How to manipulate a person?

10 psychological tricks for manipulating people

Incredible Facts

Before we begin, it’s worth noting that none of the following methods fall under what might be called the “dark art of influencing” people. Anything that can hurt a person or hurt their dignity is not listed here.

These are ways in which you can win friends and influence people using psychology without making anyone feel bad about themselves.

Psychological tricks.

10. Ask for a favor.

© Dean Drobot

Trick: Asking someone for a favor for you (a method known as the Benjamin Franklin effect).

Legend has it that Benjamin Franklin once wanted to win the favor of a man who didn’t like him. He asked the man to lend him a rare book, and when he got it, he thanked him very kindly.

As a result, the man, who didn’t particularly want to even talk to Franklin, befriended him. According to Franklin, “Someone who once did you a good deed will be more disposed to do something good for you again than someone to whom you yourself owe a debt.”

Researchers decided to test this theory, and ended up finding that those people whom the researcher asked for a personal favor were much more favorable to the professional compared to other groups of people.

Influence on Human Behavior

9. Label above.

© Michal Collection

This technique is sometimes called the “door-to-face approach.” You approach the person with a really over-the-top request that they are likely to refuse.

You then come back with a request “ranked lower,” which is what you really need from that person.

This trick may seem counterintuitive to you, but the idea is that the person will feel bad after he turns you down. However, he will explain it to himself by the unreasonableness of the request.

So the next time you approach him with your real need, he will feel obliged to help you.

Scientists, after testing in practice this principle, came to the conclusion that it actually works, because the person to whom you first turn with a very “big” request, and then return to him and ask for a little, feels that it is he who should help you.

The effect of a name on a person

8. Give names.

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Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, believes that mentioning a person’s name frequently in conversation is incredibly important.

He stresses that a person’s name in any language is the sweetest combination of sounds for them. Carnegie says that the name is a basic component of human identity, so when we hear it, we get an extra confirmation of our importance.

This is why we feel more positively about the person who confirms our importance in the world.

However, the use of a position or other form of address in speech can also have a powerful effect. The idea is that if you act like a certain type of person, you will become that person. It is somewhat similar to prophecy.

To use this technique to influence other people, you can address them as you would like them to be. Eventually they will begin to think of themselves in that way.

It’s very simple, if you want to get close to a certain person, then call him “friend,” “comrade” more often. Or referring to someone you would like to work for, you can call him “boss. But keep in mind that sometimes it may backfire on you.

The Influence of Words on a Person

7. Flatter

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This may seem obvious at first glance, but there are some important caveats. For starters, it’s worth noting that if flattery is not sincere, it will likely do more harm than good.

However, scientists who have studied flattery and people’s reactions to it have identified some very important things.

Simply put, people always try to maintain a cognitive balance by trying to organize their thoughts and feelings in a similar way.

Therefore, if you flatter a person whose self-esteem is high, and the flattery is sincere, he will like you better, because the flattery will coincide with what he thinks about himself.

However, if you flatter the person whose self-esteem is suffering, there may be negative consequences. It is likely that he will treat you worse, because it does not overlap with how he perceives himself.

Of course, this does not mean that the person with low self-esteem should be humiliated.

Ways to influence people

6. Reflect the behavior of other people

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Mirroring behavior is also known as mimicry, and it is something that a certain type of person is inherent in their nature.

People with this skill are called chameleons because they try to blend into their environment by copying other people’s behavior, mannerisms and even speech. However, this skill can be used quite deliberately and is a great way to be liked.

Researchers studied mimicry and found that those who were copied were very supportive of the person who copied them.

The experts also came to another, more interesting conclusion. They found that people who had copyists were much more favorable toward people in general, even those who were not involved in the study.

It is likely that the reason for this response lies in the following. Having someone who mirrors your behavior confirms your importance. People feel more self-confidence, thus they are happier and in good spirits toward other people.

The psychology of influencing people

5. Take advantage of fatigue

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When a person is tired, they become more receptive to any information, whether it is a simple statement about something or a request. The reason is that when a person is tired, it is not only on a physical level, his mental reserve of energy is also depleted.

When you make a request to a tired person, most likely you will not get a definite answer right away, but you will hear, “I will do it tomorrow,” because he will not want to make any decisions at the moment.

The next day, it is likely that the person will actually comply with your request, because on a subconscious level, most people try to keep their word, so we make sure that what we say coincides with what we do.

The psychological impact on a person

4. Offer something that a person can not refuse

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The trick: Start a conversation with something that the person can not refuse, and you’ll get what you need.

This is the flip side of the door-to-face approach. Instead of starting the conversation with a request, you start with something insignificant. As soon as the person agrees to help you in a small way, or simply agrees to something, you can go for the “heavy artillery.

Experts have tested this theory on marketing approaches. They started by asking people to express support for rainforests and the environment, which is a very simple request.

