48 Laws of Power

My purpose IS NOT to promote the use of the laws of power to gain an edge against others. What I intend to do is hip you to the game so that you don’t get played. Simply knowing that game exists is not enough. You have to familiarize yourself so that when the time comes, game can recognize game.

Power Law #3
Keep people off balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they can not prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

This is a common game played by many. You see it in relationships, you see it on the job, you see it in church, you see it online, you see it everywhere, that is, if you are looking. This misuse of power is most effective when a "screen" is utilized. But even then, chances are, something in your gut will let you know that all is not what it seems.

My experience has shown me that this law plays out a great deal of the time in romantic relationships. This can probably be attributed to the fact that most people don't have the access to play the power game for high stakes, so those who do play games settle for conquering in an environment that is resident. The weapon of choice in most of these situations is the smoke screen. I must admit. Growing up male has allowed me to see many a woman fall for “screens” and I've seen them executed in a manner reminiscent of my time on the hardwood. Just like in the sport of basketball, a screen can be set without you seeing it coming or it can be done in plain view with you unable to get around it if you aren’t thinking properly. Either way, to the uninformed, they are quite effective.

Blindsided screen:

This is executed when a guy who is checking you out decides he wants to get with you, but after feeling you out he determines it would be too hard to come straight at you. He decides to employ what I refer to as the “backdoor” technique. This is the "screen" that catches you off guard because it's built around the premise of “I just want to be your friend” or he keeps it casual like you are just part of the crew. All the while, he’s looking for his angle, his opportunity to get at you. While this may be fine in the case where the dude is legitimately interested in you and just doesn't know how to overcome your apprehension, it’s not cool when dude is looking to do dirt. By “do dirt” I mean, hit and quit it, play you for your paper, or use you to get somewhere he can’t get on his own. This guy uses the screen to blind side you so he can get his shot off. You can fight through this screen but you have to feel your way around the blockage. Follow your gut.

Open view screen:
Sometimes the hardest screen to get around is the most obvious one. I’ve been on the basketball court and I can clearly see the screen coming, but because of momentum I couldn’t get out of the way. When defeated in this manner you have to learn from it and hope to react differently just a step or two quicker the next time, but what if this occurs in a relationship. What if you are dealing with someone who’s perfected his moves and is able to draw you into the screen under the momentum created by the romance? What do you do then? This player is usually masterful at drawing up his plays. He’s done his homework, watched your game films and so he’s ready to approach you head on. The screen he uses is the “no game” game. He presents himself as the all true man. But there’s one catch. He wants you to sign him to the team with the hurry up. This cat is clearly hiding something. I’ve never heard the phrase “good things come to those who rush.” He wants you, but only to suit the end he has in mind. To beat this guy, you have to slow down the tempo and play at your pace. Make him ride the bench and earn his spot on the team. Chances are he doesn’t feel like he has time for that. If you react to the fear of losing this “great catch” you’ll pay the price when you finally realize he’s just taking up salary cap space and weighing the team down.

How about you, have you seen this law in action?

About the host:
Rich Fitzgerald is the author of the short story "One to Remember" featured in Love and Redemption (Bloggers' Delight Vol. 1), a collection of short stories by authors who blog. To read excerpts or to order a copy of the title, visit i-Lit. The book is also available on Amazon.


The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

Here I go telling my business.
First, I need to print this post off.

Okay. Since, my divorce. Single going on five years dated three guys.

1) an overly clingy young guy (open his eyes to a whole new world- smiling wickly).
2) went by so fast a blur
3) this one sends me into mind confusion. . . handsome, tall, dark, great job, no kids, intelligent. A six years younger.
We meet. I like. We talk on phone. We go out. We whatever... one year later we still doing all these things but, he still says we must take it slow. So is he my friend or man? I get tired let him go. He still keeps calling. What is his screen?

Dreamy said...

ohhh yes have i seen the power moves, especially the last one. i really needed this knowledge when the last one was happening to me.

i definitely needed the power moves then,lol

but like you say you live and you learn and i definitely learned what not to do next time

Rich said...

