aura about him. He could have farted in a can, called it the iFart and people would have lined up for hours in front of Apple stores to spend their hard earned money on it.

SUR

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48 Laws of Power: Law #6 Court Attention At All Cost

Law 6: Court attention at all cost

  •      Everything is judged by appearance, what is unseen counts for nothing.
  •      Never get lost in a crowd.
  •      Be mysterious, appear more colorful than the masses.

Court attention at all costs- when you do something good or outstanding, make sure it is known by everyone. No point in being awesome at what you do if nobody knows about it or, even worse, somebody else is taking credit for your own work. I knew plenty of good, hard working coworkers who were let go because ultimately the boss or whoever else never knew how good he actually was at his job and how much work he did “behind the scenes” for the company. Hard work is literally a waste of time and energy if no one knows how hard and how good you actually work.

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48 Laws of Power: Law #5 So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with Your Life

Law 5: So much depends on reputation – guard it with your life

  •      Reputation is the cornerstone of power.
  •      Reputation alone will make you win.
  •      Destroy enemies by attacking their reputation.

Be aware of your current reputation and live up to it!

A few summers back, my usual group of friends would hang around in a water park. Once, the son of the richest guy in our town decided to join us. We were all in awe…for about 15 minutes.

When he came, we immediately moved aside to offer him a seat and whenever he spoke, we’d quickly shut up and turn to listen to him. He instead, really let himself go. He started telling us he was late bcs his mother didn’t approve of his boxers. Oookay??! As we didn’t laugh frantically, he followed with more examples of how ‘lame’ his mom was.

awkward silence

In about 14 minutes the dude proceeded to destroy the reputation that he held as “the son of one of the richest and most respected men in town” to an “awkward, lame dude”.

To be honest he was an alright kid, but because he failed to live up to our expectations based on his families reputation, we thought even less of him.

It took less than 15 minutes to destroy a families reputation that took decades to build.

SUR

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