Nowadays, there are so many books on psychology that we wouldn’t be able to read all of them, even if we wanted to. And an entire lifetime wouldn’t be enough to put all these pieces of advice into practice. And for all we know, half of them could turn out to be a waste of time.
We decided to simplify the task and find out what psychological tricks really work. The bonus feature at the end of the article will show you a not-so-useful but interesting trick that you’ll definitely want to try out.
- Try to use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. People generally feel on the offensive when you put something on them, especially when there’s an issue. For example, “You did this wrong, can you try it again a different way?” Putting the blame on them makes them feel like you’re accusing them. Consider saying, “I’m not sure if this is right, can we try this again a different way?” The latter doesn’t contain the assumed accusation and shows that you’re in it together, not just criticizing them and then leaving. I try to implement it even when it’s not a problem statement. Instead of saying, “Let me know if you need help with anything else,” I usually say, “Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help.”
- I always smile when I see and approach or get approached by anyone so they immediately think I’m happy to see them. It makes me a lot of friends and helps conversations start better too!
- If you encounter a grumpy, rude customer at work, clarify that you appreciate their patience and understanding. They think to themselves, “You’re right. I am super patient and understanding!” even though that might not have been the case.
- If someone is talking about a subject that I am already well informed about, to come off as more humble and let the other person have the enjoyment of expressing their knowledge, I will express what I know in the form of a question.
- If you’re talking to somebody, mimic their facial reactions in the conversation. Smile when they do, crease your brow when they do, etc. You have to work to make it seem natural and not like you’re purposefully imitating them, but if you pull it off, they’ll walk away thinking better of you.
- When asking a stranger for help, just cut right to the chase with your question/request, then exchange some pleasantries after. What people tend to usually say is: “Hi, how are you doing, I’m so-and-so. Hey, can I ask something…” It makes the introduction seem less genuine, like it was only to ease your way into something you want/need.
- Whenever someone is showing you around or demonstrating something to you, open your mouth ever so slightly. Doesn’t have to be much, barely a centimeter is enough. It makes you look intrigued and fascinated by whatever it is you’re being shown.
- There was a girl at work I had a crush on, so every time we talked I would give her some of her favorite candies. I did it for weeks until she would seek me out and make excuses to come to see me before leaving for the day.
- Listening to someone without giving advice or pushing for more information typically nets me more information than being pushy about it.