Influence: Science and Practice: The Comic
This is a book written by Robert B. Cialdini. This is a very interesting book on how to influence people. If you know the right tricks this seems to be a simple task but also, it is also easy to get influenced by someone who already knows the tricks. This book talks about the tricks of influencing people.
To put these tricks into perspective for the reader, many interesting examples are provided throughout the book. For example, let us take a turkey. The turkey gets instantly triggered to its motherly instincts just by the sound of its chicks. It gets triggered even to the mimic sounds of its chicks. We humans also get triggered into different modes based on various situations that can be taken advantage of and used as a weapon against us by others.
One such kind of weapon is reciprocation. Humans generally tend to reciprocate. This is not because of good-heartedness but rather in an expectation of getting back that reciprocation in the future. The author did a study in which he sent greeting cards to unknown people and received reciprocation from many of these strangers.
This was also observed when dealing with concessions. Similar to what happened with the reciprocation principle, concessions led to the exchange of further concessions.
Another trick to manipulate people is to consistently stick with the same decision even though if it seems to be wrong. This method was used by the communists to torcher the prisoners. This method is also known as “foot in the door”. By consistently using small commitments, the self-image of a person can be manipulated.
Social proof is a very interesting method. It encompasses the way we react to situations in which we are not sure how to react. Sometimes we just follow the action of someone without a second thought, instinctively. In many cases, we react oddly, which is the case of pluralistic ignorance. For example, in the case of a homicide case, 38 people witnessed it but no one decided to help.
Another behavioural example is when people doing nothing when they witness someone being robbed in a crowd.
We automatically come to the conclusion that someone else from the crowd would have notified of this incidence to the police but this is what every member of the crowd would think, resulting in no actions taken by anyone. The author tells you how you should be able to react in that kind of a situation rather than staying idle.
If you take an initiative to call the police, the others will also come forward to provide help.
One extreme case of social proof happened in Jonestown Guyana where a mass suicide took place.
One powerful manipulative weapon is beauty. Beauty can be very easily seductive. Generally, good-looking people have an edge in social interactions. This phenomenon is termed by scientists as the Halo effect.
There are a lot of influencing techniques like the ones I mentioned above are present in this book. The techniques could be put to use for either bad deeds or good deeds. It depends on the person who uses it. If you read this book you could avoid getting fooled by manipulative people.
The 48 Laws of Power
This is a book written by Robert Greene in the year 1998. This book is intense and shows you the dark side of humanity served as the main course for a reading supper. This book made me realize how shady people can be.
It is not just that, I also learned how to be very ambitious and smart when it comes to succeeding in life, about how to able to stand out from your peers. If we go along with what every other person does, we will never be able to stand out in life.
This book says that you have to have a good reputation to move forward in life and that if you have a good reputation, you must use it to your advantage. Now, it does sound shady, isn’t it? But the author says that’s how this world is. This book will bring out a lot of secrets of reality to light and will teach you to go through it.
People always like to divide themselves based on good and evil or black and white, by segregating themselves like this they tend to develop a sense of morality and ethics. The book mainly focuses on the grey areas. For example, most of the laws in this book could be used for evil deeds or good deeds, it depends on the person who is reading it.
But it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with these laws. Each law explained in this book is accompanied by examples of true stories of the past, of the people who used it to achieve success or to get destroyed by it by trying to use it for bad ulterior motives. Each of these stories is interpreted from the perspective of the author. These explanations give great depth and clarification to the laws stated in the book.
The book also points out how the implementation of these laws could backfire by giving out many crucial warning which is given the section dealing with each law.
Even though if we do not feel comfortable with reading the nature of these laws, we cannot deny its existence in our history, and our daily lives for that matter.
In this book is presented to you, 48 laws, which you could use for doing evil deeds or for doing good deeds. These 48 laws could also be used against you by someone else at some point in your life, in this case, you could prevent yourself from getting manipulated. If you are a person who doesn’t want to use power over anyone, then you could learn these laws to protect yourselves when it used against you.
We humans have always used mind games against one another to over-power people, to deceive people into making decisions. It has been one of our most used intelligent weapons over a long period. It has also been observed over the ages that, if the person who tries to play mind games with us knows that we know about it, they will get disempowered and will not try to use it again.
This book is full of very interesting historical anecdotes, which makes the reading filled with fun and is very entertaining.
The book in no way is teaching you how to be amoral. Use this as a guide to know how people are in the real world. The book differentiates between the tactics and behaviour of many people throughout history who have achieved success or failure to try by these laws. It is a book, explaining power in its darker shade.
Do give this book a read, it would help you to protect yourself from vile people who try to use any of these laws to cause harm to you.
You will get to know about different shades of people and their behaviour around others. Knowing reality in its darkest shades will help you to stay cautious of the trouble lingering around in this world.