How to Resist Unwanted Influences

Don’t you hate being pressured into doing things you don’t want to do?

Savvy influencers like pushy sales people, aggressive colleagues, and annoying neighbors have a knack for pressing the buttons that make it difficult to say no.

To help combat these advances, Stanford Professor of Psychology Phil Zimbardo has put together a list of 20 hints to help you resist unwanted influences.

Particularly handy is this suggested counter-move, for when they try to use the rule book against you:

Rules are abstractions for controlling behavior and eliciting compliance and conformity — challenge them when necessary: ask, who made the rule? What purpose does it serve? Who maintains it? Does it make sense in this specific situation? What happens if you violate it? Insist that the rule be made explicit, so it cannot be modified and altered over time to suit the influence agent.

20 Hints for Resisting Unwanted Influences [The Lucifer Effect]


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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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