36 Cool Psychological Hacks You Must Know

1. Pay attention to people’s body angle when approaching them

When you want to approach two people talking to each other, look at their feet position and body angle. 

If their body makes an angle of 45 degrees with each other and their feet points towards an imaginary third point to make a triangle, it means that they are more than happy to have a third person join the conversation. You can easily approach them.

If they are standing facing each other (body angle is zero), it is a closed position. It means that they are having some deep conversations and won’t like to be interrupted.

However, if you still want to approach them without coming off as an idiot, go to the next hack.

2. If you have a tough decision to make, flip a coin.

You will realize what you really want when it’s in the air.

3. Want to know whether someone is paying attention to what you are saying? Fold your arms.

Nobody likes to waste time and energy talking to a person who is distracted and not even interested in what you are saying. 

But how do we know whether someone is paying attention to what we are saying or not?

Simple. Fold your arms.

Fold your arms while talking and see if the other person does it too. If the other person is interested in what you are saying, they will most likely mimic your body language.

4. Pay attention to people’s feet when approaching them

When you make the final approach, pay attention to their feet.

If they only turn their torsos and no their feet, it is a signal that you should leave them alone.

And if they turn not only their torsos but also their feet, you are invited to join the conversation.

5. If you want to make people feel good, rephrase what they just told you

When you are in a conversation with another person and he says something really important, rephrase what he just said in your own words. He would think that you are a good listener and that you are really interested in what he has to say. It makes him feel like the center of attraction.

6. Chew gum if you are nervous

Nervous about the big presentation in office?

One simple yet effective solution: Chew gum.

From an evolutionary perspective, our brains assume that if we are eating something then we are not in any immediate danger. As a result, the fight or flight response is weakened.

Chewing gum is also associated with reduced anxiety and lower cortisol levels. It tends to have a calming effect on our mind.

Additionally, a research found that people who chewed gum while completing memory related tasks had quicker reaction time and a higher sustained attention span than their non-chewing counterparts. 

7. Get people to like you by asking small favors

Benjamin Franklin had a hater, whom Benjamin wanted to recruit on his side. The man had a very unique book in his library.

 Franklin asked the man whether he could lend his to him for a week, to which the man readily agreed. One week later, Franklin returned the book with a thank-you note.

The next time they saw each other, the man was exceedingly friendly to Franklin. And they remained friends until the death of the man.

This effect is known as the Benjamin Franklin effect. When you do something nice for a person you don’t have particular warm feelings for, your brain will decide that the recipient of your help must be close to you. You will eventually start liking them more than you originally did.

The next time you are trying to be friends with someone who dislikes you, ask them a small favor.

8. Ditch “I think” and “I believe”

This one is for those who want to be persuasive. If you want to persuade others, limit the use of “I think” and “I believe”. These words do not evoke confidence and they are is a good chance that the other person will not take you seriously.

Change them to “I know” and “I will” instead.

9. Avoiding someone’s anger by sitting next to them

It is a lot easier to unload your anger on someone-

a). Physically distant from you

b). Standing in front of you

So, if you sense that someone is really pissed off at you, take control of the situation and sit right next to them. It is really awkward for a person to turn to someone sitting immediately next to you and unload your anger at them.

10. Use foot-in-the-door technique to get people to agree to a request

It is a strategy used to persuade people to agree to a particular request. 

It is based on the idea that if a person will comply with a small initial request then will be more likely to a later, more significant effect, which they would not have agreed to had they been asked it outright.

Charities use this technique in fundraising efforts. Organizations will first ask a person to donate a small amount each month to a cause. Later on, they will ask whether they would be willing to increase their regular contribution.

Next time you want someone to do something for you, first ask them to do something trivial for you and then follow it up with your ‘real’ request.

11. Remember the word by clenching your fists

Struggling to remember a word? Clench your fists.

This has been proven to increase brain activity and improves memory.

12. Different approach for different gender

Men fear attack from the front and are more cautious of the frontal approach, while women fear attack from behind and are wary of rear approach.

So, never stand face to face with a man you have just met. He perceives it as a sign of aggression from a man and sexual interest from a  woman.

If you are a male, it is acceptable to approach a woman from the front. Eventually, angle yourself to 45 degrees.

