Laws of Human Nature

the unwritten laws have been written and explained

Laws of Human Nature

We often call it our nondeclarative memory - the things we already intrinsically know but don’t know how to explain it, where we learnt it or why . Thankfully Robert Greene has gone out of his way and spent an awful lot of time to uncover the “laws” behind our human nature.

It is a fantastic read, that provides valuable insights into ourselves and other.  According to Greene, there are 18 Laws which cover everything from how and why we ALL are irrational, compulsive, aggressive, defensive and scared of our own demise.

For me, the following three Laws resonated the most;

•Narcissism, we are all narcissists at heart.
•Compulsive behaviour, charm, charisma and intelligence will only get you so far, but your character is what matters the most. 
•Repression, we all have a dark side, confront it. 

We need to learn about our own nature, why we say, do, believe and say certain things, and by knowing this, we can better understand other people. This way, we can have more empathy toward other people, and look within to find our true purposes. 

The law of narcissism  for instance, states that deep down we all narcissists pursing our own forms of self-gratification in one way or another. Greene contends that narcissism is a spectrum where the goal is, to move the standard forms of narcissism and transform it into self-honesty where you get really clear about the motives to your actions – are you actually being altruistic, or is there a hidden goal in it for yourself? 

Further, when you are coming from a place of healthy narcissism you are better able to grow personally and professional through accepting constructive criticism rather than insults. 

Next, the law of compulsive behaviour explains how there is more to people than just their intellect, their charm or their charisma and encourages you to see through that and look at the persons character.

Why? Because the strength of a persons’ character comes from the “core of their personality” which is something that is consistently evolving. People with weak characteristics tend to; be easily overcome by the situations they find themselves in, “slippery and evasive” and, like unhealthy narcissists, fail to improve because they take criticisms and constructive feedback personally.

People with strong characteristics however, are secure about who they are as people, and can subdue their personality to become a team member, they don’t easily give up for the desire to keep aiming for higher and more improvement, and they take criticism and use it constructively. 

Finally, the law of repression says that we all have a dark side, or as Jung described it as having a “shadow”, most of us are scared of what this shadow is and does. 

We continually repress it to try and “fit in” or “make nice” with people, even though your shadow may be telling you to say, or do otherwise. This is something that all of us have done, at least once. 

Sometimes we put on a front around people or groups, but when no one else is around to judge your behaviour, the true side may come to the light. Or for some people, it may go even deeper than that.  

Greene invites us to confront our shadows: See the shadow - look at what you are trying to keep down; Don’t run from it - don’t be scared, look at it; Embrace it – accept that this is part of who you are; Use it – use it to fuel your hunger to keep pushing yourself forward.

This book is a great prompt to look into some of your own behaviours, which hopefully will help you to perform better at work, life and love.


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