Influencing Others Online

Introduction

In this article, we are going to deal with this concept right from the basics. We are going to see the importance of hobnobbing with the right people, making the right friends, and we are going to go more basic than that and see how we should win people over and influence them.

Have you ever come across the adage – A person is known by the company they keep? Almost every language on planet earth has some kind of equivalent to this proverb.

This is a clear indication of how important it is to choose the right friends. In fact, we could extrapolate this statement and say that it is important to choose the right kind of people to be around with.

Yes indeed! Friendship has changed drastically in modern times. No more is it about having people physically present around you to qualify as friends… in fact, people who you have never met could have a lasting friendship with you.

The Internet, and more recently the Web 2.0 phenomenon, has drastically changed how the world perceives friendship.

In this article, you may go through a gamut of emotions. You may feel happy for having the right friends, and you may feel despondent about not having the right friends.

You may see that the people around you are well-meaning and beneficial to you, and you may see that some of them are not quite what they appear. In any case, we are going to tell you how you can make the most of what you have and have the right people to move around with.

This could well be a journey of self-discovery for you.

Human Beings Are Social Creatures

Human beings are often described as social creatures. We are almost never found alone, and even when we are physically alone, we are constantly thinking about other people in our lives.

When was the last time you thought of a plan that did not include anyone else? When was the last time you saw a dream in which there were no other people but you?

It does not happen that way with us. Everything that we do consciously or otherwise needs to have other people in it. That is the way nature has ordained us to be.

From the point that we are born till our last breath, we want people to be around us. Maybe the only time in our lives when we do not want people to be with us is when we are sleeping, but even that is not entirely true, is it?

Even when we sleep ‘alone’, we want other people to sleep in the same room as us. How many people should I tell you about who would not get a wink of sleep at night if they had to sleep alone in a room!

But, the most amazing thing about this socialness of our behavior is that we can induce habits in other people. The way we live—the social part of our living—influences other people whether we want that to happen or not. It actually brings about a change in their lives, however small that might be.

We need people around us to help us. We need them to do our small and big tasks, and we do things for us as well. We need people to live with us.

We need people to share our thoughts and ideas with. We need people to go to work with, to study with, to exercise with. These are things we do not, and can not do alone.

And, at the same time, we know that we have to do things for them too. Though we accept it or not, at every living instant of our day, we are doing things with others in mind. You work for money probably, but at the end of the day, you know that whatever it is you are selling is a requirement for someone. Businesses would not have existed on earth if we had not been social beings.

What Is a Friend In This Century

The concept of friendship has undergone a renaissance of sorts. Our previous generation, when they would announce someone as their friend, it usually meant that they were together at school or work and that they spent a lot of time together.

It usually meant they were people with at least a few similar tastes and interests and who hung around together. In those times, people made friendships for a particular reason – because they were in school or at work together or that they lived in the same neighborhood. Hardly did their friends go out of their niche!

But that was the time of compartmentalization. Friends, like everything else, were compartmentalized. We had school friends, college friends, office friends, church friends, soccer friends and so on. It is funny even to think of that now.

In today’s times, such slotting is definitely not possible. You may meet your friends in a particular place, but it is not necessary that they stay there. They will soon spill out to other areas of your life as well. This is how friendship is in today’s world… they do not stay put in just one area of your life; they spread out all over the place.

The networks run deeper as well. It is more likely that a ‘school’ friend of yours knows your office colleague and so on. The exclusiveness factor just does not exist anymore.

Why has this radical shift happened? To a very great extent, the Internet is responsible for it. Today, we are all very active on social networking websites, whether it is Facebook or Twitter. We are all over the place.

These social networking websites are such that they show the whole world who your friends are. You cannot keep them hidden anymore. Soon enough, someone is going to see someone they know and another network starts building right then and there. The Internet has made our personal lives so public that immediately everyone knows what’s going on with us.

It is not that these networks did not exist in the past. They did. The only issue was that in those days we did not have the social networking websites that we have today. For that reason, people whom we knew through somewhere remained there.

They did not get to know much about the private part of our lives and hence they did not get to know much about the other people associated with us.

So, has it become easier to win friends and influence people in this century? Well, it has definitely become much easier to make friends today.

You can expand your own network, you can make your friend’s friends your friends, you can even find out people who are interested in you so very directly. It has become very easy to find friends and send them requests, and they will accept as well.

But, has it become to influence friends? This is actually the part of the story that we have to concern ourselves with more. We have friends all around us today, but we will have to put in some effort in order to influence them.

The influencing part isn’t going to happen just like that; you have to do some work there. At the same time, I am not telling you that it is difficult. It is not.

In fact, you can influence people much easier today because you have so many platforms to play your game. But you need to know how to go about it the right way.

