From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power comes the definitive new book on decoding the behavior of the people around you
Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of readers, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all - understanding people's drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves.
We are social animals. Our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people's masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose. Whether at work, in relationships, or in shaping the world around you, The Laws of Human Nature offers brilliant tactics for success, self-improvement, and self-defense.
In this detailed and expansive guide, Greene (Mastery) seeks to immerse his audience in "all aspects of human behavior," as represented by 18 laws created by Greene. He claims that studying these laws will transform the reader into a "calmer and more strategic observer," immune to "emotional drama." Those are lofty promises, but even skeptics will become believers after diving into Greene's well-organized text. In each chapter, he describes the benefits of confronting and overcoming a different form of human fallibility. Overcoming the "law of irrationality," for instance, leads to the ability to "open your mind to what is really happening, as opposed to what you are feeling." For historical perspective, he highlights relevant famous figures: Howard Hughes represents the pitfalls of compulsive behavior, and Anton Chekhov embodies the benefits of overcoming self-sabotage. Greene also quotes a number of literary greats along the way, including Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Gore Vidal, whose aphorism "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little" is applied, not surprisingly, to the chapter on envy. Throughout, Greene's overriding message is to "step back" from the "immediate rush of events" in order to gain greater insight into one's experiences and circumstances. Greene's thoughtful examination of self and society will, for the committed reader, deliver a refreshing and revitalizing perspective.