Monday, May 28, 2012

Subtle Influence

Wisdom is hard to define. It isn't quite intelligence or being "smart", nor is it knowing more than somebody else. Sometimes we see wisdom when people deliberately fail to express their thoughts.

Exempli gratia: a daughter-caretaker does not argue with her alzheimer's-stricken mother who wouldn't get up the chair. 

As for subtle influence, getting others to behave the way you want them to - preemptively - is wisdom expressed via statements that project your expectations.

Saying, "Let's synchronize our watches so we're on the same page" before heading out to meet somebody will send the implied message that you expect them to be on time - to the second.

Saying, "My last doctor was a jerk to me, who do I complain about him?" to your new doctor will send the strong message that you will complain about him if he treats you badly - which will cause him to be extra nice to you.

Note: this is similar to being passive-aggressive, but it's not, because you are not expressing your resentment passively but actively and indirectly conveying your expectations. This behavior is more like indirect-projective.

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