Human psychology is a pretty complex thing that still hides mysteries despite being studied for hundreds of years. However, as intimidating as it may sound, there are actually a few simple psychology tricks that you can apply in your daily life – and today we’d like to introduce you to some of them.
A little while ago, one Reddit user asked people to share “What was the very first psychological trick you learned that blew your mind?”, and ended up receiving hundreds of useful answers. Check out a collection of simple psychology tricks that actually work in the gallery below!
If someone makes a derogatory joke about you in a group setting, play dumb and ask them to explain. It’s not funny the second time and they will look like an AH
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 shit.
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.
Minimizing. 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.
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 dickery. As soon as you prod them to think about consequences, most of them would calm down straight away.
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 crowed mall when I was 14 and was blown away. I felt so powerful at 14 lol.
You know how small yappy dogs and tiny mice running around are terrifying despite us logically being much larger? Well in Kendo there is the “disarming scream” where you run at your opponent with a loud scream. When I’ve attempted doing my kendo practise, despite warning the person of what I’m about to do they inevitably drop the sword and can’t take it. I’ve used this trick even without my old bamboo practise sword. Ie I ran at a violent mugger who was beating a young student. I’m a small woman but the guy still ran off. I’ve also used this trick to literally throw a guy more than twice my size (don’t recommend unless you know how to do a judo throw)
So basically, if you don’t have an alternative, loud scream coinciding with running at your opponent works very well at disarming someone.
If you don’t look a toddler in the eyes after it falls or hurts
i tend to procrastinate. a lot.
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 dont 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
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.)
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
People who feel guilty will over explain to justify their actions.
I do insurance claims. I don’t need to know why you backed into a pole, I don’t care. It’s covered, all I need is the incident and damage description. But man some people feel so bad about it, they won’t stop going on about how the sun was in their eyes but they should have looked better and they can’t believe it happened, and they have a reversing camera and sensors which were supposed to help but they didn’t and they’re so angry with themselves and it’s a new car and they can’t believe they’ve done this.
If a toddler does something to get your attention, do the same.
Once my nephew dropped on the floor and started having a tantrum by shouting and kicking.
I did the same. He looked at me shocked and confused, got up and walked away lol
If you find yourself overthinking, stare at a fixated point. To fetch memories, your eyes need to move. So if you’re staring at a singular point, it’s very difficult to overthink.
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 pissed 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.
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 genuinley happy to see them… dont matter whether its girls, guys, young, old.. itll make them excited to see you like every time i dont get it but theres phsycology to it and it actually changed my life
If you look and sound like you know what you are doing, odds are a fair amount of people will think you know what you are doing.
Even if you don’t
A therapist told me that anger is a secondary emotion and should be treated like a traffic light, you should stop at yellow before jumping to red. Ask yourself what was the first thing come to your mind triggered you is it being ignored, feeling trapped, unheard, insecure etc… Because your first thought is what you actually feel your anger comes last.
I’m a calm natured person rarely get angry, this advice helped me to identify my weaknesses and anxiety. You can apply this to any emotion not just anger.
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 shitty 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.
“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 bulletpoint list of what needs to be in the report, just so I don’t miss anything?”
“Uhhhh, on second thought…”