Social Influence: Puppet Or Director Of Your Own Orchestra?

Imagine that you are in a restaurant with friends. Everyone orders hamburgers and fries, so you, without thinking twice, do the same. Does it sound familiar to you?

Social influence: Puppet or director of your own orchestra?

The social influence It is present in every aspect of our lives, from small everyday decisions to major life crossroads. But what exactly is social influence and how does it affect us? In this article, you will delve into the fascinating world of social psychology and discover how people, groups and society at large shape our ideas, attitudes and behaviors.

What is social influence?

The social influence It is like a harmonious dance, where each individual and each group contributes its rhythm and melody. Sometimes we follow the rhythm of the majority, adapting to social norms and expectations. Other times, we set our own pace, challenging the rules and creating new trends.

The protagonists of the dance:

In this social dance, we can identify three main protagonists:

  • People: We are social beings by nature, and the opinions of others have a great impact on us. We seek approval, avoid rejection, and feel more comfortable when we fit in with the group.
  • The groups: From the school gang to large corporations, groups exert a powerful influence on their members. The norms, values ​​and beliefs of the group become an important reference for our own identity and behavior.
  • The society: Society as a whole, with its cultural values, traditions and institutions, also shapes the way we think, act and feel.
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Types of influence:

Not all influences are equal. We can distinguish between two main types:

  • Informational influence: We seek accurate and reliable information to make decisions. In this case, we let ourselves be guided by experts, trusted people or sources of information with a good reputation.
  • Normative influence: We care about social approval and seek to conform to group norms to avoid rejection. In this case, we allow ourselves to be influenced by the majority, even if we do not agree with their ideas or behaviors.

Examples of the dance:

The social influence It is present in a multitude of everyday situations:

  • Fashion: We follow the latest trends in clothing, hairstyle and accessories because we want to fit in with the group and feel accepted.
  • Advertising: Companies use influence techniques to persuade us to buy their products.
  • Religion: Religious norms and values ​​can influence our ideas about morality, family or relationships.
  • Policy: The opinions of political leaders and the media can influence our political ideas.

How to deal with social influence?

How to deal with social influence?

Although the social influence is inevitable, we do not have to be puppets of the opinions and behaviors of others. We can learn to be more aware of the influences around us and make freer and more authentic decisions. Here he leaves you some tips:

  • Question the norms: Don’t assume that everything others do or say is correct. Critically analyze the information and make your own decisions.
  • Surround yourself with people who inspire you: Choose to spend time with people who support you, respect you, and encourage you to be the best version of yourself.
  • Be assertive: Learn to express your opinions and needs clearly and respectfully, without allowing yourself to be manipulated by others.
  • Take care of your self-esteem: Strong self-esteem will help you resist social pressures and make decisions that make you feel good about yourself.
  • Seek professional help: If you feel that social influence is affecting you negatively, a psychologist can help you develop strategies to manage external influences and make more autonomous decisions.
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Remember, the social influence It’s a powerful force, but it doesn’t have to control you. You can learn to be the conductor of your own orchestra and live an authentic and fulfilling life.