Song Review: Discombobulated – Eminem

The beat of Discombobulated sounds really similar to On Fire (2009). In ways the songs can be compared as well.

Discombobulated relives Marshall’s past life of substance abuse, and like Déjà Vu gives a glimpse into what he felt when he was high. This may seem like a stretch but I think he is aware of the similarities between the two songs. In the intro he says ..

“ I’m Discombobulated/ Let’s take them back (Accents)” 

Déjà Vu released in 2009 as part of his Relapse album. The album was notorious for Marshall’s use of accents in songs like My Mom, Bagpipes from Baghdad and Insane.

In songs where Eminem uses drugs as a reference, it is not surprising for him to also mix in a little Shady humor. He is always ready to say something goofy like, 

I will tell you, apply your lips to my dick, it’s one size that fits

I just took an aids test and the doctor said to think positive

What the fuck?”

Eminem started once again venting out his repressed anger with the release of Kamikaze (2018) but it doesn’t end there. He takes Ja Rule out of NoLifeShaq’s toilet, only to flush him down once again, with the bars: 

“Just flew the coupe, the cops are in hot pursuit

But the day they catch me is the day 50’ll call a truce

And squash the feud with him and Ja and Ja’ll actually spit a bar

That’s not from a Dr. Seuss book and he’ll start a group”

To refresh yourself about the 50 and Ja beef, check out Diverse Mentality’s video which dives into it in detail. 

Getting back to the song, I believe no Eminem song is complete without real heavy BARS. This song is filled with wordplay but my favourite bar is:

“Same Marshall Bruce in that battle who lost to Juice

Who also used to sound like Nas on “Live at the Barbeque”

Now I got the juice, wouldn’t beef if I was you”

When he says, “in that battle who lost to Juice”, he referring to his 1997 Rap Olympics battle against rapper Juice. And at the same time, he is also referring to his past battles with drugs (a.k.a Juice). If you remember, he almost OD’d in 2006 and then took a long hiatus from rap. Then made his come back with the feature in Drake’s Forever in 2009.

But then he goes on to say, “Sound like Nas on ‘live at the Barbeque’/ Now I got the juice, wouldn’t beef if I was you”. In this scheme, he naturally shouts out to Nas but at the same time plays with the whole barbeque-beef double. Fucking brilliant !

Overall this song does have a nostalgia feel to it and takes me back to the 2009-2010 Eminem. I really do wish he brings back the accents soon, cause man that shit he did on Ass Like That and Bagpipes from Baghdad was crazy!

I would be posting reviews on rap songs on a weekly basis going forward. If you enjoy the content please like and subscribe . If you don’t, let me know why.

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How Indian Media damaged the Indian Culture

Opinion Piece

We Indians are extremely proud of our ancient culture but know 0 about it. We have strayed a long way from what our ancestors did and any call for introspection is treated as an attack. We are an extremely proud bunch who don’t think that we need to change. Not even a bit. We are a bunch of narcissists. 

For this hypocrisy, I blame India’s mainstream media. Let us take a closer look at the main pillars of Indian media: News Channels, Bollywood & the TV industry.

News

Back in 2006, Indian news media experienced something, they didn’t know at the time, was a pot of gold. TimesNow began the NewsHour Debate featuring Arnab Goswami. Initially what seemed to be a promising endeavour in bringing out truth and justice, eventually lost its moral lustre and became as moral as the MLAs they were interviewing. 

Arnab Goswami is infamous now, through several memes, for inviting guests and verbally abusing them on his show. The reason it captivates many viewers is because Indians viewers adore their precious soap-operas; and spiking the news with a little masala induces the same kind of catharsis. 

Now I feel this formula is very detrimental to the culture as it implies that the viewers have to choose a side. You can be either on the winning side or the losing side. And trust me, Arnab is always on the winning side. Not for his sharp wit or his exemplary debating skills, but because of his high-pitched screams that override whatever his opponents say. As the YouTuber, Shwetabh Gangwar, rightly said in one of his podcast episodes, “There is no concept of ‘let’s agree to disagree’”. It is an ego-fuelled battle that affects the viewers in very dangerous ways. With this my-way-or-the-highway mentality, Arnab is known to spread his rightist propaganda.

It is now common for almost all news channels to follow this format, to compete for views. The Indian masses are very gullible and they know exactly how to play them.

