Before you start forming ideas by reading the word ‘tricks’, let me tell you that the methods discussed here aren’t wrongful ways of influencing people- don’t think them to be related to the “dark arts”! All these psychology tricks included here are not harmful in any way nor will they damage a person’s self-esteem.
These are just a few cool psychology tricks to win people over through positive influence, and not by hurting someone or being a jerk! So, how to influence people? Rather, how to win friends and influence people? Let’s find that out, shall we?
10 Cool Psychology Tricks To Influence People
10. Get A Favor Done
Trick: Get the person you want to win over to do you a favor— this is called the Benjamin Franklin effect.
As the story goes, Benjamin Franklin intended to befriend a man who disliked him. He asked the man if he could borrow a rare book and when he agreed to lend the book to Franklin, he offered his heartfelt thanks. Following this, the person who never even wanted to talk with Franklin formed a friendship with him.
According to Benjamin Franklin, a person who has done an act of kindness for you once will be more willing to do it another time, compared to a person you have obliged in some way.
Researchers decided to put this theory to the test. Scientists discovered that a researcher who asked people for a personal favor was rated favorably by them in comparison to other groups of people.
Although it seems counterintuitive- it’s a well-established theory. When someone helps you, they consider you as a person worthy of doing the favor and conclude that you are likable.
9. Aim Higher Than Your Real Goal
Trick: In your first attempt, ask for a lot more than you actually want, and scale it down the next time.
Known as the door-in-the-face (DITF) technique, this is one of those psychological tricks to influence people that works by making a ridiculous and impossible request in your first attempt, which obviously the person being asked will reject. Then after a while, you again make a request, this time much more feasible, basically ask for the thing you actually wanted.
This trick may feel counter-intuitive, but the way this works in your favor is that the person being requested most likely feels bad that they had to refuse your first request, even though it was an impossible one to keep; so the next time you request for something that’s doable, they feel compelled to help you.
Scientists found that this trick worked pretty well provided the same person asked for the favor both times. The person who refused to agree to the bigger favor feels obliged to agree to the smaller one only when the same person they refused approaches them the next time.
8. Use Their Name
Trick: Use a person’s name, or a particular address, depending on the situation.
According to writer Dale Carnegie, famous for his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, using the person’s name you want to win over is crucial. He explains that a person’s name is the best sounding word to him/her in any language.
Our names are the key part of who we are, and hearing it spoken out loud validates our identity. Hence, we are more likely to have positive feelings about the person who validated our existence.
According to the As If Principle, using a particular address or a title can have a strong influence on the concerned person. The idea behind the As If Principle is that by continuously acting like a particular type of person, you eventually become that personality.
Think of it like a self-fulfilling prophecy– where you expect something and it comes true simply because you believe that it will and your behavior aligns with what you want.
This principle can be used to influence others too. When you start referring to someone by a particular name, with time, they start thinking of themselves to be that.
Simple applications of this principle include addressing an acquaintance you wish to be more friendly with as a “friend” whenever you interact with them or calling someone you wish to work under “boss”. However, be careful because this approach can come across as very cheesy.
7. Use Flattery
Trick: Flattery, used in the right way, will always get you where you want to be.
This is one of those psychology tricks that work. Always.
Flattery may seem like a very common thing that most people wanting to impress another person resort to, but there are some conditions you have to keep in mind if you want to do it right. Most importantly, flattery must look sincere, otherwise, it may backfire.
Researchers have examined the incentive behind reacting positively to flattery and come up with some important findings.
Simply put, your flattery mustn’t disrupt the concerned person’s cognitive balance, i.e., what you say must align with how they naturally feel and think about themselves. So, when you flatter someone with high self-esteem, chances are you’ll be thought of as sincere because you’re validating how they naturally feel about themselves.
On the other hand, if you flatter a person with low self-esteem the same way as you do in the previous case, then it may do more harm than good because it doesn’t concur with how the person perceives him/herself. Hence, they might like you less. However, this does in no way mean that you degrade a person with poor self-esteem!
6. Mirror People’s Body Language
Trick: Mirror the behavior and body language of the people you want to be more likable to.
A great way to make yourself more likable is by using the technique called mirroring. Usually, it comes naturally to many people, but this tactic can also be used consciously to blend in with the people you like.
It is called the “chameleon effect”, you try to imitate other people’s speech, behavior, and manners in order to fit better into your environment.
