If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

You’ll meet plenty of people in your life who try to change you as a person. They’ll try to influence you either directly or subtly.  Everyone is an influence on everyone else and those influences may end up being positive or negative. So if we are all influences on each other, can we engineer our influence on others to get a desired result?

I find myself in a lot of repeating scenarios: Eating alone at lunchtime, sitting on the sidelines at parties, and being picked last to participate in group activities. Personally, I hate ending up in these situations all the time. The frustration of being stuck reliving these moments has often pushed me to want to change the narrative. But how?


I’m sure most of us at some point had the thought that if we change ourselves then things would get better. If we wore the right clothes, had the right body type, spent more money, and always said the right thing at the right time then we would magically be treated better and life would be oh so wonderful. I tried that once. Didn’t work.

It’s good to be adaptable, but not so flexible you become limp and cannot stand on your own. The changes I make in myself is to meet my own standards. I can’t be constantly changing to meet the arbitrary standards of strangers. Besides, there isn’t one way to act that would hold the interest of every type of person. If you’re trying to impress someone, start with yourself.


Making people fit into your life the way you want will usually be met with resistance. There is a natural flow to these things and forcing it can cause you to lose people. All the friends in my life are part of my life because they chose to be. I didn’t have to convince them, trick them, or do any song and dance for them. They just stayed.

I don’t go around telling people to make more time for me. I don’t try to persuade people to think more highly of me. I just be myself and hope that those who can see what I’m all about will look in my direction.


Any improvements we make in our lives should be done with respect to others. If I try to make my life better it will not be at the expense of someone else’s freewill. If I’m going to be an influence on others, I want to be the kind that doesn’t push them but rather invites them. I’m not going to sweat the details of my existence trying to engineer the perfect life. I’ll let it flow. Let it take me to where I need to go.


Let It Flow

Turn and face the change.

All of us are an influence. We all leave footprints. Every environment we enter into becomes altered by our mere existence. This can never change. The only thing we can change is whether the influence we have is positive or negative.

Those like me with a behavioral diagnosis can be particularly vulnerable to outside influences. Bullies at school for some reason get a say in how much self-esteem we have. Manipulative people who make us happy end up controlling our behavior. Even wholesome things can become obsessions if we fail to recognize their influence on us.

I try to not be controlling. When I was younger I was frustrated with the way people treated me. I’d try to fix the problem any way I could. It started with just trying to talk to people. When things began to look hopeless it lead to using guilt and eventually fists. A need to fix my problems became a problem.

I realize now there is a flow to life. Every person has their way of doing things. It would be nice if more good things would flow in the direction I want, but I won’t force them to. I respect the flow. If I try to fight the current I could potentially get caught in it and the waves would eventually crash over me.

The relationships I have now consist of people who naturally gravitate toward me. I didn’t have to win them over. They see me for who I am and they like what they see. I don’t try to control them and they give me the same courtesy. That respect ends up creating more positive change than anything else.

Anyone who seeks to influence me with negativity is going to be disappointed. Manipulations, peer pressure, and threats are going to wash past me. I’ll meet their force with calm resistance. The only one who will have say in how I conduct my life is going to be me. No behavioral diagnosis is going to give anyone permission to tell me what to do. My mind remains immovable.

Master Control

How much of my behavior is my fault? How do I know if I am the one calling the shots?

Having a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome makes me wonder if I don’t have control over my own actions. I would never purposefully choose to struggle in school, act awkwardly in public, or fail to form meaningful relationships. However, we don’t always get what we want.

An undeveloped mind tends to react more than act. The easily influenced is at the mercy of the influencer. Recognizing the influences in our lives helps us to be more in control.

Brain Trouble

I am a victim of somnambulism. My subconscious mind likes to take my body for a ride from time to time. It apparently also engages people in conversation with random ramblings. I had a hard time believing it was true until I caught myself in the act. I was dreaming I was fighting off a Jack-in-the-box when I awoke to find myself holding an empty crate above my head. The floor was littered with all the materials I either poured out of boxes or knocked off of my desk.

It scares me to think I could be a danger to others in my sleep. Brains have their own will and can take over our will at times. I strive to make sure I stay in control of my mental functions for the sake of those around me.

Heart Trouble

Many people mistakenly assume that any showing of emotion means a person can’t control their feelings. You can’t control your emotions if you refuse to have feelings. I once accidentally proposed to a woman when my feelings were extremely high. Being close to people was new to me and I didn’t have the experience to handle all that emotion. Marriage wasn’t even on my mind when the words “Will you marry me?” came out of my mouth. I swear this wasn’t on purpose and I can prove it. I had already decided which words I was going to use when I finally propose to the woman I’ve been searching for. The words I spoke that day were not the words I had prepared and thought out.

The result of that outburst of emotion was a lot of heartache and pain. A lack of meaningful experiences will cause us to be overcome by emotion. The only way to control our emotions is to put them to good use with maturity. Make every tear count.

Friend Trouble

Even good people can be too controlling. Obsessions often become more important to a person than relationships. I’m guilty of trying too hard to keep relationships alive. It’s hard to cope when the people you love who tell you you’re a friend end up walking out of your life. Trying to fix people to fit my vision is like trying to make a river reverse its course.

Sometimes we need to make things happen, but more often I see the need to let things happen. Being powerless is not the end of the world. We find peace not when we have complete control but when peace has complete control of us.