48 Laws of Power: Fourteen

Law 14 - Pose As A Friend, Work As A Spy

Knowing about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead. Better Still. Play the spy yourself. In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions. There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.

If you have reason to suspect that a person is telling you a lie, look as though you believed every word he said. This will give him courage to go on; he will become more vehement in his assertions, and in the end betray himself.

Again, if you perceive that a person is trying to conceal something from you, but with only partial success, look as though you did not believe him. The opposition on your part will provoke him into leading out his reserve of truth and bringing the whole force of it to bear upon your incredulity.

Arthur Schopenhauer

If you have followed this series, you know that my goal is not to get you to inact deception and trickery to your advantage, but to guard against it when you notice it in others. With that in mind, I have a saying that I like to use that really gets to the point of this law – “watch the ice break”. To watch the ice break all you have to do is play it cool. Don’t be in a hurry. Just relax. Pour a little “water” on the subject and watch them – “the ice” – break before your eyes. It will all be revealed in time, and just like the ice in a cup gives to the water around it, so will those who mean you harm. Just chill, you’ll see, they'll walk right into your hands.

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Keith said...

This is deep..This opens up my mind to a whole new way of dealing with certain folks. Great post Rich,I love this "Laws of Power" series.

The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

A liar has to continue lying because they don't know where the lie ends and the truth should begin.

It is so true when you tell a lie you dig a deeper hole for yourself.

So, in essence you are digging your own ditch to bury yourself in. (Or they are)