Resistance/Susceptibility to Influence | Girls Chase

Resistance/Susceptibility to Influence

Chase Amante

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susceptibility to influence
Everyone out there is trying to influence you. How susceptible are you to that influence – and how susceptible are those around you?

I wanted to write a quick post (that turned out not to be so quick) on resistance and susceptibility to influence. This article is something of a cousin piece to my piece on grouping and herding in dating from last week.

The subject of this article - resistance and susceptibility to influence- goes for you and the people around you. Your friends, your family, your workmates, your lovers, partners, and dates.

Everyone is susceptible to the influence of other people and forces. The degree of susceptibility varies from person to person, and situation to situation. Some people are more easily influenced than others. Some situations make it easier to influence people than others. Most people are only marginally aware (at best) of their influencability.

If you are susceptible to influence but do not realize it, other people can step into your mind and make you think things and believe things you might not really want to think or believe. This can lead you to taking actions you might previously not have agreed with. Sometimes this turns out to be beneficial; sometimes not really.

For an example of the beneficial sort, I had a friend in university who influenced me to apply for an internship with Nike and pick up a minor in supply chain. Until this friend, I did not care about getting a job after school, was doing the minimum necessary to get through school, and disdained the idea of internships. Yet because of this friend, who'd had an impressive co-op run building a new supply chain process at Tyco, I grew excited about getting a good job and doing better in school. I didn't get the internship, but came in second in a pool of 200 candidates and got some very valuable feedback from the interviewer which played a key role in me getting the job I did get, a year later. I got more a lot more focused on school and got straight As again the next semester, for the first time in years. And I got my dream job on the first try - I zeroed in on them and the job fair and blew their socks off in my interview. Had that friend not influenced me, none of that would've happened.

Years later, I was in a startup where one of my business partners influenced me to open up the purse strings more than I thought was wise, against my instincts and all the reading I'd done on startups spending all their money too quick being one of the #1 reasons they go under. He influenced me to do a number of other things more in-tune with how he thought we should do things and less in tune with how I thought we should. We ran out of money and I had to close the business and lay everyone off. The partner who'd influenced me to spend more managed to negotiate the rights to the business away from myself and the other partner (despite having joined the startup much later, and having taken far more capital out of it than he'd put into it), then sold those rights to another group of founders. The business is now a successful venture-backed business doing everything I originally wanted to do, and would've had it do... had we not run out of funds so quick.

I don't regret the experience (I enjoy Girls Chase much more as a business; and I received a lifetime of invaluable lessons in negotiation, predatory partnerships, and sticking to your guns - plus a healthy dose of business confidence after I found I'd been right all along), but the outcome was a direct result of that business partner influencing me to act in ways contrary to how I'd have acted on my own.

Every human being is susceptible to the influence of other human beings. There are no exceptions to this. Locate the strongest, most resolute human being in the world, and I guarantee you we can find a way to make him crack with enough time, and the right people, in the right situation.

The question we want to look at today though is how susceptible vs. resistant are you and those around you?

Chase AmanteAbout the Author: Chase Amante

Chase woke up one day in 2004 tired of being alone. So, he set to work and read every book he could find, studied every teacher he could meet, and talked to every girl he could talk to to figure out dating. After four years, scads of lays, and many great girlfriends (plus plenty of failures along the way), he launched this website. He will teach you everything he knows about girls in one single program in his One Date System.

GET CHASE’S ONE DATE SYSTEM

Comments

Carlos's picture

Good info here on something many might not be aware of.

I don't know if you've noticed, but the more resistant you are to influence, the better you tend to be at not getting emotional or hung up on topics. You are much less likely to be triggered, for lack of a better term.

This article reminded me that I have been consuming too much media recently. I've always felt the most "zen" like when I didn't expose myself to things that we're constantly trying to influence me.

I think it's better to stay away from people/things that are constantly trying to directly influence you on something you do not deem important enough to bother with.

Because I've noticed that even if you are resisting the influence of something, like say a political view, it still tends to leave you worn out. If you can understand.

Author
Chase Amante's picture

Carlos-

Sure, I have absolutely noticed all these things.

I've largely stayed away from news media most of my adult life. However, during Barack Obama's initial candidacy, and during Donald Trump's initial candidacy, I got sucked in with fascination both times. Then continued to consume news media for maybe another 6-8 months after each man had won the presidency either time, before breaking free again. But during that time (especially the 6-8 months after either man won the presidency), the news usually had little to say, and no real worthwhile information, but lots of drum-beating tribalism about how great this side is or how terrible that side is.

