Influence: it’s like a virus

12 04 2010

I am continuously amazed by the power each of our influences has over those around us. Human emotions, outlooks, and overall states of being flow from one person to another like an infectious disease.

Many try so hard to shape those around them by controlling them. Control is not the same as influence. Controlling someone (or attempting to) is a conscious effort, requires a large amount of energy being put forth, and will likely set off a defensive resistance.

Influence takes place without effort, usually even without consciousness. You influence those near you just by being the person you are. Those who are very close to each other tend to drift together in their very being and each end up somewhere within the average of the original two.  Influence is constant, undeniable, and unavoidable.

Even in the short-term, influence is at work. Have you ever spent time with a close friend on a day when you were particularly high in spirits and he/she was especially low? By the end of the time period, you will notice that you feel somewhat deflated, but your friend seems less so. Your influence has pulled them up, while theirs has pulled you down, until you both end up closer to the middle.

Spend time with the same friend on a day when you’re both feeling down in the dumps, and you’ll likely both feel even lower by the time you part, though the comfort of support and commiseration can sometimes seem to balance the negative influence.

Paying attention to potential influence can have a marked impact on your life and the person you are. Surround yourself with people who possess the qualities you admire, those you wish you had, and you’ll find yourself possessing more of them.

Recognize that from time to time, you will come into contact with a person who is truly toxic to you. A person whose influence consistently pulls you down and detracts from your being. Removing these people from your life can be as freeing as ridding yourself of something as negative as a drug addiction.

Try as we might to be individuals, we simply can’t avoid being affected by the people we let into our lives. Some will influence us for a short while, then fade into the background, and some will leave their mark on us forever, regardless of how much their position in our lives change.

Like Herpes.

Isn’t psychology fascinating?



10 responses

12 04 2010

It’s not herpes if its everywhere….

Totally know what you mean bitch!

That’s why EVERYONE loves to be around me! No really, I shit you not. People naturally gravitate toward me because even though I’m loud, obnoxious, and all round shitty I’m usually always in a good fucking mood. AND I’m fun as hell! (DUH!)

12 04 2010

You influence people to let their inner beisty fitch out….and who wouldn’t want that? Won’t you be my fucking neighbor???!

12 04 2010

Shhhhyea bitch! I told you already! We’d get into too much trouble! There would be police involved!!!!

12 04 2010

Good point–and psychology is fun! Really liked this post.

12 04 2010

I love that you compare psychology to herpes. You’re amazing 😀

12 04 2010
Anthony Licari

Ahh yes this reminds me of when I took the Franklin Covey course on effective habits and increasing your influence to get the change you want.

On a more grand scale I see people complain about national politics like it actually matters. Even with an extremely low approval rating the executive branch will still do whatever it wants.

If people would put that energy into their circle of influence like their local policies where what they do can actually make a difference they might see a change for the better in this world.

It’s much easier to play the victim of uncontrollable variables though.

12 04 2010

That is an excellent point. Of course much of the country seems to forget that local politics exist, as they aren’t covered on Fox News.


13 04 2010
13 04 2010

Psychology IS fascinating! Though, a degree in psychology is not always particularly helpful (at least not in my experience!)

I just noticed that your blog has a little tab logo at the top. Very nifty 🙂

Lamb’s Most Recent Post: Guest Bloggers Needed!

14 05 2010

very interesting playing field if one takes the time to actually analyze even just a bit. I love your thoughts on influence as opposed to control…two very different creatures indeed~
Even the most independent thinker does not realize when he/she is being influenced as it is a media game also played very well to market just about anything through subliminal effects~
Oh yes…this topic can most definitely go on and on~

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