Once the support was received, the researchers found that people were now much more easily persuaded to buy products that promoted that support. However, don’t start with one request and immediately move on to another.

Psychologists have found that it is much more effective to take a break of 1-2 days.

Techniques for influencing people

3. Remain calm.

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In his famous book, Carnegie also stressed that you shouldn’t tell people they are wrong. It will usually get you nowhere, and you just fall out of favor with that person.

In fact, there is a way to show disagreement while continuing a polite conversation without telling anyone that they are wrong, but by striking the ego of the person you are talking to to the core.

The method was invented by Ray Ransberger and Marshall Fritz. The idea is quite simple: instead of arguing, listen to what the person is saying, and then try to understand what they are feeling and why.

You should then explain to the person the points you share with him and use this as a starting point to explain your position. This will make him more supportive of you and he is more likely to listen to what you have to say without losing face.

The Influence of People on Each Other

2. Repeat the words of your interlocutor

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This is one of the most amazing ways to influence other people. Thus you show your interlocutor that you really understand him, capture his feelings and your empathy is sincere.

That is, by paraphrasing the words of your interlocutor, you will win his favor very easily. This phenomenon is known as reflective listening.

Studies have shown that when therapists use this technique, people open up more to them and their “cooperation” is more fruitful.

It’s easy to use in conversation with friends, too. If you listen to what they say and then paraphrase what they say, forming a question for confirmation, they will feel very comfortable with you.

You will have a strong friendship, and they will be more active in listening to what you have to say because you have managed to show that you care about them.

Methods of influencing people

1. Nod your head.

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The trick: Nod your head a little bit during a conversation, especially if you want to ask something of your interlocutor.

Researchers have found that when a person nods while listening to someone, they are more likely to agree with what is being said. They also found that if your interlocutor nods, you are more likely to nod as well.

This is understandable because people often unconsciously mimic the behavior of another person, especially one with whom interaction will benefit them. So if you want to add weight to what you say, nod regularly during a conversation.

The person you are talking to will find it hard not to nod back, and they will begin to relate positively to the information you are presenting without even realizing it.

How to learn how to influence people

Many people want to learn how to influence people, but few really know how. All manipulative methods are used: guilt, threats, blackmail, resentment, lies, denial, and more. This helps achieve their short-term goal, but afterwards the person loses all respect and acquires a dubious reputation. To do this properly and unobtrusively, there are some strategies to follow when communicating with each person, which we will talk about today. But that’s just part of the theory, and to learn more about profiling, and to hone this skill in practice, come to the Profiling program.

What is influence

According to Wikipedia, influence is the process by which a person’s behavior, emotions, feelings, and opinions are changed because of what other people do to them. It also includes manipulation, but we will only touch on this topic in passing. We are interested in the influence that can be exerted on others through a variety of approaches in a fair and just manner.

Any form of influence is thought to be manipulation, but it is not. We exert similar influences in almost every interaction we have with others: our spouse, children, friends, strangers.

To distinguish between manipulation and influence, you must understand that in the first case you will achieve your goal by harming the other person. In the second case, you will be able to convincingly change his opinion, presenting logical arguments, or even with sincerity and kindness. Remember that the influence should always be given discreetly and unobtrusively, otherwise the person immediately begins to look for a catch.

Here are tips to help you influence others. (Important: A common mistake is to try to use the same method for all situations. Combine them.)

Acknowledge mistakes in your thinking.

People will intuitively trust a person more than a computerized machine that is incapable of making mistakes. This is mainly due to the emotional connection we build with other people.

Mistakes in thinking are essentially any assumptions you make and premature conclusions that turn out to be wrong. In many cases, these assumptions may be known only to you.

To acknowledge these minor errors in thinking, you must show other people three important things:

  • That you are not perfect;
  • That you are like them;
  • That you have emotional human qualities.

This in itself will create deep levels of understanding between you and the other person on an unconscious level.

Acknowledge personal mistakes

People secretly (and sometimes explicitly) despise those who do not admit their personal mistakes. Perhaps you think that admitting your mistakes will make you incompetent or unworthy of your status. But nothing could be further from the truth. Mistakes from which the right lessons are learned are the seeds of evolution and change, without which it is impossible to grow and progress.

When it comes to mistakes, it’s all about perspective: how you look at the situation and how you explain the lessons you’ve learned to other people. Other people don’t want to be around people who are incapable of admitting they were wrong. They have very little respect for such people. And where there is no respect, there is no room for influence.

See the situation from the other person’s point of view

Often we simply do not see things from the other person’s point of view. Our opinions are, after all, only one side of the coin. We haven’t experienced the other person’s emotions and feelings. We haven’t grown up where he or she is. Our thinking and personal experiences are different.