After an eternity of releasing BS, Bollywood was finally on the right path, addressing various inherent societal issues through films like Thappad, Tamasha, Kapoor & Sons, Dil Dhadakne Do etc. But the news channels were quick to discredit the industry through various allegations following Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

Bollywood 

Just because Bollywood currently makes some relevant and impactful movies does not mean it was ALWAYS conscious. For decades together, Bollywood movies have normalized rape & racism, discredited mental health and has promoted mysogyny. 

YouTuber, Anmol Jamwal from Tried&Refused Productions has a Matlab Kuch Bhi series where he shares bizarre plot points and totally bigoted scenes from Bollywood movies. A scene that baffles me is from Varun Dhawan’s Judwaa 2, where his character comes across some Jamaican folk in a tunnel, who try to mug him. He reacts in a 100% cringe way by speaking in Jamaican Creole and doing a junglee dance, finally escaping from the situation.

This kind of cinema has been going on for a while and has deeply impacted modern Indian culture in negative ways. At least, with OTT platforms, there is a push for better cinema to be produced. I do believe that if Bollywood addresses the right kind of issues, giving up profits for once; it will impact people in the right ways. We Indians, are absolute admirers of our film stars and hold them to a very high pedestal. Hence any change that begins with Bollywood will be a change that will diffuse into society faster.

Television

I have a huge problem with Indian television soap operas. They are the most boring and dull things I have ever seen. Apart from having bland and absolutely bizarre storylines, they display some seriously messed up subliminal messages. 

A YouTuber, Jaya Pathak, accurately points out that the most common theme in every soap opera is: A rich entitled “businessman” meeting a poor “commoner” girl and getting married to her. The girl is a damsel who needs to be supported by the guy, and is the punching bag of the Saasu Maa. Eventually, over time, she gets empowered by the mother-in-law and her husband and is then permitted to follow her mediocre dreams. The concept of a corporate, working woman is non-existent and they end up as being the ‘vamps’. 

But again OTT platforms have created a need for better quality content. Has that completely stopped the industry, though, from putting out cringe-worthy and regressive content ? Short answer, No. The latest pieces of BS that was thrown to the Indian (and Global) audiences were Indian Matchmaking and Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives. 

We have a long way to go and we need to start somewhere. Culture is developed from the media we consume and if we don’t fix the media, we will soon turn into a divided country filled with narcissists and bigots.

But that’s just my opinion. Please share what you think in the comments.

Law 3: See Through People’s Masks – Summary

Laws of Human Nature (Robert Greene) series

Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders
Tommy Shelby from Steven Knight’s Peaky Blinders is a master at reading people

Premise

The essence of what is described in this chapter is that people can lie with words but the body can never lie.

“People tend to wear a mask that shows them off in the best possible light- humble, confident, diligent. They say the right things, smile, and seem interested in our ideas. They learn to conceal their insecurities and envy. If we take this appearance for reality, we never really know their true feelings, and on occasion, we are blindsided by their sudden resistance, hostility, and manipulative actions.”

Law in Action

Green uses the life story of American psychologist, Milton Erickson, as an example of how looking beyond appearances is key to understanding motives.

In 1919, during his adolescence, a teenage Milton Erickson was diagnosed with polio and soon his whole body became paralyzed, sparing his eyeballs. The inability to move and engage socially with people proved to be a boon to him rather than a curse. Like he got some sort of a superhuman strength, he maximized the use of his eyes and ears and noticed something that no one ever bothered to observe: Nonverbal behavior.

During the course of his bedrest, he analyzed conversations that occurred between his sisters and found it to be quite peculiar.

“In the course of the next day he counted sixteen different forms of nos he had heard, indicating varying degrees of hardness, all accompanied by different facial expressions. At one point he noticed one sister saying ‘yes’ to something while shaking her head ‘no’. It was very subtle but he saw it.”

Soon Erickson recovered, however, by continuing to observe and analyze every facet of non-verbal behaviour: physical movement, walking patterns, breathing patterns, intonation etc, he was able to decipher the deepest emotions in people.

Realization

First, we must understand that masking our emotions is a natural human tendency

“We learn how to conceal from our parents or siblings exactly what we are thinking or feeling to protect ourselves in vulnerable moments. We become good at flattering those whom it is important to win over”.

