I regret to inform you that when I was a teenager, I introduced a friend of mine to the extremely iffy “science” of Neuro Linguistic Programming, and then watched to my horror as it turned him into a pickup artist.

I learned my lesson well.

Psychological “tricks” should be handled responsibly, and never used for evil.

What was the very first psychological trick you learned that blew your mind?
byu/WindyBerniercardou2 inAskReddit

With what great responsibility will these great powers come, Reddit? Let’s learn the dark arts.

1. Changing Places

If you ask someone to move over to an arbitrary different location to talk (could be 5 feet away) they are much more likely to listen to you and follow instructions.

(One of my tricks as an elementary school teacher.)

– jerikkoa

2. It’s Up to You

I taught teenagers in a really tough London school. A colleague taught me a brilliant trick to get a kid to calm down when they were angry:

Look them calmly in the eye and say “what do you want to happen next?”

Most of the time they were so caught up in emotion they hadn’t thought about the consequences of their d**kery. As soon as you prod them to think about consequences, most of them would calm down straight away.

– Celtic_Cheetah_92

3. Talk Me Down

Talking myself to sleep.

I’ll think things like, “my bed is sooooo comfortable. Sleeping is soooo easy. I love sleeping. Sleeping is great.” Instead of agonizing over why I can’t sleep.

Positively reinforcing myself is my new lullaby lmao

– HarrisonRyeGraham

4. Help Wanted

When you want/need something from someone, ask them for help with it.

Rather than “hey can you do this for me?”, say “hey can you help me with this?”

People are more inclined to be helpful than to just take on the task for you

– CaptainScotchTape

5. Self Deprecation

People are more likely to believe something you tell them if it’s self depreciating.

You can make up some sort of lie but if you add something negative about yourself in it it sounds more believable.

– radpandaparty

6. Eat Away the Tension

I don’t remember the specifics but if there’s a tense situation between you and another person, eat something.

Seeing you eat, something that people/animals only do when they’re relaxed and feeling unthreatened, will essentially mentally cue yourself AND the other person to relax a little more.

Don’t know how true it is but it makes sense!

– KittyLord0824

7. The Bargain Illusion

At a garage sale my father wanted $5 for a desk.

It sat all day.

Eventually he wrote $10, and $20 above the $5 and crossed them out making it look like he’d dropped the price twice.

It was gone in under 30 minutes.

– mike_e_mcgee

8. Give Them a Choice

I find that when I ask someone if they’d like to be a rewards member, they’re more civil with me if I say, “would you like to be a rewards member or no?” I figure that by saying no at the end I’m insinuating that is is completely fine to say no I don’t want to be. I use this on everyone.

I’ve had customers that I see get short with other cashiers when they ask them this, I then ask them my way whenever I’m cashiering and they’re completely civil about it. I almost always get from these same people, “no thanks not today.”

I guess some people view this questions as nuisance because in their mind they feel like they’re asked this every time at a lot of stores.

– Catman873

9. The Wally Reflector

Thanks to Dilbert-man Scott Adams, I learned the Wally Reflector at a young age.

It’s very simple. If someone tries to pawn their work off on you, ask them to do something for you first related to said task. 9 times out of 10 they’ll leave and try to find someone else.

“Hey can you finish this report for me? I’m going on vacation and want to leave a little early to beat traffic to the airport.”

“Sure, I’d love to help! But, could you possibly send me a quick email with a bullet point list of what needs to be in the report, just so I don’t miss anything?”

“Uhhhh, on second thought…”

– 1234_Temp_qwer

10. Insult Diffusion

If someone insults you, either own it or pretend you don’t understand.

They can’t get you on something you admit to and if they have to explain it, it loses all its impact.

– bigedthebad

11. Smile

Smile as soon as you first see people (you want to like you) as you greet them, like hey buddy how you doin ?!

And look genuinely happy to see them… don’t matter whether its girls, guys, young, old.. it’ll make them excited to see you like every time i don’t get it but there’s psychology to it and it actually changed my life

– tyler-warner

12. Please Elaborate

Don’t know what to say but want to keep the conversation going?

Repeat the last phrase of the last thing the person said as a question.

Eg: As a question?

Yes. As a question. Raise your voice so it’s clear that you want them to go on.

– aciddd123

13. Procrastination Tactics

I’ve given myself this rule where i will internally count down from whatever number and when i hit zero i have to do the thing or else.

example: in the shower, depressed, letting the water run over me. i don’t wanna get out but I’m wasting water.

begin counting down from 30. 29. 28. 27… 3. 2 1. put hand on dial and turn it off without any thought. the only thought is “zero”

i do this for lots of things

– -jesse-james-

14. Square Up

To avoid Canadian standoffs when you and another person are walking towards each other in a hallway, square up your shoulders and tilt your head in the direction you plan on going.

The other person will move out of the way 9 times out of 10

– time_wasting_student

15. Lazy Magic Tricks

Tell someone to quickly pick a number between 1-10.

The number 7 is picked an overwhelming amount of the time. I don’t know why.

– goalieguy930

The tricks are laid before you. Use them wisely.

What tips do you have?

Share them with us in the comments.