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Nothing like messing with someone's mind, right?

Not in any negative manner, hopefully, but there are ways to get people to cooperate with you more easily. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to put together a team for a project at work only to have it all fall apart because grown-ups don't know how to follow directions.
Thankfully, our good friend, the internet, is full of techniques for you to try.

Reddit user, u/WindyBerniercardou2, wanted to learn how to get into people's minds when they asked:

What psychological trick have you learned that blew your mind?

If a situation is getting out of control, a simple question can surprisingly put things back on track. You just need to know what the question is.

Willing To Step Up

"My first workplace trick that I still use regularly: people will procrastinate with their own work, but drop everything to quickly "correct" someone else's work."

"Example: Bill needs to provide a paragraph of text to go in your company's brochure. He's been dragging his feet forever and it's the last thing you're waiting on but he keeps putting it off. Go to where his paragraph should be and write a sh*tty version of what he's supposed to do. Don't invest more than ten seconds. "We do widget services. We are good at it. Our services are good for your widget needs." Send it to Bill saying "hey I filled in the last paragraph about widget services; can you check and make sure it meets your criteria, and I'll send it along to the boss for approval?" You'll have Bill's polished, fully composed text in about ten minutes."


What's Going To Happen Next?

"I taught teenagers in a really tough London school. A colleague taught me a brilliant trick to get a kid to calm down when they were angry:"

"Look them calmly in the eye and say "what do you want to happen next?""

"Most of the time they were so caught up in emotion they hadn't thought about the consequences. As soon as you prod them to think about consequences, most of them would calm down straight away."


Change A Word Or Two To Make A Difference

"When you want/need something from someone, ask them for help with it. Rather than "hey can you do this for me?", say "hey can you help me with this?" People are more inclined to be helpful than to just take on the task for you"


"Also, related fun fact, people like you better after they do you a favor. I'm not certain about the psychology of it, but it's something along the lines of your brain deciding "I did this favor because I like this person" whether it's true or not."

"Obviously this implodes beyond a certain point."


Behavior is learned, monitored, and closely focused on. If you want someone to do something, you can't force them to do it...unless you try it these ways.

Let Them Fill The Silence

"Stop talking."

"If you want to get more information out of someone, just let them speak. There are times in a conversation that things stop. Most people want to fill this themselves, but don't. Let the other person do it."

"This is especially useful if you think the person and their story is full of sh-t."


"As a former salesperson I actually started using this technique in both selling, and buying situations. You'd be shocked how many people will sit and talk themselves into buying something, or on the flip side, how many salespeople will start negotiating with themselves if you just stay quiet. I got a pretty good deal on my last car without saying a word."


We Just Need A Change Of Scenery

"If you ask someone to move over to an arbitrary different location to talk (could be 5 feet away) they are much more likely to listen to you and follow instructions. (One of my tricks as an elementary school teacher.)"


Here, Hold This.

"You can give a person talking on their phone an object and they will most likely take it because they are focused on the call. I regularly hand people empty plates, most of the time they just keep talking and don't notice what I'm doing."


"Not even just on the phone."

"Anytime you are talking with someone face to face you can hand them anything and they'll take it without deciding whether or not they want to."

"I do this all the time with trash just to mess with my friends and SO"


Really want to feel like you have the power of telepathy? Try these out.

Cut Them Off At The Pass

"Working as a waitress, if I noticed a customer was getting particularly impatient and it looked like they were going to be rude to me when I went over, when I would take the food over and before they got the chance to speak I'd say something like 'So sorry for the wait, thanks for being so lovely about it!'"

"It seemed to catch them off guard and paint them as the 'nice guy' in my eyes, and more often than not their expression would change from pissed off to surprised, then they'd say something like 'oh no problem it's okay' so they could keep being the nice guy and feel good about themselves and I avoid a chewing out."


Lower Your Own Defenses

"People are more likely to believe something you tell them if it's self depreciating. You can make up some sort of lie but if you add something negative about yourself in it it sounds more believable."


"Oddly enough this is what makes good writing. People are flawed. A character you dislike, but is dynamic, is a more enjoyable character than a pleasant one who rarely makes mistakes."


Shoot High, Then Settle For Just Below That

"Door in the face technique"

"Basically someone who would have said no to a certain request if you asked it initially, is more likely to say yes to that request if you FIRST ask for something so big that you KNOW they'll say no, and then the thing you actually want seems reasonable by comparison when you ask it afterward"


"Offer to buy the farm, the ox will be for sale."


No matter how you use these psychological techniques, just remember you are also a human with a human brain and someone could use these on you, too. Use them wisely.

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