The Halo Effect

The Halo Effect

Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay

Have you ever been in love with anyone?  Have you been infatuated?  Impressed?  Influenced? The answer is probably “Yes” to at least one of the above. And oh, how we either shout out of joy or sadness when we wake up from that dream, obsession, or when that illusion shatters!

This article is not about falling in love and the consequences of breakup! Sorry to disappoint you!  It’s about how we give our soul power away to the one we have made bigger than life … in our head. It’s more about being under the spell of someone’s energy; under their influence; we are either charmed by their charismatic personality, or we see them as competition, or as an obstruction on our path to success. Either way, we give them more importance than we need to.  They occupy valuable ‘real estate’ in our mind where they take up space without paying any rent!

In his book “Thinking Fast and Slow”, Daniel Kahneman describes the “Halo Effect” as a form of “discriminatory bias”.  He says, “The Halo Effect means that if you like a person, you’ll probably like everything about them.”

The attraction influence

In case you are wondering whether you are under the spell of someone or not, these are some of the signs to look out for:

  • We will find ways to connect with the object of our obsession, through wanting to be in the same breakout group, or arrange timings to be in the same place at the same time.
  • We create the same or similar hobbies just to be able to spend more time together.
  • We will seek positive feedback from them; and get super upset and sulk when there is any negative feedback! We may become super-sensitive!
  • We will turn to them first when there is a tragedy in our life.
  • We will seek compassion and comfort from them when we receive hurtful comments in person, or via email from others.
  • We expect them to take our side in debates and voting.
  • We will assume we know what they like and that it’s “OK” to choose for them.
  • We become over familiar – and in fact the person can sometimes be seen in our mind as ‘ours’.
  • We fail to realize that we are living under some else’s shadow.

This is very dangerous because we can actually start to disrespect this person and see them as an object and possession, as we sub-consciously attach the label of ‘mine’ to them.  We do not know what they want and yet we speak for them and ‘guess’ on the basis of what ‘we think’ they want.  We stop giving them the respect and courtesy to think and speak for themselves.

Remember: this is not about ‘being in love’ it’s about being impressed and influenced by this person.  Or shall we say it’s about having our mind captured by someone or something.  The media tries to do this all the time … on TV they call this improving the ratings, in social media language we collect more ‘hits’, and in the real world it’s known as growing a ‘fan club’.

The influence upon us, even against our own rational mind and conscience, is extremely unhealthy.  This is where we can easily be influenced under gang and peer pressure, or by that ‘special one’.  As we fall under that influence we get affected, we are no longer the neutral observer, unbiased and appreciating the good qualities of others.  Indeed we begin to take a partisan stance, where we can only see the good from our side of the fence.

Image by Hans from Pixabay

The Comparative Influence

We will go out of our way to undermine those we perceive as the competition.  We become influenced in a comparative way… then jealousy begins.  Then what do we do:

  • We ‘follow’ them consistently (by not following them)! We keep an eye on their Instagram and Facebook accounts to see what they’re up to … in a stalkerish way!
  • We envy their life … We wish we had it.
  • We will be jealous of their achievements.
  • When someone is talking to us who finds them pleasant and amiable, we begin to speak about their faults and weaknesses.
  • We look for opportunities to put them down.
  • We seek control in group processes.
  • We want attention.
  • We try and prove ‘ourselves’ to be more efficient.

Remember: this is not about an obvious dislike for the person, it’s like the runner beside us. We don’t hate them but we definitely want to over-take them!  There is an energy of comparison and competition, because somewhere we believe they are greater than us in some way.  Maybe it comes down to insecurity and a lack of self-respect, and hence, we want to excel … to race past and achieve victory over them.  We can see their weaknesses whilst not knowing our own.

What’s the point of telling you all this?

So, what is the problem with all this?  You might say, “Nothing.  That’s life.” However, it stops us from BEING POWERFUL. It stops me from being ME. When I allow myself to be impressed and ‘coloured’ by another, that dilutes my own ‘colour’.

And the noteworthy thing is that everyone can see these subtle attractions or aversions taking place … except ourselves.  The fact that we have an opinion either way implies that we have been swayed in one or other direction. We are also blind to the consequences of these interactions; we see nothing wrong with them, in fact we justify them when we are confronted. Which in itself indicates that there is something amiss if we have to stand in defence.

Image by Anna Rozwadowska from Pixabay

So, what can I do?  How can I come out of this?

Firstly, I need to ask myself: Do I truly want to become free from the subservience of these energies?  Then I need to become free from over thinking and waste.  If I want to become free, to maintain my clarity and the ability to make unbiased decisions, then I have to work to remain free.

Secondly, to ask myself: Do I want to become a powerful person? To think for myself, without the influence of another, to stand up for what I believe in and not what my ‘other half’ believes … Am I ready to stand in my own power and self-respect?

Thirdly, to recognize that if I want to win the trust of others I need to be neutral. People will not tell me why they don’t trust me. They will just not trust me. It’s an energetic thing, and it is very powerful and very subtle.  It’s more like a basic instinct.  We see this at work in the animal kingdom. For example, cats and dogs will trust us and therefore come close to us, or they will run far with fear.

Once we have established what we want then we need to take steps to maintain our independence.  We need to be ever vigilant about these dynamics that are playing out in our relationships.  We have to pay close attention to our mind, to set our attitude towards co-operation and not competition.  We want to stop the energy depletion. Just like a machine, and for the system to work smoothly and efficiently, it requires regular maintenance, proper handling and oiling.  In our relationships, we need to oil them with the vibe of good wishes. This creates harmony in life.

So, if you really want all this freedom then it’s time to become mentally and emotionally independent and strong.  Recognize your own self-worth and preserve your power.  Do not give it away to others.

It’s Time… to become neutral and have equal good wishes for everyone.


© ‘It’s Time…’  by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK


Place Hamsa hands, Om signs or Nazar (eye shaped amulets) to ward off evil.
Burn sage. Place salt in bowls in corners of your home to ward of evil energies
leave for 24rs and then throw in your bin outside.

Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay
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