Off-topic discussion #2
Today, my dear Bookaholics, we will run with all our speed, head-first, into the tip of the “Psychology tricks” iceberg, whose depths are still unknown to human kind.
A little disclaimer first: I’m not trying to teach you how to manipulate someone but just how to convince them with less effort to do what you want them to. 😉 Please note that these terms are not exactly synonymous.
And let me give you a little explanation first. Manipulation means making someone do anything you want them to, however forcing them into it. Convincing someone to do anything you want, means that you have their full consent to help you.
Why did I say that today we are going to explore nothing but the tip of the iceberg and that its depths are not completely known? Well, there are almost 8 billion people residing on this planet. Obviously, each one of us has their own, personal and signature way of convincing other people. Ever since Psychology started being thought of as a Science, people took into consideration the fact that other people were trying (and mostly succeeding) in manipulating them, or convincing them. So the scientists have started to analyse the methods that they used. Just as animals are constantly improving their methods of hunting, humans are constantly improving their methods of becoming more and more persuasive. Therefore it’s pretty hard keeping up with a good couple decades of evolution, even for scientists. Which means all they could find and record were a few methods that were used by most psychopaths, directors of huge companies, lawyers, cops etc (notice how much these guys actually do have in common).
Now that we got these things clarified, let’s dive straight into it.
I am going to mention here 10 such tricks of how to make someone do what you wish them to (without them feeling attacked by your proposal).
The best example that I can come up with, is training a dog. You have to reward it, in order to make it do the tricks you want. The same is available for people. If you want to convince them easily, reward them. If the financial reward is out of question – due to a thousand different reasons – then you can reward them emotionally. Make them feel appreciated for their help. Let them know how much it would mean to you if they did you a favour, how much it would definitely change positively the course of your life, how you’ll always remember their help and so on and so forth. In a few, simple words, just use your vast vocabulary of terms related to gratefulness and compliments of any kind.
2. From small to big
One of the methods that has scientifically proven to be working, but to be honest, it didn’t quite prove too helpful for me, personally: asking someone to do you a small favour. If you’re lucky enough to come across a people’s pleaser and they’ll agree to do that, then go ahead and ask them for the real, big favour you needed. They’ll feel bound to you and also feel like it’s their responsibility to help you again. So they will.
3. From big to small
There are higher chances of success if you apply this method, rather than the second. Ask someone for a big favour. If they say yes, then tell them you actually wanted something smaller but don’t forget to thank them for their help. If they say no, it’s all the better. Because you can go ahead and ask them for the real, small one. No doubt they’ll say something along the lines of ‘Oh, of course I can lend you $200. But Jesus, $1000? Where do you think money grows?’
4. Reverse psychology
Yeah, I know, a classic one. But I think it’s worth mentioning. Just tell someone (preferably someone ambitious) that they can’t get a thing done. They’ll do it right away just to make you learn your lesson and never underestimate them again. If your challenge is nothing but a pain in the ass for them (since they may not be so determined) then you should try to change your technique.
5. Make them laugh
No, but seriously. Research has shown that a proposal made to someone who just had a fit of laughter because of you is going to be up to 90% more successful than a proposal made in a serious, tight, stressful environment. The next time you need to borrow money from a friend make sure you crack a damn good joke about how broke you are. They might be more willing to help you out.
6. Positive body language
Body language plays an extremely important part in the process of convincing people. I’ll give dogs as an example again. You know how they’ll come to you, all puppy-eyed, tail swinging, looking at you expectedly. Well, it’s the same with humans. You have to maintain eye contact with the person while you tell them what you need and why you need it. Make sure that your voice tone matches the request. And while asking the definitive question, nod your head (but subtly). And also, make sure that you at least seem steady and confident, don’t use negative sentences, only positive ones. Depending on the greatness of the request, this little trick can definitely make your person to subconsciously need to be as positive as you about the matter at hand.
7. People love talking about themselves
Always keep this in your mind, no matter if you’re trying to convince someone of something, meeting a new person, wanting to get someone’s attention. Before you ask a classmate to give you their homework to copy, try to ask them a couple of random questions first, such as “How was your day?” Or, something funnier, such as “Have you ever forgotten /didn’t have enough time to do all your homework? Yeah? Well, me too. Can you give an example? Oh, you want my example? Umm… today’s Maths homework is a good enough example?” And you’ll get the damned homework. Believe me. It works even with the biggest nerds out there.
8. Say “Thank you!” and “because”
You didn’t expect that to be of such a big importance, right? But studies have shown that thanking someone (sincerely) for their help or behaviour, they are very likely to act like that towards you in the future as well, even if they were too nice. While giving a strong, well-defined reason why you should be needing something from someone doesn’t appear so radical regarding their response… well, it looks like it is. It gives them the feeling that you are in serious need of their help, so your request, no matter how realistically big, will certainly not pass unnoticed.
9. Pause throughout your reasoning
Okay, you just used the word “because”, now what? Now, you are just very careful about the way you are talking. You have to leave a pause at the right time, to increase the chances of the other person to understand and empathise with you. Of course, pauses alone aren’t enough. If your proposal is made to your boss, or in a serious environment, it’s pretty obvious you can’t expect them to help you if you insert humour in your speech. Instead, use a confident, calm and even tone. But not tense. Just naturally calm. Save the wide body-language gestures and smiles for your friends and use small gestures. I also recommend mirroring your interlocutor’s body-language, with a delay of 30 to 60 seconds. Then, they will more than certain help you with whatever you need.
10. Be the first or the last
Psychology says we tend to remember more clearly the beginning and ending of an event. So, if you want your request to be remembered, you have to be the first or the last one to ask for something from a speflcific person. They are more likely to keep your proposal in mind and come back later with a favourable response.
I hope you found this article useful and took some notes. If you know any other method that works for you, let me know in the comments. If you are consciously using one or more of these methods, also let me know. Let’s chat a little about how different people have different ways of convincing others.
LOL (Lots Of Love), ♡