As primates, we relied on basic facial expressions and other kinds of nonverbal communication. This is something that is deep-rooted in us even though we later developed language systems to communicate. To understand people is to read between the lines. It is to look deeper than the mere words they use.

“To miss this information is to operate blindly, to invite misunderstanding, and to lose endless opportunities to influence people by not noticing what they really want or need”.

Keys to master this law:

  1. Learn to observe
  2. Decode basic nonverbal cues
  3. Become proficient at “Impression Management”

How to start observing non-verbal cues better:

  • Start small by noticing one expression that contradicts what a person is saying. Try noticing this in another person. After this, try to notice those minimal yet existent patterns of behavior. Focus on a person’s microexpressions. Medium has an amazing guide that shares a whole range of different micro expressions.
  • Move to more complex nonverbal cues, like intonation.
  • Mirror a person’s mood and behavior to loosen their guard.
  • Establish their baseline mood and expression: Their default mood/expression in a neutral situation. This makes gauging their behavior easier.
  • Notice their behavior in different settings. Observe the changes when they talk to a figure of authority (like a boss) vs. someone they are comfortable with (e.g. a spouse or a friend).
  • Pay attention to mixed signals.
  • Sit in a public space, like a cafe, and examine the varying dynamics between groups of people. Analyze the context (is it a group of friends or a meeting) and how their body language is.
  • Notice your own subconscious movements. Analyze how you react under pressure vs. pleasure.

Common Errors while observing:

  • There is a dictionary for words but not for nonverbal cues. If we fill in the gaps with our emotional biases, ‘observing’ isn’t of much help.
  • Othello’s Error: In Shakespeare’s Othello, the protagonist, Othello, assumes his wife is being promiscuous and questions her aggressively. Due to the angry tone in Othello’s voice, his wife answers nervously. In turn, the nervousness in her answer was seen as ‘guilt’ and it convinces Othello of her promiscuity, despite of it being unreal.
  • Be aware of display rules: People from different cultures would find different behaviors acceptable.

Decoding Nonverbal Cues

Greene breaks down nonverbal cues into 3 categories:

  • Dislike/Like Cues
  • Dominance/Submission Cues
  • Deception

Dislike/Like Cues

“People’s hostile or resistant actions never come out of the blue. There are always signs before they take any action. It is too much of a strain for them to suppress such strong emotion.”

The advice here is to trust intuition, focus on microexpressions and set up tests. Notice people’s reactions when they genuinely are experiencing a positive mood. Their facial muscles are less constricted and more relaxed. You can additionally set up tests by purposely instigating them in a subtle way, with a sarcastic remark or a playful joke at their expense. By doing this, they cannot overtly display any contempt but you can notice how their behavior changes as opposed to them actually experiencing something positive.

Dominance/Submission Cues

“We do not like talking about relative power positions, and we are generally uncomfortable when others talk about their superior rank. Instead, signs of weakness and dominance are more often expressed in nonverbal communications”

Greene distinguished various ways in which nonverbal communications differ between the dominant and the weak. Starting with ‘confidence’, the dominant has more confidence than the weak. This can be seen in their open body language and more relaxed behavior. It is also suggested that dominance shouldn’t be confused with leadership as there is the possibility of being a weak leader. Telltale signs of a weak (leader) include insecurity, anxiousness, loud voice amongst other nervous behaviors.

“With leaders who are riddled with insecurities that poke through nonverbally, you can play to their insecurities and get power through this, but often it is best to avoid attaching yourself too closely to such types, as they tend to do poorly over time and tend to drag you down with them.”

For those who are not leaders, it is advised to gauge their momentum. If they are rising stars, attach yourself to them, and if they are weak and petty, avoid them at all costs.

Deception Cues

“We humans are by nature quite gullible. We want to believe in certain things – that we can get something for nothing; that we can easily regain or rejuvenate our health thanks to some new trick, perhaps even cheat death; that most people are essentially good and can be trusted.”

This gullible nature of people makes them prone to manipulation and trickery. When dealing with deceivers or liars, it is advised to just encourage them and to go with the flow. This will lower their resistance and they will end up showing more signs of tension.

