Understanding people and navigating the social landscape is a challenge. But there are some cheat codes available for dealing with our fellow humans. One person asked on a popular online forum, what psychological tricks or facts have you learned? Here are some of the top answers.
1. Validation is All People Want
“Most people need validation when they’re upset. Even if they’re behaving like absolute a**holes, they’re usually just upset. Hearing them and agreeing they have reason to be upset can diffuse a lot of situations,” one person says.
Another commenter adds, “Yes. Everyone, adults and children want to be heard and to feel important. Validating someone’s feelings, even if you don’t agree with them, goes a long way in reducing conflict.”
2. Human Memory is More Faulty Than You Think
“Human memory is actually very bad. No matter how clearly I think I remember something, there’s a chance I’m simply incorrect,” one person states.
Another user explains further, “Every time we recount a memory, it is changed slightly every time it’s accessed. So even though the basis of most memories can be pretty accurate, things like the dates, or maybe the color of the shirt someone was wearing changes.”
3. Silent Eye Contact Keeps People Talking
One user shares, “When you want someone to keep talking, just keep looking at them without a word. Generally, many people give explanations and end up saying more than they intended.”
“It also works well when trying to negotiate contracts and at work. Just create a long silence, and the other person always feels compelled to break it by offering something,” recommends another person.
4. Asking For Small Favors Can Make People Like You
“People like feeling useful and wanted. Asking for help with a minor favor has often helped me connect with people in new places,” one person said.
“When you ask for a favor, even if they don’t want to do it, it will still make them like you more. Because we perceive the people we invest in as having value,” elaborates another.
5. It’s Often Projection When Someone Talks Bad About You
“A lot of the time when someone says something about you, it’s a projection of something that’s going on with them,” the commenter says.
“I work at a psych ward, and this rings true, unfortunately. Many of the patients will insult you. But as you spend time with them, you learn they’re just projecting,” remarked a second user.
6. People Like To Talk About Themselves
“If you’re uncomfortable in a new social situation, focus on everyone except yourself. Asking people questions about themselves is the quickest way to make a friend,” suggested one comment.
Others agreed with one person adding, “People love to talk about themselves, especially if you are asking genuine questions and not just for the sake of it.”
7. Remembering Small Details Can Make People Like You More
“The more you remember and are invested in little details in their life or something as simple as getting their name right and showing interest for the first meeting, the more people are endeared to you. So, oftentimes you can take the pressure off yourself by putting the focus on them because they usually run with it,” one person shared.
8. Sharing a Secret Builds Trust
“Sharing a secret with someone quickly builds trust. By trusting them as the person you shared your secret with, they feel connected to you and will open up,” suggests one user.
9. When You Talk Negatively, You’re Viewed Negatively
“Be careful when saying negative things about other people,” warns one person. They continue, “Even if the person you’re speaking with participates eagerly in the conversation, psychologically, their brain is associating those traits with you. It works in reverse too. If you say nice things about someone, the person you’re speaking with will believe those traits describe you too.”
10. Having Flaws Makes You Relatable
“Display a flaw or two. People distrust those who appear to be perfect and never make a mistake. When you show a flaw or make a mistake, people relate to it because it makes you seem more human and creates a connection,” says one comment.
They add, “Remember Jennifer Lawrence tripping on the stairs at some award show? People all of a sudden loved her because she showed how incredibly human she was and made people think she’s just like us.”
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Inspired by this thread – photos for illustrative purposes only.