When a group of people are laughing, everyone looks at the person they like most
Tell a solid joke in a group setting that gets everyone to laugh, then observe their gazes — they’ll only have eyes for the person they are most keen on. It’s an effective way to quickly learn a group’s dynamic.
Note: This does not apply to the look your girlfriend gives you after you tell that hilarious “What did one butt cheek say to the other?” joke at her parents’ house.
Break up a fight by eating between the people who are fighting
If you want to diffuse a violent situation, grab something tasty and stand in the middle of the altercation. People associate eating with calmness, so they are unlikely to fight when someone is munching right next to them. This is a psychological phenomenon known as the “snackman effect.” Seriously.
“Come on, man, not in front of the yogurt.”
Make someone like you by asking a favor of them
This psychological phenomenon is known as the Ben Franklin effect because the founding father swore by it. In fact, he argued that asking someone to perform a favor for you makes them like you even better than the other way around. This is because, internally, a person will ask why they are helping you. Their brain will then rationalize the question by concluding that they must be helping you because they like you.
“My dog took a shit pick it up.”
“I think I love you.”
Feel more comfortable around a stranger by pretending they’re a longtime friend
If you’re nervous about talking to a stranger for, say, a job interview, then imagining they’re a good friend can help put you at ease. Avoid pretending they’re too close of a friend, though.
“Jimmy! J-Bone! The Jaysterrrr! Aww man, I haven’t seen you since our Kappa Alpha days!”
“I’m sorry do I –”
*puts finger on Jim’s lips* “Ssssh ssshh, yes I remember that night on the boat and no, I won’t tell your wife.”
The act of chewing calms your brain down.
If you’re ever nervous or worked up, grab a piece of gum or even a snack. Nobody eats when they’re in danger. As such, we are so familiar with eating in safe, relaxing situations that when we chew, our brains automatically fire off calming signals.
Just don’t switch to “eat your feelings” mode too often.
Stare at people to make them talk more
If you are not pleased with someone’s answer or want to get more information out of them, stare into their eyes. They’ll feel so uncomfortable, they’ll keep talking to break the awkwardness.
They also might think you’re deranged.
Putting a mirror by your desk will make people nicer to you
If you have to talk to people a lot at work, put a small mirror behind your back. Studies have shown that a person is more polite while catching a glimpse of their own reflection. This is because people do not enjoy seeing themselves looking disgruntled or annoyed.
Or maybe we’re all just narcissistic assholes.
Catch someone staring at you by yawning
If you feel a creeper staring you down, try yawning. Yawns are contagious, so the person staring will likely yawn as well.
Seeing that made you yawn, didn’t it?
Get rid of an item by handing it to someone while talking to them
Here’s a fun way to get your significant other to take out the trash. Grab the trash and ask them their opinion on something. While they jaw off, hand them the trash. In most cases, they’ll be so invested in their story that they’ll take it from you without second thought. Then just casually walk away.
“Wait… how did I get this jacket?”
Schedule meetings for either the beginning or end of the day so people remember stuff better
People memorize things best at the beginning and end of the day. So if you’ve got important information to tell someone, try to make it happen at those times. This also applies to job interviews: being either the first or last candidate will automatically make you more memorable to an interviewer. Otherwise…
“I see your lips moving but all I can think about is lunch.”
Find out if someone likes you by how their feet are pointing
Notice how people point their feet while you talk to them. If both feet are pointing towards you, then they are engaged in the conversation. If both feet are pointing away and they’re facing you over their shoulder, then they probably aren’t so engaged. And if one foot is pointing towards you while the other is pointing away, then they are trying to leave the conversation as soon as possible.
And if both feet are pointing down, then they are a ballerina.
Mimicking other people’s gestures will make them trust you
By copying someone’s gestures and facial expressions, they will feel like you’re on the same page about a topic. They will also see themselves in you, whether they realize it or not, and most people trust themselves more than others.
Just don’t go too overboard with this one.