“The human mind is not a terribly logical or consistent place,” wrote Jim Butcher. This is an understatement. The human mind is, in fact, a complete madhouse.
This can be frustrating when the psychological workings of others keep them from appreciating our ideas.
It can be wonderful, however, when we learn to embrace the chaos and use it to our advantage.
Here are ten psychological tricks that can help you get what you want:
1. Get someone to like you
If you want to win over a person who doesn’t seem to like you, ask them for a very small favour. Most people will not refuse to help another person with something trivial. This will put them in a collaborative mindset and help them to see you as a team member.
2. Make a path through a crowded place
If you find yourself struggling to make a path through a crowded place, set your gaze directly at your destination. People will subconsciously be looking to the eyes of those around them in order to forge their own path. As such, they will inherently understand where you are going and make way.
3. Get someone to carry something
If you want someone to help you carry something, hand it to them while you are speaking. Most people will be paying more attention to your words than your actions and take the package instinctively. Even if they are distracted, they would likely rather help than interrupt you mid-sentence.
4. Check if someone has their eye on you
If you would like to know whether or not someone has their eye on you, yawn. If they are watching you, they will likely copy this action involuntarily.
5. Control someone’s behaviour
If you want someone to behave a certain way, give them choices within the bounds of the desired behaviour. For example, instead of, “Will you please eat a vegetable with your dinner?”, ask, “Would you like me to make carrots tonight, or would you rather have green beans?”. This gives the other person a sense of control and makes them think the decision was their own.
6. Seem like a great listener
If you want someone to think you are a fantastic listener, paraphrase their words back to them. Be subtle with this tactic. Don’t mirror their words too exactly.
7. Get a song unstuck in your head
If you have a song stuck in your head and it’s driving you crazy, follow it all the way to the end. It’s harder to shake a song if our brain thinks that we’re leaving it unfinished.
8. Get someone to agree with your position
If you want someone to agree with your position, nod while you are explaining it. Most likely, your audience will unintentionally mimic you. Because they are nodding while they hear your words, they will become predisposed to agree with them. Nodding is also a sign of trustworthiness and confidence in your position. Avoid shaking your head for the same reasons.
9. Get someone to like you
If you want someone to like you, warm your hands before you shake theirs. Warm hands put people at ease, while cold ones make them feel guarded and uncomfortable.
10. Make people believe you’re giving good advice
If you want people to believe that you are giving them great advice, tell them that you learned this from your mother/father/grandparent. People give more weight to advice from an older family member, especially if you speak about them with respect and authority.
Do you doubt the power of some of these tricks? Go try them today. You’ll be surprised at how effective a little snippet of psychology can be. Use these tactics to give an edge to your speeches, relationships, and work performance. After all, as George Harrison once said, “It’s all in the mind.”
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Robyn Reisch is a proud Penn State graduate who lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, son, and two dogs. She enjoys cooking, snacking, lounging, reading, gardening, and listening to country and classic rock.