Friends at Work Vs. Real Friends

We often mistake acquaintances for friends. This happens in several cases. One of the most common cases is when we mistake our work acquaintances for real friends. People at work can be made friends, but they are not necessarily friends by default.

Thinking that work people are friends is a notion that has its roots in our past way of thinking. We used to think that anyone we spent time with was a friend. That is not necessarily true.

The intention of this article is to tell you how you can win friends and influence people in today’s times. Though that is not very difficult to do, one of the essential first steps is to know how to recognize a friend.

Hence, you should know what qualities ‘do not’ make a friend as well.

Here, we have taken work friends as an example. But, the discussion applies to any other kinds of friends as well.

In order to be able to effectively make friends and influence people, you should have an innate understanding to realize who your true friends are, and who are simply your ‘work’ friends.

Who Can You Count on?

Earlier, I said that the proverb ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’ does not hold much water in today’s times, and I stand behind that point.

But, at the same time, there is no refuting the part that it is important for you to know who of your friends will stand with you in those bleak, difficult times.

Indeed, a true friend is someone who can help you in times of adversity. Now, think about your friends at work and your other friends. Suppose you have a financial problem. You need some money urgently. Who will you approach?

Think about this point. If necessary, write this on a piece of paper. Then circle the names of all those people who you can bank on… the people who you will not hesitate in calling up if you are passing through lean times.

There will be people who you know won’t bother to dirty their hands to remove you from the tight spot, but then there will also be people who are ready to help you. It is these indications that can help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Who Will Be with You?

When you think about who your real friends are, it is a good idea to think ahead. Think about the person two years down the lane. What do you think – will they still be in contact with you?

With most friends we make in schools, colleges and at our workplace, the friendship is only because we are doing something together. Once that common bond is broken, it usually happens that the contact itself is lost, let alone the friendship.

Is that going to happen? If it is, then perhaps you should not consider this relationship as a true friendship.

A true friend is one who will be with you beyond the barriers of time, irrespective of what phase of life you are in. Though they might not be physically present with you anymore, they will surely keep in touch. And now, there are so many more options to stay in touch.

The Importance of Creating Impressions

Why is it important to create impressions on people? A significant part of that answer would be because we are not solitary individuals.

We spend all our time living with other people and interacting with them… well, at least we spend most of our time with others! People are important in our lives.

So, it is important to create the right impressions on them. People will act and react to us according to their perceptions about us. They will soon build up a persona for us, and they will react accordingly.

What we get out of people—who form a major part of our lives—will depend on the impression that we have created over them.

For example, if we give out the impression that we are polite and soft-spoken, then many people are going to behave with us in the same manner as well. These people may act differently with others, but with us they will act in the way our impression has built upon them.

A boss in a company gets a different behavior from the people he meets than an auto mechanic at a repair shop. Even if these people are the same, they react differently with the boss and with the auto mechanic. Why is that so? This kind of reaction is based upon the impression that is created by these two personalities.

At the same time, we should acknowledge the fact that the way people react with us is a very important deciding factor on how we lead our lives itself. Our actions in life are a culmination of the reactions we get.

It is a vicious circle actually. People react to us according to the impression they get from our personalities. And then, we get molded according to the reaction we get from people

The impressions we create influence people’s reactions towards us, and then these reactions shape our personality.

However, even though this is a circle, you can take control of it. You can do something that can improve the situation for you in vast measure.

The one thing you can do is to try and improve your personality. Improve the impressions that you are creating on people. Try and leave a positive mark on everyone you meet.

This will automatically change people’s perception of you. They will want to meet with you and react with you in a totally different manner. If your personality changes for the better, then the reactions you get will be totally positive as well.

How To Impress People You Meet

When you are trying to win friends over, this is the most important thing you will need to do—impress people. You have to ensure that the impressions you build are positive, so that people will react to them in the right manner.

You have to make sure that these impressions are constructive and helpful to the people you meet so that they meet you again and become your friends. You have to leave a good taste in their mouth. They should reminisce about you with fond memories.

Think that is a very difficult task to achieve? It is not! All it takes is probably some minor adjustments in your behavioral patterns when you meet people. You have to rise above thinking about yourself and it works.

Here are 10 different things that you should absolutely make a part of your personality:

  • Get Introduced
  • Be Attentive
  • Ask the Right Questions
  • Be Confident About Yourself
  • Let Them Speak
  • Use the Right Expressions
  • Show Your Care and Concern
  • Talk about Yourself
  • Be Honest and Frank
  • Invite People Over

The Right Approach to Impress People Online

We have seen how online people can be completely different from the people you meet in the real world. They are different because they do not have an idea about what they are like, and they do not have any idea about you either.

This makes your association difficult. Though you may have come in contact with each other over some common thing, keeping that communication going can be a difficult job.

Here are the ways in which you can impress your online people and seek long-term associations with them as well.

