Who’s that in the mirror? And what are they trying to do to you? We all calibrate ourselves to the world around us, but if we’re not careful we get caught in a hall of mirrors – lost in the warped and warping realities of other people, trapped in their funhouse.

The root of all power is to lower people’s resistance to you, but that takes time and teaching. The Mirror Effect is the perfect teaching device; the perfect mask; and the perfect weapon when used at the right time.

But mirrors, like the Laws themselves, are tools – and we can learn how to use them. Law 44 is a difficult one to get your head around, but we untangle it in this episode and lay out the core principles you need to use it effectively and protect yourself when it’s used against you.

We explore Dre’s tales of when The Ugliness Mirror was used on him, and what he learnt in the process. We reveal the hidden messages in other people’s body-language, and how to craft your own to convey the message you want others to react to.

Group dynamics are also a key factor when using the Mirror Effect: who can and should you be in any given context?  What are ‘idiocultures’ and how do they underlie all our social groupings? We also explore Jon’s skills in translating you back to yourself… and how you can use those same skills to get people to think how you want them to.

And Jon comes clean about his dysfunctional relationship with cake – and why it’s all everybody else’s fault.


This episode includes:

  • Teaching lessons to others – positive and negative – by mirroring their behaviour
  • The power of the Ugliness Mirror
  • Weaponising Narcissism
  • Counsellors – why we should all have one, but why most are total shit
  • When to accept jokes at your expense
  • The serious dangers of echoing emotionally-charged examples

Mentioned in the episode:

Challenge: Deploy the mirror effect! Use the Ugliness Mirror to reveal other people’s bad behaviour to them… Did they pick up on it? What happened next? Let us know!

Be silly. Be kind. Be weird.

Join us as we continue our 48 Laws of Power review, exploring Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling book, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually.

Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).

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