The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 4

Law Four: Always Say Less Than Necessary


Where a person tries hard to impress others using words, he is likely to say more than what may be deemed to be necessary. The more an individual says, the more common such a person appears (Greene 31). Thus, the person seems to be less in control. Where a person utilizes the virtue of speaking less, he appears to be original, even where he happens to say something that is already common knowledge to many people. People in power are normally able to intimidate others as well as impress them by saying less. The more a person speaks, the higher the chances of him saying something foolish. An instance is provided of Gnaeus Marcius. He was also referred to as Coriolanus (Greene 32). He was regarded to be a legendary hero in ancient Rome. He had participated in many battles and won, thereby, saving his city from many troubles. Since he had spent much time in war, very few people were acquainted with him, personally. Thus, they regarded him as a legend. 

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