Home » Law 12: Use Selective Honesty And Generosity To Disarm Your Victim

Law 12: Use Selective Honesty And Generosity To Disarm Your Victim

In the image: Satya Narayana Nadella is an Indian-American business executive. He is the chief executive officer of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014. Before becoming CEO, he was the executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms.

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.

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Keys To Power

  • An act of kindness, generosity, or honesty is often the most powerful form of distraction because it disarms other people’s suspicions.
  • Learn to give before you take.
  • Selective honesty is best employed on your first encounter with someone. We are all creatures of habit, and our first impressions last a long time. If someone believes you are honest at the start of your relationship it takes a lot to convince them otherwise.
  • A single act of honesty is often not enough. What is required is a reputation for honesty, built on a series of acts.

Reversal

  • When you have a history of deceit, no amount of honesty will fool people. In these cases, it’s better to play the rogue.

Example

In the image: Victor Lustig

Count Victor Lustig was going to double Al Capone’s 50,000$. Instead of running with the money, he gave it all back to Capone who thought he was being played by a con artist. Capone gave Lustig the 5,000$ simply to help the “honest” man. 

Tell the truth to gain your opponent’s trust. Be honest when expected to be dishonest to throw your opponent off guard.

About The Book

The 48 Laws of Power (1998) is a non-fiction book by American author Robert Greene. The book is a bestseller, selling over 1.2 million copies in the United States.

Buy The 48 Laws of Power or Listen to it for FREE on Audible