Mon. Aug 3rd, 2020

Law 46: Never Appear Too Perfect

Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.

Keys To Power

  • The human has a hard time dealing with feelings of inferiority. In the face of superior skill, talent or power, we are often disturbed or ill at ease — because most of us have an inflated sense of ourselves. When we meet people who surpass us they make it clear to us that we are in fact mediocre.
  • We feel envy.
  • Accept the fact that there will be people who will surpass you in some way — and also the fact that you may envy them. Make that feeling a way of pushing yourself to equal or surpass them some day.
  • Let envy turn inwards and it poisons the soul; expel it outwards and it can move you to greater heights.
  • Understand that as you gain power, those below you will feel envious of you.
  • Expect that when people envy you they will work against you insidiously.
  • To deflect envy, subtly emphasize how lucky you have been, to make your happiness seem more attainable to other people.
  • Disguise your power as a kind of self-sacrifice rather than a source of happiness — and you make it seem less enviable. Emphasize your troubles and you turn a potential danger into a source of moral support.
  • Be aware that some environments are more conducive to envy than others.
  • Do not try to help or do favours for those who envy you; they will think you are condescending to them.

Reversal

  • Act before envy takes root.
  • However, once envy is there, it is sometimes best to affect the opposite approach — display the utmost disdain for those who envy you.

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