Human beings are like marionettes.
Attached behind each one of us, there are strings that, when pulled in the right direction, can guide our behaviour.
In this article, I explain some really powerful psychological tricks to influence anyone.
You can also protect yourself from people who have bad intentions.
Tendency #1 – People resist attempts to persuade them.
Have you ever got an email from a marketer trying to sell you something and you deleted immediately?
Well, despite the fact that he should hire a better copywriter there is a tendency to resist persuasion attempts. Even though it might be in your best interest.
That’s why great marketers try to create rapport with you by sending you exclusive material and then try to sell you the main product.
Tendency #2 – People can’t resist what they can’t detect
Let’s say you go to buy a new car. And you encounter two types of salesman.
The first one tries too hard to show you all the benefits even though you said you didn’t want his help.
On the second shop, you say to the salesman, “Hey, I’m just checking out”. And he says, “I understand, take your time”. And then he doesn’t bother you until you call him.
Now, from whom you’re more likely to buy? You will probably buy it from the second salesman
And the reason is that he is not pressuring you.
What do people really want?
We’re all biologically programmed with these 8 desires:
-Enjoyment of food and beverages
-To be free from pain and fear
-To have comfortable living conditions
-To be superior
-Care and protection for the loved ones
-Social approval and friendships
– To be informed.
– Cleanliness of body and surroundings.
– Expression of beauty and style.
1. Make someone feel needed
We are drawn to people who need us.
Give someone a sense that they’re truly needed, not because you are desperate, but because they are special.
Follow this strategy:
1. Explain the whole situation. What is at stake?
2. Explain the specific role he has on this
3. Emphasize the importance of his role
4. Tell that he is the perfect guy for this task
5. Acknowledge that this request will require a sacrifice on his part.
6. Ask him if you can count on his help
How long will it take to employ this strategy? Very little. You can go through these steps in a brief conversation.
2. A sense of hope
We might tolerate lots of things but a lack of hope isn’t one of them.
Those who can create a sense of hope in the face of hopelessness attract a large crowd.
Those who keep their promises cement the loyalty of their followers.
Those who can do both are among the most powerful of all.
The rule is: When aware of an impasse, we will do anything to gain a sense of hope.
This is a basic, obvious drive and it is strange how little attention we give to it.
To take advantage of this, you need to ask yourself, “what problem is that person seeking to resolve?”
And how our proposal will help satisfy their need for hope?”
Religion offers hope for spiritual salvation.
Companies and salespeople offer an opportunity for financial gain or a way to resolve their problems.
What is your promise?
3. You’re not supposed to know this
You have seen YouTube videos where they claim to tell you a secret.
We’re all curious to learn it and we click that video.
Consequently, that video goes viral.
Even though, 99% of the time there isn’t a secret at all, just some unproven conspiracy theories.
We know that he/she is probably lying, yet we look at the video.
The reason is that the opportunity to learn and understand information few people know is irresistible.
Tell someone, “I want to tell you a secret but promise you won’t tell anyone”. And you got his attention.
In sales, you can lower the voice at the beginning of the presentation. This tonality implies you have a great offer and he should take advantage of it.
4. A sense of power
Bill was a good kid as he grew up. And he would do anything his parents told him to do.
But, he is now 18 years old and he has changed. He has become more rebellious. And worst of all, he has joined a gang.
His parents punished him, stopped giving him money or buying what he wants. And often, his father would be very rough on him.
But, It seems that their actions were working against them.
He has become more and more rebellious.
Till one day, his parents decide to try another method.
They told him:
“You have to understand that we love you. And that we want the best for you. I admit I have been rough on you. I’m ashamed of myself and I’m really sorry.
You’re a grown man now, and you have to make your own decisions. And this is one of those times. Do you want to be part of my group?
You don’t have to make a choice right now, just give it a thought.
No dad, said Bill.
I want to be part of your group. I promise that from now on, I’ll be a good man.”
And by the way, this is a true story of my friend.
He was part of a gang, and his dad was a cop. His father couldn’t believe this reality, so he would be violent.
But as he made that conversation, everything changed…
Bill understood he was causing too much pain to his family. So he stopped staying with those guys anymore and focused on school.
People need to have a sense of power.
Notice when I say “a sense” of power and not complete power.
Parents must have power over their children.
A leader must have control over his followers.
When you propose a change, emphasize that the person has the ultimate power to decide and that you won’t attempt to take it away from them.
