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If you are new to this series, please read the introduction.


Stir up Waters to Catch Fish

Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage. Put your enemies off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings.

Angry people often appear to be rediculous, because their response seems out of proportionto that which caused it. They have take things too seriously, exagerating the hurt or insult done to them. They are so sensitive to being slighted that it is comical to others. More comical, is their belief that their outbursts signify power. The truth is the opposite. Petulance is not power; it is a sign of helplessness. People may temporarily be cowed by tantrums, but eventually tantrums cause a loss of respect. People soon realize that they can easily undermine a person with so little self-control.

If possible, no animosity should be felt for anyone ...
To speal angrily to a person, to show your hatred by what you say or by the way you look, is an unnecessary proceeding _ dangerous, foolish, rediculous and vulgar.
Anger or hatred should never be shown otherwise than in what you do; and feelings will be all the more effective in action, in so far as you avoid the exhibition of them in any other way. It is only the cold-blooded animals, whose bite is poisonous.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Do not, however, repress angry or emotional responses. Repression drains us of energy and pushes us into strange behavior. We must change out perspective and realize that nothing in this game of power is personal.

Everyone is involved in a chain of events, which predate the current moment. Our anger often originates in our childhood, from the problems of our parents, which originate in their childhood, and so on. Our anger also has roots in the many interactions with others, the accumulated disappointments and heartaches. If an individual responds in anger to you, you must realize that the anger is not exclusively directed at you. The cause is much larger, goes back in time, involves dozens of prior hurts and is not worth the bother to understand. Instead of seeing anger as a personal attack, look at the outburst aas a disquised power move, an attempt to control you in the form of hurt feelings or anger.

The shift in perspective will allow you to play the game of power with more clarity and energy. Turn other people's loss of control to your advantage.

During an important battle in the War of the Three Kingdoms advisors to the commander of Ts'ao TS'ao discovered documents, which showed that certain of his generals had conspired with the enemy, and urged him to arrest and execute them. Instead, he ordered that the documents be burned and the incident forgotten. At this critical moment in the battle, to get upset or demand justice would have reverberated against him. An angry reaction would have called attention to the general's disloyalty, which would have harmed the troops' morale. Justice could wait - he would deal with the general, in time.

Imagine the pond of fish. The waters are clear and calm, and the fish are well below the surface. Stir the waters and they emerge. Stir it some more and they get angry, rising to the surface, biting whatever comes near - including a freshly baited hook.

Anger only cuts off options, and the powerful can not thrive without options. When you train yourself not to take matters personally; and to control your emotional responses, you will have placed yourself in a position of tremendous power.

Finally, in the face of a hot-headed rival, an excellent response is no response. Nothing is as infuriating as a man, who keeps his cool, as others are losing theirs. If it will work to your advantage, affect the aristocratic, bored pose, neither mocking nor triumphant, but simply indifferent

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