OPPONENTS, SUCKERS, AND VICTIMS
In your rise to power you will come across many breeds of opponent, sucker, and victim. The highest of the power is the ability to distinguish the wolves from the lambs, the foxes from the hares, the hawks from the vultures. If you make this distinction well, you will succeed without needing to coerce anyone too much. But if you deal blindly with whomever, crosses your path, you will have a life of constant sorrow, if you even live long. Being able to recognize types of people, and to act accordingly, is critical. The following are the five most dangerous and difficult types of mark in the jungle, as identified by artists –con and otherwise –of the past.
The Arrogant and Proud Man
Although he may initially disguise it, this man’s touchy pride makes him very dangerous. Any perceived slight will lead to a vengeance of overwhelming violence. You may say to yourself, “But I only said such-and-such at a party, where everyone was drunk….” It does not matter. There is no sanity behind his overreaction, so do not waste time trying to figure him out. If at any point in your dealings with a person you sense an oversensitive and over-reactive pride, flee. Whatever, you are hoping for from him isn’t worth it.
The Hopelessly Insecure Man
This man is related to the proud and arrogant type, but is less violent and harder to spot. His ego is fragile, his sense of self insecure, and if he feels himself deceived or attacked, the hurt will simmer. He will attack you in bites that will take forever to get big enough for you to notice. If you find have deceived or harmed such a man disappear for a long time. do not stay around him or he will nibble you to death.
Another variant on the breeds above, this a future Joe Stalin. He sees what he wants to see –usually the worst –in other people and imagines that everyone is after him. Mr. Suspension is in fact the least dangerous of the three: Genuinely unbalanced, he is easy to deceive, just as Stalin himself was constantly deceived. Play on his suspicious nature to get him to turn against other people. But if you do become the target of his suspicions, watch out.
The Serpent With a Long Memory
If hurt or deceived, this man will show no anger on the surface; he will calculate and wait. Then, when he is in a position to turn the tables, he will exact a revenge marked by a cold blooded shrewdness. Recognize this man by his calculation and cunning in the different areas of his life. He is usually cold and unaffectionate. Be doubly careful of this snake, and if you have somehow injured him, either crush him completely or get him out of your sight.
The Plain, Unassuming, and Often Unintelligent Man
Ah, your ears pick up when you find such a tempting victim. But this man is a lot harder to deceive than you imagine. Falling for a ruse often takes intelligence and imagination –a sense of the possible rewards. The blunt man will not take the bait because he does not recognize it. He is that unaware. The danger with this man is not that he will harm you or seek revenge, but merely that he will waste your time, energy, resources, and even your sanity in trying to deceive him. Have a test ready for a mark –a joke, a story. If his reaction is utterly literal, this is the type you are dealing with. Continue at your own risk.
CULLED FROM THE 48 LAWS OF POWER BY ROBERT GREENE