The human mind is a fascinating thing. If you know it’s quirks, you can use them to gain advantage in all social situations.
Though we all are different and unique, scientists are continuously finding behavioral patterns that are believed to be somewhat universal for everyone.
Here are 8 psychological peculiarities of the human mind that could be useful in a lot of situations:
1. To change someone’s view, start with the common ground between your beliefs. Don’t start directly with why their point of view is wrong.
When someone has really dug in their heels against you – they do not agree with you and do not want to be argued with, approach them with understanding. If you show them you get the point of their reasoning and agree at least to some extent with it, they will feel validated and will become more open to what you are going to say next. On the other hand, if you attack you opponents directly with arguments against their position, they will simply dig in deeper.
2. To change people’s behavior use nouns instead of verbs
As human beings, we have an extremely strong need to belong. We often identify with the groups we are a part of and this feeling of belonging can deeply affect our behavior. In one study participants were asked two versions of the same question – “How important is it to you to vote in tomorrow’s election?” and “How important is it to you to be a voter in tomorrow’s election?”. Results indicated that when the noun (voter) was used instead of the verb (vote), more people actually voted the following day.
So next time you ask people to do stuff, use nouns instead of verbs and invoke a sense of belonging.
3. When speaking with someone use their name
Not everyone is good at putting names to faces, especially when meeting a lot of new people in a short amount of time. But remembering people’s names and being able to address them directly is yet another social hack that will make you more likable. Using a person’s name in a conversation – rather than dude, buddy, bro etc., can make that person feel important, memorable and acknowledged which will instantly make you more likeable and agreeable in their eyes.
4. If you are arguing with someone stand next to them, not in front of them
We have all been in an argument that is increasingly heating up. Suggesting that you are not fond of drama, it’s best to avoid such situations. Regardless how strong of an argument you have, people hate it when they feel they are wrong and things can get out of hand quickly. So what can you do to avoid the quarrel?
Next time you expect an argument with someone to escalate, our suggestion is not to stand in front of them but to move next to them – this way they won’t feel so threatened and eventually the tension will dissolve.
5. Use positive adjectives when describing people
When you are talking with someone, the traits that you use to describe another individual, also become associated with yourself – the storyteller. This phenomenon is called Spontaneous trait transference.
So if you describe someone else as honest and companionate, the chances are you are going to be attributed with the same qualities. But the reverse is true as well, so be careful – if you continuously insult people behind their backs, the negative attributes will be associated with you as well.
6. Do something exciting with your date
The similarity of how love, anxiety and fear can feel is staggering. Often they feel so identical that we tend to mix them up and that is what psychologists call misattribution. If it so happens that there isn’t an apparent reason for your physical exhilaration your brain usually turns to your environment to resolve what is going on – what you are feeling and why. But how does this affect us and how can we take advantage of this phenomenon?
Researchers have found that people find strangers more attractive after they have experienced something thrilling (like a rollercoaster ride) than beforehand. This doesn’t mean to scare the living daylights out of your date just to make this person attracted to you. But sharing a ride on the rollercoaster might just give you the edge you need.
7. Chew gum to concentrate
Scientists have found that gum chewing significantly boosts alertness, productivity, as well as the rate of which we process information. Additionally, contrary to your teacher’s belief chewing a gum in class dos not impair your ability to pay attention by distracting
you from the lesson at hand. Another impressive benefit from gum chewing is its capability of keeping you awake when you are feeling sleepy.
Sadly, all this goes away when you spit out your gum – there aren’t any persistent benefits after that. Here is something you can chew on.
8. Get a song out of your head by finally finishing it
Ever had a song stuck in your head that you just can’t shake? According to psychologists this could be due to a phenomenon known as the Zeigarnik effect – the tendency to remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed ones.
Next time a tune plays on a loop in your head, try finishing it! This might help ease your brain into thinking that the task (the song) is finished and it may finally let it go.