20 impressive psychological tricks that can influence anyone

Feel like getting even more of what you want? Want to be more likable, more personable, and just generally sort of...better? We all know that serious self-improvement takes time, but what about a little instant gratification? Here are a few simple tricks for getting what you want.

We don't have to tell you that with great power comes great responsibility, but these are some tips for making your life a little easier at work, at home, and everywhere else.

1. Mimic people's body language to get them to like you

The next time you're trying to impress a hiring manager or the object of your affection, try subtly mimicking the way they're sitting and speaking - they'll probably like you more.

Scientists call it the " chameleon effect ": We tend to like conversation partners that mimic our postures, mannerisms, and facial expressions.

2. Ask people for favors when they're tired to get them to cooperate

An alert mind may express some doubt when approached with a request. Yet someone who's tired or distracted will likely be less critical, and will simply accept what you say as true.

So if you're planning to ask a coworker to help out with a project, it's best to ask at the end of a workday. That way, they'll be drained from the day's tasks and won't have the mental energy to realize that they'd rather be doing something else.

3. Scare people to get them to give you what you need

Research suggests that people who experience anxiety and then a sense of relief usually respond positively to requests afterward. For example, people who heard an invisible policeman's whistle while crossing the street were more likely to agree to complete a questionnaire than people who didn't hear anything.

That's possibly because their cognitive resources were occupied thinking about the potential danger they encountered, so they had fewer resources left to think about the request that was just posed.

4. If you'd like help carrying things

Just keep talking while handing people things if you need a little extra muscle. Many people will automatically take it without thinking (though some people won't, so be prepared for that, too --- especially if you're doling out valuables).

5. If you want to get information out of someone

Ask someone the hard-hitting questions, even if you know they'll try to get away with half-hearted answers. To break down that wall, maintain eye contact and remain silent for a few seconds when they finish speaking. The person will usually continue talking until they eventually get to what you want to hear. Keep in mind, though, that they might feel irritated if you try this, and they'll catch on if you do it too much. (Oh, and you may want to limit it to people you know well.)

6. Try asking for more than you actually need to get.

In order to make someone to have an authentic and willful desire to help you, ask them once to do something for you that they may not be capable of doing. Having been refused, you have created for yourself a person who will feel owing to you. Most likely, they will feel like helping you other times because they will have a guilty feeling of not being able to help in the first place.

7. If you want people to like you right away

Make sure your hand is warm when you go in for the handshake. It's way nicer than a cold handshake and will make you seem more likable from the start. It's also a good idea to subtly mimic their gestures and posture. It's been shown to build trust.

8. If you want to spot if someone is watching you

An easy way to tell if someone is watching you is to make yourself yawn, then see if anyone around you is also yawning. Yawning is contagious, so they'll likely yawn, as well, if they've been watching you.

9. If you want to sound even wiser than usual

People will take your advice more seriously if you make it sound like it comes from someone older, specifically your father or some other paternal figure.

10. Let them feel like they are making decision

For example, If you want your kids to eat broccoli, Go ahead and ask them if they want two or five stalks of broccoli instead of asking them if they want broccoli. Thus, you’ve made your mind and chose broccoli for their lunch, but they feel like they have really made their own decision. You can use the same old trick in different situations.

11. If you want to avoid confrontation

Step into that upcoming staff meeting and sit yourself down right next to the person you think might lay into you. It's awkward to be aggressive towards someone sitting so close (for most people, anyway), so chances are, they'll be less confrontational.

12. Nod often if you want people to agree with you

Nod your own head while asking a question if you want the other person to go along with what you're saying. The other person will be more inclined to agree when they see that gesture, and may begin nodding, as well.

If you're going to use these tricks, remember to do so responsibly -- and for the love of adorable baby kittens, don't be too obvious about it!

13. Reaction to kindness, or Benjamin Franklin effect

History tells us that Benjamin Franklin wanted to befriend a person who did not really like him. This person was looking for a rare book, which Franklin had. When Benjamin learned about this, he let this person to borrow this rare book, and when the book was returned to the owner, Benjamin simply thanked him. As a result, they became best friends.

As Franklin used to say: “Those for whom you’ve done good once, will be ready to respond with much more good than you offered”…

14. If you want to influence someone's word choice

Whenever the person you're talking to says the word or words you're looking for, smile or give some kind of nonverbal positive affirmation. They'll start saying that word much more frequently.

15. Use a 'decoy' option to get people to buy your product

In his TED Talk , behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains the " decoy effect " using an old Economist advertisement as an example.

The ad featured three subscription levels: $59 for online only, $159 for print only, and $159 for online and print. Ariely figured out that the option to pay $159 for print only exists so that it makes the option to pay $159 for online and print look more enticing than it would if it was just paired with the $59 option.

In other words, if you're having trouble selling the more expensive of two products, consider adding a third option whose only function is to make the "expensive" product look more enticing.

16. Speak quickly to get an argument opponent to agree with you

How you communicate your ideas can be just as important as the substance of your argument. Research suggests that when someone disagrees with you, you should speak faster so they have less time to process what you're saying.

17. Confuse people to get them to comply with your request

The "disrupt-then-reframe" technique is a sneaky way to get people to cooperate.

One study found that when experimenters went door-to-door selling note cards for charity, DTR helped them make twice as much money as when they simply told people they were selling eight cards for $3. In the DTR scenario, they told people it was 300 pennies for eight cards, "which is a bargain."

18. Use nouns instead of verbs to get people to change their behavior

Participants in one study were asked two versions of the same question: "How important is it to you to vote in tomorrow's election?" and "How important is it to you to be a voter in tomorrow's election?" Results showed that participants in the "voter" condition were more likely to cast their ballots the next day.

That's likely because people are driven by the need to belong, and using a noun reinforces their identity as a member of a specific group.

19. Focus on what your bargaining partner is gaining to get them to agree to your offer

While negotiating, research suggests you should emphasize to your partner what they're about to gain as opposed to what they're losing . For example, if you're trying to sell a car, you should say, "I'll give you my car for $1,000," instead of, "I want $1,000 for the car."

That way, you'll persuade your partner to see things from a different perspective, and they'll probably be more likely to concede.

20. Tell them they're free not to comply

It might sound counterintuitive, but reminding people that they have the option not to do what you want can often motivate them to oblige your request.

A recent review of studies highlighted the effectiveness of the " but you are free " technique: Reaffirming someone's freedom to choose can double the chances that they'll do what you want, whether that's donating to a specific cause or taking a survey.

Sources : one , two , three