81+ Best Robert Greene Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Robert Greene is an American author known for his books on strategy, power, and seduction. He has written six international bestsellers: The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law, Mastery, and The Laws of Human Nature. Profoundly inspirational Robert Greene quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

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Famous Robert Greene Quotes

Always remember that your calmness under fire is your best defense in any argument or discussion. Robert Greene

When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others. Robert Greene

Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once it slips, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Robert Greene

If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid. Robert Greene

An elusive, enigmatic aura will make people want to know more, drawing them into your circle. Create such a power by hinting at something contradictory within you. Robert Greene

Keep your friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent. Robert Greene

With colleagues in the work environment, we fail to see the source of their envy or the reason for their manipulations; our attempts at influencing them are based on the assumptions that they want the same things as ourselves. Robert Greene

Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life’s artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist. Robert Greene

Your life must be a progression towards ownership first mentally of your independence, and then physically of your work, owning what you produce. Robert Greene

Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are. Some people are slow to take offense, which may make you misjudge the thickness of their skin, and fail to worry about insulting them. But should you offend their honor and their pride, they will overwhelm you with a violence that seems sudden and extreme given their slowness to anger. If you want to turn people down, it is best to do so politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is impudent or their offer ridiculous. Robert Greene

On a career level, I always advise people to look ahead and be open to changes in direction. That job that seems so good now can easily turn into a nightmare if you do not see the possible corners it can land you in. Robert Greene

Think of it this way There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done. Robert Greene

We are often attracted to the wrong things, whether it be money, fame, or approval. Robert Greene

Many a serious thinker has been produced in prisons, where we have nothing to do but think. Robert Greene

Let me spell it out with the psychotic boss, nothing you do is ever quite right. They set traps, asking you to do things, and no matter how hard you think of accomplishing it in their way, it is wrong and you are to blame. This tends to instill a lot of fear in you. Robert Greene

But the human tongue is a beast that few can master. It strains constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will tun wild and cause you grief. Robert Greene

I know My God commands, whose power no power resists. Robert Greene

Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others that is too high a price to pay. Robert Greene

When you get angry, your options narrow. Robert Greene

The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways. Robert Greene

A master performer like Bill Clinton never lost sight of the fact that as president he had to project confidence and power, but if he was speaking to a group of autoworkers he would adjust his accent and his words to fit the audience, and do the same for a group of executives. Robert Greene

Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies. Robert Greene

If a person is successful, we imagine they are probably also ethical, conscientious and deserving of their good fortune. This obscures the fact that many people who get ahead have done so by doing less than moral actions, which they cleverly disguise from view. Robert Greene

There is nothing more intoxicating than victory, and nothing more dangerous. Robert Greene

We are often raised as dependents then given over to teachers. It’s experience and exploration that can transform us and lead to mastery. Robert Greene

Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter. Robert Greene

As social animals we humans are very sensitive to our rank and position within any group. We can measure our status by the attention and respect we receive. Robert Greene

Understand people will constantly attack you in life. One of their main weapons will be to instill in you doubts about yourself  your worth, your abilities, your potential. They will often disguise this as their objective opinion, but invariably it has a political purpose  they want to keep you down. Robert Greene

Why regret anything? Where does it get you to regret anything you’ve ever done in your life? It gets you nowhere. It’s a pathetic emotion that you can wallow in. Robert Greene

When our emotions are engaged, we often have trouble seeing things as they are. Robert Greene

I don’t want to throw mud at anyone I really admire Gandhi as a brilliant strategist but Gandhi was pretty manipulative, you know. Robert Greene

No one is really going to help you or give you direction. In fact, the odds are against you. Robert Greene

Everyone assumes I practise all of my own laws but I don’t. I think anybody who did would be a horrible ugly person to be around. Robert Greene

Be wary of friends they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them. Robert Greene

If you change and adapt your persona, you are seen as inauthentic; if you stay the angry young man, you fade from attention or seem tiresome. Robert Greene

People around you, constantly under the pull of their emotions, change their ideas by the day or by the hour, depending on their mood. You must never assume that what people say or do in a particular moment is a statement of their permanent desires. Robert Greene

Female psychotic bosses can be particularly devilish. They will tend to mix in a lot of passive aggression, making you feel guilty for all kinds of things. Robert Greene

You choose to let things bother you. You can just as easily choose not to notice the irritating offender, to consider the matter trivial and unworthy of your interest. That is the powerful move. What you do not react to cannot drag you down in a futile engagement. Your pride is not involved. The best lesson you can teach an irritating gnat is to consign it to oblivion by ignoring it. Robert Greene

People have more freedom to bring more of their personal qualities into the role they play once they have established themselves and their competence is no longer in question. But this is always within limits. Robert Greene

The time that leads to mastery is dependent on the intensity of our focus. Robert Greene

Be extra careful in the work environment with those who like to maintain their position through charm and being political, rather than getting things done. They are very prone to envying and hating those who work hard and get results. They will slander and sabotage you without any warning. Robert Greene

