Narcissistic Opinion: Applying 48 Laws of Power to a Work Place Argument

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Having a heated argument with a fellow professional reveals a lot of things of not just that particular person but also about oneself.

I have always tried to stay humble with my work and try to emulate the best of the lot. Admiring without trying to be a sycophant, having conversations without trying to be ostentatious, listening to them without interrupting and working without abeyance. It supported by basis of staying humble in my workplace. Until one day, when a team member (senior) suddenly decides to play an ass. Now, it one thing to appear peaceful and another thing to depict powerlessness. In our post-modern world, I have observed, if anything is at peace then in certes, it is toothless.  In my repetitive reading of 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, I came to feel that Laws related to character building, especially when law five says, ‘So much depends upon reputation: Guard it with your life’ and Law 9 which says ‘Win through your actions not through argument’ seemed a perfect way of life who usually tends to believe in staying simple yet sophisticated. But what do you do when these laws are in contradiction and you’ve got no other choice but to throw your conditioned self out of the picture and fight like a raging bull and maybe even creating a private Holyfield’s ear incident.  But what really bothered me with this particular brawl was the law number one which blatantly says, ‘Never outshine your master’. Do I go for a Pyrrhic victory or do I stand by the cornerstone of power, ‘reputation’ as Mr. Greene lucidly explained?

When in anger, the primal sense usually hazes all sense of propriety and thus what we have is the current situation with humanity. Now, the problem with this public spat was that I wasn’t in the wrong. Having said that one may think that it is a clear victory but when you bring in underrated parameters like ‘relationship’, ‘team work’, ‘work ethic’ and ‘career opportunities’, it is quite a bit of hard pill to swallow.

Having had a superiority linguistically over my opponent, I used the tactic of law 44 which says ‘Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect’. Repeating his statement, assuming a faint smile which implied ambiguousness of sarcasm and solemnity, appreciating the logic when there was none and then striking the red hot malleable iron of perceived overconfidence with hammers of truth. The strategy included clustering on tints of sycophancy and of ostentatious linguistic jargons which the opponent clearly was unable to apprehend and thus falling under a trap of intricately designed web of diversion to the original idea that I had prepared to be universally used by all the team members. It was a sweet victory which included another of Mr. Greene’s contradiction when he says, ‘Playing the perfect courtier’ (law 24) and ‘Enter action with boldness’ (law 28).

So proud was I with this public spectacle that I nearly forgot the most brutal of Mr. Greene’s law stated in law 47 which says ‘Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop’ which solemnly provided for my die hard belief in law 1, ‘Never outshine the master’.


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