8 Ways to Influence Others to Improve Society

1. Support children

Vote in ways that make children's environments safe and be kind to schools, teachers, and anyone helping children develop.

2. Be self-sufficient

Not only will needing less things make your time more valuable, but other people will follow suit. Capable people supporting themselves allows more of society's resources to go towards large-scale problems.

3. Be understanding

People go unconventional routes, through life changes, through divorces, and through constant ups and downs. We don't know someone's life story when we meet them. Getting to know them past their current stage of life gives them confidence to share their stories with people who could learn from them.

4. Avoid people who do listening traps

Has someone ever asked you an important question and framed it as if you were benevolent and important? "I mean, what do you think—because you're really successful and talented—about this marketing plan?"

But right when you go to answer this impressive question the asker interrupts you with something like, "Because here's what I'm doing..."? Then they talk about themselves while you patiently wait to answer this all-important question?

Set boundaries with these people.

5. Discourage people from stealing

We know not to steal cars. But you know when you go to the grocery store and bag the trail mix? Well, the cashier is going to charge you based off the weight. But there's always someone who eats a little trail mix between bagging it and paying for it. That's stealing.

I don't think stealing bagged trail mix is a major problem, but we can take the trail mix concept to other areas. Use body language to influence a person to listen as much as they talk. Ask them why they didn't support someone who supported them.

Encourage people to pay for what they get in all areas of life.

6. Help people be intellectually honest with what they want to achieve

Does someone you know want to write a book? Cool. Help them understand the difference between writing a book and selling a book. Discourage them from thinking people are going to buy their book just because they wrote it. Ask questions that help them discover what each stage of their endeavor is going to take.

7. Admit your insecurities and encourage others to do the same

Humans can go to great lengths to deny their insecurities, even though dealing with shortcomings is almost always less work than trying to cover them up. Admitting your insecurities will encourage others to do the same, creating less situations where people have to justify things.

8. Don't support activities where people are taking shortcuts

They're just counterfeit sunglasses. What's the big deal? Well, when you buy them, you encourage the counterfeiter to continue, and who knows where that trail of resources is headed.

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