The laws of human nature by Robert Greene is an amazing book. This Summary will help you understand why people do what they do.
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Baxter– Trevor, how many times do I have to tell you? She’s a narcissist! This is the third toxic relationship you’ve been in this year. If only you understood The Laws of Human Nature, according to Robert Greene.
Trevor– Well Baxter, you’re on your 64th business idea and still none of them have worked. Maybe you are the one that needs to understand your own nature.
Baxter– Mmmmm, good point.
One, The Law of Irrationality. You like to think that you are in control of your life, that you have an accurate view of the world. But beware, your emotions are powerful. They cause you to react instead of think, to see the world based on how you feel, not how it actually is. To become more rational, first, become aware of your emotional self in action. Then examine your emotion to their roots. Why do you pick up that joint, even though you know it makes you lazy and is holding you back from your goals? Thirdly, increase your reaction time by taking a step back. That might mean putting the drug down and taking a deep breath. And when it comes to other people, accept them for their irrational nature instead of trying to change them. That just leads to emotional chaos. These four things allow the rational mind to balance out the irrational mind, so you can make better decisions.
Two, The Law of Narcissism. The amount of self-love you have falls on a spectrum. If you have too much, you become toxic and self-absorbed. There’s been a rise in narcissistic traits in young people since the 1970s, with a spike since 2000, possibly due to social interaction happening more online. Greene encourages turning self-absorption into empathy for others. This can only be achieved by in-person interaction. Yes, that means putting down the phone, getting out of your house, and talking to real humans.
Three, The Law of Role-playing. You put on a mask that puts you in the best possible light. So do your friends. Just look at their lives on Instagram, compared to what it’s really like. You can use this awareness to better your ability at reading through the masks of others, and also how to present yourself in the best light to get what you want like in a job interview, for example. To get good at reading through others’ masks and putting on one that benefits you in the right situations, it essentially comes down to understanding body language, which is a topic for another article.
Four, The Law of Compulsive Behaviour. You have a set character. It’s formed based on your early childhood and daily habits. Resisting it makes it worse. You can’t completely change your character, but you can mitigate its effects. For example, you may have a tendency to please people. You might suck at a job where you have to fire people, but be awesome at being a waiter. Use your character to your advantage.
Five, The Law of Covetousness. Dangle in front of others, what they are missing most in life, what they are forbidden to have, and they will go crazy with desire. In this chapter, Greene focuses heavily on how you can use this lesson to your advantage. I see this a lot in the pick-up community. If they aren’t already super busy with their lives, guys are taught the tactics of purposely making themselves hard to reach, so they become more desirable. This can manifest as text messages that say they can only meet up for a date at 7:36 PM on a Saturday when in reality they could do nearly any day at any time. Absence is powerful. We want what we do not have. On the flip side, to ensure you don’t fall into the trap of always wanting more, remind yourself to be grateful for what you already have.
Six, The Law of Shortsightedness. By default, you care more about the present than you do about the future. Big pharma takes advantage of this trait in you by selling you cures not preventatives. Who wants to think about the consequences of a donut and a cigarette when it’s right in front of you, ready to treat you to a delicious dopamine high and an instant release of stress? But know that every successful person you look up to will tell you they quit doing the little things that feel good now, in order to reap a sweeter reward later.
Seven, The Law of Defensiveness. We like to feel we are independent. That’s why we become defensive when others try to change us. But if you’re too defensive, you could be holding yourself back from growing. Remain open-minded. If you want to influence someone who is defensive, Greene suggests you transform into a deeper listener, infect people with the proper mood, confirm their self-opinion, allay the insecurities and use people’s resistance and stubbornness by applying reverse psychology.
Eight, The Law of Self-sabotage. You may sabotage yourself because of a negative attitude. It holds you back from living the life of your dreams. Thankfully, your attitude can be changed by consciously deciding, or it may take a significant life event. Personally, I struggled with shifting my
perspective in an instant. What has helped me is doing actions that I know are positive, even if I don’t feel like it, you know, like going for a walk, and then doing as many of those actions as I can, as often as I can. For you, it might take a snap of the fingers or a significant life event to change.
Nine, The Law of Repression. Have you ever been standing on a cliff with your friend and felt the odd desire to push them off? Or maybe you have a partner but are sleeping with someone else behind their back because, for some twisted reason, you feel alive. Welcome to the dark side. We all have a dark side. In fact, completely normal people are capable of doing monstrous, evil things. Greene shares the story of how President Lincoln would write anonymous letters to newspapers, attacking politicians. He developed an enemy that went mad with rage and challenged him to a duel. He withdrew and did the right thing by directing his dark energy into winning debates and elections for the good of humanity.
Let’s recap, in today’s lesson, you learned the law of irrationality, narcissism, role-playing, compulsive behavior, covetousness, shortsightedness, defensiveness, self-sabotage, and repression.
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I’m Kabir, and I hope this video made you 1% better.
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