1. Stare an their forehead just between and slightly above the eye-line while talking to someone. It throws them off their game and they have a harder time lying to you or trying to influence you.
2. When they want to fight remain calm and agree with them. It frustrates them that they can’t rile you up and ends up showcasing how much of an asshole they really are, and essentially exposes them for being an aggressor/manipulator.
3. I have a nervous habit of acting like everything is normal when it’s not. I don’t do it to fuck with people intentionally but it does have that effect. I had a boss who was yelling at me (he was that way, I hadn’t really done anything wrong), and I kept talking slow sips of my coffee throughout and that really triggered him. I crack up when I think back on him getting all fired up, turning red, then purple, then screaming that I needed to stop drinking coffee.
4. When I know someone dislikes me or is indifferent or cold I’ll ask them to do simple favors for me, things like passing me a drink from a table, or doing a small easy menial task and then thank them and tell them they really helped me out. People in general are self-observing and want to make sense of their own actions. By helping you, subconsciously they will slowly change their opinion of you from negative to positive.
It’s an easy way to build relationships, and although it doesn’t fuck with someone in a conscious way sometimes people just end up your friend and have no idea how or why…
5. Confusing people is always the best strategy. If someone is yelling? Ask them if they want sand. Are they in an uncomfortable situation? Ask if they want sand. Are they crying? Comfort them, then say in a calm voice, “Do you want some sand?” Works every time.
6. When asking someone something, nod your head a little bit, and they’ll probably agree to do it and can’t figure out why.
7. Whenever someone is insulting me, I just agree with them:
“Hey you’re really ugly.”
“Yep. I know.”
They never know what to do.
8. Reverse psychology… my sister takes my stuff away, I don’t complain or pretend not to notice. She returns it to me in less than a minute. Works every time.
9. Pretend you’re terrible at lying so when you really need to lie people believe your telling the truth.
10. When in a position of power, offer the person under you a choice of responsibility. This gives them a greater sense of importance because you, a superior, offered it to them before others. I worked as a camp counselor and this method worked wonders.
11. Give someone a sincere compliment during an argument. If they are decent people, It’ll throw them off guard. They will then feel inclined to be more pliable.
12. If your on public transport and you don’t want anyone sitting next to you, when your victim (potential transport neighbor) looks like they are about to sit next to you. Smile at them and pat the seat next to you.
13. If you know you’re right but someone is doing their best to argue with you just for the sake of arguing say something like “yeah whatever. I know you are smart enough to understand that it is X.” It’s hard to explain exactly why this works but I use this tactic and it usually shuts people down. I guess because they feel like if they keep trying to argue Y they will look stupid.
14. Silence. Whenever someone says something stupid, or makes an unreasonable request, I just sit there in silence for a long, uncomfortable moment. Makes people second guess everything, start confessing the stupid things they did that led us to this moment or, ideally, gets them to go and figure out a way to take care of the problem they created on their own. Incredibly effective on the phone.
15. Does someone at work treat you as if you’re beneath them? Nothing better than walking by the person never making eye contact, ignoring any hellos from said person. This does not mean stare at the floor or wall, just stare directly ahead as you pass them. Then later, when you pass them in the hallway, you initiate the hello. Later in some setting they’re liking to crack a joke at your expense and ignoring them at which you say “Oh, I didn’t notice you were there, I was deep in thought. You should have said hello.” Completely knocks said person down a peg or two.
16. Say: “You’ve got something on your cheek” while I scratch my nose
They’ll put their hand to their nose.
17. I use the “door-in-the-face” trick a lot with my wife. Basically, if you ask for something crazy big at first and then what you want, you are more likely to get the person to agree to it than if you were just to ask for the original terms by itself. Could you make me a 5-course dinner tonight? No. How about some homemade mac and cheese? Thanks!
18. I work at a drive through and I get a lot of mumblers. Asking to speak up doesn’t work but if you repeat their order back incorrectly everyone’s diction and volume improves.
19. While arguing with someone smirk and shake your head, or chuckle. Drives people absolutely bonkers.
20. If someone is staring at you, look at their shoes. I don’t know why, but this worked for me, for some reason they look away.
21. One of my favorite things to do is just ask someone why they feel the need to always get the last word in. Whenever they try and say something back, just give them that “you’re proving my point” look. Then they stop talking and pout for a while.