Even then, still takes me a few months to finally say "This is sucking up all my energy and giving me absolutely nothing in return" and yank myself away for good (or at least until the next major presidential campaign in 6.5 or 7 years. Watching the actual attempts by masterful influencers to sway voters is worthwhile, IMO. Also IMO, you can get as caught up on current events - economics, geopolitics, domestic social/moral issues, etc. - as you need to by tuning in once every 6-7 years, consuming a ton of varied media over the course of a year or year and a half, then tuning out for another 6-7 years. The world changes a lot slower than the media like to try to tell people it does).

Because I've noticed that even if you are resisting the influence of something, like say a political view, it still tends to leave you worn out.

Yes, resistance is draining. It's why it's so much better to be on the offensive in any kind of influence battle... when you're on the offensive, the other side just gets more and more drained resisting you. It's much more energizing to be the one using influence tactics than the one resisting them.

When it comes to news media, there's no way for you to be the influencer. You are in a receptive role. Either you get to enjoy some vicarious feelgood emotions reading about your side winning, or you read stuff that makes you angry or resistant, and end up drained. And the feelgood emotions are never compensation enough for the draining emotions.

Chase

patrick7star's picture

Chase,

The description you made of "Jackals" sound like someone who is opportunistic and/or cares about winning more than truth. Some people that are like this can act psychopathic, where they're fully aware that they're employing X attitude/belief to achieve Y gain - if that's the case, are they truly jackals? As in, a psychopath may have a true, hard to influence belief structure but present another to manipulate people.

There are others who, being so focused on the Y gain that indoctrinate X into their lives without being aware of it. Adopting X becomes attractive, and so they use their peripheral route of thinking rather than their central (elaboration likelihood model). Do you see this as a form of self-deception? Say, the listener in this scenario isn't being persuaded 1 on 1, but rather collecting information from many sources, cherry picking the attitudes and bits that align toward Y gain - does this make them a jackal?

I'm someone that can get stuck in meta-cognition a lot, and can tend to overthink things like this (where identities conflict with attitudes/behaviors, or true motivations behind behaviors become incongruent). I understand that the use of jackal, wildebeest, and elephant were metaphorical, but was hoping you would be willing to elaborate in this direction.

Thanks,
Patrick

Author
Chase Amante's picture

Patrick-

Yes, 'opportunistic' is a perfect way to describe someone who's a jackal. If such a person is being disingenuous to achieve a certain end, that's normal jackal behavior. For instance, if you're trying to influence him, he may actually adopt a view if he truly is convinced it's beneficial to him. But he may also just pretend to adopt it, if he thinks pretending to be convinced will help him get something he wants from you. His true adoption or pretense of adoption will come down to where he sees the gain - does he gain from adopting the view? Or does he gain from just making you think he's adopted the view?

Someone who's cherry-picking information that reinforces his views isn't necessarily a jackal. That's more just him being human. All humans are subject to confirmation bias... however, elephants and jackals are more aware of this tendency, and are more conscious to avoid it than wildebeest are.

Is confirmation self-deception? I'd say so, yes. It's a way someone can prop up a belief that he feels the need to hold, for whatever reason. It allows the individual to shut out potentially dissonance-inducing information and screen in more affirming input.

Chase

mk's picture

How do you know who you should let influence you? Like stated, we can't just go off somewhere and spend the rest of our lives alone. How do we ensure that the people we have around us will only affect our views positively. This is a great article. I have wondered about how much I should allow other people and their viewpoints to affect my life. Ironically, a Christian background renders you more resistant to change or influence, once you manage to get out of it that is.

Author
Chase Amante's picture

MK-

That's a good question! I start by looking for people with balanced yet nuanced views. If I see any of these though:

  • Person is extremely emotional about something

  • Person holds absolutist / black-and-white views

  • Person uses negative influence tricks (shaming, accusations, dramatics, mockery)

  • Person has bland, unnuanced views ("The truth must be somewhere in the middle!")

... I throw that person out as someone I will allow to personally influence my views, as much as possible (not all influence is conscious), at least on the topics he's guilty of these on. Doesn't necessarily mean I may not agree with or support that person or get along with that person, especially if he's an intelligent guy and/or our interests are aligned, but I'll be a lot less open to his influence on those areas where he is obviously biased.

I find reading the classics to be the best way of opening oneself up to influence. If a book's been around for 500-3000 years and people are still recommending it as excellent, it's stood the test of time and probably has very valuable lessons. I let myself be influenced a lot by people like Plutarch and Confucius, and they generally have very nuanced yet balanced views. Both these men have convinced me to pay a lot more attention to 'virtue', which was not something I consciously cared about or strongly valued before them, for instance.