The decision to participate or
5. Keep someone busy
The more frequently we can get another person physically involved with us or our cause, the more we can expect their loyalty to remain intact.
A church may ask its members to volunteer for small, yet essential church activities. In that way, members who regularly volunteer tend to be more committed than others.
Businesses who engage in smaller but more frequent transactions with their clients often get more loyal customers.
We tend to be more loyal to a grocery store or video rental outlet than an automobile dealership.
So, if you want to strengthen any relationship make sure to do as many activities together.
6. Reveal the secrets of others
This trick consists when you tell your friend “a secret” about what another person thinks of him.
It can be used to enhance self-image and improve his relationship with others.
Imagine what impact might have on that person when you not only compliment him but also reveal that others feel the same way.
My little brother got a 10 in math (the highest grade), and it was a great accomplishment because he hated math.
I said, “I’m very proud of you, but I want to tell you a secret. Do you promise not to tell anyone?
Our parents are also very proud of you and do you know how many people the mother said that you’re doing great in math?
She has been bragging how smart you are to everybody. She didn’t tell you because she thought you’d get embarrassed. So, I just thought you should know how proud they’re for you.”
The encouragement made him form a self-image where he is good at math.
So, he started dedicating his time to math because it goes along with the image he created.
Use the word “because” and you’ll find others agreeing with you much more often
People decide emotionally, then justify with facts.
Build a lot of emotion into your argument, follow that with the word “because,” and then give a fact. This formula works!
8. Artificial time constraints
Have you ever been to a bar, library or airport and someone wanted to start a conversation with you? Did you felt awkward?
The discomfort comes from not knowing when or if the conversation will end.
Use simple phrases- such as “Can I ask you a quick question?” or “I have to leave in five minutes, can I ask you a quick question?”
This trick gives you a pretext for talking to a stranger. Also, it can make that person more comfortable talking to you.
9. [Command] AND [Command]
The word “and” joins the first and second commands.
The listener is overwhelmed with information.
He doesn’t know which command to resist so he accepts both. Just when he is about to resist the first command, he is hit with the second.
At home: “Take out the garbage and close the door behind you”. “Go upstairs and clean the room.”
At the office: “Call me at three o’clock and give me an update”. “Finish this project and let me know when you’re done”.
On a website: “Click here and visit our site”. “Contact us and ask how we can help”.
They are more likely to carry out your commands when they feel that you are an authority figure.
It helps if you appear strong- even a bit threatening- when you issue your commands.
Also, tilt your head forward and raise your eyes to meet your listeners. This gaze is intense.
10. Ego suspension
One of the hardest to do, but is one of the most powerful tricks.
Suspending your ego, and making others’ views, wants, and needs more important than your own, makes them want to be friends with you and like you.
Suspending or putting on hold your own ego elevates another person’s ego.
I was talking with my friend about my favorite TV show which is “The Big Bang Theory“.
He had seen the first episode and he told me that it was, the worst show on television. The jokes are hard to understand. And it gives too many scientific definitions.
And I was like, Are you fucking crazy? You saw only one episode and you reached that conclusion!
Ok, I had that thought but I didn’t express it.
Instead, I said calmly: “I understand why you think that way. When I first saw that show I thought the story isn’t that appealing. A group of scientists with poor social skills who like star wars, comic books, and video games- which is the complete opposite of what I prefer.
I never saw Star Wars, nor read a comic book, and I’m not a big fan of video games.
But, It’s interesting to see these brilliant scientists struggling with normal situations. Plus, that show has some good damn writers and actors. I would suggest you give it another try.”
He is a big fan of Sheldon, by the way.
Now, I understand this isn’t the best example possible. But you get the point.
When someone criticizes your choices, don’t be angry.
And don’t offend them even if they’re dead wrong.
They will stick to their argument and the harder you try to change their mind, the more you’ll make them feel they’re right.
Instead, try to understand why they feel that way.
Explain your choice using logic or emotional arguments- It depends on how they express themselves.
And give them a suggestion on what should they do.
Let me ask you a question, how soon will you start using the tricks in this article?
If I had asked, “are you going to use these tricks? you could reply with a simple yes or no.
But since the question started with the words “how soon…” you focus on something else.
I presupposed that you will start using them, but when?
“How impressed will you be with this?”
“Are you curious about how my company can help promote your event?”
You have presupposed that your company can indeed promote the event.
