I accidentally discovered a trick to gain influence as an introvert
You don’t have to be the loudest person in the room.
A man in his forties was in his car, working on a gun. He was parked outside the American consulate in Mumbai.
His phone rang. He answered, said, "I will fix everything," and hung up.
He then drove straight towards the consulate. Security guards raised their rifles but didn't shoot. They were worried about a bomb. They waited, ready for anything.
The man got out of his car, gun pointed at the building. He tried to fire but was shot by security first.
Security approached the man cautiously. He was dead. They called in the bomb squad to check the car, but it was clean. And they were shocked to find the man's gun had no bullets!
(This story is from an Indian web series named “The Freelancer.”)
The trick to gaining influence
As an introvert, I usually take some time to feel at ease in new social circles. I'm not the one who's the loudest or most noticeable in a group.
But two months ago, I ended up influencing a group without even intending to.
Two people were chatting for a long time at the gym. I casually remarked, “Are you training your throat?”.
It was just a spontaneous joke, but they loved it. To my surprise, they shared it with everyone else in the group.
This incident got me thinking.
Like an amplifier that boosts sound, making a song louder and more enjoyable, my joke spread through the group. Amplifiers aren't just for concerts or home theaters; they can be a metaphor for amplifying our presence in social situations.
In any group, you gain influence by adding value. Value can be anything – a great joke, like in my case, smart advice, a unique skill, or just being a good listener.
So now, instead of looking to get attention from the whole group, I start with one or two open and friendly people in the group. I share something small – a joke, a comment, an observation. If they like it, they often pass it on. They're usually more popular, so their endorsement gets others to pay attention.
But remember, it's crucial not to overdo it. People can tell if you're trying too hard. And no one likes to feel manipulated. Just a little input at the right time can go a long way, especially when it's genuine.
Let’s finish the initial story
The investigation uncovered that the man who died was Inayat Khan, a former police officer. His daughter, who had just gotten married, had gone missing.
Inayat exhausted all legal methods to find her. He then sought help from "the freelancer" - a close friend and ex-colleague from his days on the police force. After being suspended, the freelancer became a contract killer and was difficult for ordinary people to contact.
Inayat chose to end his life in front of the American consulate. He knew the media would create a stir because of the location, and this would catch the freelancer’s attention. Hence, he used the media as an amplifier in this scenario.
The last phone call he made was to his wife. Inayat believed the freelancer would come to his family’s aid, remembering how Inayat had once saved his life when they were both police officers.
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