For the future, the motto is, No days unalert. Robert Greene

When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open ended, and sphinxlike. Robert Greene

Few are born bold. Even Napoleon had to cultivate the habit on the battlefield, where he knew it was a matter of life and death. In social settings he was awkward and timid, but he overcame this and practice boldness in every part of his life because he saw its tremendous power, how it could literally enlarge a man even one who, like Napoleon, was in fact conspicuously small. Robert Greene

Ambition has become a dirty word, and I believe it is a great evolutionary force for the positive. If people fail or go astray in their ambition I can live with it but not with people lowering their expectations, wasting time, slacking off and glorifying failure and stupidity. Robert Greene

People are more complicated than the masks they wear in society. Robert Greene

Mastery, I learned, was not something genetic, or for a lucky few. It is something we can all attain if get rid of some misconceptions and gain clarity as to the required path. Robert Greene

In the future, the great division will be between those who have trained themselves to handle these complexities and those who are overwhelmed by them those who can acquire skills and discipline their minds and those who are irrevocably distracted by all the media around them and can never focus enough to learn. Robert Greene

Mastery, I learned, was not something genetic, or for a lucky few. It is something we can all attain if get rid of some misconceptions and gain clarity as to the required path. Robert Greene

To succeed in the game of power, you have to master your emotions. But even if you succeed in gaining such self control, you can never control the temperamental dispositions of those around you. And this presents a great danger. Robert Greene

Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite inspire fear and insecurity. Robert Greene

Remember The best deceivers do everything they can to cloak their roguish qualities. They cultivate an air of honesty in one area to disguise their dishonesty in others. Honesty is merely another decoy in their arsenal of weapons. Robert Greene

Evil or manipulative people don’t need a book, they just do it anyway. Robert Greene

When you meet a swordsman, draw your sword Do not recite poetry to one who is not a poet. Robert Greene

A person who is truly authentic doesn’t need to play a role in life, we think, but can simply be him or herself. Robert Greene

Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content, The quiet mind is richer than a crown. Robert Greene

Emotions are continually affecting our thought processes and decisions, below the level of our awareness. And the most common emotion of them all is the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. Robert Greene

A Prince asked the dying spanish statesman, Does your Excellency forgive all your enemies? I do not have to forgive all my enemies, answered the stateman, I have had them all shot. Robert Greene

Power is the measure of the degree of control you have over circumstances in your life and the actions of the people around you. It is a skill that is developed by a deep understanding of human nature, of what truly motivates people, and of the manipulations necessary for advancement and protection. Robert Greene

Never be distracted by people’s glamorous portraits of themselves and their lives; search and dig for what really imprisons them. Robert Greene

Once people are aware of your presence, and perhaps vaguely intrigued, you need to stir their interest before it settles on someone else. Robert Greene

Never whine, never complain, never try to justify yourself. Robert Greene

As social animals, we are extremely susceptible to the moods of other people. This gives us the power to subtly infuse into people the appropriate mood for influencing them. Robert Greene

Do not fight them Instead think of them the way you think of children, or pets, not important enough to affect your mental balance. Robert Greene

Weak character will neutralize all of the other possible good qualities a person might possess. Robert Greene

The key to power, then, is the ability to judge who is best able to further your interests in all situations. Keep friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent. Robert Greene

Ethics and power are separate. Robert Greene

The human tongue is a beast that few can master. Robert Greene

The wisest hustler can suddenly fall for the worst tramp and lose all of his money on her. The hustler is aware of his own weaknesses and openings to con. This awareness is his edge. Robert Greene

Oysters open completely when the moon is full; and when the crab sees one it throws a piece of stone or seaweed into it and the oyster cannot close again so that it serves the crab for meat. Such is the fate of him who opens his mouth too much and thereby puts himself at the mercy of the listener. Robert Greene

Power works best when it is indirect never coercing people; instead, getting them to voluntarily align with your interests. Robert Greene

Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live. Robert Greene

I had noticed that many of these successful people, historical and contemporary, shared certain common traits. They had a way of thinking that was exceptionally fluid; they could adapt to almost any circumstance; when confronted with problems, they could look at them from novel perspectives and solve them. Robert Greene

It is in fact the height of selfishness to merely consume what others create and to retreat into a shell of limited goals and immediate pleasures. Robert Greene

Remind yourself that winning an argument or proving your point really gets you nowhere in the long run. Win through your actions, not your words. Robert Greene

There is too little mystery in the world; too many people say exactly what they feel or want. Robert Greene

Smooth functioning of social life has always depended on the recognition of certain basic limits to behavior. We cannot simply say or do anything we wish, or offend people, without paying consequences isolation, ostracism, etc. Robert Greene

Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others experience. Robert Greene

Understand as children and young adults, we are taught to conform to certain codes of behavior and ways of doing things. We learn that being different comes with a social price. Robert Greene