Book Summaries Psychology

Part 2: Beware the Aftereffects (The Art of Seduction)

There is danger after successful seduction. After emotions peak, they swing the other way – towards disappointment. Beware of the long good bye. An insecure victim will cling tightly, and both sides will suffer. If you want to leave, be swift about it. If you want to go on, you will need a second seduction. Never let the other person take you for granted, use absence and pain and conflict to keep the seduced hooked.

In a word, woe to the woman of too monotonous a temperament; her monotony satiates and disgusts. She is always the same statue, with her a man is always right. She is so good, so gentle, that she takes away from people the privilege of quarreling with her, and this is often such a great pleasure! Put in her place a vivacious woman, capricious, decided, to a certain limit, however, and things assume a different aspect. The lover will find in the same person the pleasure of variety. Temper is the salt, the quality which prevents it from becoming stale. Restlessness, jealousy, quarrels, making friends again, spitefulness, all are the food of love. Enchanting variety? … Too constant a peace is productive of a deadly ennui. Uniformity kills love, for as soon as the spirit of method mingles in an affair of the heart, the passion disappears, languor supervenes, weariness begins to wear, and disgust ends the chapter.


Avoid the slow burnout. Often, you become disenchanted but don’t have the courage to break it off. You withdraw inside, but this absence may reignite a desire in the other person. And a frustrating cycle begins. Slowly, everything will unravel. Don’t hang on because of false pity, you are doing no one any favors. If this seems too ugly, then disenchant the victim deliberately with anti-seductive behavior.

Aloofness with stir their insecurity and will lead to more clinginess. Suffocate them with attention instead.

Instead, try suffocating them with love and attention: be clinging and possessive yourself, moon over the lover’s every action and character trait, create the sense that this monotonous affection will  go on forever. No more mystery, no more coquetry, no more retreats—just endless love. Few can endure such a threat. A few weeks of it and they will be gone.

Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

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

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