The Manipulation Expert: You're Being Manipulated! Use Jealousy To Manipulate People! Robert Greene

The Manipulation Expert: You're Being Manipulated! Use Jealousy To Manipulate People! Robert Greene

Intro (00:00:00)

  • Robert Greene is an internationally renowned expert on power strategies.
  • People are terrible at dealing with people and can be easily manipulated.
  • Body language and eyes can reveal a lot about a person.
  • Frenemies sabotage and hurt you, and you should avoid them.

Why did you write a book about human nature? (00:02:35)

  • Greene wrote the book "The Laws of Human Nature" to share his experiences and observations about human behavior.
  • People are terrible at dealing with people and make mistakes in their interactions.
  • People wear masks and are strategic in their public interactions.
  • Misreading people can lead to negative consequences and emotional pain.
  • People are becoming worse at reading and understanding others due to technology and virtual interactions.

How do we reverse a lack of self-awareness? (00:04:34)

  • Lack of self-awareness is a problem in today's society due to excessive screen time and decreased human interaction.
  • The first step to reversing a lack of self-awareness is to acknowledge that you need the skill of dealing with people.
  • Look inward and examine your own nature, including your tendencies towards narcissism and irrationality.
  • Reflect on your past mistakes and problems caused by poor people skills.
  • Genuinely desire the knowledge and don't treat it as a casual interest.

How to get rid of qualities we don’t like about ourselves (00:07:01)

  • Confronting and examining one's flaws and weaknesses, rather than denying or repressing them, is crucial for personal growth and change.
  • Recognizing that everyone has flaws and weaknesses, including narcissism and self-absorption, can be a positive step towards self-awareness and acceptance.
  • Awareness of compulsive patterns in intimate relationships and work can empower individuals to change these patterns and improve their lives.
  • Becoming aware of one's true self, even if it involves confronting dark qualities, can be an enlightening and euphoric experience, leading to greater authenticity and self-acceptance.

Where does our dark side come from? (00:11:55)

  • Our dark side comes from childhood when we repress our natural aggressive and darker qualities to conform to societal expectations.
  • These repressed emotions don't disappear but manifest in unexpected outbursts or explosions of anger.
  • The shadow side contains a lot of energy and power that can be channeled into productive outlets like ambition and creativity.
  • The dark side should not be expressed in a harmful or aggressive manner.
  • Find productive ways to channel the energy from the dark side, such as ambition, creativity, or physical activity.

How to pursue that thing you’ve always wanted to do (00:15:29)

  • Avoid dwelling on negative emotions and instead channel them into productive actions or movements.
  • Be aware of the forces that try to hold you back when you venture into new territories or seek change.
  • Pay attention to your frustrations and use them as a guide for self-improvement.
  • Leaving a prestigious job may require courage, but it's necessary to avoid long-term suffering.
  • Failure is a learning opportunity, and there's often a way back if things don't work out.
  • Significant pain and frustration are often necessary to prompt major life changes.
  • The "death ground strategy" involves committing fully to a goal without a backup plan, which can lead to greater motivation and success.
  • Humans are physically weaker compared to other species, but our intelligence and cooperation have allowed us to survive and thrive.
  • Feeling a sense of pressure or urgency can motivate individuals to take action and accomplish their goals.

The unseen importance of creating a sense of urgency (00:27:54)

  • Creating a sense of urgency can help accomplish tasks more quickly.
  • Great leaders often exhibit a sense of urgency and desperation.
  • Practical ways to create a sense of urgency:
    • Set challenging but achievable goals.
    • Avoid setting goals that are too easy or too difficult.
    • Find the "sweet spot" where the challenge is just above your current abilities.

How to know if you’re following a false purpose (00:29:47)

  • Challenges are essential for personal growth and motivation.
  • Finding one's true purpose leads to a sense of fulfillment and makes achieving goals easier.
  • Knowing what one doesn't want is a powerful tool in staying focused on one's purpose.
  • Distractions can be disguised as opportunities, so it's important to have a clear goal and purpose to distinguish between them.
  • Robert Greene, author of "The 48 Laws of Power," uses his experience in Hollywood to illustrate the importance of discernment in choosing opportunities.
  • Greene values his current position as a writer with more power and control over his work and chooses not to pursue a television show based on his book.
  • Greene emphasizes that this level of discernment comes with experience and may be more difficult for younger individuals to achieve.

Should a young person just be saying yes to everything? (00:36:17)

  • Young people should not just say yes to everything.
  • They need to have some direction and focus in their lives.
  • They should experiment with different things, but they should also develop some real skills.
  • They should not waste their time on things that they do not like.
  • They should learn to say no and save their energy for what they really love.
  • Paul Graham got into AI when he was 18 or 19 years old.
  • He went down the path of academia and computer programming.
  • He hated it and quit to become a painter.
  • He came back to New York and lived in a loft, painting and being happy.
  • He heard an advertisement on the radio for Netscape and created the first prototype for all the things we have now.
  • Yahoo ended up buying it for $5 million.