Keep these things in mind when you are interacting with someone online and you will be surprised to see that you can make lasting relationships with them as well, regardless of the fact that they are in a totally different time zone than you are in.

1: When you are dealing with people over the Internet, remember that they will not want to get too personal too soon. Hence, it is best to limit your conversations to general talk at the start.

Keep the tone cheerful and happy when you communicate with them and do not do anything inappropriate like asking their personal details. Stick to casual conversations.

2: Most people on the Internet are looking for something. Even if they make people, there is some end motive that they are looking for. If you find someone on a social networking website, they are trying to socially network with you.

They are trying to communicate with you so that they are able to network and build a group maybe. If they get in touch with you through your blog or through an article that you have written someone, then it is understandable that they are looking for information. If you found them at an online store or on a review website, then they are interested in buying products.

You should know that even if these people are communicating with you, they have some other intention too, apart from the mere conversation. If you can keep them in mind and help them with that other intention of theirs, then the people could become more meaningful.

Like, if you make people with someone who visited your blog and commented on it, then it is a great idea to give them more information. That becomes your common bond which reinforces your influence with them.

3: Remember common Internet courtesies. There are things that you should keep in mind when you are communicating with them, through chat or email.

Now, writing in all caps is considered to be rude, akin to shouting, and that is something you should definitely avoid. It is also best not to use too much slang, especially if that person is from another country.

Slang is region-specific; what is acceptable in your country may be an impolite insult in theirs. Do not use too many Internet abbreviations. Though acceptable, they can get to be too demeaning if used too much. Moreover, they make you seem unprofessional.

4: Another thing that you have to keep in mind is the communication itself. It is always considered a good thing to communicate with the person regularly, through whatever medium you prefer. If you are on a social networking website, it could be a great idea to ping them occasionally.

If you are on chat, then send them a casual message or at least an email. Such communication reminds them of you. It is easy to forget people whom you don’t see, and on the Internet that is so much more possible because chances are that you have never seen the person.

Hence, it is important to keep the conversation alive. If they communicate with you, you should make it a point to always reply. If you don’t, then they may construe it like you have lost interest in them, and they will not want to communicate with you any further.

5: Make it a point to respond to people whom you invite into your friend’s list. Many people have the irritating habit of expanding their friends’ lists on social networking websites and when people accept those invitations, they don’t bother to message them at all.

When someone accepts your invitation, you should make sure to respond to them. You should thank them for accepting the invitation. You should communicate with them sometimes, just to keep the relationship alive.

It is not worth having 100,000 people on Facebook that you never respond to. Instead, it is great if you have 100 people that you are in constant touch with.

This is the Internet etiquette of the new world. You have to make sure you adhere to it. If you want to meet most people, the Internet is the best option.

Now that you know how to impress people on the Internet, the going gets easier for you. With your consistent efforts, you will be equipped to win and influence people both in the online as well as in the offline world.

Remember that this is not a one-time activity; you have to keep your behavior high at all times if you want to really get into the good books of people.

Spread Yourself Thin

Your goal is to get the highest number of friends possible. Everyone can be a friend; this is a party where everyone is welcome. Why not? It is always the more the merrier.

You can make everyone happy, whether you have just 10 friends or 100. It does not matter. There are ways in which you can keep in touch with all of them.

You do not need to speak with every friend every day. That is physically not possible. But, you should be concerned about them. The Internet has made things so much easier. Make a Google Group of your friends or a Facebook group and keep in touch with them.

Even if you send them emails constantly, these people will be in touch with you… at least that becomes a way for them to remember that you do exist!

The same applies when you are trying to impress people. You meet people at all times. Every day, you are likely to meet several new people. This is something that you should think of as an asset. Every person you meet could be a potential friend. Think of it that way.

When you meet everyone keeping in mind that they can become fast friends with you in the future, then your behavior with them automatically changes. You really work towards making them a friend just because you are meeting them with such an intention.

It does not matter how many people you try to impress. You can try and impress the whole world if you want. If you are a celebrity or a popular international figure, then that is surely going to be important to you… to impress the whole world.

Again, that is a consistent effort. Once you have built an impression on someone, you cannot take away that impression for anything.

Now, one of the most important things that you have to remember when you are trying to strike the right chord with people and making them your friend is that you have to spread yourself thin.

Spreading yourself thin simply means that you have to try and impress the highest number of people possible. There are so many people around you—every person is an opportunity – but if you are introvert who keeps shying away from people, then how is that going to happen?

The most important thing for you when you are trying to build relationships is to try and spread your charm to as many people as possible.

In short, you should not fail to impress anyone that you meet. You should always keep it working. You should always be in an effort to create favorable impressions on people.

Remember that people are trying to judge you in whatever you are doing. You have to ensure that this kind of impression always has the right impact, because only then will you be able to enamor people enough to become your friend.

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