Imagine a world where you've achieved some degree of success that resulted from your own perseverance and effort and the combination of support and encouragement from others. During the scope of this effort now imagine a third party or group of parties had come along and played their own private game, determining their influence upon your efforts just by them passing near you at some point without interacting with you.
This group of people make it a competitive game between other groups of people who all try to be the last ones closest to you when you succeed at something, so they can lay claim to the influence upon you in doing that thing.
The influence game refers to a game that is played socially by some people upon those who have achieved some social notability or have achieved something by their own effort with the help and cooperation of others. The players of this game might watch you all the time in order to time their being around you just before you do something of note. The various teams who've all gotten close enough to you at one point all compete to see which one of them had the most influence upon your output.
Because it is a team game and because those who play it are competitive, they benefit by sabotaging another obstacle to the perception to their influence being tantamount to your output. So that means that you at some point of achieving something one of the teams want their influence to appear to be more than one of the other teams, or possibly even your family, friends, peers or your love interest.
The people playing this game become so obsessive about it that they eventually start to try to get the people closer to you than the players of their game away from you. Maybe that means sabotaging your interactions and dealings with those people in order to make the timing of their presence near you appear to be tantamount to your success, even more so than someone that really does have an effect upon that and even more so than your own effort.
In the influence game it is not uncommon for one or more of the teams to keep a very close eye up you so that they know when one of the other teams has made asserted their influence upon you. One of the teams who keeps such a close eye might try and sabotage any effort that you make by distraction in one form or another so that the influence of that team is "foiled". This occurs even if it is someone whom you care about and who really does have a good and positive influence upon you.
The influence game is real and there are many people that will go to great lengths to achieve those goals of asserting the illusion to others that their influence over your actions is greater than that of others or even your own. Even those that you want to impress upon them their positive effect upon your life. This might mean even sabotaging the effects of your own love interest upon your life to seem detrimental and in favour of the sabotaging team.
So far it seems that everything in their arsenal is about timing and knowing you and your schedule by careful observation which makes it a little bit unnerving. There are probably many in the public life that can attest to this. Add into that influence factor that there are those who'd likely profit by getting you at your worst behaviour in public in order to deem that your own chosen influences aren't good enough.
Maybe as more people become aware of such an activity that it will become less prevalent.
Brian Joseph Johns