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Are You Decisions Truly Yours Or Are You Being Influenced?

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

I am going to be talking about how I save money, how I control myself, how I understand other people and how I understand advertising. By understanding advertising, I can understand how people in government and corporations are trying to sell me things or how they want me to behave. So, this book, The Psychology of Persuasion, touches on a lot of aspects of my life. I am going to teach you a couple of things I learned from this book. I really recommend you read it, so you can draw your own conclusions. Depending on where you are in your life, depending on who you are, what you do in life, if you are a business owner, if you are an employee, if you have a family or not, this is an informative book for you to read.

I am going to begin with reciprocation and how it works...

Reciprocation works quite simple. I give you something and then I get something in return from you. It's human nature to help others and be helped in return. Simon Sinek, the author of the book Start with Why, talks about all the chemicals that our body produces and how reciprocation actually releases oxytocin into our system, which helps to bond with others. What reciprocation does is if you do something good for somebody else, that person may feel indebted to you. For example, McDonald's in some countries used to give each child a balloon when they would come in. So, they had many repeat customers. Another example, I have a good friend who is good at reciprocation; he does a lot of good things for me and therefore I feel indebted to him. Now I know when someone is doing it from his heart. You can feel it and I know that his motives are good. Therefore, whatever he needs or wants I am there for him because he is always there for me.

On the other hand, there are people that are not genuine; they only give to you because they want something in return. You can feel it. There are those who only give to others so that others will be indebted to them. I have known people like that in my life. So, with these two different examples we can see when people have pure motives or not. You need to trust your intuition as to who has good motives.

dogs in a sofa

This next point is very important. You can learn this rule by helping others. If you reciprocate with people and whatever it may be, listen to their problems, lend a hand or do any good deeds wherever you see the need and not expecting anything back, people feel that. I do that with people, with my clients, with a lot of friends and so on. This is one of the reasons why we are always busy at Custom Body Fitness. Our members do feel that we genuinely care about them.

There are two things to learn from the rule of reciprocation...

Number one- give things away, help people so people reciprocate with you. The second thing is to be aware of people's motives, are they doing it out of a good motive, or do they want something from you?

The next point I learned from this book is about commitment and consistency...

This is so amazing, and it played a role with the coronavirus issue. The author of this book talks about betting on horses. It talks about how people, who bet on whatever horse, think that will win, they are not sure if the horse is going to win. If they choose a particular horse and they look at it and they say this horse might win for many reasons; they hear good reviews about the horse, maybe because the horse is beautiful or because its legs look strong or for whatever reason. But still, they are not sure if it is going to win. Once they decide to bet on the horse, they are committed to that horse. They think that the horse will win. There is no change in the horse; the change is that they are now committed to this horse. Therefore, they think he is going to win.

Another example of this book is when the author and friends went to a seminar where they were talking about transcending meditation. The person who was doing the presentations was talking about how they could get anything from transcendent psychology and they could make a lot of money if they signed up for a higher-level program, which would cost more money. The author's friend could see a lot of flaws and lies in this presentation. So, he decided to confront the presenter in front of the audience. When he confronted the presenter, there were many things the presenter could not explain. After that confrontation the author thought that everybody would walk out and that people would not sign up for the class. However, the surprise was that a lot of people signed up and the reason is because they had already made their mind up even before the confrontation. It is interesting how once we commit to something then it is difficult for us to change our mind.

people in gym

I made that mistake with one of my relationships. I really wanted it to work, so much that I did not see the flaws in this person; we were completely different. I blinded myself to all the things that would cause trouble in the future in our relationship. But I was so committed to it that I did not even pay attention. Looking back on everything that happened I realized that we were not meant to be. We were good people but not good together. But because I was committed, I invested two years of my life.

Make sure you do not make your mind up before you listen to all the facts, problems, and issues. Make sure you do your research on everything. Do not just trust because authority is telling you what the right thing is to do. He might be manipulating you.

The other thing I learned from this book is called social proof...

There are numerous studies that show that people tend to do what the majority does. They think that because the majority is doing it, it must be right, but that is a lie. Think about how many people got incarcerated at home when the government told them that that was the right thing to do? Think about how many people were wearing a mask, even though it did not make sense, because other people were wearing it? Think about how many people just follow the mass?

I have learned to study what other people are doing. Most people are doing something because they are being influenced. I base things on my intuition, my knowledge, and my values. I draw my conclusion and even though my decision is not popular, I make sure I stand up for my values, my intuition, and my research.

Another good influence method feeling identify with the other person…

Beautiful women, handsome guys, luxury things and things like that sell more. We also like people who tend to be like us. For example, let us say you identify with me because I am like you, because we are the same race or have the same interests. Because of that, you allow yourself to be persuaded by me. Even though you do not know if I am lying or not. Because you identify with me, you just trust me. So be aware of that, just because you like someone or identify with someone, does not mean that what they say is true. So do your research.

Sandro Torres quote

The other thing I learned is that we trust the so called authorities...

I see this a lot with Politics and with doctors. We think, because they study for many years, they are the authority, and we just follow rules without questioning if it is true or not. Now I am not saying that all the doctors are bad. There are a lot of good doctors out there, but there are also a lot of doctors that make mistakes. Remember the number two cause of death in the US is doctor’s malpractice, either people die during surgery or from the wrong medication. Many people are dying from just trusting the doctor without questioning things.

The book talks about an experiment that made me realize how vulnerable and malleable we are when we just let the authority make the rules. In this experiment there are 3 players, the authority, the actor, and the participant who is unaware of the game being played. The experiment is about hurting the actor. There are cables attached to the actor. They start with a very low volt. In this experiment the participant is told by the authority to shock the actor over and over while continuing to increase the volts. The actor continues to become increasingly uncomfortable until he pleads for the participant to stop. But because he was told by the authority to keep going, he continued. This experiment found that most people would continue because they were told to do so, but maybe only one out of one hundred would say, “No, I am not doing this anymore.” The reason is because we put our trust in authority. If something happens, we can blame the authority. Many people do not take responsibility for their actions.

This is the same thing that happened in World War Two. Whatever Hitler ordered the people would do, the police would go arrest innocent people, doctors would administer harmful medication, and soldiers would take people to camps without questioning. They just followed orders blindly. That is why so many people died. But it was the people doing harm to each other because they just followed the rules of the authority. I learned that authority does not always mean they are right. They might have knowledge, but by the end we are all responsible for our own actions.

One other thing the book talks about is how scarcity plays a role in our society...

Sandro Torres speaking

Let's say that Apple only made a few special edition iPhones. This special edition phone costs $2,000. They are scarce; you can find people who would pay almost any price for it. They think they are losing out on something. You can apply this concept in dating as well. If you like someone and you are always there for that person, always available, no matter what they do to you, good or bad, they might start to take you for granted, thinking that you will always be there. If you change, and you are not there for her as much, you are scarce, not as available as you were before, now the other person is feeling threatened, thinking she is losing you. Suddenly, now they are interested in you because you are not as available.

Are you being influenced?

That is the summary of this book. There is a lot more to learn from this book. I hope you liked it. Get this book, read it, and learn from it and save money like I did, by not being influenced to buy things that I do not want to buy simply because someone is trying to influence me or simply because I feel obligated to reciprocate. It helped me to understand myself and see how people behave and for me to take the right path instead of just following the crowd without questioning. It is better to do the right thing, even if it is not popular. Read this book.



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