“Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.”
Part 1: Use decoyed objects of desire and red herrings to throw people off the scent. These decoyed objects are distractions that stem from vanity and desire for safety.
“If at any point in the deception you practice people have the slightest suspicion as to your intentions, all is lost. Do not give them the chance to sense what you are up to: Throw them off the scent by dragging red herrings across the path. Use false sincerity (telling someone you love them for the money or "fake opening up", send ambiguous signals, set up misleading objects of desire (sex to extort a guy). Unable to distinguish the genuine from the false, they cannot pick out your real goal.”
As simple as this law is, nobody follows it because people just don't know how and when to shut the fuck up. They don't for two reasons:
1. It's too easy to talk about your intentions
2. The mistake keeping it real wins others: Robert says “honesty is a blunt instrument, which bloodies more than it cuts” Honesty may offend others and make you predictable. People will know your intentions easily. All they need to do is offend you or hurt you to get something out of you.
This principle plays on a human psychological flaw: Overvaluing first impressions. From then on you can deceive. We can’t be questioning everyone, that’s impossible. So we have to generalize things to conserve energy.
Some easy tactics
act like you support something and then switch it around
False sincerity. Make people think you’re an honest person and they’ll believe you. Communicate that you value honesty. Like priests or celebs who give money just for the perceptions. pull a Clinton and create the front of a charity to steal money
Decoyed objects of desire: seem to want something you don’t want so that your enemy can focus on something that's insubstantial. Like having false weaknesses so that your partner can never hurt you. Act like you care about a situation and use that as a way to leverage what you want. (fake wanting something so that you can use that as a way to give in to a desire)
say you want a relationship and makes a guy not want you or say the opposite
another way to word it like Robert Greene does “Hide your intentions not by closing up (with the risk of appearing secretive and making people suspicious) but by talking endlessly about your desires and goals!—just not your real ones. You will kill three birds with one stone: You appear friendly, open, and trusting; you conceal your intentions, and you send your rivals on time-consuming wild-goose chases.”
But for all of this to work you have to show the quality of honesty and righteousness. So confess a secret or a weakness. Do acts of public kindness. Make them feel like you’re an open book. people will be lulled in by your honesty and love you or want to believe you.
Part 2: Use smokescreens to disguise your actions
“Deception is always the best strategy, but the best deceptions require a screen of smoke to distract people's attention from your real purpose. The bland exterior — like the unreadable poker face — is often the perfect smokescreen, hiding your intentions behind the comfortable and familiar. If you lead the sucker down a familiar path he won’t catch on when you lead him into a trap”
The smokescreen hypnotizes your victim. You don't use crazy gestures or draw attention to yourself. You blend in your environment and you attack stealthily.
facial expressions: blandness and nonchalant but deep down you care. It maintains your power and people feel that you care. It makes you less predictable.
the noble gesture: doing acts of kindness to distract people and let their guard down.
spirituality: like hiding under the front of holiness for money
fronting that you love someone to get money
establishing a pattern is important. That's why you have boxers who establish a pattern and break it to check them.
the tendency to mistake appearances for reality