#1: Be the First or the Last

We best memorize what we see first and last. This stratagem is widely used by Hollywood moviemakers. If the beginning of a movie was exciting, and its ending was charming and unexpected, we will like that movie, even if its plot in the middle didn't seem too interesting. The same rule applies to human communication. If you're planning a job interview, try to arrange it in a way to be the first or the candidate to be interviewed. Your potential employer will remember you better.

This technique can also be applied in conversations - if you gave a person a good impression at the beginning, and at the end, you told them a funny joke or an interesting fact, the interlocutor will keep that good impression they initially had about you. Even if things did not go smoothly in the middle of the dialog.

#2: Mirroring

How can you make sure your interlocutor likes you, even if you barely know them? Try to copy their behavior. When talking to them, try to make similar gestures, facial expressions, or talk using the same speech rate. The New York University has conducted huge research dedicated to this "chameleon effect". It has shown that people are prone to show sympathy towards conversational partners who use behaviors similar to their own.

You can use this technique when you have an important meeting or want to get approval from your interlocutor on some matters.

#3: Determine Eye Color

If you want to charm someone you don't know in a matter of seconds, use this simple life hack - try to determine the color of their eyes. This trick is great for those having eye contact issues. To determine someone's eye color, 3-5 seconds are enough. It can help you evoke sympathy from your conversational partner. Longer eye contact may, on the contrary, create tension in your interlocutor. An individual staring into someone's eyes for a prolonged time may cause people antipathy and fear.

#4: Fight or Run

Despite centuries of evolution, our brains still retain the mechanisms primitive people had. When faced with danger, a human being has two options - to fight or to run. Thousands of years ago, these situations occurred when meeting with dangerous beasts. Today, suspects under interrogation or teenagers who are persistently questioned by their parents feel the same. In both cases, people experience an adrenaline rush and restless arms and legs. But no one can run away when interrogated, so they're unconsciously trying to release their energy. Before telling a lie, an individual may fidget, rub their hands, touch their hair, or make unnatural gestures. Also, when someone is lying, their body temperature rises. That is why many people, especially men, touch their shirt or tee collar in these cases. They often pull it, as if to let the airflow in and cool down a bit. Knowing this will help you spot a liar.

#5: Enjoy the Silence

When you are in a small space with a person, silence usually causes a feeling of extreme discomfort. You can use it for your benefit to make them tell you the truth. When you ask a question and you want an honest answer, just keep silent after your interlocutor has answered you. It will create tension in them if they lied. They will think that you actually know the truth and expect an honest answer from them. You can also look them not in the eyes, but at their forehead. Most people will feel extremely uncomfortable at that moment and will want to end the conversation as soon as possible. To do that, they will be forced to tell the truth right away.

#6: Help Me Please

How can you quickly connect with a stranger and evoke sympathy from them? You should let them help you! Most people feel more positive emotions when they help someone than when someone helps them. Imagine that it's your first day at a new job and you want to connect with a colleague. Ask them to give you a little help with something small - for instance, a good place near your office to go on a lunch break. It costs nothing to your conversational partner, while they get a nice feeling of having helped you. This way, you can make friends very fast.

#7: The 5 Seconds Rule

According to psychologists, we just need 5 seconds to understand whether we like a stranger or not. So if you want to get respect and sympathy from a person you don't know, you should think about some important details beforehand. The first two things your conversational partner will notice are your appearance and your body position. By appearance we mean, first of all, clothes. The principle of "wearing what everyone wears" is wrong. If your style is like this, you do not stand out from the crowd and thus, you cannot evoke enough sympathy and interest toward you in the first 5 seconds of your conversation. It doesn't mean that your clothes have to be too expensive and pretentious. "Forget about the price tag" should be your motto here. The key thing about your style is that your clothes have to look good on you!

Your body position and posture are also very telling - if you stoop or hide your hands, you subconsciously want your body to get less noticed by your interlocutor. Which means that you’re an insecure person. It will be impossible to make your conversational partners respect you in the first seconds of the meeting. Of course, it is also important what you will talk about, but the first impression can really set the tone of the meeting and lead to your success - or failure.

So remember the three things that are crucial in the first 5 seconds of your meeting:

  • Good posture
  • No hiding hands in your pockets
  • No looking away.

#8: The Bait Effect

This trick is widely used by shop assistants. Imagine you are one of them. You have a $500 camera in your shop, and you want to sell as many as you can. If you want your potential customers to buy exactly this camera, put a $200 camera, then the $500 camera, and a $1000 camera close to each other in your shop window. The vast majority of people will choose the one in the middle. This phenomenon is also called the "compromise effect". Subconsciously, our brain tries to filter out the most extreme options and choose something in between. This technique is used by people working in many fields - from coffee sellers to car dealers.

