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Influencing people

  1. Jan 26, 2014 #1
    Well, I feel that I don't have the power to influence people. For example, when I was studying in grade 7, bullies always targeted me. I felt lonely. No friend of mine supported me. No one sided with me though though I was morally right. I am silent in nature and no one sides with me. If I am violent, no one sides with me. I am the loser in the fight with troublemakers. Have you faced similar problems? Have you thought that you could not influence people ?
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  3. Jan 26, 2014 #2


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    I've never felt a need to influence people, if you are right, people usually are on your side. Being violent isn't a good trait, and not surprising if people avoid you. Why do you feel you need to influence people? What are you doing that alienates people?

    Maybe if you evaluate what you are doing that turns people against you, you can work on changing.
  4. Jan 26, 2014 #3
    I liked to be silent and kind but my old school boys never liked that. Groupism was present in my old school ( i was new to the school then and language was a big problem. So they started targeting me) and peer pressure was maximum. I was not good at sports and I was fat. Added to it, I was short. I was treated unfairly while playing.

    I evaluated myself then, changed a lot, and got good friends but the fear of being neglected ( inspite of not doing a mistake or getting the punishment for others faults) still dominates my mind.
    Also by "violent" meant having to fight back when others hit.
  5. Jan 26, 2014 #4


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    I somewhat recognize this from my own background. Somewhat. I was kind (still am, I hope o:)), but I was not very silent. I am more careful when I speak nowadays, I think. I hope :biggrin:.

    I'd say, silence can weirdly enough seem threatening to some people, who may get the feeling that you ignore them. And in an attention-seeking environment it probably gets worse.

    My own experience also tells me that kindness can weirdly enough provoke some people; my guess is those people who get provoked by kindness have troubles with their self-esteem/self-respect - they may feel inferior/bad when somebody else shows kindness. It's weird, I don't claim I understand it :frown:.

    Regarding violence, I am of the opinion that general aggression is bad, and physical aggression should never be accepted. I see three good ways of dealing with aggression:

    * Learning to spot dangers and dangerous people ("streetwisdom"), in order to avoid them altogether

    * Learning some basic self-defense + train your running if you ever need to flee :smile:

    * Use the rules, law and report to authorities if needed

    Good friends are worth very much!

    There is another thing I'd like to mention, something I've noticed in my own experience. A troublesome person may become less troublesome if you meet and talk to him/her in private (that is, when they are alone) and if you do it face-to-face (this is to counteract peer pressure from his/her peers); if you give him/her some respect and attention, and maybe find a common interest, you may end up receiving respect and attention from the troublesome person. If the troublesome person is a dominant one in the group, his/her new view of you may spread in the group. I've had success with this.

    Note though, I am also of the opinion that some people just don't seem to get along together - but there are always ways to handle it. I am also of the opinion that some groups of people (e.g. groups with destructive behavior) should be avoided altogether.

    Note though, all I speak of is from my own experience - I don't claim to be an expert on this. :wink:
  6. Jan 26, 2014 #5


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    Well you are influencing some people right now with your post, which, granted, is a small influence in the grand scheme of things, but indeed an influence. Just being around other people has an influence, you can realize that; your presence will have some affect upon their choices to be made and behavior. In your old school they appeared to behave, unfortunately, in a not very positive manner, and that can say as much about them as about you; but being on the receiving end of groupism, as you call it, will influence your outlook on life just due to the lopsided nature of the interaction(s).

    We all do ( at least I think we all do ) as a human, a social animal, have a fear of being neglected, rejected, dismissed, cast out. There are exceptions such, as the obscure solitary hermit living in his cave, but that is another topic. Humans interact and discuss things, which can be as simple as deciding upon a movie to go see, or more complex such as witnessed in the political arena. How much influence an individual person will have on the outcome of the exchange of ideas is somewhat relative to certain factors, such as the size of the crowd, the knowledge the individual has about the subject, just to name a few. Speaking out is one way to be heard and share your own idea about a subject, most likely there is someone else with a different idea, and others also. Whoever's idea is preferred by the assemblage of persons does not necessarily mean that they ( the owner of the winning idea ) had more influence; it could mean that, but again, not necessarily. The owner(s) of the losing ideas should not feel shunned or neglected either - it is that the other idea seems better.

