29 Psychological Tricks That Will Make You More Trustworthy, Likable, And Productive

29 Psychological Tricks That Will Make You More Trustworthy, Likable, And Productive

These psychological tricks from Ask Reddit are going to help you get ahead in life.

1. Doing something you’re avoiding by just doing the smallest possible step, like washing one plate. It cracks the procrastination paralysis and you usually end up doing the whole thing anyway.

2. Remember people’s names. Greet them by it when you see them, even if that’s the only time this week you might. People really like it when someone remembers them. It’s easy credit.

3. When someone is upset, repeat back what they said. It helps them to hear what their words sounded like and isn’t judgmental. Also, it makes you use their language instead of interjecting words they might associate with a different meaning or connotation, which leads to misunderstanding or defensive behavior.

4. You can remind yourself to do any task by leaving a random object in the middle of the floor on your way out of the room. When you come back in you’ll see the object and remember why you left it there. Works every time.

5. Fake it until you make it can really trick you into doing something you didn’t want to do.

For example, I really don’t feel like starting on my report, let me just pretend that I’m interested in doing it, look over the data and act like I’m getting information out of it. And then next thing I know I’m balls deep into my report.

6. The best way to get a question answered is to just guess at the answer. If you are wrong, people will fall all over themselves to correct you. This is called Moore’s Law.

7. I think it’s called the “hairy arms” trick. When I’m about to hand in the first version of a piece of work, I will leave a small but noticeable error that’s easy to fix. It’s always the error that my boss notices and suggests changing, which means that he/she feels involved in the process but also doesn’t nitpick for something arbitrary to criticize.

8. Silence. It’s so powerful. If I want to find out more about what someone is really thinking or feeling, instead of nodding along or using some verbal filler, I just don’t say or do anything. It’s amazing how people respond. So often as people we interrupt each other before things reach a deeper level. Plus, some people find silence uncomfortable and need to fill it. I’ve found out so much this way.

9. If I want someone to agree with me for whatever reason I’ll subtlety nod my head while asking them a yes or no question. It subconsciously primes them to agree. The trick is more potent if you get them to agree 2 or 3 times to really simple and obvious questions before the question you want them to agree to most.

I use this trick for up-selling at work all of the time. It works dangerously well if I use some nonverbal communication too.

10. Want people to trust you and tell you something? Share something that holds value to you. Often people will feel like they now have to tell you something back

11. Just look straight forward when walking. People won’t bother you or get in your way.

12. If you want something done, and don’t care about credit (maybe it’s too important, or not important enough), make your boss think that your idea is their idea. People fight more for their ideas.

13. As a salesperson, getting the customer to buy extra shit by directing their gaze. Like I would ask, “Oh, and do you need any X today?” while deliberately looking in the direction of that item. The customer instinctively follows my gaze to it and ends up buying it after seeing it. This trick works way better than just asking if they’d like to buy something else.

14. Saying ‘thanks’ rather than ‘please’. As a teacher I use this on small things like instructions when I don’t want to argue with students. It’s amazing how much more effective the sentence, “Get out your book, thanks,” is compared to “Get out your book, please.” It implies that there is no conversation or option for the students.

15. When you want to find out information, I always say, ‘I don’t want to make you feel like you need to tell me, so say it at your own pace’ and I do actually mean it. I don’t want to force them into telling me, but they usually tell me eventually, and they say it in more confidence or detail because they came to me on their own terms.

16. I work with a lot of people, and quite often they think that they somehow know better how my job is done. So, what I usually ask if they complain is, “How would you suggest doing it then?” and if they give me an irrational suggestion or something that’s simply not possible, I ask them something along the lines of, “And how do you imagine me doing this?” This is usually the point where they realize that their ideas are probably not the best guidances when it comes to something they don’t work with.

17. “If they can do it, I can do it.” Almost every single job, position, title or accomplishment has been achieved by someone that other people look at and go, “How the fuck did that moron make it to where he is?” And if those morons can do it, I sure as shit can do it as well.

18. The human brain can usually differentiate between a fake polite smile and a genuine one.

So I just put myself in my golden retriever’s mind when meeting new people and I can feel my face light up like, “OH BOY NEW PERSON! FRIEND FRIEND FRIEND.”

I’ve gotten better service at places and free stuff.

19. If you tell someone you need their help, they are more likely to do what it is you want or need, rather than you telling them to just do it.

20. Illusion of choice. Instead of saying you need to wash the dishes, ask if they’d rather wash dishes or do laundry, or give a choice of time. Do you want to do the dishes now or in an hour? It makes a lot of people’s brains skip the big answer which is none of those.

21. I wouldn’t call it a trick, but empathizing with someone goes a long way. If you can explain their perspective back to them in a way that actually proves you understand it, you have a much better chance of getting them to listen to your perspective.

22. Talk softer so people either de-escalate or pay more attention.

23. Predictability means safe.

I’m a school teacher with a high number of students with trauma. Major issues while getting my routines established, but they’re now super warm to me because I’m reliably predictable.

I have two outfits that I alternate, a mon/wed/fri and a tue/thurs. Same greeting at the start of class, same start to every class etc. Have very transparent discipline too, they know exactly what gets a detention and what doesn’t.

If they can predict what will happen, they feel safe because they’re in control of choosing their outcome for the day.

24. At work, when I know something is not working due to a mistake that someone else has made, I ask them if I’ve done something wrong or if I understand the process correctly. I find more people are willing to own up to something and fix it quickly if they are not made to feel defensive with direct accusations.

25. I’ll try to make myself believe that my due dates for college assignments are one day before so I can pressure myself and finish them on time.

26. When I’m in public, and I think somebody is looking at me, I yawn. Since yawning is ‘contagious’, they will yawn as well.

27. One of the best ways to defuse a conflict while also getting what you want from a person is to compliment them, telling them that they are the qualities you want them to start being in that moment, and then they will usually begin to start acting like it all.

The idea of a compliment throws them off and makes them want to listen more, and then the things you said which they are not will bother their ego and they will usually try to start acting like the way you complimented them for being because to not do so would prove you wrong and they would feel foolish. You can literally trick their own ego against them. This is also a great way to make enemies like you more. I’ve made enemies into friends using this trick.

28. Ben Franklin effect – if someone doesn’t like you, convince them to do you a favor or lend you something. It’ll trick their subconscious into convincing them they like you. Very handy at work.

29. “I’m not nervous, I’m excited” – nerve killer every time!!! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

January Nelson

January Nelson

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.