Mastering Impression Management

Impression management stems from the idea that all people play certain roles and that they must play these roles to the best of their abilities

Greene provides us with six basic tips to become proficient at this:

  1. Master nonverbal cues: Science of People has an amazing blog post that shares tips on how to read people.
  2. Be a method actor: Learn how to put yourself in a certain mood by reimagining yourself in it. Also, train yourself to revert back to a neutral expression from an emotional mood in a fluid and seamless way.
  3. Adapt to your audience: Know how to behave in different situations and learn to blend in. Executive Edge Consulting provides some awesome pointers on how you can blend in a team , on a corporate level; however, I feel the tips can be used in other situations as well.
  4. Create a proper first impression: A best practice is to present a relaxed neutral front when making first impressions. In addition, Mind Tools shares 8 tips on making a great first impression.
  5. Use dramatic effects: Master the art of presence/absence.
  6. Project saintly qualities.

“The better you play your role, the more power you will accrue, and with power you will have the freedom to express more of your peculiarities. If you take this far enough, the persona you present will match many of your unique characteristics, but always heightened for effect.”

3 Tips for Writing Better Rhymes

Almost any beginner rapper knows how difficult it is to construct quality rhymes. To be a killer emcee there is a lot of work that goes into it: You need to find complex rhyme schemes, use stylistic devices, have relevant references (and the list goes on !) However, with these tips, you can get started on your journey to being a good emcee.

  • Have Rhyme Book: Everyone remembers that iconic scene from 8 Mile where B-Rabbit like an alien is jotting down rhymes in the back seat of a shabby public transit bus. Well guess what….it really helps !Be creative and try to rhyme as many words as possible. When you have a strong ammo of rhymes you can use, constructing verses is one step easier.
A snippet of my own rhyme sheet
  • Break down multisyllabic words and find corresponding simple words that rhyme with each part. This opens up a wider pool of diction you can use in your raps. For example Stockholm (Stock/Holm > Chalk/Board, Rock/Thrown, Stock Bones)
  • Emulate your favourite rapper: For me personally, the greatest wordsmith ever is Eminem and I routinely study his flow, cadences and rhyme schemes to understand what makes his songs such killer concoctions. Eminem has a way of bend rhyming to make loosely rhyming words bend and fit perfectly in his schemes. Here are some songs that I feel really highlight his rhyming skills : Infinite, Sing For the Moment and Rock Bottom. These songs have a much slower flow than his current ones and are easier to follow. Find yourself an emcee that you really admire and breakdown their verses to see what you like about them or what makes them really unique.

ILL Tone gears up to launch music video of ‘Up in My Head’

The suspense rises as rapper/producer, ILL Tone announces that the music video to the title song of his latest EP, Up in My Head, drops tomorrow. This weekend, I had the opportunity to interact with him via an email interview and got a sneak peek into what the MC had going on in his mind. 

Rapper and producer ILL Tone

You recently released an EP titled, ‘Up in my Head’, what inspired you to do this project? What message do you intend to convey with it?

Originally, I meant for the EP to be a full length album, but I relapsed while working on it, after having been clean from drugs for more than two years. I was so messed up that I couldn’t keep the project organized. I was trying to make the beats and write the raps, and was planning to engineer it myself. Around half the songs I’d been working on were centered around chemical dependency, so I decided to finish them off and to scrap the rest. Many of the verses describe my battle with mental illness and substance abuse, but also my journey to overcoming these obstacles. Am I Good Enough (one of the tracks on the EP), a testament to the self-doubt I felt while struggling, was a late addition. It was produced by a friend of mine, Dylan Sterling, who is now deceased.

You additionally announced that you are releasing the ‘Up in my Head’ music video on Wednesday. How do you feel about that and what are the responses you are hoping for?

Pretty stoked to release the video! It was shot and edited by Clicks by Klauss. He’s doing a lot of work on Vancouver Island where I live, and rightfully so. He’s a beast. I’m happy with his production. We’re gonna push this out to thousands of people and hopefully reach some new ones along the way.

I love the tracks in the EP and one particularly stood out for me: ‘Clubs n Drugs’. For me, it was a song with stellar punchlines and it also highlighted your ability to switch and rap in different cadences. More importantly, I know the song comes from a special place as you did have a bad relationship with drugs before and came out of it. What was that like?

