The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 19

Law Nineteen: Know Who You're Dealing with - Do Not Offend the Wrong Person


In the life of a person, he normally deals with different kinds of people. A person, therefore, needs to learn about the behavior of each that he deals with. The situation may enable him to determine the strategy that he may use against the different people. He cannot deal with all of them in the same way (Greene 137). A person needs to ensure that he does not deceive or offend the wrong person. The case may lead to the person seeking revenge. Mohammed, the Shah of Khwarezm, failed to apply this law. Mohamed who felt so powerful ignored a friendly request from the Genghis Khan the leader of the East and attacked his messengers not knowing he was calling for war. Mohammed assumed he is dealing with a weaker man and rejected him with an insult. He ended up losing his kingdom as a result of the attack.

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