Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How to Win Friends and Influence People

It has come to my attention that we are living in the 21st century (startling, I know) and the venerable How to Win Friends and Influence People has not been updated to match the current culture and society. I am not so conceited to say that I should be the one to do the update, but if I were, here are the sections I would consider adding.

Pets are great. People love cute pets and you can use this amenability to your advantage. Begin by taking the pet and secreting it away. Once the pet is safe in your possession, let the owner/person-you-are-trying-to-influence (pyatti) know that you have their precious Fido and that Fido will be returned if pyatti is able do what is required. There are some downsides to this; some people don't enjoy animals, don't keep pets or just are not attached enough to perform your bidding in exchange for the safety of the pet. This brings me to my next method of influence.

Loved Ones
Loved ones are like pets on crack. Almost everybody has at least a handful of loved ones, significant others, parents, siblings, children, and friends, and this gives you plenty of opportunity to exert your influence on pyatti. People are also usually much more attached to loved ones rather than pets so you can save some effort by only suggesting that you have the ability to take the loved one away without actually having to do it. From here on in, the modus operandi is very similar to that of influencing with pets. This is nice but what if pyatti has no loved ones?

Physical Influence
Everybody has a body. That is why they are called "everybody". If you can convince pyatti that bad things will happen to said body, congratulations, you have influence over him or her! Simply suggest that previously mentioned bad things will not happen if pyatti bows to your wishes. Simple. Simple, but not very subtle, which brings us to...

Spiritual Influence
This one is very subtle, kind of tricky, but can also be very effective. The trick is that pyatti must have reason to believe that his or her eternal soul is in danger if pyatti does not follow your wishes. Did you notice the three criteria? They must all be satisfied: (1) pyatti must believe that he or she has an eternal soul, (2) that eternal soul is in danger, and (3) the only way to save the eternal soul is by following your wishes. If you need examples for this one, take a quick look at what churches and religious groups have been doing for as long as they have been around. The churches aren't always the best at this, though; take a look at the Spanish Inquisition or the Crusades. The Spanish Inquisition is an example of the church using Physical Influence and the Crusades is partially influenced by the next method.

For some reason, people take much pleasure out of how many small pieces of paper they are able to control. If you have more than the other guy, he wants it and you can use it for influence. You can offer to give pyatti a certain number of pieces of paper in exchange for pyatti doing a favour for you. The more pieces of paper you can accrue, the more influence you can exert.

So there you have it, a brief How to Win Friends and Inluence People for the 21st Century. I guess there isn't really any help on winning friends but why bother winning friends when all you really want to do is influence people? It saves time and effort by skipping the middle step. Keep in mind when using this guide that other people may have read it too and may try to exert influence on you by using some of these methods. Try to minimize the influence others can exert on you by removing anything from your life that can be used against you and increasing vigilance and protection for the things that cannot be removed.

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