Book Summaries Psychology

Law 5: Become an Elusive Object of Desire (The Laws of Human Nature)

Law 5: Become an Elusive Object of Desire (The Laws of Human Nature) 1
Coco Chanel

The Law of Covetousness

Too much presence suffocates us, while a little absence sparks our interest. We want to possess what we do not have – the object of our fantasies. Create mystery around you to attract others to you. Dangle in front of them what they are missing, what they are forbidden to have, and they will be filled with desire. The grass is always greener as they say, but know this and you may know how to embrace your circumstances and avoid the tragedy of this statement.

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel started out as a poor girl who had a difficult life. In her thirties, she searched for new adventures that will fill her heart with joy. But as each interest was fulfilled, it was replaced by another. At first, she wanted a large mansion – the one that she envisioned in novels. But once she had gotten that through her marriage to a wealthy man, she realized that she needed something else. She then discovered androgynous clothing, at the time, no women wore men’s clothing. Coco Chanel discovered how freeing it was to do so and as she created new combinations of men’s clothing for women, she discovered that other women deeply desired this. A new culture was born, and there were even those who tried to pirate her style. She encouraged this. In fact, she knew how to maintain the allure of her brand by creating a kind of mystery around it. She then launched her perfume and was successful at that.

Chanel knew how to play to people’s imaginations and their deep desires. She would disappear for long periods and then would announce her next big project. She was able to do this because she was unsatisfied herself with what was common and bland, and understood what excited people the most: their imagination. People were always wondering what she was up to.

Play to People’s Fantasies

To seduce people, you must be willing to express disdain towards them, to act cold and uninterested. In modern culture, people think that honesty is what people is attracted to. They think that if you just share your true emotions and thoughts, people will accept you for who you are. One might suspect that human nature has changed, but in truth it hasn’t. It is still the same. People want the same things. Those who express their true nature unabashedly inevitably get rejected, and then they complain about the state of men or women on internet forums.

The only thing that has changed is that people have become lazy, they do not put the effort into charming or seducing others. You shouldn’t make the same mistake. When you speak vaguely, and do not express things so clearly, when you make yourself absent at times, when you occasionally use banter and poke fun at your target, you will create an aura of attraction about you. People will see you as worthy, independent, secure, and mysterious. These are qualities that are seductive. No one desires people who can’t keep a secret. There is nothing attractive about bluntness when it is overused. What excited us as children was our imagination, we loved loose rules, not strict ones. This has not changed for us adults.

Take advantage of Voyeurism

People love going to movies and watching TV shows that allows them to peak into the lives of people. You may take advantage of this by offering others a way to peak into your own life or your own work, by showing them behind-the-scenes material, for example. Or you can show them what great figures in history did behind closed walls. This is what Greene does through his books, and it is effective.

Recognize this need in you – Be More Realistic

Finally, understand that you are also someone who is pulled by these forces of mystery. Do not think that you can be a dispassionate observer. Other people can dominate your thoughts, but you should also recognize that no one is perfect. Instead of constantly searching for the next big thing, jumping from one opportunity to the next, or one relationship to the next, you should be more realistic about your expectations. No one is perfect. Relationships take hard work and sacrifice to work. They require compromise. You should understand the limitations of seduction. It is great to get people interested in you or your work, but it is dangerous if you are a victim of it.

Ultimately, books can only give you a peak into what is true. Reading novels can excite your imagination and stir up many great ideas that are ultimately imperfect representations of reality, but they are incomplete. They will not make you happy. People, despite their imperfections, are infinitely complex, and it can take a lifetime to figure them out, and a joy to be in their company. It is better to build relationships with them, rather than with that which does not exist.

It is advisable to let everyone of your acquaintance—whether man or woman—feel now and then that you could very well dispense with their company. This will consolidate friendship. Nay, with most people there will be no harm in occasionally mixing a grain of disdain with your treatment of them; that will make them value your friendship all the more. . . . But if we really think very highly of a person, we should conceal it from him like a crime. This is not a very gratifying thing to do, but it is right. Why, a dog will not bear being treated too kindly, let alone a man!

Arthur Schopenhauer

Read The Laws of Human Nature

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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