Is it Good to Influence?

Master with puppet

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:Personality

  • 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.

Love?

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?

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.

Control!

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.

Supremacy!

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.

Intimidation!

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.

Values?

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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©Balroop Singh     

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Moments We Love

New Poetry book

In this book, my poems focus on love, the magical word that brings along the first blush, the first missed heart-beat and also the first heart-break. Mother Nature smiles as we recline in her lap, inhaling its fragrance, weaving dreams of desire and drenching in the deluge of emotions.

Here is an excerpt from Moments We Love:

If you were rain
Would you drench me
With the deluge of your cascading fall
Inundating my urges?

Would you carry me along
As you flow into streams
Of desire, whetted by torrent
Of yearning of ages?
© Balroop Singh

I am just waiting for my editor’s nod and review.

I look forward to the support of all my author buddies and readers. Please share this post at all your favorite social networks. Thank you.

Are We Selfish?

Selfish-person-quotes-care-for-others-quotes

Are we selfish? When this question crops up in my mind, I try to seek an answer within myself first. Am I selfless? After much thinking and admonishing myself, I try to extract an honest answer out of my evasive mind…

“Well, we all have selfish tendencies –  it is only human,” my inner voice whispers.

At times I might have offered my services, done something good for others, without expecting anything in return. Is that enough?

I have given unconditional love to my children and family but another question confronts me…”doesn’t everybody do that?”

‘No, everybody doesn’t do that’, says my friend.

Why are children abandoned, abused, killed? Many of them grow up in acute neglect.

So I went on to search…what exactly is selfishness? While it was so confusing and mind boggling, two definitions appealed to me:

According to Wikipedia: “Selfishness is placing concern with oneself or one’s own interests above the well-being or interests of others.”

According to Oscar Wilde: “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”

I again asked myself: Do I fit in here? I have never placed ‘my interest’ above but my inner voice slowly speaks: “sometimes, you have!”

I ignore that voice and tell myself: I have never asked others to live according to my wishes. But these arguments didn’t melt my doubts.

Why did I choose only these definitions? Because they suit me?

This reminds me of a woman who gave up her successful career to look after her ailing husband. She was applauded by everybody and was called selfless, but she admitted that she was selfish because she had placed her own concern over and above anything else.

“A selfless act out of even the purest desire to do for others, will be selfish in the satisfaction and happiness it brings to one doing it.”―Ashly Lorenzana

My friend thinks falling in love is also selfish! Isn’t that absurd? How can the basic human emotion make us selfish?

When I try to analyze further, I agree with the reasoning: Love makes people selfish. It crosses all boundaries, it transcends all values and it drags them away into their own world. “Love is the most selfish of all the passions,” said Alexandre Dumas.

I ponder further…

Even those who work for the welfare of others are selfish as they have their own goals in mind… perhaps they want fame, power, self-fulfillment or are eager to record their names in the pages of history.

So I realized that:

  • Selfishness can be defined according to one’s own perspective.
  • Selfish traits are inherent.
  • Self- interest takes us closer to our goals.
  • Selflessness doesn’t bring any rewards.
  • Sacrifices are mocked at in today’s world.
  • The more you acquire, more selfish you become, whether in terms of money or knowledge.
  • Selfish people are actually weak, insecure and unhappy.

Let’s look within:   

  • Are you kind and considerate?
  • Are you tolerant?
  • Do you listen to others?
  • Do you really understand the feelings of others?
  • Do you respect the opinion of others?

I know we all nod to the above questions without giving a profound and honest thought to them. I also hope these questions will keep guiding us toward better understanding and enhancing our personality.

If selfishness hurts you, don’t forget it hurts others too. A little concern for people around us makes us emotionally balanced and less selfish.

Have you come across selfish people? Do you have a different understanding of selfishness? It’s your turn to share your valuable opinion.

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© Balroop Singh

Hues of Peace

Brook surrounded by green cover
Sue Vincent’s #writephoto

An escape from the outside world, a realm of serenity beckoned him. Each time he visited it to calm his inner storms, the color of nature painted his soul. A cadence of flowing water gave him new hope. He immersed his angst in the water, shared his fears with the branches that tossed them away into the air.

Dora’s face smiled from the water that cascaded downhill. A soft hand touched his shoulders. An angelic voice spoke syllables that he yearned to listen.

“I don’t want to see you here, Ron. Go home.”

“I didn’t come to meet you. This is my haven of peace.”

“But you disturb my peace. Go away. Let me rest,” her smile vanished as Dora spoke with a smoky voice.

Crestfallen, Ron walked home to face his demons alone. Moments of life grew blurry. All love crumbled as he looked at the changing colors of Dora’s picture in his living room.

My first attempt at flash fiction. Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday #photoprompt Span  

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Is Diplomacy in Relationships Good?

Diplomacy in relationships

Relationships thrive on sensitivity, trust and honesty. They have to be nurtured and understood. Diplomacy rests on the plank of ‘think, evaluate and speak.’ It encourages you to hold your true opinion, which could be helpful at work places, not within the families.

If you have to choose your words before communicating, if you can’t speak out your mind clearly, if you think your words may hurt, if you have to pretend that you agree with the other person, such a relationship can never develop beyond the surface. It can never become endearing. It may establish some business links and even facilitate an agreement between co-workers but it doesn’t build a rapport with friends, siblings or cousins.

A true friend can look in your eyes and read your thoughts. A sibling would be able to cross the bridge of camouflage that you may have learnt to erect with time and age. Your spouse too would get the whiff of walled emotions.

Sooner or later, your diplomatic answers start showing and give a mute message, which can be decoded by your spouse or an intuitive friend. They would either confront you or would start withholding their view and that is how unknown wedges are created in relationships.

There is a very thin line between diplomacy and hypocrisy.

If you want your relationships to be warm and reliable in this world, which is drifting away despite instant connections, you must keep diplomacy out of your homes.

Are you a diplomat? A checklist:

  • You don’t comment on sensitive topics
  • You avoid confrontationfantasy-3364026_960_720
  • You lie to defuse conflict
  • You just nod even when you want to disagree
  • You agree to follow up but never do
  • You promise just to please others
  • You never show your true self

There is no doubt that diplomacy within extended families promotes healthy relationships and a channel of reverence flows, comforting each one with the thought that they are loved. This delusion falls apart in the face of crisis. A teenager who rebels, a parent who refuses to accept change and an elderly member who stands in judgment are some of the situations that could push diplomatic behavior to its extreme ends. The façade could stand exposed!

Happy families are candid. They don’t wear masks and don’t detest unsavory remarks of each other. They learn to accept their imperfections and welcome criticism. They are eager to learn from their errors. They discuss all kinds of topics with an open mind. They give space to each member and respect freedom of thought and expression.

If you are outspoken and impulsive, you could land yourself in difficult situations but that is what we call a learning curve. Only an open family environment could prepare you for the challenges of life. Diplomacy has no place in nuclear families.

Tact and truth can blend well if we learn to handle sensitive situations with patience.

What is essential is:Reaching out

  • Time for each other
  • Undivided attention
  • Freedom of expression
  • Constructive criticism
  • Patience and perseverance

Do you like diplomacy? How did you learn it?

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Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

© Balroop Singh.