Apply The Contempt Technique To The Things You Cannot Have

According to 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

2 min readJul 25, 2022


Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

Law 36: Disdain the things you cannot have: ignoring them is the best revenge (The 48 Laws of Power)

In life, there will always be something that you will want, and you might not get it. The key is not to focus on those things you can’t have and simply walk away from those things. It gives you the power of superiority as you are not letting yourself be bothered by them. For instance, if you are dealing with a difficult person in a conflicting situation just walk away. Don’t show any interest to win over the situation, or even the person.

For instance, you can even apply the “sour-grapes” approach to any particular situation or person that is bothering you emotionally.

The Fox and the Grapes

A starving fox … saw a cluster Of luscious-looking grapes of purplish luster Dangling above him on a trellis frame. He would have dearly liked them for his lunch, But when he tried and failed to reach the bunch: “Ah well, it’s more than likely they’re not sweet — Good only for green fools to eat!” Wasn’t he wise to say they were unripe Rather than whine and gripe?


The sour-grapes method is usually applicable for the things you are unable to have and didn’t pique your interest in the first place. Although it’s not a strong approach, it can be powerful in certain situations.

For example, if someone insults you and tries to instigate you to get reactions. Show that you are unbothered and give no attention to that situation. Because if you become emotional and react to their insults, you give them the power to manipulate you.

But what to do when you really desire something but you can’t have it? The solution is not devoting too much of your energy to the desired thing. You need to…



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Ph.D. Candidate (Mgmt)| Educator |Content Writer | Writing about things that intrigue my curious mind |