Life is hard. Relationships, work, and adulthood in general, present constant challenges. We are more connected and more social than ever before, yet a large number of young adults say they feel lonely and confused.
Here are fourteen useful hacks to make everyday life just a little bit easier.
1. Take your date somewhere exciting
If you cannot afford a trip to Paris with a romantic night at the Louvre, take her to the local theme park, where you can ride a roller coaster or drive around like crazy in one of those bumper cars.
If you want to try something more challenging, you can go skydiving or bungee jumping. The adrenaline rush will mimic the thrill of falling in love, and she will associate that feeling with you.
2. Repeat someone’s name in conversation
I am terrible with names. If I meet someone for the first time, I almost never remember his or her name the first time I hear it. I remember that in high school I even forgot the name of my then girlfriend, no joke!
We had just started dating and I was about to introduce her her to two of my best friends, but then I blocked off and forgot her name!! Luckily, she eventually introduced herself and we all laughed the incident off.
So, if you are like me, you can repeat the person’s name the first time you hear it. That way, you’ll be less likely to forget it.
3. If someone is angry with you, stay outwardly calm.
Either they will alter their tone and demeanor to match yours, or they will explode and then feel silly for overreacting. Either way, your choice to maintain your composure will put you in control of the confrontation.
I, personally, try not to give in to fits of anger, but to say that I always manage to do it will not be quite true. Yet, the more you try, the better you will get at controlling your emotions.
4. If you want someone to say yes to you, nod as you speak.
A positive response will seem natural, because the nod has been accepted as a universal gesture of agreement and acceptance in the English speaking world, and in the West, in general.
So, when you ask your friend for a favor, or your boss for a pay rise or promotion, make your request stronger and more convincing with a nod.
For the sake of objectivity, I must tell you that there are some places where a nod actually means “No”. If you do business on the Balkans, it’s not a good idea to nod at your partners as you speak, because in this part of Europe a nod means “No”, while shaking your head means “Yes”.
5. When you meet someone for the first time, try to notice their eye color.
This requires initial eye contact that will come across as intense but not intimidating. Thus, the other person will instantly feel more connected to you. In addition, in this way you are more likely to remember his or her name when your hear it.
6. If you need someone to do you a small favor, ask for a big one first.
This has to do with our natural tendency to choose the lesser of two evils. My personal experience shows that before you ask someone for a favor, you should first weigh the chances of him or her doing that for you. A dead horse needs no flogging, right?
7. Want to know if someone likes you? Wait for a joke.
When people laugh in a group, they instinctively turn towards the person they feel the strongest connection to.
Suppose you were in a company where you fell for a girl and wanted to check out if she was feeling the same. If I were you, I’d crack a not particularly funny joke and wait for her reaction. If she laughed then things would probably turn in your favor.
8. If you work with difficult people, put a mirror in your office.
We are more conscious of our bad behavior when we can see ourselves doing it. Chances are that when your colleagues see what they look like while giving you a hard time, they’ll get immediately discouraged from going on with it.
9. Eye contact instead of follow-up questions
If someone does not answer a question to your satisfaction and you’d like to know more, do not follow up with more questions. Instead, maintain eye contact and stay silent. They will likely offer more information on their own just to break the awkward silence that has fallen.
10. Prepare mentally for an important event
Before an interview or a first date, imagine you and the recruiter/romantic prospect have been friends for years. Your comfort will read as confidence and security, and you will most probably land the job you’ve always landed, or start a relationship with your romantic interest.
11. Match someone’s body language
If you want to make a breakthrough at the negotiations’ table, try to match your partners’ gestures and body language. This will create an invisible bond between you and you’ll wind their trust in an instant.
12. Want to know if the person you’re talking to is following the conversation? Check out their feet.
When you’re not sure if somebody wants to get out of a conversation you are having, check out their feet. If they are pointed towards you, they are engaged. If not, they are waiting for your communication to end. This can save you quite a few awkward moments, especially if you are having a conversation with a girl you’ve just men in the bar or in the club.
13. If you want to be happy, smile more often
This will trick your brain into thinking you really are. A smile will immediately take the negative energy away from you and replace it with a long-lasting positive feeling.
14. When in a group, sit close to those you’d like to chat with
In a group setting, stand or sit next to the person you wish to have a word with, rather than across from them. This will subconsciously make them feel close to you.
Those are my favorite shortcuts to being a cooler, more confident person. What are yours?