Our society is highly influential… and a highly influenced society. We are fad happy trend warriors, and love every minute. Whether we are the first to adopt a new app or wear a Fitbit to count our steps, the influence of someone helped us get there and we are eager to share the sentiment.
Our influential muscles extend way beyond buying decisions. We possess abundant power that contributes to the thoughts, behaviors, and decisions of others. It is our choice whether we positively or negatively impact others. Just as one comment or review can impact a product or brand, our actions are just as prevailing. A compliment, smile, affirmation, or touch on the shoulder has the power to change the direction of another’s entire day. Accordingly, a derogatory comment or attitude can permeate an entire group of people. Attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors are contagious.
Positively engaging in social influence can encourage others to take on things they are hesitant about and more importantly increase self-esteem. Conversely, negative social influence… well, you get the picture.
It is important for us to realize that we too are highly vulnerable to the influence of others. Be aware of the drama that allures us and understand that our help sometimes actually enables others to continue a dark path.
In our crazy worlds, we likely navigate life unaware of our influence on others. Here are a few tips on how we can impact others positively:
Develop & Share a Grateful Attitude. We are fortunate to have a roof over our head, food on the table, and clothes on our backs… and we likely have much more! By appreciating what we have, our purpose becomes clearer, and we give others permission or encouragement to feel the same.
Happiness is Infectious. With many media reminders to feel sad or angry, there are even more reasons to be happy: We are alive! Our family is healthy! The sun us shining! Smile even when you are down. Fake it until you make it… even when you are blue: smile! Smiling releases endorphins and has the tendency to ease bodily tension. Seek reasons to rejoice!
Steer Clear of Gossip. Things happen… and discussing events is inevitable. Remind others not to distort events for entertainment purposes. When gossip elevates to a demoralizing or malicious nature… smile and walk away. Being associated with gossip undermines your ability to positively influence others.
Be Diplomatic. People will be people, and they will say or do things that irritate us. Choosing anger as a first reaction… will fuel people to annoy you further. Rather than justifying their behavior with a heated response, remain calm… stay in control and demonstrate to others that an ability to defuse situations yields the best result. Further, your credibility is not compromised even under tenuous circumstances.
Treat others how you want to be treated. The Golden Rule! People respond to kindness, respect, and honesty. Adopt these traits as a conscious mission. Being kind, respectful, and honest fosters trust, creates harmony, and establishes a sense of openness allowing your positive influence to be viewed as genuine.
Simply be the qualities you seek in others. Dr. Wayne W. Dryer