Do you want to learn how to influence others? Then, first of all, look at the situation through his own eyes. That alone will give him sympathy for you. And that means he will begin to listen to you with more interest.

How often have you said the phrase: “He’s acting so illogically, it’s crazy! But is it really true? Maybe you just haven’t tried to understand him? Even if the logic turns out to be strange, it is there in one way or another.

You don’t necessarily have to agree with that person’s opinion. After all, the world is full of strange and illogical people. However, you must show that you listen carefully and show respect. This will also show the person that you share many common beliefs and values, which will allow you to develop deep levels of understanding.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep

There is nothing that can break the rapport you already have with another person faster than the simple act of not keeping promises. When we promise something to another person, they immediately create a lot of expectations in their head. The very moment the promise is fulfilled, an invisible bond is created between you. That bond, however, is as strong as your word.

If you don’t keep your word, that bond is quickly broken. Any expectations of the person will be deceived, and it will take a lot of time and effort to regain trust.

So remember a simple rule: do not make promises, if you are not sure you can keep it. Don’t say the word. This applies to even the most insignificant promises, such as calling back the next day. After all, you can just forget, getting caught up in work. You will automatically lose the power of your influence.

On the other hand, if you promised to call at 5 p.m. and you kept your word, what kind of message does the person get? He gains trust and thinks he can rely on you.

Learn to listen.

Anyone who wants to learn how to influence people must follow the 70/30 rule. This means to talk 30% of the time and listen 70%. You should also develop the habit of asking effective questions that will allow you to delve into the meaning and motives of the words the other person is saying.

Below is a list of typical questions to ask yourself during a conversation to make yourself more aware:

  • What is this person trying to tell me?
  • How do I feel about it?
  • What kind of reaction does he expect me to have?
  • Why is he telling me this?
  • What are his motives?

Becoming an effective listener requires the ability to develop a set of fundamental skills that will open communication channels and promote deeper understanding. In addition, it also requires a deep awareness of the obstacles, problems, and barriers that prevent one from understanding the interlocutor. Let’s touch on these in more detail.

1) Message content.

The first barrier to effective listening is the content of the message itself. If a message is difficult to understand, unfamiliar, or simply not interesting, it will make it much more difficult to convey meaning to the listener.

The solution is to ask a series of open-ended questions that will help you gain a deeper understanding of the topic at hand.

2) Psychology of the listener and his or her interlocutor

The second barrier to effective listening is hidden in the psychology of both interlocutors. Occasionally, interlocutors can be so psychologically different that the message will simply be misunderstood, misinterpreted, or even completely lost in the back of the mind.

The solution is to work on developing deep levels of understanding and to look for common ground that will allow you to tune into your interlocutor’s psychological wave.

3) Environment.

The third barrier to effective listening is the environment. The environment can be too noisy, hot, cold, bright, uncomfortable, humid, windy, stuffy, or polluted. Thus, this environment will exhibit a range of distractions that will prevent the message from flowing in its intended form.

The solution is simply to find an environment that has as few sensory distractions as possible. You also need to understand that everything we hear goes through a set of psychological filters that we have cultivated throughout our lives.

There are nine filters in all, and we’re going to talk about them now. Keep in mind that messages from your interlocutor to you don’t necessarily go through each filter in chronological order. (By the way, this list will also help improve your conversational skills.)

  • Filter one: the ear. This is where the interlocutor’s message passes through our eardrums, where it begins its long journey to interpretation. We should be able to physically hear the entire message the person is conveying to us. However, this rarely happens because of the three barriers we discussed above.
  • Filter two: selection. The message then passes through our information selection filter. It directs our focus and attention when interacting with others. If, for example, we take our attention away from other sensory stimuli for a moment while listening to the words of our interlocutor, they will naturally be re-interpreted exactly as intended.
  • Filter three: cultural and social class. Next, the message passes through the filter of cultural and social class. It is permeated by preconceptions and prejudices that are a reflection of a life of social conditioning. At this point, it is important to rethink the interlocutor’s message one more time in order to perceive his words without bias.
  • Filter four: Personal values. Our values are nothing more than emotional interpretations and labels for our experiences. We value what we think is important and worthy in our lives. Therefore, we will interpret the words of our interlocutor according to our values. If, for example, our primary value is to be loved or beloved, we will interpret the words of our interlocutor in terms of love. That is, we will hear what we want to hear. If we value morality, our filter will analyze the words from this perspective.
  • Filter five: beliefs. This filter is imbued with deep beliefs about the world, ourselves, society, and other people. It is colored by bias, self-limitation, and emotional assumptions. Anything that doesn’t fit into our beliefs we often automatically reject on an unconscious level. This, therefore, prevents us from interpreting the interlocutor’s message in its proper context.
  • Filter six: emotions. Every second of our lives we experience certain emotions, which naturally affect our state of mind and the way we interpret information that comes from the external environment. That’s why we will take the words of our interlocutor based on what we are feeling here and now. For example, if we feel joy and satisfaction, then we will interpret the words of our interlocutor in a positive way. When irritated or angry, the interpretation will be completely different.
  • Filter seven: personal attitude. The way you feel about your interlocutor affects the interpretation of his words for better or for worse.
  • Filter eight: Personal decisions. If your interlocutor’s words don’t match your past choices and decisions, they are likely to be interpreted negatively. This leads to disagreements and misunderstandings.
  • Filter nine: Memory. In the same conversation, we tend to forget information that was conveyed to us a few minutes ago. All because we haven’t paid conscious attention to it. This also leads to disagreements.

