People are always affected by anything that surrounds them, be it for good or otherwise and this is how influence affects people.
We may not be aware about how social influence plays a major role in shaping our frame of mind or help us create our opinions, but definitely it helps us – as rational beings – to establish logical trains of thought based on these varied stimuli that influences us.
And this is particularly true when other people’s ideas affect ours and sometimes helps us understand the concept of one thing or another.
There are basically four common types of social influence for which society has learned to adapt and consider a part of daily life and culture.
First or the common social influences affecting people is reputation.
It has become one of the key measuring tools by which people gauge influence over others.
This is especially true among experts of their respective fields, through which they are most commonly recognized and identified with.
Their sphere of influence rests on their integrity and credibility in the field for which they are related with or are considered experts, their opinion of matters related to their respective fields of specialty are what draws the trust of those looking up to them.
This form of influence is measured by the person’s experience, educational attainment and resources, among others.
Next is charisma, this is where physical attraction, beauty, aura and strength of character is strongly associated with.
Influence is power and the fact that people can wield their influence among others manifests their strength of personality and character as well.
Self –confidence and persuasion are two of the most common traits found among people with strong charisma.
Another type of influence is peer pressure, this is where a person’s sense of belongingness and need for acceptance strongly comes into play.
However, this is the type of influence that is commonly abused and misused for negative and malicious purposes, especially by those wanting to wield their influence over unsuspecting or naďve victims, only to satisfy their selfish and dangerous intentions.
But on a positive note, peer pressure can also play very important roles in intervening or reshaping ideas that may initially sound good but without carefully thinking things over can cause a lot of damage.
Peer pressure also helps in building up character and helping others gain more confidence and self –esteem.
Lastly, persuasion is another type of influence that people use to leverage their influence on others.
Persuasion, just like peer pressure, can be responsible for many things, common ones of which are those used to gain public or mass sympathy, opinions, political beliefs and social ideas, among others.
It is important to understand that having influence is a great responsibility that one should highly consider and take good caution with, especially since it is responsible for making use of one’s advantage over others, be it in intellect, charm, power and strength of character.
If influence can be wielded to do good, it can also be used to do bad or cause harm.
So it is important to greatly consider the responsibility that one carries with his or her power of influence and at the same time, assume a sense of accountability for whatever result his or her influence can have on other people – this is how influence affects people.