Life is full of obstacles. Some you can see coming, some jump out of nowhere and take you by surprise.

That’s why it’s important to be prepared mentally to deal with whatever comes your way.

In this article, AskReddit users share the psychological life hacks you can use to your advantage in a number of different situations.

Good luck out there!

1. Look in the mirror.

“I learned this on here a few years ago.

For anyone in customer service (or works for many different situations, but CS is a big one) put a mirror behind you at the counter. This way angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chances of them behaving irrationally lowers significantly.

No one wants to see themselves act like a d%ckhead.”

2. Choose your seat wisely.

“If you’re in a group meeting and you suspect that someone in there might come after you about something, sit right next to them. They were hoping that the group would provide some sort of herd defense, but if you’re right next to them it can’t be anything other than personal. This tends to make them back off, or at least substantially temper what they say.”

3. Silence is golden.

“If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer just wait.

If you stay silent and keep eye contact they will usually continue talking.”

4. An offer you can’t refuse…

“If you really want something from someone, frame it as an offer rather than a request. When Teddy Roosevelt was running for president, his campaign printed out 3 million leaflets with a picture of Teddy and a copy of a campaign speech. The campaign then realized that they didn’t have the rights to the photo.

Instead of explaining the situation to the photographer, which would have given him leverage to ask for a lot of money, the campaign made an offer that they would use the picture, giving the photographer lots of publicity if the studio paid them $250. The studio paid the money.”

5. I can wait…

“In sales, (though I guess it could be applied in other ways) once you make the sales pitch, don’t say anything else.

My boss at an old job was training me and just giving me pointers. I was working at a gym trying to sell memberships. He told me that once I got all the small talk out of the way and presented the prices, that the first person to talk will lose. It didn’t seem like a big deal but it actually worked. Often there were long periods of awkward silence as the person tried to come up with some excuse, but usually they bought. It was quite impressive actually.”

6. I’m not in danger.

“Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that would make you nervous like public speaking or bungee jumping. I can’t remember where I heard it but apparently if we are ‘eating’ something in our brains trip and it reasons ‘I would not be eating if I were danger. So I’m not in danger’. Has helped calm me a few times.”

7. Start with the easy stuff.

“Foot-in-the-door phenomenon. People are more likely to agree to do a task for you if you ask them to do something simpler first.”

8. Kill ’em with kindness.

“When I worked in retail, I had a tendency to get real curt with rude customers. When I realized I was just taking the bait, I decided to be super nice even when they would get openly hostile. Some of them would get even crazier and they looked like tools.”

9. Stop talking trash.

“Promise yourself you’ll never talk sh^t about other people. Even when the people around you are talking sh^t, even when you agree with the sh^t they’re saying. You don’t have to make a big deal of it, just don’t partake in it.

Once people get the idea you’re not into saying mean sh^t about other people behind their backs, the amount of sh^t they talk around you will decrease. It isn’t fun to talk sh^t unless everybody’s talking sh^t. Your decision to stop talking sh^t and their eventual reaction to you not reciprocating the sh^t talking will positively affect both of you, as well as your relationship.

I don’t know, for me, since I made this change in how I interact with people the amount and quality of my friendships has grown. People will trust you more if they haven’t listened to you gossip about other people. You will be seen as more a more positive person than other friends who do talk sh^t. The gap gossiping used to fill will be replaced with way more interesting and/or intimate conversation too.

Just stop talking sh^t and be kind.”

10. Get comfortable.

“For interviews I recommend altering your psychological state beforehand. Tell yourself “I’ve known these people all my life. We’re old friends catching up. I can’t wait to see them”. Visualize the experience, shaking hands, making eye contact, having conversation. What things can you not to wait to tell them? Hold an open pose…stand with your legs apart, hands on your hips, and shoulders back while doing this and SMILE. This may sound cliche but you are in charge of your own psychological state and the power of suggestion is strong.”

11. Make them feel good.

“People will remember not what you said but how you made them feel.

Also most people like talking about themselves so ask lots of questions about them.”

12. Works every time.

“A Navy lifer I worked with taught me the “See one, do one, teach one” method. The last step is the most vital step for your comprehension. If you are taught a new task at work, most people learn to do the task and then perform the task. If you find another employee to teach what you just learned, you will comprehend the concept better, and retain the info for much longer. Whenever I train a new associate at work, I ask them to go show another coworker how to do the task they just learned. Magic.”

13. Good idea!

“False attribution of arousal. When you take somebody out on a first date, take them somewhere exciting that will get their heart beating. e.g. roller coaster or horror film. This gets their adrenaline up. It makes them think they enjoy spending time with you rather than the activity.”

14. Parenting 101.

“Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control. For instance when I want him to put his shoes on I will say, “do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?””

15. I’ll give it a shot. Why not?

“The moment your alarm wakes you up, immediately react by sitting up, pump your fists and shout “YEAH!””

That’s how you do it! All great advice and we hope you get a chance to use some or all of these in your life!

But seriously… which ones are you going to use first, hmmm? Let us know in the comments. 😉