It is said that 25% of all messages are misunderstood by the listener. How do you fix this? First of all, learn these filters and always think about them. Only when you learn to be aware of them will you be able to think and influence more effectively. Remember that a good listener has more influence than a storyteller. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to learn how to tell stories.

Learn how to tell stories.

When people hear stories, they can join in emotionally with the hero of the story and the personality of the storyteller. If you master the art of storytelling, you’ll learn how to influence people in the most unobtrusive way possible while eliciting a positive response.

To tell a good story, adhere to the following rules:

  • Think about the moral of the story you want to convey. The audience or person you’re talking to is always asking themselves: “Why should I listen to all this?”
  • Connect the story to your own experience. An impersonal story is of little interest to anyone; people want to know about the downfalls, the successes, the incredible and strange events in which you were involved.
  • Don’t make yourself a hero and don’t boast. Few people will be interested in the story that you have a gold watch worth ten thousand dollars. You will get nothing but envy and bewilderment.
  • Bring the struggle to the forefront. A good story requires conflict and that the road to success was a thorny one.
  • Keep the story simple. Remove complicated word combinations and all the clutter that makes the story difficult to understand.

And one more thing: practice regularly. It may not work the first time, but if you practice and seek feedback, you are, as they say, destined for success.

Learn to communicate effectively

Knowing how to get your message across is an art that every sane person should learn. And if you want to influence people, then it’s an obligation. Your stories and messages must meet four criteria. They must be:

  • Interesting;
  • entertaining;
  • informative;
  • humble.

So should your personality, because stories and personality are one and the same in a harmonious person. And here are some key recommendations that will allow you to interest people and focus their attention on your message from beginning to end:

  • Use humor. Using humor effectively breaks up tension, relaxes others, and sends the message that you are a lighthearted, funny person. This will allow people to open up to your influence.
  • Speak with optimism in your voice. Whether we realize it or not, we are naturally attracted to people who radiate optimistic energy: they are simply pleasant to be with. It is for this reason that we should focus our verbal language on the positives.
  • Be gracious. Most people appreciate those who are polite and well-mannered. A common courtesy is like an aged wine: it affects your interlocutor after a while. You’d be surprised, but simple words like “thank you,” “please” and “I appreciate it” work wonders.
  • Make people feel confident. People just love people who make them feel confident and empowered. Keep this in mind: choose your words carefully in your dialogue with the person.
  • Look for common interests and goals. Without this, the dialogue will be built on the principles of manipulation. That is, you will pursue your own goals and interests, completely ignoring others.
  • When talking, a person is constantly scanning the interlocutor for how useful and interesting he will be. When we find these attractions, we automatically become emotionally attached to him. Your goal is to show the person that you have common goals and interests. You may not be able to understand this in the beginning, but it will become apparent as the dialogue progresses. Read information not only from words, but also from what has not been said.
  • Discuss the problems of the person you are talking to. There is one sure tip that works in the vast majority of cases: discuss the problems of the interlocutor that he or she is facing. This is at least a great topic of conversation, because everyone, without exception, has problems. Problems are triggers and stimulants of deep and intense emotion. These emotions need to be released in some way. And the best way to do that is to talk to someone who is sympathetic to your situation.
  • Ask neutral questions. You probably already know that you should ask open-ended questions. They encourage the person to continue the story, to share their feelings, thoughts, and emotions with you. But they can also seem biased and too personal. There is great benefit in neutral questions as well. Compare the following two and tell where biased and neutral: “Do you believe marriage will lead to a better life?” and “How do you envision life after marriage?” The difference seems insignificant, but it’s actually a big one. In the first case, you are asking a question that assumes an answer. The second question, on the other hand, is neutral because it makes no assumptions and allows the person to respond according to their true motives and intentions. The questions determine whether you can influence the person. Therefore, try to be unobtrusive and structure them in a way that is not biased.

Try to stick to the recommendations described in this article, and your level of influence on people will increase noticeably. And we also recommend to take our course “The best communication techniques”, with the help of which in just 2 months you will learn how to better interact with people. You will learn and be able to apply in their lives 72 effective communication techniques that we have collected from dozens of books and trainings.

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