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.
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.