13. Want a confession from someone? Talk to that person when he is physically exhausted. 

People are generally more honest when physically tired. This is why people confess things during late night conversations.

14. Improve your mood instantly

Smiling for sixty seconds, even when you are in a bad mood, will immediately improve your mood. Using these muscles is enough to trigger the happy chemicals in your brain.

15. To plant a seed of an idea in someone’s mind, ask them to not think of that particular thing at all.

Say, I ask you not to think about polar bears.

What are you thinking of?

16. Need a favor, open with “I need your help”

We all have been positions where we really need someone’s help to complete a task. 

All you have to do is just start you sentence with, “I need your help.” How is somebody going to help you if they don’t know that you need a helping-hand.

And believe it or not, most people will accept your request and try their best to help you out. People don’t really like the guilt of not helping out someone. 

17. Want to get the ‘sticky song’ out of your head? Do this!

Sometimes it happens that a song continues to play on a loop in our head. I call them ‘sticky song’ because they tend to stick in our head, irritating us all the while.

But why does it happen anyway?

It is because of a psychological phenomenon known as the Zeigarnik Effect, which says that the human brain has a natural tendency to remember incomplete activities. It serves as an automatic system to remind you to finish what you started. 

To get that ‘sticky song’ out of your head, just listen to it all the way to the finish, singing along as you do.

18. Writing down negative thoughts and tossing them in a trash can is a psychological trick that can improve your mood.

19. If you believe someone is lying to you, don’t say anything. If they continue to elaborate on what they are saying then they are lying.

20. If you brush your teeth (and do other trivial tasks) with your non-dominant hand, you force the brain to work differently. Your self-control will improve.

21. When you get an email or text that infuriates you, wait about an hour before responding. You will be surprised at how much more rational you become.

22. Mad about something or someone pissed you off? Wait 24 hours before reacting. If it doesn’t bother you in 24 hours, it probably isn’t that important to get mad over.

23. When you are trying to convince someone over something, make sure they are sitting and you are standing. This will make them believe you sooner.

24. If you want people to take you seriously, tell what you say is what your father taught you. People tend to believe fatherly advice inherently.

25. When asking someone a question, get them to agree with you by simply nodding your head. The action makes them start to think that what you are saying is true and that they should nod ‘yes’ too, since our behaviors are social.

26. If you want your friend to carry something, just keep talking to him/her while handing him/her the bag. Most people will automatically take the bag without thinking.

27. When you want someone to do something, give them a choice. If you want your kids to eat broccoli, ask them if they want two broccoli stalks or 5, instead of just asking them if they want broccoli. This way you have already made them eat broccoli, but they will feel like they are getting a great deal by choosing the amount of broccoli they want.

28. Become a champion at rock-paper-scissors by asking your the other person a question right before starting the game. After you ask, immediately start into the “rock, paper, scissors” chant, they will almost defensively throw scissors. 

29. If you have trouble remembering names, repeat the other person’s name a few times during the conversation.

30. If you ask someone a question and they finish talking without providing the final answer, stay silent and keep eye contact. The combination of silence and a strong eye contact will pressure them to bridge the silence by revealing more.

31. If you want to find out which people are close to each other within a group of people, pay attention to who is looking at each other when everyone in the group laughs at a joke. People instinctively look at the person they feel the closest to within the group. You can also use to find out if someone has hidden feelings for some other member of the group.

32. If you work in a customer service of any kind, put a mirror behind you at the counter. When an angry customer approaches you, he will have to see himself in the mirror, and the chances of them behaving irrationally lowers significantly. Nobody wants to see themselves acting like an asshole!

33. Want to learn how to differentiate between a real and a fake smile? Observe the eyes of people when they smile. If wrinkles form near the corner of the eyes, the smile is genuine.

34. When people are angry at you, remain cool and calm. They will get even angrier at you and later feel embarrassed. By not reacting, you are signalling that the situation doesn’t affect you and that you are better able to control your emotions. 

35. The best and the easiest way to learn and remember things is to teach it to someone else. In this way, you will comprehend the concept in a better way and retain information for a longer period of time.

36. Want to know if someone is watching you? Just yawn and look at the person you suspect of watching. If they yawn too, then it confirms that they were watching you, as yawning is contagious. (But if they are psychopaths, it won’t work on them because they lack empathy and are therefore immune)


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