Woman holding her head looking frustrated
Photo by Uday Mittal on Unsplash

Brainwashing and mind control.

Those are some of the best plot points in my soap operas.

The mind can be swayed.

We all know that there are little tricks and ticks we can use to influence others.

We just have to figure out the best ways to do it.

Not for evil purposes.

Heck psychiatrists do it every day.

And the FBI.

Why can't we?

Redditor PM_ME_UR_PUPPYDOGS wanted to discuss the best ways to manipulate the mind and asked everyone to share a few thoughts:

"What is the most effective psychological 'trick' you use?"

I need tricks to trick people and I need tricks for me. I have a pen and paper.


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"When you’re talking to someone, they will naturally fill silence. It’s subconscious. If you want them to keep talking, keep your own mouth shut. This is useful if you’re ever in a verbal altercation."


'I dunno, anything'

"One that I picked up from a friend of mine whenever he was trying to pick out dinner with his gf: rather than ask 'What do you want?' and getting the typical 'I dunno, anything' answer and then having suggestions shot down. Start with 'What do you NOT want?' Used it a few times in some of my relationships and it's the godsend question."



"I work front desk in a medical office. Patients hate updating their paperwork. I used to say, 'look through the pages and make any changes.' They would groan and reluctantly take the paperwork, or just complain about it. Now I say, 'ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is make changes.' Saying it that way makes them think it’s not much to do and they take the clipboard without complaint. It’s the little things that make life at my office easier."


hello and smile

"Saying hello to everybody you know, and with a smile. Often people who know each other from when they were in primary school or just from the block when they were young give each other an awkward smile instead of an happy goodday! Just imagine... if someone walks into you twice a year and both times you smile and greet them enthusiastically, they will think of you as a nice person."

"So little effort for a person to find you friendly!"


Be Still

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


Tell me the 411. I'm listening...

'did you hear that?'

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"When somebody shy is speaking, if you look at them and nod your head it encourages them to keep talking."


"I'm hard of hearing, I've spent a lot of my life nodding at my family to show I've heard and understood so they don't ask 'did you hear that?' I do it at work, especially in meetings. I get a lot of attention from the speaker as I look like the only person actively listening."


Derren Brown

"This isn't something I've used but I think it's worth sharing. Derren Brown said that once there was a muscley drunk guy that wanted to beat him up and said the classic 'what are you looking at?" Derren replied with 'the wall outside my house is four feet tall.'"

"The idea is that it puts the aggravated person on the back foot and takes them out of that adrenaline filled state. Anyways he sat down and the guy started crying to him about his gf. He is Derren Brown though so I wouldn't recommend this to everyone."


Lock Eyes

"I used this technique at University where I couldn't stand the thought of having to answer questions in front of a group of people. So if you find yourself in a group situation where someone (a leader, tutor, manager etc) is asking questions that must be answered and you want to avoid being picked so that you don't have to talk, then here is my tip."

"If the person locks eyes on you as they ask the question, then just as they are about get to the end of their question you break eye contact and look towards another person in the room and hold it. Their attention is diverted to that other person just as the question ends and the person they are now looking at feels compelled to answer."

"If however the person starts asking the question while looking at someone else then look at that other person and hold it so you can't get suckered. Use it sparingly because if you do it enough on the same person, they will be on to you."


Nice Gossip

"To avoid workplace drama and be well liked is to just compliment people behind their back."


"My co-workers can get a little catty sometimes. When they're griping to me about something someone else did I just shut it down with 'X is just so great with customer service though', or some compliment about the person they're complaining about. Works like a charm, and sends the message 'I'm not going to feed into this crap, so go away.'"



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"Music. Putting headphones in and playing the music that I know I’d want to hear if I was in the mood that I want to be in shifts me over to that mentally, and really helps when I need to calm down or when I need to feel happier."


I am going to try all of these options.