How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The ChangingMinds Blog!
I'm an incurable romantic. I'm not sure what that actually means, but I do know how it feels, which is mostly good. Romance, for me, is much more than boy-meets-girl. It is more of an optimistic view of the world, an expectation of beauty in everything and everyone that becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. It doesn't take much to make me all dewey-eyed and I am a sucker for a sob story.
The effect of this on my ability to persuade is both good and bad. Like the swings and roundabouts of a fairground, I gain in some places and lose in others. Where I gain is in the empathetic bonding I get when people tell me their stories and I offer ways to help. If they are being deceptive, however, then I will at least start by trusting them.
It was a string of disappointing deceptions many years ago that set me on the road of learning about changing minds and although I have stubbornly retained my faith in human nature, I am not quite as gullible as I once was. I am now many times better at spotting persuasion techniques and can listen with gentle amusement at sales people going for the close.
I have been on persuasion training sessions and met people who are always 'on', trying to persuade non-stop as if their life depended on it. I hope I am not like that though, like a dog with a new bone, I suspect I have been a bit over-enthusiastic when the penny of a new persuasive dimension has dropped, but generally I stick to 'normal human' mode and only turn up the volume when needs be.
Turning down the radar is harder than not persuading, and I do tend to spot persuasion. I have, however, found a sustainable quiescent position from which I can quickly prick up my bat-ears if I hear or see something going on. It is sometimes entertaining when a sales person turns on the patter, confidence that they have an easy target in their sights.
With an understanding of persuasion it would be easy to become cynical and disenchanted, seeing others as competitors or victims, but this is a route that I have deliberately avoided. I choose to see people as human, whole and essentially worthy. I am human too and like being a member of this social race. I love connecting with others, which the web lets me do to an unprecedented degree.
And so, despite its flaws and disadvantages, I think being a romantic is the best place to be.