It’s no secret that live music and substances, particularly alcohol, go hand in hand. It was always difficult for me to exist in the hip hop scene as a live performer while trying to abstain. When I’m in my shit, I’m a man of many vices. Back in the day, I relied heavily on chemicals to get loose. I thought they enhanced my ability to hype a crowd. Since cleaning up again, I’ve learned that I was lying to myself. I’m at my best without all that stuff. Everyone else can do as they do, but I, too, will do as I do.

You have also headlined for some really proven and tested MCs ( Some may even call them GOATs) for eg. Talib Kweli, Xzibit and Rakim to name a few. Did you have a chance to interact with them? What was that experience like?

Actually, when I opened for the three MCs you just listed, I didn’t get the opportunity to interact with any of them. Those were great shows, though. Xzibit, especially, brought a pretty ridiculous live set. I rocked that opener with a huge Movember ‘stache, which was hilarious. I did, however, tour in Europe with the Beatnuts and got to know them pretty well. Solid dudes. JuJu and Les were really cool and the tour was a lot of fun. Back when I was living in Vancouver, I hopped on a lot of bills with a lot of legends and often got the chance to chill. One night, I slayed a soundcheck with Tha Alkaholiks, I met Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and was once schooled on some shit by Fredro Starr from ‘Onyx’.

On a recent post you mentioned that, when you opened for Xzibit, some individuals passed some inquisitive looks to you because you don’t fit the image of a rapper to them. But as you proved your lyrical capabilities, all judgment was forgone. The irony is that currently, we have a set of rappers (loosely defined as ‘mumble rappers’) who look real thug but don’t add lyrical value to their raps. On the other hand, there are generic-looking MCs who are lyrically amazing. What do you think of this direction in which hip hop is heading: a direction in which imagery is valued more than the craft of MCing.

Oh man, I think it’s ridiculous that sounding and looking as ridiculous as possible has become what some people consider “ridiculous”. I used to say, “That shit is ridiculous!” when something was crazy-lyrical or whatever. Now I find myself saying, “That shit is ridiculous,” when something’s actually just ridiculous, as defined in the dictionary. I’m not too in touch with what’s happening these days and I’m sure that good rappers still exist, but some of what I’ve heard is just objectively terrible. And just for the record, nobody judged me too hard on that occasion. 

Do you have any other projects in mind ? What might they be about ?

Well, unfortunately, I’ve got a legal thing that could result in me going away for a while, but I’ve got another EP fully written and ready to record. It’s my best material yet. Planning to sit on it until shit blows over. And there’s a second new EP in the works that flows as a story about the exact situation that I’m in currently. I don’t wanna give too much away!

Any closing comments you would like to add?

Major thanks to everybody listening and major thanks to all the people in my network who have been helping me stay clean and sober. Without my supporters, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I’ve been doing. To my family, too, I love you.

To learn more about ILL Tone please visit : ILLtone.bandcamp.com

For latest updates about the rapper and his music follow him on:

Facebook.com/ILLTONESMUSIC

Instagram.com/ILLTONESMUSIC

YouTube.com/ILLTONESMUSIC

open.spotify.com/artist/4WgKtyDoZBK7FGZtp35n7A

Using instruments instead of picket signs to protest Vancouver busking ban

“I would like Arts, Entertainment and Music to be part of Vancouver’s COVID agenda. To work towards something we can do safely as opposed to something stopped completely.”

Bo Henrik, a Vancouver-based RnB artist, alongside many other street performers, is challenging the City of Vancouver’s ban on busking by bringing (the proverbial) it to the streets. The demonstration will be held on Oct. 2nd and instead of raising picket signs, these artists will perform live in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Social distancing and street performances

As of Sept. 8th, the City of Vancouver declared a “temporary” ban on street performances and busking due to “public health and physical distancing requirements”. 

Henrik challenges this idea by sharing an instance of how he and his band had successfully organized safe and socially distanced live show events. During the summer, Henrik and his band had toured all around Vancouver and Kelowna where they had performed a total of 20 outdoor live shows. “We did those shows very safely, we ensured social distancing the same way other business or other events that are safely held right now are. We made sure people used masks, hand sanitizer, and stayed six feet away from other groups.”, says Henrik. He goes on to add that there was not a single case of COVID 19 from busking events and it is hypocritical to open restaurants, bars, and schools and at the same time ban street performances.