#9: Attention: Body Talk

If your interlocutor touches their chin when listening to you, you can be sure they’re not listening. People usually make this gesture when thinking deeply without noticing anything or anyone around them. So if you noticed this kind of behavior, stop telling important things - you will not be heard anyway. The same applies to another position - when someone slides back on a chair. If a person does this, their body language speaks loud and clear - they are tired and bored. Maybe it’s time for a break?

#10: Memorize Their Name

According to Dale Carnegie, "Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language". In fact, everyone loves to be called by name! If you have a hard time remembering names, it may cause you problems. People do not like to be asked "What is your name again?". But worry not - we have a simple yet effective life hack on how to memorize names: after a person introduced themselves, use their name several times in a conversation. It is good to start questions with your interlocutor’s name. Remembering people’s names will help you avoid many awkward situations.

#11: Things in Common

We tend to like people we have something in common with. So, if in a conversation with someone you discover that they like the same kind of food or share the same hobby with you, use it to your good advantage. Tell them something related to those things in common that happened to you in the past. For example, if they mentioned they like Superhero movies, say Superman is your favorite, or ask if they liked the latest Iron Man. If you have something in common to discuss, it will help you build an emotional connection with your conversational partner.

#12: Ask for More

Many shop assistants use this trick. They tell you a slightly higher price at first, and when you are ready to say no, they suddenly reduce it. The thing is this "reduced" price was their actual goal. And a higher price was nothing but a psychological trick to make you accept an offer with a "discount".

This technique can help you in other situations too - for instance, if you want a friend to loan you money, ask for a larger sum first. If you need $500, ask for $1000 first, and if your friend says they can't help you, ask again, this time, for $500. The trick will most likely work, also due to guilty feelings for having to say no twice in a row.

#13: Pay it Forward

If you want someone to do you a favor, the best way to do it is to make them owe you. First, you should help a person you think could be useful to you in the future, and when they thank you, don’t answer with a "No worries" or something like that. Say "You’re welcome, that’s what friends do for each other". Now, that person subconsciously feels they owe you one.

#14: Mind the Colors

Color is a very powerful tool that influences every person. That is why we highly suggest you pay attention to the colors of your clothes depending on the situation. If you want a job in a serious company, you should avoid bright colors like orange or lime green. It may scare off your potential employer. Take this Lusher Color Test to find out how your favourite colors impact your personality.

#15: Start Small

If you have to do something big and important, your brain is probably resisting it so you can’t even start doing it. Then you should try starting small. For example, you could say to yourself: "I’m going to work for 20 minutes". Chances are that after 20 minutes you will get so into it that you will decide to keep working. You can also divide something big into many small tasks and do one task a day.

It is possible to apply this technique if you’re an employer, too. For your employees to work productively, you can divide one big task into several parts and tell them to start working on those.

#16: Don’t Get Personal

Imagine you’re discussing an idea between friends or coworkers. At some point, you start arguing with one of them. When you're out of arguments, you get personal - for example, tell them they have less experience than you, or that their ideas are always bad. It may seem to you like there’s nothing wrong with your reasoning at that moment, but everyone around you starts seeing you negatively. Your mistake was to criticize the person instead of criticizing a particular idea they offered. The accusing party always looks weak. So don’t make this mistake and always remember not to criticize people. If you disagree with an idea, suggest an alternative - you will look confident and respectable.

#17: Use Food to Connect

Food has brought humans together for centuries. You can use it to your advantage too. If you have to tell someone an ugly truth, do it over lunch or dinner. When people are eating, they are too focused on the process, which is why they usually don’t overreact or argue. Places matter too - if you’re telling someone bad news in a crowded restaurant, it will be an utter deterrent for them to release their negative emotions. Also, most people are nervous when hungry, so giving them food before sharing something negative with them is a good idea.

#18: Start with Your Room

Want to make your life more organized? Start with cleaning your room! It might sound surprising, but research conducted in the 1980s in New York showed that this technique really works. If you want to get rid of the mess in your life, get rid of it in your room first!

#19: If You’re Anxious, Eat

If you feel like you’re too nervous, have some food. It’s a very efficient way to calm down and relax. When someone is chewing, their brain is distracted. Also, never try to absorb important information while eating - your brain has a hard time doing both things simultaneously.

#20: Ask the Right Way

For example, you want to ask your friend to help you move houses. How are you going to ask for help? With something like "Could you help me"? The truth is, if you use the subjunctive mood, your friend may refuse to help you. But if you ask for help directly - for instance, with a sentence like "Please help me move this Saturday", the chances that your friend will accept to help you will increase significantly.