Influence has a bad reputation.

We think of influence as something that is done to people, to us. We do not like the idea of having our thoughts magically changed, and so we do not like those who try to change them nor the act itself. To be fair, influence has been used by people to impose their view on others for quite some time, so no wonder we get defensive any time someone even just mentions the word.

What if, instead, influence would be an act of empathy?

If you really want to change someone’s mind on a moral or political matter, you’ll need to see things from that person’s angle as well as your own. And if you do truly see it the other person’s way – deeply and intuitively – you might even find your own mind opening in response.

Jonathan Haidt, The Rigtheous Mind

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