How to manage other people that get in the way of what we want to do (00:40:14)

  • People often mistake appearances for reality and take people's masks for their true selves.
  • To be great at using other people's human nature to your advantage, you need to look behind people's masks and learn what's really going on behind them.
  • Some basics about human nature:
    • People like to believe they are essentially good and virtuous.
    • People never want to feel stupid and want to believe they are intelligent.
    • People want to believe they are in control of their lives and do things because they decide to.
  • Understanding these basics gives you the power to use them for influence and persuasion.
  • Envy is a powerful emotion that can be used for power and influence.
  • People are more likely to be interested in what other people are doing than what they are told to do.
  • This can be used to market products and services by getting people to compare themselves to others and feel envious.

Do we have to lie to be successful? (00:43:06)

  • Humans naturally compare themselves to others and form opinions about themselves.
  • People can use this knowledge to manipulate others for various purposes.
  • Lying is a common human behavior that can be used strategically.
  • Non-verbal communication can reveal a person's true intentions.
  • People constantly adapt their behavior based on the situation and the person they interact with.
  • Politeness and social interactions require some level of deception to maintain smoothness.
  • Showing weakness may yield little in return, while projecting strength and making firm demands can earn respect.
  • The principles discussed should be applied selectively and not universally.
  • Setting a high value for oneself and believing in it can attract others to give what is asked for.
  • Confident individuals tend to bring out the confident side of others, creating a contagious effect.
  • Women may face different standards and judgments when projecting confidence.

How to read someone's body language (00:51:51)

  • Body language is a form of intelligence that involves attuning oneself to other people's emotions and vibes.
  • Overall, look for an energy or word that defines a person, such as anxious, outgoing, or impatient.
  • Pay attention to specific cues, such as dead eyes, which may indicate a lack of engagement or psychopathic tendencies.
  • The tone of a person's voice can reveal their confidence levels, emotional tone, and character.
  • Smiles can be authentic or fake. An authentic smile lights up the whole face, while a fake smile only involves the mouth.

A smile says loads about how someone feels about you (00:54:32)

  • Body language can indicate a person's interest or disinterest. For example, if someone's body is facing another direction while talking to you, they may not be fully engaged.
  • Catching people by surprise can reveal their true feelings through micro expressions of disdain before they put on a fake smile. These micro expressions last less than a second and require careful observation to detect.

People's personalities are contagious (00:56:51)

  • People's personalities are contagious and can reveal whether they genuinely like someone or are being fake.
  • If someone acts overly friendly or pretends to be interested in you, it may be a sign that they are not being genuine.
  • Body language can provide clues about a person's true feelings and intentions.

Frenemies, what they mean and how to spot one (00:57:18)

  • Negative and dramatic individuals can spread their negative energy to others, making it important to avoid such people.
  • Insecure individuals can make others feel insecure, while confident and productive people can have a positive influence.
  • Envy is a powerful emotion that can lead to sabotage and hurt, and can be a driving force behind friendships, leading to hurtful behavior from the envious friend.
  • Frenemies are people who befriend others out of envy and may engage in harmful behavior while pretending to be friendly.
  • Envy can arise when friends achieve success and their circumstances change, leading to resentment and unkind behavior from the envious friends.
  • Confronting and overcoming feelings of envy is essential for personal growth and maintaining healthy relationships.

What's the most controversial point from your book? (01:06:42)

  • Greene's book, "The 48 Laws of Power," is controversial because it suggests that humans are not inherently good and that manipulation is a common part of life.
  • Some people find the book's content disturbing because it reminds them of negative experiences with manipulative individuals.
  • Greene argues that the book can actually be a valuable defense against manipulation because it teaches readers how to recognize and avoid manipulative tactics.
  • People who have experienced pain and suffering are more likely to appreciate the book's insights into human nature.
  • The book was particularly well-received by African-Americans and people in the hip-hop industry who were already familiar with the darker aspects of human nature.

Does equality exist when we all strive for power? (01:09:25)

  • The CIA agent mentioned that equality is not possible because the human world is hierarchical and power-driven.
  • People pretend to want equality, but their actions reveal a desire for power and hierarchy.
  • Politics, business, and other games are all about hierarchies and power dynamics.
  • Greene agrees that there is a hierarchical nature in humans.
  • However, he believes in a form of equality where everyone has the potential to fulfill their destiny and be great.
  • Greene emphasizes the uniqueness of every individual and their potential for greatness.
  • He cites the example of Temple Grandin, who overcame severe autism to become a successful animal behavioral scientist.

