Wrap up on social influence

© Paul H Byerly
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This is part of a series – post links at the end.

Some miscellaneous items related to social influence, and how it can hurt us or be used for good.

The power of social influence, or peer pressure, can certainly harm us, but it can also be used for good. Years ago someone on The Marriage Bed Message Boards commented on the “positive peer pressure” of the group – resulted in some very good changes in her thinking and thus in her sex life with her husband. Hanging out with a bunch of sex positive Christians changed how she thought about sex, which changed how she felt about it, which changed what she did.

Our words nudge those who hear them, and our actions nudge those see what we do. If there are enough nudges in a good direction, positive changes can happen. However, we can also nudge in a wrong direction, so we must be aware of what we say and do. The book of Romans warns us our words and actions affect others, and we are told God will hold us accountable if we cause others to stumble.

Social influence is very real, and we have a natural desire to conform to society. This makes God’s calls for us to be in but not of society a rather difficult thing. We must be a part of our society, but not influenced by it. This suggests to me God can and will help us with this if we seek Him.

A few articles more or less about these issues:

REGRETS OF THE DYING – A woman who works with the dying lists the most common regrets, starting with “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” ◄ Not always easy, but better than regretting not doing it later.

The Inner Ring, by C.S. Lewis “The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it.” ◄ When we follow the group, the group owns us. (Thanks to Lou for suggesting this in the comments last Sunday)

Reasons to avoid scoundrels “New research suggests that hanging out with immoral people can actually change your own standards for behavior. People who were made to relate to another person—whether by writing a perspective-taking essay, writing about collaboration, or being told they were born in the same month—were subsequently more willing to emulate selfish or dishonest behavior in those people. And although relating to a positively behaving person induced positive behavior, the effect was stronger for negative behavior.” ◄ The scary thing here is that bad influences are stronger than good ones.


In this series about how normative influence shapes our lives:

Why we follow the crowd
Letting others influence your actions
The smallest cultural group
Your marriage as a tool to being a better person
Is your social group inbred?
Is artificial society influencing you?
The voices in the marriage chamber
Wrap up on social influence 

Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:


Assume Love

Falsely Accused by Your Spouse? ◄ Not a natural or easy response, but I can see it working.

Better Husbands and Fathers

How To Make Sure Average Doesn’t Become the Norm in Your Marriage ◄ Average happens, unless you work to avoid it.
Are You Always Honest About Your True Agenda With Your Spouse? ◄ Even “white lies” will get you.

The Generous Wife

Turn His Day Around ◄ A few words can make a major difference.

Journey to Surrender

A Grace-Full Marriage – The Big But ◄ Afraid that giving grace will put you at a disadvantage?
A Grace-Full Marriage Part 3 – Beware the Toxic Mixture ◄ Grace plus is not grace!

Marriage Gems

8 Tips Behind the Perfect Apology ◄ When it’s needed, do it and do it well.
Marriage Education Shows 55% Increase in Marital Satisfaction ◄ You can make your marriage better!

Marriage Missions International

Phone Intrusions ◄ “Please be present with the one you’re with —interact together rather than cheating your spouse of this intentional time!” AMEN!

Romantic Act of the Day

Be Her Encourager ◄ She needs it, and you can provide it.

The Romantic Vineyard

As Debi and Tom vacation, they are running guest posts on sex:
Marriage Intimacy On The Menu ◄ Brad and Kate Aldrich of One Flesh Marriage
The Lazy Lover Syndrome ◄ Scott Means of Journey To Surrender
Better Sex? Do You Want That? ◄ Julie Sibert of Intimacy In Marriage
Sexual Stewardship ◄ My bride and me.
Never Give Up – Applying The Gospel To Sexual Intimacy ◄ Pastor Danny Jones

Stupendous Marriage

Fifty Shades of Grey, 30 date night at home ideas and more – The Stupendous Marriage Show! ◄ A variety of interesting things.

Winning at Romance

Is Contempt Hurting Your Marriage Intimacy? ◄ Contempt has no place in your marriage.

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