Learning how to communicate more effectively can help you in all areas of life, from interpersonal relationships to the workplace.
Reddit users recently shared some of the best psychological “tricks” in their mental tool kits, and their answers proved to be both enlightening and surprisingly simple! Here are a few of our favorite mental hacks to use when you’re interacting with others.
1. “When you’re talking to someone, they will naturally fill silence. It’s subconscious. If you want them to keep talking, keep your own mouth shut. This is useful if you’re ever in a verbal altercation.”
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2. “Think of my future self…”
- “How will my future self feel in an hour or two if I skip my gym session?
- Will my future self be happy if I do this pile of dishes now, before bed? Or would he prefer to have to do it in the morning, before work?
- I have a three month deadline on this project, will my future self appreciate my current self taking the first three or four weeks easy?”
3. “To avoid workplace drama and be well liked, just compliment people behind their back.”
4. “When somebody shy is speaking, if you look at them and nod your head it encourages them to keep talking.”
5. “I work in an office. When people stop by my desk and refuse to leave me alone, I get up and refill my water bottle while they are talking to me. Instead of walking back to my desk, I walk them to theirs. They instinctively will sit down. Then I just sever the conversation and get back to work.”
6. “I’m a professional poker player. When I am in a pot with one other player, I often try to make them laugh when they are thinking about what to do. If you can get them to laugh, it sets them in a mood where they are unlikely to bluff.”
7. “When you are standing in a group and somebody tells a joke or something funny happens, people tend to look towards the person they like the most while laughing.”
8. “If someone is totally distraught and shut down, asking their phone number/address/SSN/birthdate can pull them out of the emotional place and bring them back to a headspace where they can talk about what happened more easily.”
9. “Thanking someone for a trait you want from them. Instead of telling a customer you’re sorry for their wait, tell them thank you for your patience or understanding. Works wonders.”
10. “My youngest (4) got into the ‘why’ phase a little while back. Read an article that said the best way to get them to stop was to ask them, ‘I’m not sure, what do you think?’ It is a godsend. They answer their own question, you provide some feedback: ‘Sounds good to me,’ and they immediately move on.”
11. “When you need to find out a name, e.g. for a lead, you say, ‘Oh is John still managing up there?’ They go, ‘No it’s Mark now.'”
Smile at the bartender, they’ll be more likely to come to you quicker. Smile at your colleague in the morning and they’ll be more open to the request that you’ve got for them later. Smile at your kids and they’ll feel loved. Smile at your partner and they’ll wonder what they’ve done that’s made you so happy. Smile at me and I’ll smile back and we’ll both feel great for a few minutes.
13. “Be direct and personal when you need things. Instead of asking IF anyone has an EpiPen, ask WHO has an EpiPen. Instead of saying someone call 911, point to someone say, ‘You in the blue jacket, what’s your name? Tom. OK Tom, go call 911 and come tell me when they are on the way.'”
14. “Don’t say, ‘It’s OK,’ when someone apologizes. Say something like, ‘Thank you for apologizing.'”
15. “I currently manage around 240 people between six restaurants. It is often hard to get them to do what is needed. I have found saying ‘I need your help’ is sufficient to get them on board. People want to feel needed and like they are making a difference.”
Why didn’t we think of these? Thank goodness the internet helps us tap into total strangers’ wisdom. We might never have learned these tips on our own!
Share these mental hacks with others.
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