Becoming the best, what it really means (01:12:29)

  • Greatness can be objective (becoming the best in the world) or subjective (becoming the best version of oneself).
  • Different levels of greatness exist, and not everyone needs to be famous or successful to achieve it.
  • Finding what you love and are passionate about, and being fully engaged and fulfilled in your work, is crucial.
  • Both ambitious individuals and those content with their achievements can find greatness if they love and are challenged by their work.
  • Pursuing one's dreams and aspirations is essential to avoid regret and disappointment later in life.

Is death a motivator for you? (01:18:11)

  • The speaker's near-death experience has given them a heightened awareness of their mortality and a sense of urgency to accomplish their goals.
  • They emphasize the importance of living in the present moment and not taking things for granted.
  • The speaker encourages younger people to recognize the urgency of life and to make the most of their time.
  • Appreciating the simple things in life, such as health and physical activities, becomes more apparent when they are no longer easily accessible.

The importance of relationships (01:24:49)

  • Relationships are important and should not be taken for granted.
  • Romantic relationships can save lives.
  • Falling deeply in love with someone involves letting go of ego, defenses, and resistance.
  • People miss out on sublime experiences because they fear vulnerability and pain.

How to deal with dark thoughts (01:27:01)

  • Dark thoughts are common and can include guilt, self-doubt, depression, and unworthiness.
  • Robert Greene has experienced dark thoughts and doubts about his success and work.
  • He was tough on himself and had a belief that he could always do better.
  • Some of his dark thoughts revolve around his declining physical abilities and whether life is worth living without certain activities.

Advice for people going through self-doubt & hard moments (01:29:09)

  • Focus on accomplishments and the impact made, such as published books and podcasts.
  • Consider the improbability of existence and the wonder of being alive.
  • Acknowledge that emotional connections are necessary for those contemplating suicide.
  • Encourage taking small steps to create evidence of self-worth.

Why did you write this book, The Sublime? (01:33:17)

  • The author had the idea for the book about 20 years ago after reading about the Sublime and being excited by the concept.
  • He originally planned to write the book after finishing his third book, but got sidetracked by other projects.
  • The last chapters of his books, 50 Cent and Human Nature, both touch on the Sublime, specifically in relation to death and mortality.
  • After nearly dying, the author felt compelled to finally write the book, despite his limitations.
  • The experience of nearly dying has forced him to find the Sublime in everyday life.
  • The author is currently writing a chapter on the ancient Greek concept of the "daemon," which is a guardian spirit that guides individuals.
  • He is exploring the idea of a higher self and how it communicates with individuals, connecting it to purpose and other ideas about the Universe.
  • The author is also writing a chapter about interspecies communication and the Sublime, which has changed the way he views animals.

What would be your parting message to the world? (01:37:43)

  • Robert Greene's books focus on the reality of life and how to master it through strategic thinking, rather than relying on illusions and wishful thinking.
  • He criticizes those who rely solely on moralistic ideas and virtue signaling without engaging in effective strategies to bring about change.
  • To be successful, one must detach from emotional reactions and strategically consider actions that will lead to the desired outcome.
  • Defeating an adversary requires strategizing and thinking through their reactions to different approaches, potentially surprising them with unexpected angles to gain control of the situation.
  • Strategizing involves gaming out possibilities and thinking through various scenarios.

How can we rise above our emotional reactions? (01:43:34)

  • Being strategic is the opposite of stupidity.
  • Emotional reactions hinder effective strategies.
  • Mastering the ability to rise above emotional reactions is desirable.
  • It is harder to control emotional reactions when younger due to hormonal influences.
  • Detaching from emotions can be achieved by entering a "zen mode" and viewing triggering words as neutral and meaningless.
  • Writing angry emails but not sending them can help process emotions.

How has your research influenced how you view politics? (01:45:15)

  • Lack of sleep can significantly impair decision-making abilities.
  • American politics is currently experiencing significant division, with the left moving further left and the speaker feeling trapped between the two sides.
  • Businesses often prioritize short-term gains over long-term vision due to pressure from investors and Wall Street.
  • Politics faces similar constraints, with elections every few years preventing politicians from taking a long-term perspective.
  • People today lack a strong connection to political parties, leading to volatile voting patterns.
  • The absence of a compelling narrative or vision for America and political parties contributes to this volatility.

The last guest's question (01:52:38)

  • To be successful, create a vision that emotionally connects with people rather than focusing solely on policies, as Robert Greene believes Democrats do.
  • Greene emphasizes the importance of creating a unifying myth that connects people despite their differences.
  • Greene regrets not taking it slower and preventing his stroke while writing "The Laws of Human Nature" but believes it happened for a reason.
  • Greene highlights the significance of tiny, unpredictable events throughout history and their potential to have a significant impact on our lives.
  • We cannot change physical circumstances, but we can control our reactions through the Stoic philosophy.
  • Robert Greene's upcoming book, Sublime, has been in the making for six years due to his unique writing process, which involves handwriting, dictation, and editing.
  • Greene's existing books offer challenging and enduring wisdom that remains valuable in today's society.

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