10 Psychological Life Hacks that Will Help You Gain the Advantage in Social Situations8:53 PM
Social situations are among the most important in our lives. Yet, there is a huge chance that you a...
Social situations are among the most important in our lives. Yet,
there is a huge chance that you are oblivious to the plethora of
unwritten social rules that structure everybody’s behavior. Failing to
comply to these cultural imprints can cause irreversible damage. Just
following them blindly will not get you ahead. Hacking them, however,
will give you the best results possible. Therefore we bring to you these
10 psychological life hacks that will help you gain the advantage in social situations
1) Assume comfort in any interaction.Our brain is an incredibly complicated instrument. Our relationship with it, is a love-hate one. We think we have control over it but usually something unconscious dictates our actions.
In most of our social interactions, we find it difficult to feel comfortable among strangers because our brain tries to protect us from exposure.
This however isn’t helping us when trying to be social and meet new people, is it?
This is why assuming comfort is so powerful. Commanding your brain to feel that you already know the person you are about to meet puts you in a position of advantage. It increases the chances of people showing interest in you and consequently even liking you.
2) Pay attention to people’s feet when you are approaching them.Interrupting people when they are in the middle of an important conversation is one of the most annoying things to do. It shows that you have zero knowledge of social dynamics which will lead to unpleasant social situations.
When you approach a group of people while in a conversation, pay attention to their bodies. If they turn only their torsos and not their feet, it means they are in the middle of an important conversation and they don’t want you to interrupt them.
If they turn both torso and feet, it means you are welcome. This is extremely important, because the right timing in such situations may put you in a position of advantage, especially if the conversation was boring for both sides.
3) Whenever you have an argument with someone, stand next to them and not in front of them.We’ve all been in situations where out of nowhere the conversation started escalating.
Unless you love drama, I would suggest you to avoid these situations. You might have the best argument in the world, but usually people get irritated when they feel they are wrong.
So, whenever you feel that the argument you have with another person (especially friends – it’s not cool to fight with friends) creates tension, move next to them. You won’t appear much of a threat, and they will eventually calm down.
4) Whenever you need a favor, open with “I need your help.”Admit it. We all love to get others to do stuff for us. Either because we are lazy, or because we really need some help to complete a task.
Social dynamics show that when it comes to platonic relationships, nobody really likes an asshole. So whenever you need a favor, start your sentence with “I need your help.”
In most cases, people will accept your request and help you out. This occurs because we don’t really like the guilt of not helping someone out and we do like to be the one who is capable of helping.
5) If you want people to feel good, give them validation. Rephrase what they just told you.We love validation. Most of our actions are the outcome of our need for validation. So what is the best way to get people to like you? Give them what they need of course. A simple example, is when you are in a conversation with another person and he says something really important for him. After he finishes, rephrase what he just said in your own words. This will make him think that you are a good listener and that you are really interested in him. It makes him feel he is the center of attention. That’s validation right there.
6) If you want to get a positive response from someone, nod while you talk.This one is extremely powerful and also a bit manipulative especially if the person is suggestive. So use it with your own responsibility and in an ethical way. Getting a positive response from someone is usually what we want. Whether it is making a sale, or promoting a viewpoint, we always want people to get on board. Nodding while you try to deliver your message is a powerful way to get the person to agree with you. People usually like mimicking, so they will most probably nod back while you talk. This will subsequently communicate to their brains that they have to agree with you.
7) Want to see if someone is paying attention to what you are saying? Fold your arms.Usually when we are in the middle of a conversation and especially if we talk about something very important to us, we get lost in our talking and rarely pay attention to whether the other person is following or not. So instead of losing time talking to a person who is distracted and might not even be interested in what you are saying, do this. Fold your arms while talking and see if the other person follows your move. If the other person is observing you and pays attention, they will most likely mimic you.
8) Having trouble remembering names? Repeat the other person’s name during the conversation.I suck at remembering names. I usually don’t even listen to the other person when he says his name the moment we get introduced to each other. So usually, I ask a friend to introduce himself to the person so I can listen to his name. But then I forget it again. Awkward. Remembering names is very important because we feel important when someone mentions us. So the moment you meet someone repeat his name. Example: “Hi my name is Alex” “Nice to meet you Alex. So, Alex how do you know John?” And continue to repeat his name throughout the conversation.
9) If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer, just wait. They will keep talking.This is a very common situation when you don’t know the other person that well or your question wasn’t clear enough. If they finish the answer without providing a full answer, just wait. Stay silent and keep eye contact. If the tension becomes unbearable, raise your eyebrows. It puts a bit of pressure on them but it communicates that you show interest. It also sub-communicates that you are a person that usually gets what he wants.
10) People usually focus on the emotion and not on the subject.This is very useful in public speaking but also in building rapport with an acquaintance. Whenever you introduce yourself to new people, most probably they have already heard what you are about to say. Well that’s not a problem. Even if you want to talk about the most boring topic in the world, make sure of one thing: Always try to evoke emotions. From my experience the 3 emotions that you want to evoke are: • Excitement • Laughter: Everyone likes to laugh • Intrigue: Leave a little mystery so the other person has to invest energy to hear more. Don’t be purposely distant, but avoid verbal diarrhea.
There are many techniques to turn a boring conversation into an exciting and intriguing one, but here are a couple of my favorites:
- Pause: A lot of the time when we want to keep someone’s attention, we tend to talk really fast, but this subcommunicates neediness and nervousness. A well-placed pause can create tension that makes your words have more gravitas.
- Tone and Inflection: No one finds monotone exciting. Switch up your tone of voice from deep for declarative statements, to high inflection when you want to leave them guessing.
- Paint pictures and compose symphonies in their mind with sensory details: When telling a story, take the person you’re talking to on an emotional journey by describing the colors, sounds, textures, tastes, smells, and how they made you feel. This will cause their mirror-neurons to fire off, making it easier for them to imagine actually being there with you.