Laws of Power – 17

Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability: humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off balance, and they wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.

I think another interesting aspect to this law, is that being unpredictable actually lends itself towards personal security. If we lead predictable lives it gives others with malice the opportunity to take advantage of our predictability. Another key element or ingredient is discretion. By not declaring your intentions, you inform fewer people around you of your intentions lending itself towards a facade of unpredictability.

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