At The Flying News, we have a fairly significant body of experience trying to influence people. Most of this experience has been obtained by attempting to convince merchants to provide us with free doughnuts, and even though we have always failed in our attempts, we feel prepared to give (possibly) helpful advice on this moderately interesting subject.
There is a fairly well known book called How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is, however, our considered opinion that the author of this book made a mistake by trying to discuss friendship and influence at the same time. We have plenty of friends; our influence is insignificant. So instead of making the gauche mistake of combining the uncombinable, we will simply give our best advice about influence and leave friendship for another day.
How to Influence People
- One method of influencing people is to give them barometers.
- Acquire a barometer.
- Find a person whom you wish to influence.
- Approach your target and say something like the following: “Dear sir or madam, if you could be so uncommonly kind as to provide me with some doughnuts, I will give you, absolutely free of charge and altogether without obligation, this beautiful barometer.”
- Walk sadly away.
- A second method of influencing people is to chase them. This method works primarily if the kind of influence which you want to exert is primarily a directional one.
- Make yourself look terrifying. You might set your hair on fire or wave a sword to enhance your (already, no doubt, considerable) natural repulsiveness.
- Rush rapidly toward your potential influencee.
- Run away as fast as you can in the opposite direction.
“Yes or No,” by John William Godward. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Detail.