Law 18: Do Not Build Fortresses To Protect Yourself — Isolation Is Dangerous

In the image: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is an American attorney and author who was the First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, and was the first African-American First Lady. Wikipedia

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.

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Keys To Power

  • Fortresses cut you off from help and cut into your flexibility. Everyone knows where you are.
  • Power depends on social interaction and circulation.
  • In moments of uncertainty and danger, you need to fight this desire to turn inward. Instead, make yourself more accessible, seek out old allies and make new ones, force yourself into more and more different circles.
  • The effects of isolation on the human mind: a loss of proportion, an obsession with detail combined with an inability to see the larger picture, a kind of extravagant ugliness that no longer communicates.


  • The only thing constant human contact cannot facilitate is thought. The weight of society’s pressure to conform, and the lack of distance from people can make it impossible to think clearly about what is going on around you.
  • As a temporary recourse, isolation can help you gain perspective.


In the image: A caste in isolation

The more you are isolated, the easier it is to deceive you. You lose touch with reality. When someone is urging you to cut friends and family out of your life, realize that they want to control and influence you all by themselves. Whether they do this consciously or unconsciously it is malicious. 

Be careful in cutting yourself off from others for too long. Introverted or not you may cause yourself great harm psychologically by pushing others away from you.

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