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People Share The Most Effective Psychological Tricks They've Ever Used

Reddit user kaushman2 asked: 'What is most effective psychological trick you ever used?'

Woman holding her hand out.
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

In "Rabbit Fire", one of the most iconic Looney Tunes cartoons ever made, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are both trying to avoid being the target of Elmer Fudd's rifle, with Bugs Bunny arguing that it's "duck season", And Daffy Duck That it's "rabbit, (or, in this case "wabbit") season.

Using a little reverse psychology, Bugs Bunny then slyly turns the argument around, telling Daffy Duck that it’s "wabbit season", prompting Daffy Duck to likewise change his mind, to very dangerous results.

Even outside of such over-the-top circumstances, reverse psychology has proven highly effective in getting people to accomplish certain tasks or helping them to get their way.

But reverse psychology is only one of the many tricks that can be slyly used to achieve certain goals, both sinister and saintly.

Redditor kaushman2 was curious to hear the most successful psychological tricks people have ever used, leading them to ask:

"What is most effective psychological trick you ever used?"

It's Really Not So Difficult To Make People Happy

"I always pay attention to what people do when they are trying to do something nice for someone else and do it back to them."

"For example, one of my friends and one of my sisters are constantly sending people cards in the mail."

"For all sorts of occasions."

"Whenever these ladies are trying to do something nice, they do it via cards."

"What I realized is that they, themselves, SUPER enjoy receiving cards and mail."

"That is why they think it's such a nice gesture and do it for other people."

"I don't usually send anybody cards myself, but on occasion I will make a point to send those two ladies cards, and the payoff is always HUGE."

"They both get so excited and text me extensively about how much they loved their card."

"It's extremely cute."

"Another example is my mom always goes out of her way to set the table in a fancy way for someone's birthday dinner."

"My mom loooooves fancy table settings, so to her that is a really great gesture that makes things feel very special."

"One year I was dropping off a birthday cake for her while she was out, and my husband and I stayed an extra 10 minutes to set the table for her too."

"We didn't do much beyond putting down a table cloth and matching plates with the cake sort of artfully placed in the center, but holy cow the payoff was HUGE."

"Apparently my mom was so touched when she came home and saw the table that she burst into tears."

"This isn't a trick if you're thinking psychological manipulation."

"It's more if you are trying to think of the most impactful way to show someone your love, your best bet is to mirror that person's methods of being loving back to them."- hobbitfeet

Not Everyone Enjoys Conflict

"Owning up to my mistakes with full, if not excessive, ownership."

"It tends to disarm the offended."- AdhesivenessCold398

Things Are Best Enjoyed When You Don't Have Time To Enjoy Them

"One of my favorite tricks I use on myself is, when I can't sleep, I just curl into the most comfy position, close my eyes and pretend really hard that it's 6 am and I have to get up."

"I don't know why, but it makes me fall asleep real quick."- Hopeful-Healing-144

Blanket Snuggle Up GIF by MOODMANGiphy

Always "This Or That" Over "Yes Or No".

"Giving a friend's child (10 yo) an illusion of choice to get them to do something you want them to do."

"So instead of saying 'put your socks on', say 'do you want these socks, or these ones'."

"Or same for dinner."

"Not "Eat your dinner".

"Ask, 'do you want peas or brocolli?'"

"They feel ownership of their choice and some control in their life."

"Kids in general, have very little control over their lives and they need practice to make decisions."- RegularHovercraft

Always Aim For An Affirmative No

"Asking 'would you be opposed to doing X?' instead of 'would you be willing to do X?'"- Stormdrain11

Nothing More Terrifying Than The Unfamiliar

"When my kids were younger if I thought they were lying, I would ask them to stick out their tongue."

"They thought I could tell from the color of their tongue whether they were lying or not."

"In reality, it was that they would hesitate before sticking out their tongue that told me if they were lying or not."- jimhabfan

My Neighbor Totoro Tongue GIFGiphy

Compassion Is Always The Answer

"When getting a client's background (social services) and they bring up their kids, ask to see a photo or ask something that triggers a proud parent response."

"Accelerates the process of building trust."- Stormdrain11

Who Are You Looking At?

"I used this technique at University where I couldn't stand the thought of having to answer questions in front of a group of people."

"So if you find yourself in a group situation where someone (a leader, tutor, manager etc) is asking questions that must be answered and you want to avoid being picked so that you don't have to talk, then here is my tip."

"If the person locks eyes on you as they ask the question, then just as they are about get to the end of their question you break eye contact and look towards another person in the room and hold it."

"Their attention is diverted to that other person just as the question ends and the person they are now looking at feels compelled to answer."

"If however the person starts asking the question while looking at someone else then look at that other person and hold it so you can't get suckered."

"Use it sparingly because if you do it enough on the same person, they will be on to you."-JechtLee

If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say...

"I have harnessed the power of positive reinforcement."

"Instead of focusing on what is wrong, I make a conscious effort to highlight and praise the positive behaviors or traits of others."- Neekol-Real

Sarcasm Smh GIF by Awkward Daytime TVGiphy

It's All In The Eyes

"So I've had a lot of self-esteem issues, and I read a book where the author said that maintaining eye contact gives the illusion that you are confident."

"So I started to practice that."

"Now I am confident and keeping an eye contact is easy."

"But when I started I was surprised how many times people told me 'you seem more confident'."- sixter90

Just Believe It Works, And It Will!

"Seasickness cure."

"Only works on others (won’t work on yourself or anyone you tell the 'secret' to)."

"Tell the person experiencing seasickness they need to eat an orange (or any other available random thing, oranges or other citrus works well for the explanation.)."

"Explain that they cure sea sickness and that’s why pirates and all the other explorers used to seek them out and always made sure they had some on the ship."

"Now the psychology behind it is that nothing truly cures sea sickness but it is mostly caused from your mind being confused by not seeing the horizon correctly."

"Basically telling the person that an orange or whatever you recommend they eat/drink causes them to experience the placebo effect and their brain believes the problem just went away."

"Used this successfully 5 or 6 times with complete strangers and also on my wife."

"When we got back from our latest excursion my wife was the one to repeat it to someone else."

"Still works for her too."- Beebe82

Accentuate The Positive

"Not sure how well it actually works, but one good one is saying thank you instead of sorry."

"Like 'thank you for waiting' instead of 'sorry for being late'."

"It draws attention away from the negative."- MountainAshh

Thank U GIF by The Drew Barrymore ShowGiphy

Perception Vs. Reality

"Not a trick per se, but realizing that I am not my thoughts."- midbyte

Not All Gossip Has To Be Bad...

"To avoid workplace drama and be well-liked is to just compliment people behind their back."- kaushman2

Everyone Always Seems To Want What They Can't Have

"Offering food the dog won’t eat to the cat."

"Dog eats food."- Giraffiesaurus

Dog Food Puppies GIF by BuzzFeedGiphy

Manifesting something seldom, if ever, delivers the results we hope to achieve.

Unless, of course, we tell ourselves that we're better off where we are.

After all, if Peter Pan taught us anything, all anyone needs to take flight are happy, lovely, thoughts.