22. “Everything people say about you is true.”
23. If you’re in an argument with someone, don’t yell. Instead, speak quietly and softly. This will often calm them down.
24. My fiance, his brothers and his dad all do this thing that we all refer to as “the thing”. They’ll just pretend to give you increeeedibly false information or pretend they have no clue what you’re talking about randomly with the most obvious shit. It’ll be stuff like, we’ll drive past some palm trees and my fiance will say “hey you know they got their name because the guy who discovered them thought they looked like hands!” or one of them will pretend to have never heard of the movie Back to the Future before or something. They always give it up and start laughing but oh my god.
Thankfully, I’ve been with him long enough that I can see it coming from a mile away and I catch him with “you’re doing the thing.”, but for everyone else it’s an absolute trip because they’re SO believable with it.
25. When talking to someone face-to-face, randomly look over their shoulder with a growing look of horror. Once they have checked to see what you were looking at and have turned back around to face you, continue speaking normally. Ignore any expressions of puzzlement.
26. If you’re annoyed that someone is staring at you stare back. Hold eye contact and don’t let go. If they’re still staring even after this shoot them a kiss, usually gets them to look away.
27. Stop talking. They will babble on, far more than they want to.
28. Laughing at a bully who is obviously all bark and no bite.
Had a female friend in high school getting bullied by a boy who was significantly smaller than she was. He only ever gave her issues when he was with his friends, so it was clear that the goal was to impress them. She wanted to kick his ass since she knew she could stomp him, but didn’t want to get suspended so I told her that next time he puts on his show, laugh. Laugh harder than you’ve ever laughed before. Make yourself cry laughing if you can, and watch what happens.
By golly she took my advice and laughed in his face the next time he verbally attacked her. She was with another friend, and the friend joined in on the laughter. He kept going, calling her different names until his face went red, and still kept going even though he ran out of new insults – causing him to repeat himself.
His friends were originally laughing with him, but after only about a minute of this they stopped him. “Dude, they’re laughing at you. This is getting awkward. Just stop and leave it alone…”
He never tried bullying her again, and I just pulled that idea out of my ass on a whim.
29. Ask someone if they know ALL the words to “I’m a little teapot” (emphasis on the word ALL). Vast majority of the time, grown ass adults will start singing “I’m a little teapot.”
30. One of my bosses feels the need to contradict anything I say, no matter how benign. She gets in “moods”, should probably see a therapist.
When she does this I just start agreeing with whatever she says but I phrase it a little differently, and make my tone slightly argumentative, but I’m basically a parrot. Sure enough she’ll contradict what I say. So I do it again, agreeing with her new statement. We can go on like this for a long time. She argues with herself. It doesn’t help anything but I find it amusing. Its the conversational equivalent of my brother grabbing my hand and smacking me in the face with it whilst saying “why are you hitting yourself ? Stop hitting yourself.”
31. I use this trick all the time when someone is yelling at me over the phone.
Stay completely silent.
Don’t ignore them and speak when spoken to but when they are talking, nothing. No “uh-huh”s, no “mmm”s, no “I see”. Nothing. Deprive them of all subconscious feedback.
You really have to work at it because humans naturally try to feed off one another verbally in conversation. The other person will quickly sense that something is wrong in the conversation and it usually throws them off track enough that they stop ranting or yelling and tell you what they actually want.
Best way to shut someone up without being rude. Semiotics professor taught it to me.
It works just as well in person but, face-to-face, you have to also avoid nodding, moving your hands and you have to look them directly in the eyes.
32. Not really a psychological trick but when I was teaching in the inner city, I had a seventh grader yell at me, in front of the whole class, to go fuck myself when I said they needed to stop talking and pay attention. I didn’t yell at them or scold them, just said we don’t speak like that to each other. Then made it an absolute priority to greet them at the door and ask how their day was going. A couple weeks of this and I asked if they wanted to help run my PowerPoint presentations (transition slides when I needed, etc). Before you knew it, they had the positive influence they needed and I had a wonderful ally in helping my class run smoothly. Sometimes when a person acts out against you, it’s because they are hurt. Show them you care and you may change their entire outlook.
33. Telling people “nice socks” even when they’re not visible.