Researchers who studied mirroring found that when someone is imitated in a subtle manner, the chances that this person acts friendly toward the one who copied them are much higher.
The second finding by the researchers is even more intriguing- it was found that the person who is mirrored behaves nicer to people in general, even to people not associated with this situation.
Mirroring works well because the person whose behavior is copied feels validated. Positive feelings are generated towards the person who validated them, but it also boosts the person’s confidence and makes them feel happier, hence they are more well-disposed towards others in general.
5. Make Tiredness Work In Your Favor
Trick: Approach a person with requests when he/she is tired.
When someone feels tired, it isn’t just their physical body that’s exhausted, but their mental energy is drained out too. Hence, if you make a request when a person is tired, they are more likely to agree with you without thinking too much over it. In most cases, you won’t get a clear response to your request when someone is tired.
They’ll probably just say that they’ll do it the next day because they’re too exhausted to make a clear decision at that instant. And most people want to keep the promises they make, so they follow through with what they said the day before; it’s a natural psychological response.
This is one of the best and most powerful psychology tricks for everyday life.
4. Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse
Trick: Start with a simple request that can’t be refused and work your way up to the actual one you want.
This approach is exactly the opposite of the door-in-the-face technique, where you begin with an impossible request and then scale down from there. Here you start off with a really small request the person can’t refuse.
By making a request you know they won’t refuse, you’re getting them to make a commitment to helping you, to agree with you, and hence, the chances of this person agreeing to a bigger request that you later make are much higher. This phenomenon has been tested by scientists with regard to marketing.
Scientists began by convincing people to support causes related to the environment and rainforests, which was a straightforward request about something most people care about and hence, easy to get them to agree.
It was observed that once the people had agreed to show support for the environment, it was much easier to convince them to buy products that promoted the welfare of rainforests and the environment.
However, it’s not going to work if you make the easy request and immediately scale up to the bigger one. According to psychologists, you should give it some time (a day or two at least) before making the second request.
3. Keep Quiet When Someone Is Wrong
Trick: When someone is wrong, don’t point it out to them.
You may be tempted to correct someone who’s wrong, but never do that! As Dale Carnegie explains in his famous book, How To Win Friends And Influence People, pointing out someone’s mistakes does the reverse of making them fond of you.
Directly telling a person that he/she is wrong hurts their ego to the very core. A polite conversation where you express your disagreement is a better way to go about it.
This technique is called Ransberger Pivot and was invented by Ray Ransberger and Marshall Fritz. It’s pretty simple, they suggest that you don’t start arguing straight away, rather you listen and understand what they’re saying and how and why they feel the way they do.
And when you begin talking, start by explaining the common ground that you share with the person, and then move on to explaining your views more deeply. This way you get a chance to correct them without hurting their ego, and they will actually listen to what you’re saying.
This one is clearly one of the best psychology tricks to get someone to like you.
2. Repeat Back What They Say
Trick: Paraphrase their words and repeat back to show that you understand them.
A positive way to win people over and influence them is to make them feel that you understand their feelings and empathize with them. The technique called Reflective Listening works well in this regard. You just need to paraphrase their words and repeat them back- this is an effective way to connect with people.
Research shows that reflective listening used by therapists creates a good therapeutic relationship between the patient and therapist. People are likely to trust and express more emotions when this method is used.
In the same way, you can use this method while talking with your friends to make them feel more comfortable. Listen properly to what the person is saying, then rephrase it, and turn it into a question, so that it confirms that you understand them.
By doing this, you just proved that you care about them. Hence, the chances of them listening to what you have to say are higher, and they might even think of you as a good friend.
1. Nod While You Speak
Trick: Nod a lot while you converse with the person you want to win over, especially before you ask for a favor.
Scientists have found that nodding during a conversation has many positive effects. First of all, when you nod while listening to a person speak, it shows that you agree with the speaker. Moreover, it was also observed that when someone nods before your eyes, naturally, you will do the same.
Psychologically speaking, this makes complete sense because humans are known to mimic behavior and body language they think will bring positive changes in them.
So, nodding regularly during a conversation with the person you want to win over, will make you extra convincing. The person will find it difficult not to nod along, and he/she feels more agreeable toward you.
Which of these psychology tricks blew your mind? And have you ever used any of these tricks to influence people? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!