Laws of Power – 38

Think as you like but behave like others: If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior: It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.

I don’t believe that this law is so linear in reality. There are facets that may implicate intelligence, social skills, creativity, political savvy, perspective, etc. You know you are in a tough spot when your boss suggests that you “dumb down” you communication and presentation skills. I would surmise that the audience would take offense to that notion and I know I certainly did. Sometime you just can’t win, but the game must still be played. The best approach may be to speak only when you have a relevant contribution and be known as a “wise sage” rather than someone you outshines everyone in the room and cultures contempt.

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