Influence Continuum

Influence Continuum 2017-04-07T10:16:56+00:00

From the moment we are born, we are constantly being influenced by all kinds of people, ideas, and forces.  Some of this influence is healthy, and promotes our ability to grow into independent, fulfilled, authentic adults.  Other forms of influence instill dependency and obedience, at times even indoctrinating people to harm themselves and others.  There is a wide spectrum of healthy and unhealthy influence.

Individuals

Constructive/Healthy

Authentic Self
Unconditional Love
Conscience-driven Decisions
Creativity and Humor
Free Will / Critical Thinking

False (Cult) Identity
Conditional “love”
Doctrine-driven Decisions
Solemnity, Fear, and Guilt
Dependency / Obedience

Destructive / Unhealthy

Leaders

Constructive/Healthy

Psychologically Healthy
Knows Own Limits
Empowers Individuals
Trustworthy
Accountable

Narcissistic / Psychopathic
Elitist / Grandiose
Power Hungry
Secretive / Deceptive
Claims Absolute Authority

Destructive / Unhealthy

Groups

Constructive/Healthy

Checks and Balances
Informed Consent
Means Create End
Encourages Growth
Free to Leave

Authoritarian Structure
Deceptive / Manipulative
Ends Justify Means
Preserves Own Power
No Legitimate Reasons to Leave

Destructive / Unhealthy

Individual experiences vary within the same organization based on how the individual conforms to the norms of the group.  For example, a lesbian teen in a homophobic church will be subject to a different degree of undue influence than a straight man who is married with children in the same church.