@TUQ -- to be honest it doesn't sound like a screen, just a bit of apprehension (possibly). It's a tough call. Only he can tell you what it really is. Considering he's younger and has no kids, I would roll the dice and say he probably likes you, but he isn't sold on locking it down for the long haul. He is probably used to his freedom and enjoys the time with you, but if he signs on the dotted line, it's instant responsibility from day one. Making that type of decision make take a little more time. Now, as for the question of is he your friend or man, that was probably determined at the opening of the relationship. Did you give in to his advances under the terms of friendship or with the understanding that you would be his lady? Dudes with options aren't quick to change the rules in the middle of the game just because you like the way he handles the ball, but you can definitely try to renegotiate his contract. Just remember you agreed to the deal that is currently on the table.

CapCity said...

"..most people don't have the access to play the power game for high stakes, so those who do play games settle for conquering in an environment that is resident." THAT right there said it ALL, Brother Rich!

When the truth is our greatest power is SELF control - and that seems to be the most elusive!!

sista gp said...

I planned a post similar to this for a friend but instead I am going to send her here. You covered everything.

Great post!

The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

Well, I am honest about my intent and he knew relationship from the door. He works a lot (could be/is the problem) most times he is calling from the office even on Sundays. Oh well I have moved on. A year is too long.
Anyway, I think/know one of my associates is trying to worm his way in through the back door but, regardless of his intentions I ain't interested.
Men are so sneaky. or is it snaky?lol

12kyle said...

good one rich! good one.

you know i can relate to the sports reference.

you've provided some great food for always.

Lovebabz said...

Nice post Rich.

I think if you are centered in your self and are clear about what you want then games don't work on you. But if you come to the table of love desperate and hungry, then you will eat anything served to you.

shelia said...

Man oh man this is a timely post for me. This guy I've been going out with tried the backdoor but realized that wasn't working so then he tried the open door approach but by then I had peeped his game. I played my card and now he's showed his "true" hand and needless to say, the game is over because he doesn't have the stamina to stay in the game anymore now that my cards are on the table.

Mizrepresent said...

I'm with Lovebabz, perseverence and not dealing with the jokers has been my game, but not necessarily a game at all. When i'm going after something, i come with my A game, i learned the channel my positive energies for the win a long time ago during pageantry days. Your best hand, your best weapon, your confidence, knowing the game and putting out the best effort. You will beat your opponent everytime, or at least come away the victor whether you won the prize or not. To thine onself be true. I may not win all the time, but i never lose.

MysTery said...

Yes I have! And I made home boy slow his roll!

LadyShay said...

All I have to say is FUCK THAT OPEN SCREEN. I just got "got" by it. It's a motherfucker. Wish I would have been able to read this about a month and a half ago, although would I have listened?

James Tubman said...


I'm glad somebody else is giving our people the means of not getting ourselves played (that didn't sound right)

we need to publish more info like this

for some answers on how to see what a person is really up to

stop by my spot and see bluffin mcmuffin and how to know if they really did it or not

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

sounds like mantis style
but u know me
laws sound more to do with deciet than power
but then again power to me is related to physics
the rate at which work is performed or energy is transmitted, or the amount of energy required or expended for a given unit of time. As a rate of change of work done

made a new word
blinded by the Obamafication of America

Aunt Jackie said...

I think that for women over 30 that backdoor move is extremely transparent.I mean if a dude is really feeling a woman he is less likely to play shy guy. Men have the most awesome drug in the world running thru their veins...testosterone and its a monster. That natural drug is what helps men find the courage to to run the free world and win in competitive sports and would certainly kick in when in the presence of a woman they wanted!

But then again its 90 degrees and 11 at night and I'm cranky!

Rich said...

@Torrance -- often times the game of power is a game of deceit. No one wants to freely give it to you, so some people rather than working for it honestly use deception to gain it.

@Jackie - you make a great point.

A Go Bytch said...

Greetings Rich...I'm here by way of dreamcop08. Because most guys find me intimidating for some reason I too often come off as aggressive. So I'm thinking maybe I could utilize this "screen" technique. Good post!