The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 31

Law Thirty-One: Control The Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards You Deal


The best forms of deceptions are the ones in which an individual appears to provide others a choice. The situation makes the victims feel that they are in control when they are not (Greene 254). The process involves giving others options that come out in favor of the person. Such people may be forced to make choices of the lesser between two evils. Making other people choose between the options a person has given them gives the person more independence. He holds power to determine how they turn out to be. In 1553 when Ivan the Terrible realized that some of his subjects were out to outwit him, he designed a plan in which he knew he would exert some form of power over them (Greene 255). He realized that a war would not be a solution against the boyars. Therefore, he chose to read them a letter in which he attained a chance to exert some form of control against them.

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