12. Either Question
Instead of giving a full choice, you give them two.
Instead of: “Do you want to eat out tonight?”
Ask: “Which restaurant do you want to eat tonight, X or Y?”
Instead of: “How come you never get your projects in on time?”
Ask: “When will I have your project on my desk, Friday afternoon or Monday morning?”
13. Tell me more about yourself
This phrase is the only icebreaker you’ll need.
When you meet someone for the first time you can just say, “tell me more about yourself”.
It is a very broad question and you both can talk about the things he/she is interested in.
Related: 7 Ways to become extremely likable
14. They need a scapegoat
A man is very frustrated with his life and he feels there’s no place to go. Then he hears a story about how people have been sabotaging him. Immediately, his whole perspective changes.
The gratitude towards the one who told the truth is huge as well as his hatred about the saboteurs.
Now, from our perspective, the manipulative intent is obvious. But he is seduced by the idea of blaming someone else.
In other words to find a scapegoat.
You don’t have to be evil to apply this trick. And the scapegoat can also be something that is not on your control.
If you are overweight and failed to slim down, it’s not your fault. But simply a problem with your organism.
The use of the trick is ethical because the statement is true.
And you are shifting the responsibility from him onto something else. Consequently, it will be easier to persuade him.
15. A simple trick to be more confident
You can be more confident by just listening to music.
A study showed that listening to bass-heavy music can increase your confidence and performance.
Songs like, “We Will Rock You”, 2 Unlimited “Get Ready For This,” and 50 Cent “In Da Club.”
So, when you’re feeling nervous before a job interview or a date just listen to a high power playlist and you will feel more confident.
16. Helping a friend
Your friend is feeling hurt. Maybe he got fired, broke up, failed in school…
So, what you can do to make your friend feel better!
Just saying, “It’ll be alright” or “I understand how you feel” (unless you went through it yourself) won’t help.
1. Listen. Your presence can be a comfort to a friend.
2. Empathize with them. You can say something like, “I’m so sorry you have to face this situation right now.”.
3. If you have gone through that situation yourself, explain briefly how you felt and how you overcome the pain.
4. Ask, “How can I help?”
17. Tricks to deal with toxic people
In my last articles, I wrote about different tricks on how to connect with others. But, not everyone wants the best for you.
They might want to manipulate you, bully you or blame you for their mistakes.
To save yourself, you need to strip their power.
They constantly seek favors but they never seem to have time to help you.
They can’t destroy your life but might ruin your day. And waste your time.
Next time a taker asks you for a favor, follow this scenario.
Taker: Hey, could you help me with this PowerPoint presentation?
You: Sure. No problem! And can you help me with the presentation I have to do on Thursday?
You: I guess you don’t mind doing a favor for me in return, right?
Bullies are everywhere.
It could be your boss, a coworker or even a friend.
You need to understand that if someone is bullying you is because they think you’re easy prey.
Refuse to follow their script, and they’ll usually give up and leave you alone.
Of course, sometimes is not a good idea to stand up to a bully.
For example, if you desperately need a job and your boss has the power to hire or fire you in a second, then you don’t have much choice.
Minimize contact with that person and look for a better work environment.
What to do when a bully attacks you verbally!
You can make him/her stop yelling by simply not yelling back. They expect you to yell.
Make eye contact.
You can also say, “please speak more slowly, I’d like to understand.”
Often people will comply with this request. Have you ever tried to yell slowly?
Act polite and slightly bored as if your mind is elsewhere.
Also, your body language should give this message.
Stand up straight, be relaxed, and let your arms hang out casually. Don’t fold them defensively across your chest.
Often, this response makes bullies feel uncomfortable or even foolish and causes them to back down.
Not every criminal is a psychopath, and not every psychopath is a criminal.
About 1 in 200 people is a psychopath, and most of them aren’t in prison.
Actually, the traits of a psychopath such as coldness, lack of empathy, and ruthlessness, can make them a very financial successful businessman.
The not so bright ones end up in prison while others might end up as CEOs.
Now, the odds are that you’ll encounter one of these individuals at some point in your life. If that happens there is only one solution…
They can destroy you financially and emotionally if they need you.
You might think you can influence a psychopath or touch them emotionally.
They might make you believe they care about you (and they’re very good at this) but they don’t.
They can’t because they’re not wired to.
“Forbidden keys to persuasion” by Blair Warren