Crazy Mind Tricks You Can Use to Get What You Want

You don't have to be a Jedi to control people with your mind. Mind tricks are really just creative ways of using psychology to your advantage. They're all about getting people to do what you want without realizing it. Want people to like you more? There's a trick for that. Want to increase your odds of a great first date? There's one for that too. Some brain tricks might seem like common sense, but remember, common sense isn't always common.

One of the best things about knowing different psychological tricks is that you'll be able to recognize them when people are trying to use them on you. Using psychology to get your way is good, but using psychology to make sure other people don't manipulate you is even better.

Not to mention the fact that you'll probably feel pretty cool just being aware of all these mental tricks and spotting them out in the real world. You might already be doing some of these things without even realizing it. If not, you'll learn them quickly and wonder how you didn't think of them in the first place.

So prepare your brain, put on your reading glasses, and get ready to take some notes on this list of psychological tricks to help you get what you want.

  • Get People to Carry Things for You

    Get People to Carry Things for You
    Photo: Joe Hall / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    Whether it's because they don't want to interrupt you or because they're just not thinking about it, people are more likely to help you carry things if you hand them the object while talking to them.
  • Find Out If Someone Is Watching You

    Find Out If Someone Is Watching You
    Photo: daniele paccaloni / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    Want to know if that prospective client or the weird guy in the corner is watching you? Try yawning. The whole "yawning is contagious" thing is actually true, so if they yawn right after you, chances are they've had their eye on you.
  • Make It Impossible for People to Say No to You

    Make It Impossible for People to Say No to You
    Photo: clement127 / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    If someone is saying no to you because they simply don't want to do something or because it's mildly inconvenient for them, make them a reasonable offer in return. That is usually enough to sway unwilling friends. They'll see you putting yourself out there and will feel inclined to meet you halfway.

    Another trick? Wait till they're sleepy. People are a lot different when they're tired. Specifically, they're more susceptible to nearly all of the tricks on this list. Their defenses are usually lower and even their cognitive functioning is decreased. Whether you're asking for a favor or wanting someone to agree with you, try doing it when they're exhausted.
  • Get People to Like You Immediately

    Get People to Like You Immediately
    Photo: Matt Harris / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    Mimicking gestures and posture and offering a warm hand for the initial handshake are two good ways to get people to like you. Remember: a hand that is too cold is bad, but a hand that is too warm is just weird.