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29+ quotes from The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Quotes from The 48 Laws of Power

Robert Greene ·  496 pages

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“When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity... you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“LAW 4
Always Say Less Than Necessary

When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Keep your friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life's artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“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.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“LAW 25
Re-Create Yourself

Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are. Some people are slow to take offense, which may make you misjudge the thickness of their skin, and fail to worry about insulting them. But should you offend their honor and their pride, they will overwhelm you with a violence that seems sudden and extreme given their slowness to anger. If you want to turn people down, it is best to do so politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is impudent or their offer ridiculous.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Many a serious thinker has been produced in prisons, where we have nothing to do but think.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“LAW 38
Think As You Like But Behave Like Others

If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“...But the human tongue is a beast that few can master. It strains constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will tun wild and cause you grief.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“There is nothing more intoxicating than victory, and nothing more dangerous.


― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others—that is too high a price to pay.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Be wary of friends—they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Few are born bold. Even Napoleon had to cultivate the habit on the battlefield, where he knew it was a matter of life and death. In social settings he was awkward and timid, but he overcame this and practice boldness in every part of his life because he saw its tremendous power, how it could literally enlarge a man(even one who, like Napoleon, was in fact conspicuously small).


― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“For the future, the motto is, "No days unalert.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“person who cannot control his words shows that he cannot control himself, and is unworthy of respect.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Be Royal in your Own Fashion: Act like a King to be treated”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“To succeed in the game of power, you have to master your emotions. But even if you succeed in gaining such self-control, you can never control the temperamental dispositions of those around you. And this presents a great danger.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“A Prince asked the dying spanish statesman, "Does your Excellency forgive all your enemies?" "I do not have to forgive all my enemies," answered the stateman, "I have had them all shot.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“Remember: The best deceivers do everything they can to cloak their roguish qualities. They cultivate an air of honesty in one area to disguise their dishonesty in others. Honesty is merely another decoy in their arsenal of weapons.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“You choose to let things bother you. You can just as easily choose not to notice the irritating offender, to consider the matter trivial and unworthy of your interest. That is the powerful move. What you do not react to cannot drag you down in a futile engagement. Your pride is not involved. The best lesson you can teach an irritating gnat is to consign it to oblivion by ignoring it.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“A heckler once interrupted Nikita Khrushchev in the middle of a speech in which he was denouncing the crimes of Stalin. “You were a colleague of Stalin’s,” the heckler yelled, “why didn’t you stop him then?” Khrushschev apparently could not see the heckler and barked out, “Who said that?” No hand went up. No one moved a muscle. After a few seconds of tense silence, Khrushchev finally said in a quiet voice, “Now you know why I didn’t stop him.” Instead of just arguing that anyone facing Stalin was afraid, knowing that the slightest sign of rebellion would mean certain death, he had made them feel what it was like to face Stalin—had made them feel the paranoia, the fear of speaking up, the terror of confronting the leader, in this case Khrushchev. The demonstration was visceral and no more argument was necessary.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“The key to power, then, is the ability to judge who is best able to further your interests in all situations. Keep friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“friendship and love blind every man to their interests.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


“The human tongue is a beast that few can master.”
― Robert Greene, quote from The 48 Laws of Power


About the author

Robert Greene
Born place: in Los Angeles, California, The United States
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