    Making mistakes, and getting crapped on for someones else's mistake, is part of life. You will just have to accept that. Dealing with the mistake and addressing the being crapped on, is quite important.
    As an example, a boss of a company has to accept that a customer will chew him out for a mistake made by an employee. The customer wanting a solution, will wince at hearing, "It wasn't my fault", as a excuse. The boss has to address the problem since it is his position and responsibility to do so. Is that unfair - being chewed out fo someone elses mistake and having to take the time and effort to fix it?
    While a specific example, you should be able to see how that might have some relevance on how you are viewing mistakes and punnishment.
  7. Jan 26, 2014 #6
    Assuming you are actually morally right, which, despite the common tactic of trying to legitimize both sides by claiming that "the truth is somewhere in the middle", is entirely possible, this is more common than you may think.

    It's very common for nobody to side with you even if you're right. Maybe privately, in their hearts, they will, but they'll usually be too afraid to say so. About 160 years ago, if you refused to hand over an escaped slave to his master, the President of the land of liberty called you an extremist who deserved execration! This probably doesn't cheer you up, but it might help to at least know that the problem isn't on your end.
  8. Jan 27, 2014 #7
    I do like your approach to these troublesome people. But what I feel is that talking face to face with that person about the problem could make others feel about me as "weak". I will definitely try this approach.
  9. Jan 27, 2014 #8
    Yes, my post did influence some people. It is weird that the world(mine atleast) always blames the victims rather than the wrong-doers. But your post really gave me encouragement to be calm when charged with false criticisms/attitudes.
  10. Jan 27, 2014 #9
    I don't know what to say to be honest. You have no right to say you were right and they were wrong and blabla everybody hates you still, it is you against the world and whatever other misery there is in the dictionary.

    People side with confident people (subjectively speaking). If the bullies seem dominant over you, who would have the courage to step in anyway and become a martyr for your hide? The only thing to save yourself is to fight back. I don't care which is right or wrong, I fight back if I'm attacked - if I get beat up, then fine, but once you show others you are not afraid you gain their respect and if you stand up for yourself those bullies just get tired of it and look for other prey. It sounds stupid, of course, but that's how primary school goes.

    Once you manage to stand up for yourself with no fear, it already influences others plenty. All in all, just don't think about stuff that doesn't matter. I don't know which is more important for you, saving your skin and running with your tail between your legs every time or trade a couple of stitches, maybe a bleeding nose and a black eye for them to leave you the hell alone. Fight fire with fire

    Now you can judge me so it would be fair ^^
  11. Jan 27, 2014 #10
    In the real world, being able to influence a group of people comes down to confidence and charisma.

    Many of the things I've seen posted in this thread simply don't matter in the real world.

    There is such a thing as social intelligence. Bill Clinton is a great example of someone with very high social intelligence. I don't care what you think about his behavior, policies, etc. He has the ability to walk into a room and own it...and for reasons that have been totally missed in this thread.
  12. Jan 27, 2014 #11
    I don't think Bill Clinton visits these boards.
  13. Jan 27, 2014 #12
    I do visit these boards.
  14. Jan 27, 2014 #13
  15. Jan 27, 2014 #14


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    It sucks to be bullied.

    In elementary school (ie grade 7), it's very likely that other kids recognize general bullying behaviour and that on some level they want to do something to stop it, but they are unable to do so for several reasons.

    First, they are unable to articulate specifically what's wrong and this generates uncertainty in the proper course of action. For example, bullying by exclusion is difficult to explain to a teacher or call someone out on. By the time the behavior gets to a point where it can be explained, it's gone on for quite a long time.

    Second, there is a cost-benefit element that resticts bystanders from taking action against the bullying. Most bullying behavior takes place under overwhelming conditions in favour of the bully - physical bullying pits a physically larger/stronger kid against a smaller/weaker one, social bullying pits a large group against an individual or small group. The only direct cost to a bystander in doing nothing is that the bullying make turn at some point in the future to him or her. However, the potential cost of siding with a victim could be huge since it requires the bystander to potentially subject him or herself to the bullying behaviour. If enough bystanders are willing to accept this risk they can speak out and stop the bullying behaviour, but each one has to make an estimate of the probability that the others will all do the same. The problems with that include that (i) the bystanders in most circumstances can't all confer discretely, and (ii) most humans are notoriously bad at estimating probabilities.

