Law 8: Make other People come to You; Use bait if necessary

48 Laws of Power

The lessons    Law 1    Law 2   Law 3   Law 4   Law 5   Law 6   Law 7


When you push or force people to act, then you are in control. Always try to make your opponents come to you, thereby abandoning their plans. Use fabulous gains to attract people, and then launch. The cards belong to you.

Otto von Bismarck says, ‘When I have laid a bait for deer, I don’t shoot at the first doe that comes to sniff, rather, I wait until the whole herd has gathered around’. This is wisdom. When Bismarck wants to hurt and has set his trap, the first animal to get there might be a baby animal who is not experienced enough to know a trap. A baby animal is not good a catch, the hunter then waits, because he knows other animals will come and join the one feeding at the trap. There is then an increase in the number of animals and a higher chance of catching or hitting a bigger catch.

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You should not react to events, rather direct them. Don’t mistake aggressive action for effective action. Frequently, the most effective action is staying back, keeping calm, and wait till others are frustrated and unknowingly enter the traps you have set. This fetches you a long-term power rather than a quick victory. The essence of power is to get others to react and keep opponents on the defensive.

When others come to you, then you are in control, and the one in control has the power. In this type of game, you must learn to master emotions. No one who can’t master emotions is powerful. Making others come to you is a more powerful weapon than aggression. Everyone tends to reach the peak of his energy. You can however help others waste theirs by making them come to you.

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Another advantage of making opponents come to you is that it makes them operate in your territory. This makes opponents nervous and makes mistakes. Therefore in negotiations and meetings, make others come into your territory or your choice territory. Note, manipulation is a very dangerous game. Once people are aware you are manipulating them, they become harder to control. When you make opponents come to you, they feel like they are in charge of the situation. All of these depend on how sweet your bait is. If your trap is quite attractive, then your enemies or opponents blindly fall in. The greedier they are, the more they are controlled.

When you can get others to dig themselves, why stress yourself. This is a strategy mastered by pickpockets. The key to pickpocket is to know which pocket contains a wallet. Pickpockets are more rampant at stations or parks where the signpost ‘Beware of Pickpockets’ is posted. When passersby see this signpost, they become jittery and check their pockets to see if it is there. Pickpockets are already hiding and waiting for those that will be jittery and check their pocket. Once they see those that did this, then they know the pockets that contain wallet. Sometimes, pickpockets are the ones to put these signposts in public spaces.

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When you keep helping people and solving their problems, then they keep coming to you. Bear hunters don’t chase bears, because you can hardly catch a bear that is known to be hunted as they can be very ferocious. Instead, you lay a trap and put honey. The bear goes for the honey and you go for the bear. Good warriors don’t go to others, they wait for others to come to them. This is the principle of fullness and emptiness to others and self. When you make others come to you, then they lose their identity.

The lessons    Law 1    Law 2   Law 3   Law 4   Law 5   Law 6   Law 7

credit: Robert Greene

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