I’m the kind of person who is always forgetting people’s’ names. Like, constantly. So here’s a trick I came up with:
If you need to ask someone for their name but you’re too embarrassed, casually ask them what their MIDDLE name is, like you’re curious. Even if they’ve told you before they probably don’t really expect you to remember.
They’ll tell you their middle name, and then 9 times out of 10, they’ll reflexively put it into the context of their full name to demonstrate how it flows.
Boom. You’ve got their first name now.
But I’m not the only person with a master of these dark arts. Here are a bunch of other little tricks, courtesy of Reddit.
1. Look on Past
When walking through a crowd don’t look at the People in front of you.
Instead look past them where you are trying to go and most people will make room without noticing it.
2. Procrastination Tricks
My first workplace trick that I still use regularly: people will procrastinate with their own work, but drop everything to quickly “correct” someone else’s work.
Example: Bill needs to provide a paragraph of text to go in your company’s brochure. He’s been dragging his feet forever and it’s the last thing you’re waiting on but he keeps putting it off. Go to where his paragraph should be and write a sh**ty version of what he’s supposed to do. Don’t invest more than ten seconds. “We do widget services. We are good at it. Our services are good for your widget needs.”
Send it to Bill saying “hey I filled in the last paragraph about widget services; can you check and make sure it meets your criteria, and I’ll send it along to the boss for approval?” You’ll have Bill’s polished, fully composed text in about ten minutes.
3. Deflective Flattery
Working as a waitress, if I noticed a customer was getting particularly impatient and it looked like they were going to be rude to me when I went over, when I would take the food over and before they got the chance to speak I’d say something like ‘So sorry for the wait, thanks for being so lovely about it!’
It seemed to catch them off guard and paint them as the ‘nice guy’ in my eyes, and more often than not their expression would change from p**sed off to surprised, then they’d say something like ‘oh no problem it’s okay’ so they could keep being the nice guy and feel good about themselves and I avoid a chewing out.
4. Stop Talking
If you want to get more information out of someone, just let them speak. There are times in a conversation that things stop. Most people want to fill this themselves, but don’t. Let the other person do it.
This is especially useful if you think the person and their story is full of s**t.
5. Door in the Face Technique
Basically someone who would have said no to a certain request if you asked it initially, is more likely to say yes to that request if you FIRST ask for something so big that you KNOW they’ll say no, and then the thing you actually want seems reasonable by comparison when you ask it afterward
If you feel like something is a really big chore or you just can’t get yourself to get up and go do something, minimize it to a small insignificant part.
Instead of doing all the garden work, say you’re just going to take the tools out so when you want to work you can.
90% of the time once you’re up and doing the small thing, the big bad chore doesn’t seem so bad now and you end up doing it.
7. The Handoff
You can give a person talking on their phone an object and they will most likely take it because they are focused on the call.
I regularly hand people empty plates, most of the time they just keep talking and don’t notice what I’m doing.
8. Meet and Greet
If you want to be involved in any work environment, or feel like an insider during work, you gotta greet everyone you meet right away. If you missed them, turn around, go back, and say something like “sorry, I didn’t catch your name. I’m ____.” If you don’t have time, then take the next chance, even if it’s just a “hi” or a wave.
People will see you as assertive and approachable. It doesn’t really matter if you’re introverted and don’t speak to them for the rest of the day or whatever. It kills most of the awkwardness associated with being social with people you may or may not know. Plus, it sets you up for healthy teamwork
Getting through a job interview, when I first graduated I really struggled, had a couple of rejections and picked up a self help book.
The first tip was just smile. They already think you’re qualified, the interview is to check you’re going to fit in.
I didn’t have time to read any further so I felt completely unprepared. The entire interview was all jokes and laughter and I got the job. It was for a creative role so most of these kinds of jobs don’t do any weird testing or have any formal questioning or metrics.
10. Face the Fears
Whatever you’re scared of doing is only going to last two seconds. Then you’ll blink and it will be months later and you’ll wonder why you were even worried.
I figured this out in 8th grade before a presentation I was TERRIFIED of giving, and I think of that moment every time I’m nervous to do something and now I’m 28!
Time flies. No point of worrying about it.
11. The Correction Gambit
The fastest way to get the information you want isn’t to ask, it’s make an incorrect statement.
People can’t help but correct others.
Seriously works so well.
12. Forward Momentum
By walking with your head and eyes forward like you’re deliberately going somewhere, people will move out of your way.
I first tried this in a crowded mall when I was 14 and was blown away.
I felt so powerful at 14 lol.
13. Warm Fuzzies
Holding something warm creates positive feelings toward someone you just met, and something cold creates negative feelings.
Always meet someone at a coffee shop.
14. Kill ‘Em with Kindness
Wew lad nothing eats away at your enemies like that. Short, sweet, simple, and confident does the trick. You could get into a massive argument for hours, fight, cuss, spit, punch, kick. Nothing will really burn them at the core quite as much as being nice to them.
I believe it is a psychological trick because they usually don’t expect it. They know you’re enemies, and it throws them into a loop and off-guard.
I bumped into my old boss recently. He had absolutely royally screwed me over before I quit, stabbed me square in the back to protect his own hide. I gave him this huge smile, said “Hey [name], good to see you!”
He gave a weird frown and returned “Hi… Uh… How have you been?”
“Better than ever! How about you?”
“Uh… Fine.” He made an obvious effort to keep walking and avoid a conversation.
I bumped into him again before I left the place we were at and gave him a nod, nice smile, and the “three finger wave” sort of like a salute. His face said it all… I hate that guy, why is he happy?
15. The Illusion of Choice
Give young kids the illusion they are making a decision to do something that you really want them to do.
Kid won’t eat their carrots and wants dessert now? You say to them do you want to eat your carrots first and then dessert? Or would you like to save your dessert for tomorrow and eat your carrots now?
We’re a tricky species, that’s for sure.
Do you have a trick like this?
Share it with us in the comments.