    So in a situation where you are being bullied the cards are stacked against you if you are hoping to somehow influence the bully to stop or influence the bystanders to side with you.

    It's hard to give you options for dealing with bullying without specific scenarios, but here are some general thoughts that might help.

    1. Don't be afraid to talk to adults or teachers about it. I know there is pressure to not "go crying to the teacher" but they may be in a position to give you the tools to deal with the specific circumstances when they're not around. And they will often have tools and resources to stop stiuations from escalating. Even if it seems like they've done nothing, simply telling them creates a record of events that others are aware of and this can open up numerous options down the line.

    2. Start a joural and record anything and everything in it that might make you feel uncomfortable. This may help you to identify specific patterns that you can interrupt early or help you to avoid particular problematic situations. It also gives you a written record that can help you if you ever need to escalate to taking legal action against a bully.

    3. Focus on positive, constructive things that you enjoy. And try new things. Joinign new groups can help you to make new, good friends.
  16. Jan 28, 2014 #15
    Do not go to cry to teachers, other supervisors or your big brother at school and tell on the bullies. That is fuel to the bullies' fire. You can ask them for general help, but in all honesty, they can't help you and also this problem cannot be tackled by logic, since there is no logic as a reason to bully you will be found regardless of how you try to oppose them INDIRECTLY. Like I said, the best way to fight fire is with fire - you could also try to pour water over it but if it is a huge fire, how much is little water going to help, hmm? You think you won't get burned if you try to stay out? Think about your situation as an island of forest, you have places to hide, but inevitably the fire will catch you Unless you fight it and save yourself some of the forest to peacefully live in. Only then you can start growing the forest back, which takes time not try to plant seeds of plants and trees while there is a fire raging.

    Eventually this thread is just about "my way, your way, his way, her way, no way" - do what you want to do.
  17. Jan 28, 2014 #16
    People, the guy is in undergrad.
  18. Jan 28, 2014 #17


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  19. Jan 28, 2014 #18
    If someone is still getting "bullied" in college, then they have some major behavioral issues on their end.
  20. Jan 28, 2014 #19
    No, I am not bullied nowadays but the fear of bullying remains(due to the old school).
  21. Jan 28, 2014 #20
    People pick up on lack on confidence and that's why you're unable to influence them. Whatever it is you lack confidence in (intelligence, looks, whatever) start by confincing yourself otherwise and people will pick up on that.

    Stop caring and start interacting with people. Pick something that's just outside your normal confort zone and start doing it....even if it's just smiling and saying Hi to random people. Work your way up to starting conversations. Eventually you'll notice a change in the way they interact with you.
  22. Jan 28, 2014 #21


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    This is called victim-blaming.

    Bullying occurs in college. It occurs in the workplace. It occurs in retirement homes.

    As adults we give it different names. Examples include harassment, intimidation, hate-crimes, blackmail, elder abuse, financial abuse, etc. But it's still bullying.
  23. Jan 29, 2014 #22


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    I'd say, if someone is still bullying in college, then they have some major behavioral issues on their end.

    :thumbs: Spot on, bull's eye. I couldn't agree more.
  24. Jan 29, 2014 #23
    Perhaps.....but if you're seriously getting bullied in college then chances are you're not the quiet nerd sitting in the corner by yourself reading Anime and World of Warcraf forums but are doing something that warrants people going out of their way to "bully" you.
  25. Jan 29, 2014 #24
    a) You don't read animes you watch them, mangas on other hand are read.
    b) People generally don't go out of their way. Bullying is more of an hobby*.
    c) its Warcraft not warcraf.
    *Yes, I am speaking from experience...lets just say some people mistook my reluctance for inability of violence.
  26. Jan 29, 2014 #25
    Oops, that was just me typing too quickly. I've watched anime and played WOW myself. No shame there, just giving some examples. In my experience, though, the people that get called out on their behavior are the ones who are trying too hard to be funny, nerdy, whatever and just come across as annoying to everyone else. I'm in no way an advocate of violence.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
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