Whenever we try to persuade a person to change his behavior, way of thinking or decisions, we cast the nets of influence on him. Some people do it with love, others with manipulation.
I think none of us can escape them as they are a part of our life, people connected with us in one way or the other. We don’t realize till a particular age, whether being influenced is the right approach. We don’t even know that somebody is trying to influence us.
We agree to follow, out of love, respect or admiration and slowly it becomes our habit. By the time we start resenting the influence, our core beliefs and values are already ingrained in us.
So what we become is, many times, the influence of our parents, teachers, siblings and peers. A lot of people live under the shadow of these influences all their life.
If we try to wriggle out, it is with immense effort and that might affect our dearest relationships.
Is it good to influence?
Most of the synonyms of influence are negative: clout, control, domination, pressure.
“There is no such thing as a good influence. Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions.”—Oscar Wilde.
Before arriving at any such definite conclusion, lets consider why do people influence:
- To win love or trust.
- To wield their power or control.
- To show their supremacy.
- To intimidate.
- To inculcate values.
- To emphasize on their culture.
Friends, let me tell you very candidly that if you get influenced out of love and if you are ready to dance to the tunes of your partner or spouse because you love him/her, such love can never be real love. Love does not demand, it gives. It lets you ‘be’.
Trust too can never be won by exerting influence, it is built bit by bit, it doesn’t just loom out of nowhere, it is won through unconditional love, love which doesn’t burden or force to follow a particular path just because somebody wants you to.
How do they manage to influence? They play with your emotions, pretend love and manipulate you so cleverly that you fail to see their wiles. Obviously, they are trying to control your way of thinking, restrict your activities and hover around you.
When they want you to do what they like all the time, it is very clear that they try to establish their supremacy. Such people change your personality completely with their surreptitious ways before you realize it. Then there may be no turning back.
There are such influencers too; who intimidate you into believing and doing what they think is right. Whether it is done with fabricated love or threats, any such influence, which smothers our opinion or coerces us to follow is repressive.
When you start living under the shadow of somebody, you lose your own personality and your own passions. In traditional and conservative societies, Influencers get an additional argument to impose their despotic views in the name of upholding their values and culture.
Only those who are insecure try to influence others but they wear a mask of tenacity.
Those with weak emotions, tender heart and kind demeanor can be easily influenced with a little potion of love.
Indecisive persons too get influenced effortlessly. Many times they become puppets in the hands of those whom they believe to be their well-wishers.
My own personality, which was molded by the furnace of time and circumstances, strengthened by the touchstone of varied experiences, has changed a bit due to the benevolence and graciousness of people around me but I have never felt trapped in the nets of influence. However, good influence is dwindling.
Do you know such influencers? Have you ever been influenced? Do you like it? I would love to hear all the answers.
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