Online Influence, Social Influence

Poison or the shield?

All my life, I’ve fit into a special category of dealing with people and situations: beta.  Anyone who either knows betas or is beta can recognize the qualities:

  • nice/friendly
  • reserved/shy
  • cautious
  • lenient

Oftentimes people (including betas) think that having the traits above is what makes you unsuccessful. But really your success as a beta depends on how and why you’re using these traits.

Betas who are successful and influential view these traits as a drug. Not to hurt people, but to affect them. These betas know that people are naturally defensive – they have natural walls built up to protect them from simply doing what other people tell them to.

When you’re nice and pleasant to someone, when you keep critical or negative thoughts to yourself, when you are tactful with what you communicate with people, and when you are willing to yield (to an extent) to people’s requests, you help lower these natural defenses, getting people to open up to you and support you later on.

After all, how can you resist someone who is always pleasant to be around, who listens to you attentively, who is sensitive to your needs? Their effect on you would be poison in your veins.

On the other hand, betas who aren’t successful or influential view these traits as a shield, something they use to protect themselves against people. They are nice to people to protect their image. They are shy because they are afraid to speak their minds. They are cautious because they are afraid of the consequences. They are willing to bend because they don’t like confrontation.

As a result, they don’t actually connect with people. They don’t have a lasting effect. Because in the back of their minds, people know if you are playing defensive. And that will only make them defensive, too.

Again, none of the traits mentioned above is either good or bad.  They are simply tools you can use to handle certain situations. What’s good or bad is how you view these qualities and how you use them.

Are you using them as a poison? Or as a shield?

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