Don’t we all wish that every social situation, good or bad, came with a prewritten script? While that certainly isn’t the case, there are a couple of psychological tricks you can use to your benefit. Just remember to never use these techniques to harm others or take advantage of their weak and vulnerable moments. All they’re truly meant for is to make everyday interactions a lot smoother and easier. Below are five ways you could do this.
1. Open Up
You can know someone for years and they might never reveal their true self to you. One way to get them out of their shell a bit is by being a more vulnerable version of yourself. If you are willing to share your darkest and toughest experiences with them, then there’s a chance that they’d feel more comfortable doing the same. In other words, if you are willing to take off your armor and lower your defenses first, then you may be able to get the most closed off people to open up as well.
2. Question, Question, Question
If you ever find yourself in an argument that leads to nowhere, then maybe it’s time to take a different approach. Instead of immediately getting into a shouting match, then you could try asking a bunch of questions. Get the other person to clarify what they said, but make it seem like you don’t understand their point and are not trying to prove them wrong. Asking these questions will not have an immediate effect but will help them reconsider their position and why it didn’t make sense to you, all without you putting them down.
3. Mimicry Works
The first part of this trick is being an active listener. This will make the other person feel like you really get them. Responding with a vague “yeah” or “uh-huh” is not enough. Once that connection is established, you move on to mimicking them in really subtle ways. All you have to do is look for moments in the conversation where you can point out that your thought process is similar to theirs. Do this often enough and they will feel like you really enjoy their company. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should change your entire personality or belief system for them.
4. Praise People . . . Kinda
Humans are social creatures who crave attention and connection. Everyone has their negative moments but some people have a hard time getting out of a rut. One way to influence them into being more positive is by giving more compliments and letting some of their negative traits and actions slide when it’s small enough to ignore; no one’s perfect after all. This doesn’t mean that you should turn a blind eye to everything or make excuses for someone. You just need to reinforce their more positive traits and in time, they’ll become a better person with a more positive outlook.
In case you didn’t know, solicitousness is defined as showing a great deal of interest or concern. Similar to asking lots of questions, solicitousness works as a sort of reverse psychology where you can get people to agree with you by doing the opposite. For example, if some claims incompetence when it comes to doing something as simple as the dishes, then you can offer to teach them how to do it, step by step. If they insist that they will mess it up, then explain to them that you were once in the same situation and that you overcame it. Nagging will just make them want to dig their heels in.
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