Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

People can't make you do something you don't want to do.

But it won't stop them from devising ways to get what they want without you even knowing.

Your friends – and even family members – may at one time have manipulated you into doing anything from simple tasks to huge favors.

And chances are, you walked right into their trap, and you wound up making dinner for your housemates when it wasn't your turn. You gotta hand it to them and their pscyhological tricks.

Curious to hear from these masterminds, Redditor rgb145 asked:

"What's a psych trick you love to use?"

These Jedi mind tricks proved to be effective.

Carving Your Path

"Walking towards someone, look where you want to go and they'll move away. But more likely they will move to their right."


Managing Expectations

"Under promising and over delivering at work. I also work at a mental hospital and it works with the people I work with."


Convincing Cook

"I've noticed that people will let me do kind things for them if they think I'm doing it for selfish reasons. 'No, let me cook for you! I need to practice making this dish!'"


Yummy For My Tummy

"I tell my toddler that I really want to eat her dinner myself."


"This is broccoli. It's only for adults and big kids. You are too little."


Competitive Edge

"A little trick I learned from the mental game side of tennis..."

"If you ever are in a competition (sport or other) that requires a lot of skill and your opponent is beating the hell out of you, ask them, 'Man! You are playing great today! C'mon! Tell me. How are you doing that?'"

"If your opponent is playing great, they're probably in 'the zone' meaning muscle memory is taking over and they are not thinking about their performance at all. At that time, it's automatic."

"Asking them, 'How are you doing that?' forces them out of the zone by having them actively think about what they are doing and in the process, screwing up their great performance."

"Works like a charm..."


The Mirror Effect

"Can't imagine this hasn't been mentioned (or maybe I just didn't see) but the thing I love most is mirroring people. Whenever someone says something to you, take the last few words and just say them in a questioning tone."


"Person 1: 'oh I was with Emily today.'"

"Person 2' 'you were with Emily?'"

"THIS F'KING THING is like a magic trick. Whenever you do it, people elaborate on what they were talking about more and you can keep doing it over and over again like a broken record and most people still won't notice. There have been times where I teach someone to mirror and they turn around, mirror me and I don't notice. It's so goddamn easy and works like a charm. It makes people think of you as a good listener as you're literally saying what they said back to them and they also get to keep talking about whatever it is they wanna say. You also get to know more about the situation without coming off as creepy or too curious."


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Quiet Tactic

"Sometimes staying silent in a negotiation works in your favor. Silence often feels uncomfortable so the other party will offer up something by filling the quiet space with words."

"I used it once to negotiate something with my boss. I stated my case. He hmm and ummed for a bit to himself. I remained silent and he relented. Had I filled that silence with more words it could've given him time to think of a way to say no."


Hear, Here

"Listening to someone without giving advice or pushing for more information typically nets me more information than being pushy for it."


Wait For It

"I was watching something recently and they were talking like a documentary maker and he said his best method to get people to share more information was to wait to talk after the other person had finished. Just let an awkward silence hold for a minute. Most of the time the person would start taking again and start providing more off the cuff info than the thought out response they have to the initial question."


Just Agree

"If a customer is angry I just agree with them until they calm down."

"'I'm really angry that delivery times are more than a week ' 'oh, thats a long time I would be angry too.'"


Validating The Other Person

"Yup, you can de-escalate a lot of situations if you just acknowledge that the other person's emotions are valid. Won't totally fix everything, but it works way better than telling them to calm down or that there's no reason to get so mad. That's just going to piss them off worse and make them dig their heels in."


Making the other person feel important is usually a good start.

Apparent Intrigue

"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 been shown. Bill Clinton is an absolute master at this."


What Happens Next

"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 do usually is 'Hi, how are you doing, I'm so-and-so, hey can I ask you for...'. It makes the introduction seem less genuine, like it was only to ease your way into something you want/need. Switching the order makes you come across more honest, and then shows you're actually interested in getting to know them or talking to them past whatever favor they're doing for you."


The Better Pronoun

"'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 'I'm not sure if this is right, can we try this again a different way?' Lacks 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 '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.' Symbolically takes the burden off of."


Winning Them Over

"Ask people for things they want to do/don't mind doing as if they're favours to you. As if you'll owe them after this."

"I think it has to do with :"

".1. People like feeling useful. People like feeling like they've helped people - not necessarily because they're nice, but because "ability to help" implies some sort of power."

".2. You give them opportunity to be nice. They'll feel more comfortable to converse with you because they did something for you. Like you're "technically indebted to them". Like if you're very shy you might feel like you don't deserve interaction or attention from the person - complex. When you've done them a favour you're kinda equal."

"It's a nice trick to get people to like you."


I learned a trick by observing others.

A friend of mine once asked me to pick something up for her when I went to the store. I was going there anyway, and she put on a frown-y face and asked me to buy her a bag of Doritos.

The thing is, I wouldn't have minded. But when she asked as if she was about to majorly inconvenience me and have me drain my savings, it made me not want to do her this simple favor.

Since then, when I know I might inconvenience someone with a favor, I playfully ask them with a cheery disposition instead of looking like I'm about to deliver grave news.

I end up getting what I want, within reason of course. Every time.

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