The Laws of Human Nature is designed to immerse you in all aspects of human behavior and illuminate its root causes. If you let it guide you, it will radically alter how you perceive people and your entire approach to dealing with them. It will also radically change how you see yourself.
The Laws of Human Nature By Robert Greene
Book : The Laws of Human Nature
Author : Robert Greene
Summary of The Laws of Human Nature By Robert Greene
Author says our natural response to reading or hearing about the darker qualities in human nature is to exclude ourselves. It is always the other person who is narcissistic, irrational, envious, grandiose, aggressive, or passive-aggressive. We almost always see ourselves as having the best intentions.
We humans are born with a tremendous potential for understanding people on a level that is not merely intellectual. It is a power developed by our earliest ancestors, in which they learned how to intuit the moods and feelings of others by placing themselves in their perspective.
Master Your Emotional Self
Author says emotions tend to narrow the mind, making us focus on one or two ideas that satisfy our immediate desire for power or attention, ideas that usually backfire. With a calm spirit, you can entertain a wide range of options and solutions. You will deliberate longer before acting and reassess your strategies. The voice will become clearer and clearer.
Emotions are continually affecting our thought processes and decisions, below the level of our awareness. And the most common emotion of them all is the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.
We are social animals by nature. The feeling of isolation, of difference from the group, is depressing and terrifying. We experience tremendous relief when we find others who think the same way we do. In fact, we are motivated to take up ideas and opinions because they bring us this relief.
The people around you generally appear sane and in control of their lives. But put any of them in stressful circumstances, with the pressure rising, and you will see a different reality. The cool mask of self-control comes off. They suddenly lash out in anger, reveal a paranoid streak, and become hypersensitive and often petty.
Transform Self Love into Empathy
Author says from the moment we are born, we humans feel a never-ending need for attention. We are social animals to the core. Our survival and happiness depend on the bonds we form with others. If people do not pay attention to us, we cannot connect to them on any level. Some of this is purely physical—we must have people looking at us to feel alive.
We must be honest about our own nature and not deny it. We are all narcissists. In a conversation we are all champing at the bit to talk, to tell our story, to give our opinion. We like people who share our ideas they reflect back to us our good taste.
Empathy is an instrument of emotional attunement. It is hard for us to read or figure out the thoughts of another person, but feelings and moods are much easier for us to pick up. We are all prone to catching the emotions of another person.
The Laws of Human Nature Summary
Author says we are the preeminent social animal on the planet, depending on our ability to communicate with others for our survival and success. It is estimated that over 65 percent of all human communication is nonverbal but that people pick up and internalize only about 5 percent of this information.
We humans are consummate actors. We learn at an early age how to get what we want from our parents by putting on certain looks that will elicit sympathy or affection. We learn how to conceal from our parents or siblings exactly what we’re thinking or feeling, to protect ourselves in vulnerable moments.
When we were children, we were almost all great observers of people. Because we were small and weak, our survival depended on decoding people’s smiles and tones of voice. We were often struck by the peculiar walking styles of adults, their exaggerated smiles and affected mannerisms. We would imitate them for fun.
Elevate Your Perspective
We humans tend to live in the moment. It is the animal part of our nature. We respond first and foremost to what we see and hear, to what is most dramatic in an event. But we are not merely animals tied to the present. Human reality encompasses the past—every event is connected to something that happened before in an endless chain of historical causation.
Your task as a student of human nature, and someone aspiring to reach the greater potential of the human animal, is to widen your relationship to time as much as possible, and slow it down. This means you do not see the passage of time as an enemy but rather as a great ally.