Outside influences play a big part in life. They come from family, friends, schools, news media, institutions, corporations, society, social media, advertising, and more. Often you don’t even recognize the pressure others exert. They may seek to use their power to control. In addition, in order to enhance their own needs, they may try to manipulate and weaken you. They work to lull you into accepting their product, viewpoint, or morality through biased information and propaganda they put out.


Every person has felt outside pressure at various times in life. As a small child, that predominantly came from parents and teachers, who believed it was their right and duty to shape you to their ideas. So they influenced how you dressed, what you thought, who you associated with, and so forth. Most exerted this pressure out of love, which made it easier to buy into.

As you entered the teens, the outside influences came more from your social circle, social media, the internet, and anything or anyone who was “in”. The pressure was about social status, the “right” fashion, school, friends, and/or ideas. Do whatever and look however everyone else does in the peer group, or rebel against them and the family. Either way, there was external pressure to fit in somewhere.

Once a person enters adulthood, the stakes become higher. There’s pressure to attend a “good” school, get the “right” job, make a lot of money and have the best things. The outside influencers (whoever they are) urge you buy into what they think or desire because that satisfies a need or purpose in them. So, friends exert pressure primarily socially. They want you to like what they like, do what they do, go where they go, think what they think. Corporations, on the other hand, use advertising to pressure you to buy or invest in their products. So, it’s up to you to discern what is in your best interest.


Another outside influence concerns control. Many people feel insecure in who they are, so control is a way for them to feel better about themselves and know how much influence they have. When you’re in control, you have power. With power, and control, you believe you can take care of yourself. We see this in families, friendships, relationships, organizations, governments, corporations, societies and nations.

There are times when control in a situation or relationship is necessary for the good of those involved. Parents need to control their very young children to keep them safe. However, too much control robs a person/group/society of their own power, which in turn, causes insecurity in them. It also causes resentment and anger, which may lead to rebellion.

For example, a stereotypical situation involves some teens and their parents. The teenager is looking for his or her own control of their life, and the parents continue to try to exert their influence. This leads to disharmony within their relationship. Similarly, aggressive countries use their power to intimidate and control weaker countries. In this case, the aggressor country usually has a leader who seeks control for power’s sake. We can see this type of situation in various parts of the world.

Many people seek control in their lives because not knowing what the future will bring is frightening. However, there are so many possibilities that may be the result of any situation, that realistically, control is truly impossible. That is why it’s important to be flexible and be able to go with the flow of life. Acceptance of what life brings helps you deal with the unexpected occurrences that present themselves to you and makes you more resilient.


Too much pressure and control leaves a person or relationship weak. A person who is controlled and under pressure loses their ability to make good decisions for themselves. They are easily led and influenced because they leave the thinking to others. This, in turn, can produce unwanted consequences for them that they may not be able to overcome.

A weak relationship usually includes a very strong controlling person, paired with someone who allows themselves to be led. Staying in that type of relationship does not allow the second person to fully develop and realize his or her true potential. A stronger person, corporation, or country most often wants to dominate and will seek out the weaker one.


Outside influences can be beneficial, but too much influence robs people of their ability to think and act for themselves. They easily give in to pressure from others. Consequently, they relinquish their personal power and remain weak. People who go along with the crowd, who put all others before themselves, sacrifice who they were meant to be. We are all meant to develop whatever potentials are within us for our own good.

So, it is important for each person to recognize and resist pressures that are unhealthy, as well as resist the control others may want to exert. Aim for strong relationships that are nurturing and have your best interest at heart. Knowing what is best for you and seeking it out helps you be a healthy, happy person. Adonai.