Live Performances vs Social Media Live-streaming

Henrik says that the difference between performing live shows on the street and performing live on social media platforms is big. “[With Busking] it is very clear whether or not people like it. Either people stop [vibing to your music] or they don’t.”, says Henrik, “ It is a very genuine thing. It is very grounding.”

When it comes to livestreaming, Henrik says that it is a good platform where an artist can experiment with his craft and be a little more intimate with their audience. They can share things that they traditionally would not. “But what livestreaming does not offer is a feeling of togetherness and a human connection you get from experiencing live music with other people.”, says Henrik “and to get that feeling of connection […] you don’t need to be too close. You can do it safely.”

Artistry too is a profession that is affected by COVID 19 as the shutting down of clubs led to a massive lack of gigs available.

Therefore it is imperative that we support the idea of busking as it adds innovation and creativity to Vancouver’s music scene and more importantly it is also an alternative source of income for these affected artists.

To learn more about Bo Henrik visit: https://www.bohenrikmusic.com/
Check out his music at: https://open.https://open.spotify.com/artist/7gfzMy7phu41DchhSqed5M.com/artist/7gfzMy7phu41DchhSqed5M

Can Kr$na bring Desi Hip Hop into the International arena?

Kr$na released his latest single Say My Name on Monday, Sept. 14th where he provokes Muhfaad and Emiway to ‘say his name’ instead of sneak dissing him. This song is not just a battle rap reply to his competitors but it also highlights Kr$na’s acumen and his smarts in the rap business.

Still of Indian hip hop artist Kr$na

Kr$na might just be the key for Desi Hip Hop to gain international recognition. There is one simple reason for this: Kr$na can rap bilingually. Apart from Brodha V, he is the only mainstream rapper that uses complex rhyme schemes while rapping in English. Most importantly he makes sense!

Emiway too has previously rapped in English and has impressive collaborations with western artists like Dax and Macklemore. He does have a unique voice and sound but he still cannot appeal to western audiences as there is still a language barrier. Moreover, when he tries to rap in English it sounds like syllables are thrown around to make rhymes work just for the sake of rhyming. It sounds completely non-sensical and lazy.

Kr$na on the other hand did something revolutionary in Desi Hip Hop. He released Say My Name in both languages, Hindi and English. He is aware of the advantage he has over his peers and by creating two versions of the same song, he opened himself up to a much wider audience. Subsequently, highly acclaimed Youtube reactors like No Life Shaq and Scru Face Jean took notice of this English version and made reactions to it. With this, Kr$na has tapped into a whole new audience. He is now seen by the same people who watch reaction videos of songs by Eminem, Royce da 5’9, Yelawolf, Jay-Z etc. To some degree, he has gone beyond the Desi hip hop scene and is competing in the international arena. It is needless to say that this was just pure marketing genius.

I for one believe that this is a well-thought-of chess move on Kr$na’s part and by doing this he sets himself apart from his competition. 

Tell me what you think in the comment section below, can Kr$na get international recognition for Desi Hip Hop ?

The Laws Broken Down #2

A summary of the ‘Laws of Human Nature’ by Robert Greene

Law # 2 Transform your Self Love into Empathy

Premise : All of us lie somewhere on the scale of narcissism. We constantly seek the rush that comes from people paying attention to us. In a way it makes us feel worthy.

Dilemma: There is only a finite amount of attention one can dedicate towards someone or something. The ‘attention’ shown towards you exists only for a moment and people largely do not care after a certain point.

Solution: To cope with the scarcity of attention available, people form images of themselves early on. It is something they can latch on to when they feel some sort of inner turmoil. Understand where does each person (that you are dealing with) lie in the ‘narcissistic’ spectrum and in turn you will get a better understanding of the image they create. (Greene, 2018, pg. 42 – 43)

Tips for Mastery:

  1. Know the narcissism spectrum and where you lie on it.
    • Deep Narcissists operate at one end of the spectrum. They lack a coherent sense of self or ‘image’ to latch onto when faced with turmoil (a.k.a they lack self-esteem). (Greene, 2018, pg. 43)
    • Functional Narcissists are at the halfway mark (most of us belong to this category). At this point, there is some degree of narcissism involved but there is a coherent sense of self to latch on to.
    • We must achieve to be Healthy Narcissists. These are people who are scarcely affected by the ‘hits’ of attention they get. They do not rely on it and can recoil quickly from tumultuous situations that prick their ego. (Greene, 2018, pg. 47 – 48)
  2. We must strive to master both, Visceral and Analytic empathies. Visceral Empathy is an attempt to understand the emotion that influences people’s intentions. On the other hand Analytic Empathy is to use data from speech, body language and other external factors to analyze and dig deeper. You need to analyze enough to get an insight into childhood trigger points of the person. It is based on the fact that people’s emotions leak into speech and expressions.
  3. Work towards developing these empathetic skills.
    • Interact with more people. More people = More data.
    • Pay attention to ‘direct feedback’ and ‘indirect feedback’. Direct feedback is when people verbally confirm or negate the ‘thoughts’ or ’emotions’ you guessed. Don’t ask them explicitly for feedback but be skillful in your approach. Indirect Feedback is from the rapport you have built with the person. The more ‘comfortable’ they are around you, the more proficient are your empathetic skills. (Greene, 2018, pg. 50 – 53)

To learn more about Robert Greene and his catalogue of work check out his website @ https://powerseductionandwar.com/

Bibliography

  • Greene, R., 2018. Laws Of Human Nature. London: Profile Books Ltd., pp.43 to 53.

The Laws Broken Down # 1

A summary of the ‘Laws of Human Natureby Robert Greene

Law # 1 Master your Emotional Self

Premise: Everyone believes they are rational but people are guided by their base emotions (i.e ‘hunger for power, attention and money’) as it soothes the ego. This is known, as what Greene (2018) defines as, the Pleasure Principal.

Dilemma: Human beings have to focus on something. They have a need to worship and direct their energies towards some object and for most people it is their ego.

Solution: Try not to focus on the ‘ego’ but on Nous.

Nous as what I understood is the natural order of things. It is the universe in its most absolute and factual form. It is the world when we do not look at it through the lens of emotions. (Greene, 2018 , pg. 19)

Tips for Mastery:

  1. Know the types of irrationality. Greene (2018) describes Low-grade irrationality as one that stems from the subconscious impact by moods and emotions. They are responsible for most of your biases. He defines High-Grade irrationality as one that results from an aggravation in emotions. It makes you excited and reactive.
  2. Know to what extent you have these Biases:
    • Confirmation Bias: We tend to look for evidence that supports our existing beliefs.
    • Conviction Bias: If your belief in something is strong, it must be true.
    • Appearance Bias: What you ‘see’ is the absolute truth.
    • Group Bias: The belief that you are not impacted by your social spheres or groups. The misleading thought that all your beliefs are formed on your own accord.
    • Blame Bias: The skewed belief that you actually learn from your mistakes. In reality, one’s ‘introspection is limited’ and blame sways towards ‘circumstances, others or momentary lapses of judgment’.
    • Superiority Bias: The belief that you are more rational and ethical than others. (Greene, 2018, pg. 29 – 31)
  3. Understand Trigger Points from Early Childhood. When pressure is applied on a trigger point it inflames the emotion and results in high grade irrationality. Learn to step back (either literally or mentally) and dig deep into the reactive feeling you had. It helps if you record it in a journal.
  4. Understand your experience with Sudden Gains or Losses. Unexpected gains boost our ego and make us repeat a mantra that might not exactly work and a sudden loss might induce an irrational fear in us.
  5. Look out for pressure moments. Only in a high pressure situation does one’s true nature ooze out. Most of the time, people conceal their true identity with a mask. Look at how you operate under stress. Learn to master your ‘mask’ in a moment of intense pressure and see how people act in these moments.
  6. Watch out for inflaming individuals. These people have a ‘larger than life’ image and trigger powerful emotions in others. See through this mask and understand the reactions they bring about in yourself and others.
  7. Understand how your vision, emotions and behaviour changes with different groups you hang out with.
  8. Accept people as facts. You can’t easily change their beliefs. Treat each person like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle; you have to figure out their strenghts and ‘rough edges’.
  9. Increase your reaction time. Try to take couple steps back, calm down and then formulate a reaction. A helpful tip is to role play with yourself how you would react to particular situations. (Greene, 2018, pg. 32 – 40)

To learn more about Robert Greene and his catalogue of work check out his website @ https://powerseductionandwar.com/

References

  • Greene, R., 2018. Laws Of Human Nature. London: Profile Books Ltd., pp.19 to 40.