Another thing I pay attention to is if someone is able to reel himself back in if he goes a little too far into emotional/biased territory. Everyone's guilty of it sometimes, but if someone can realize it and say "All right, I was a little emotional there, it's not really like that, it's more like X", that tells me this is a person who is able to recognize when bias has gotten the better of him, and is actively trying not to be inaccurately influential. I'm a lot more open to influence with people like that (assuming they do not have too much of those other negative traits above).

Agreed, any kind of strong religious background has that resistance effect.

You'll also tend to notice many of the most extreme social and political ideologies are held by people without religious backgrounds - presumably because they are a lot more susceptible to conversion to and radicalization by ideologies that use the same tools as religions to convert and motivate members, and lack the resistance to this they'd have had they grown up in influence-attempt-heavy environments.

Chase

John Greco's picture

Hey Chase,

Really useful article, that goes along with the "Why nice people need hard rules" of yours.

I have a question, about cluster b girlfriends/friends, particularly the ones with narcissistic tendencies. They usually are people with very rigid belief systems, that they refuse to change even if you present them with facts, because what matters most is for them to be right and powerful. So keeping them around will eventually crumble your defenses since they use repetition ALL the time. Plus if you combine that with the fear of loss (for example, you feel your girl is scarce, something you may believe partly, because SHE influenced you to believe by rambling how unique/different/awesome she is) then you have some pretty dangerous jackals, even if you are a hard-skinned elephant youself.

Is it best, after you've been burned, inevitably, a couple of times, to avoid those malevolent people, or is it a better strategy.

Also questions about revenge, and I really hope you make an article about that, it would be great:

Is revenge worth it ?When is it? What's the best way to take revenge, if you choose? Have you ever done it?

My deepest appreciation to you, like always.

Cheers, John.

Author
Chase Amante's picture

John-

Great observations on Cluster B jackal types. Your paragraph on these was a nice encapsulation of what it's like to be around these people (rigid belief systems, repeated insistence on their own uniqueness to drive up scarcity, unceasing repetitive influence attempts).

After you've been burned a few times, one of two things will happen:

  • You will have learned what you needed to from people like this, realized they cannot change, and discovered they have lost most of their appeal to you and their mystique has evaporated. You now meet them and say "She seems fun, but I know how that'll go and I don't have the bandwidth for that kind of relationship" and move on.

  • You have learned some lessons, but still feel enamored with them, and still have that 'starstruck' feeling around them that less ostentatious people fail to create in you. So you continue to pursue people like this and continue to get burned.

On revenge... I've been guilty of it a few times. I try not to indulge in it, and the rare times I do I am careful not to take it too far and to make sure the other person always has the option to just apologize and then I'm through with it. I only do it in response to really nasty situations, and usually only where I need to ensure this other person gets the message to look for easier prey.

Revenge certainly has a social function, and a psychological one. There's a reason the behavior evolved. By the same coin, it is 'dark side' tech. It's one of those things people ask about but not something I'd ever like to teach. You know, like I could teach "how to make a woman your slave, willing to do anything you want!" and there'd be plenty of guys who'd lap that up... but it's not something I'd ever be comfortable actually teaching. Anything I think would create more harm in the world than help, I cannot teach. Just personal morals.

Chase

John Greco's picture

Hey Chase..

Firstly, I really appreciate it, that you replied to me even after two months..!

Second, yeah my father's a narcissist and so was my last long term girlfriend. Pretty sure that I was enamored with that girl, partly due to having such a toxic person as a parent. It was something that I had to face though, in order to start fixing the issues I have from that - currently I haven't spoke with my father for almost a year now, and luckily the same applies for my last girlfriend. I'm quite obsessive as a person and this has it's ups and downs (as you've already mentioned in "How to Master Anything" article of yours ), so I've studied a lot about them as people, in order for me to understand them and the effects they have on me.

The good (or maybe bad, depends how you see it) is that I've learned quite a few of their manipulation tricks and I can defend myself much better...or use them against someone..! Altough, as you've said too about revenge, this is mostly "dark side" magic - and I guess I'm too empathetic so whenever I catch myself go there I try to restrict it.

On what you've said about revenge...Dude, you're like Yoda of social arts :D. Seriously though...it's funny how revealing that you possess "dark side" power that you don't like to use and more importantly teach, makes you sound so much powerful. It certainly works byronically-great with the ladies that last paragraph of yours...!(but you've probably already know that, haha)

Maybe, you can write an article for alternatives - and how to think at times to overcome that primal urge for revenge. That is certainly on the "bright side" of things.

Cheers, John

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