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Have a Light Read : A manual for dealing with others

【明報專訊】Robert Greene is the author of The 48 Laws of Power — lessons learned from masterful leaders throughout history — both their triumphs and their failures. Now he presents The Laws of Human Nature, in which he delves into the human subconscious, and the primordial(原始的)mind, to understand how people think, and make decisions. Humans are much less complicated in our thinking than we might expect, and we are not so different from other animals in our social interactions, hence our nature can be defined by laws. An understanding of these laws can provide a significant psychological advantage when dealing with others.

Again using examples from history, Greene shows that to be master of others, we must first master ourselves — control our emotions, understand why we make the decisions that we do, and ultimately control the irrational, emotion-based side of our decision-making, in order to think more clearly. With this as base, the Laws show how to go beyond one's own thinking, and understand others, creating empathy and understanding of how others think, and why they think in such ways.

Humans are highly social animals, and we communicate through our emotions — and these emotions can be highly contagious — hence "viral" responses of pieces on the Internet, which can have massive behavioural effects on millions of people. We are not as rational in our thinking and actions as we might think! But we can at least acknowledge and be aware of this, to confront and curb our narcissism and aggression.

Further reading

This understanding of ourselves and others can help us to be better human beings, improve our relationships with others, and gain an edge in our interactions at home, at work and in the world at large.

■by Swindon Book Co. Ltd.

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