How to get people to do what you want: 17 psychological tricks

How to get people to do what you want

There are plenty of ways to get people to do what you want — without them even realizing you’ve persuaded them.

Whether you want people to like you, to agree with you, or to buy your products, use these tips to feel more powerful in your everyday interactions.

Here is how you get people to do what you want. First, we’ll start with 5 principles to get people to do what you want – then we’ll show you 12 psychological tricks you can use in more specific situations.

5 principles to get people to do what you want

shutterstock 343436447 How to get people to do what you want: 17 psychological tricks
Image Credit: Shutterstock – By Jack Frog

1) Be upfront about why you need the help in the first place

There’s no point in beating around the bush when it comes to asking for help.

An easy way to identify people who can help you is to talk about your goals and what you need to get to them on a regular basis.

We don’t do this enough, do we? We don’t say the things we want out loud.

How is anyone supposed to know that they can help us if we never tell them what we need?

If you want someone’s help, ask for it. And be sure to tell them exactly why you want their help and why it will be impactful and important to what you are trying to do. A little flattery can go a long way.

2) Find out what you can do to help the person you are seeking help from

When asking for someone’s help, be sure to mention that you want to return the favor of generosity.

Make no mistake: if someone can help you, there is probably a way you can help them. And, it’s quite possible that they are too shy or fearful to ask for your help.

Do yourself and them a favor and offer to help them.

Ask what they need, what they are struggling with, and how they see your skills, knowledge, and abilities as being something that could help them get to their goals.

We all accomplish more when we work together.

3) Be known as the person who sends a gift to say thanks for the help

If you are comfortable reaching out to people asking for help, be sure to send them a thank-you present or gift after you get the help you need.

Whether you need a connection or introduction, an extra hand moving, or a fresh perspective on an article you are writing, if you ask someone for help that takes them away from what they are doing to focus on what you are doing, send them something to say thanks.

You don’t need to send flowers or chocolate every time – or at all! You can send a short thank you note that you mail. People still love mail.

4) Try a different approach

If you’ve been doing the work to try to get the help you need and it’s not working, it’s time to try a different approach.

Find someone to be your idea champion and enlist them to spread the word about what you are doing.

You don’t always have to ask directly for help every time you need something. You might put it out into the social media platform you use the most and see if anyone bites.

You might send an email to your contacts and ask for help that way.

Maybe you’ll invite someone for coffee and pick their brain about who you could talk to next. Different approaches yield different results. Don’t give up.

5) Be present and accounted for

Regardless of how you decide to ask for the help you need, make sure you are honest and open about the intended result.

In addition, make sure you are paying attention to the person as you ask them. Sounds crazy to even suggest that, we know, but if your phone rings during the conversation, don’t answer it.

Give the person the attention and dedication you would want them to provide when giving you the help you are asking for. It’s common sense and just rude to do otherwise.

If you are sitting there thinking about how you can take your idea, business, goal, or learning to the next level, seek out some help to get there.

Even the world’s most successful people hire people to help them. Coaches, mentors, and advisors are not just for the rich and famous: everyone should have someone to turn to when they need help or direction.

Figure out who those people will be for you and start there the next time you need help to get to the next stage of a project or goal.

12 psychological tricks to get people to do what you want 

shutterstock 217147765 How to get people to do what you want: 17 psychological tricks
credit: Shutterstock/ Nicoleta Ionesc

1) Rock Paper Scissors

If you want to win every single time at rock paper scissors then ask someone a question right before starting the game. If you ask, then immediately start into the “rock, paper, scissors” chant, they’ll almost always defensively throw scissors.

2) The Path Finder

If you want to clear through a crowded subway, street or anything similar, then direct your eyes towards the pathway you want to go and watch the crowd follow it. The crowd usually look at other people’s eyes to make the decision of which way to walk.

3) Make Your Kids Eat Broccoli Like Candies 

It’s a tough job to make kids eat broccoli or brussels sprouts. Here’s how you can trick them to eat broccoli. Instead of asking them to eat broccoli, try giving them a choice between 2 stalks and 5 stalks of broccoli. They will choose the least number and end up eating broccoli.

4) Become Agreeable Instantly

Here’s how you can persuade others to agree with you. Nod your head whenever you are asking a question. This will make the person believe that they agree with your words and ultimately agree with you.

5) Information Magnet

Want to get something out of a person? Ask him/her a question, keep quiet for a few seconds and maintain eye contact. This will automatically make the other person talk and divulge all the necessary information.

6) Confront Your Nemesis

If you think someone is about to bad-mouth you in a meeting or a group situation, sit next to that person. It’s extremely awkward talking bad about someone and being aggressive when they’re so close. This will prevent the person to become less aggressive and insulting since they are sitting close to you.

7) The Conversation Conditioner

You can have real fun with this trick. When talking to someone, choose a word that another person has said.

Whenever they use that word or something close to it, simply offer an affirmation, nod or smile. Do this and watch how the person repeats the word every time.

8) Build Attraction

If you want someone to like you, make sure to keep your hands warm and before shaking the hand of that person. Warms hands make you seem trustworthy, inviting and friendly. Also, follow up with this by mimicking the other person’s posture and actions. It will make it look like you two are a good fit for each other.

9) Stalker Detector

Do you feel like someone is watching over you? Follow this simple technique. Yawn and look at the next person. If they also yawn then they have been watching you as yawning is contagious.

10) The Earworm Destroyer

Have a song stuck in your head that you want to forget? According to the Zeigarnik effect, your minds tend to think of things left unfinished, so thinking of the end of the song will close the loop and allow you to get the song out of your head.

11) The Talk and Carry

If you want someone to carry something of yours, like your books, then do this. Keep talking while handing your books to them. The person will carry your things, unconsciously.

12) The Paternal Guide

If you are one of the individuals who people don’t take seriously and you wish they did, then try out this super fun trick to make them do just that. Tell them that whatever advice you are giving is what your dad had said. People tend to trust the advice offered by fathers.

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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