Science Behind 2nd Law Of Power: Never Put Too Much Trust In Friends, Learn To Use Enemies

Why Can You Not Put Too Much Trust In Friends?

PART 1

Why does the second law of power say you shouldn’t put too much trust in friends? One reason is because of envy. Personality science teaches us that envy and jealousy are emotions experienced by everyone. Scientists believe these feelings were selected by evolution, because of how effective they are at causing people to act. Specifically, envy and jealousy cause people to take action to get resources they think are attainable. That is why studies have found we are more likely to be jealous of neighbors than billionaires. 

So if you have something your friends think is valuable and attainable, they could use their knowledge of your weaknesses to take it. Counter this problem by never putting too much trust in friends.

How Do You Use Your Enemies?

PART 2

The second law also tells us to learn to use enemies, but how? You can use enemies by ensuring that your desires are aligned. This relies on people’s selfish neurology. Think about what your enemy wants and figure out a way their behavior can be useful to you. This uses their existing momentum to their advantage.

For example, use your enemy’s desire to criticize. Since enemies regularly like share the ways that you suck, use this information to improve. Ironically, you can usually trust that an enemy’s criticism has some element of truth. Turn an enemy’s criticism to your benefit by fixing the weakness they found. In contrast, friends often exaggerate your strengths and rarely tell you your weaknesses in order to maintain peace.

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