Interpersonal Relationships Social Influence & Persuasion

5 Sneaky Persuasion Strategies I Use in My Everyday Life

The psychology of persuasion is an area of psychology very applicable to our daily life. It can be used almost anywhere you go and with anyone whom you meet. Which is why it fascinates me.

#1 Self-deprecating humor

Also referred to as ‘self-defeating humor’. We all know it. We have all used it. You may be able to connect with some of these examples. 😛

When you’re on your 295th selfie attempt and still trying to refuse the fact that you’re ugly and todays not your day.


Just because you’re trash doesn’t mean you can’t do great things… its called garbage can, not garbage cannot.

Self-depreciating humor simply said, is whenever you start to make fun of yourself. We often think that most people would use such humor in themselves, to mask their insecurities or negative thoughts. Yet research has continuously presented findings that would amaze people reading it.

People who frequently use self-deprecating humor have been shown to not only have higher self-esteem but also a lot more self-assurance. So what makes it a persuasion technique Max? There are two elements to self-deprecating humor.
First, we need to understand that humor is one of the rare characteristics that a person can have that will always make them likable. Even if its someone you really can’t get along with at all, if they are a funny person, you automatically don’t feel as much hatred towards them. Let’s be honest here, we have all had an argument with someone where the other person uses humor during your discussion. You may have noticed that during those conversations, their argument for some reasons becomes a lot stronger when they make you laugh. Humor wins. Always. Even if your argument is complete bollocks, your humor will not make you stand there like a complete idiot. Most of the time. Humor makes us likable. Humor always wins. And believe it or not, people are more likely to do something for us, if they like us. 🙂
Second, you should understand that we as humans love to feel special and think that we are smarter than most other people. Also known as illusory superiority. Using self-deprecating humor is a great technique to get others to help you. It makes you the victim.

#2 Barnum statements

Great technique, often used by fortune tellers. But generally, psychologists or ‘life-coaches’ like to use them as well.

Simply said, Barnum statements are statements we think are very personal and are tailored for us, but in reality are applicable to pretty much every dude you meet.

You know when someone tells you; ‘You seem like a smart person!’ Not only will you like them a little more but you will actually, boost your self-esteem. The reality is that this is actually a completely meaningless statement. This is because no one can really tell if you’re smart after only talking to you for a couple of minutes, and second, being smart isn’t really an art nowadays. Even the biggest idiot we know is smart in his very own way. Yet this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. Barnum statement remain a great way to make people like. It works. Trust me. 🙂

#3 Admit you’re wrong

I wrote about this persuasion technique in one of my other articles, on how to win people to your way of thinking. I write about this tactic again, as I still believe it offers a lot of effectiveness.

Admitting when you’re actually wrong, allows you to safely and comfortably get out of the corner you’ve been pushed into by the person who is in fact, right. More so, admittance will instinctively make you more likable as the person who is right, will have their argument and way of thinking positively reinforced by you telling them they are right and you’re wrong.

And guess what? We love to be right! All the time. Nobody likes being the loser in a tempered and heated discussion. It makes you look like an idiot!

Admitting your mistake, will therefore not boost the other persons ego, but equally allow you to calmly correct your argument with the other person still be open enough to consider it. 🙂

#4 Use downward inflection

Downward inflection is all about using the right tone when you articulate a word at the end of a sentence. Let’s say you have secured yourself an interview at some company you’ve recently applied at. Whenever they ask you to talk about your strength, make sure to always use downward inflection. Take this little statement and try it out on yourself…

say, ‘I’m a really fast learner.’ – make sure to raise your voice when you say ‘learner’. Notice something? It doesn’t sound like you’re a fast learner at all versus when you lower your tone when saying ‘learner’ and making it sound like you have just reached the end of a sentence. Using this downward inflection makes things sound like you’re speaking the gospel and set in stone truth.

#5 Show appreciation and acceptance

The best way to not get anyone onto your side of thinking are words like ‘but’ or ‘no’. We often use these two words as transition words when someone has finished their sentence and it’s our turn to share our opinion. The point is that the last thing you really don’t want to do is criticise, condemn or downgrade anyone else’s opinion. No one wants to be criticised. Admit it, everytime somebody says that you should do your job better or different, you may appreciate their feedback, but there is still this little sneaky feeling of absolute hatred that you uncontrollably feel towards them.

Instead, make sure to always praise someone’s opinion and show appreciation for what they have said. Let them know their opinion is worth something, even if you think it is complete BS. The point is not for you to kiss their ass, but instead for them to continue liking and wanting to be with you. Persuasion tactics often require a short-term change of our personality.

Take-home message. These tactics will only work if you have the ability to put your ego to the back of the line. Yes, it is hard not to disagree with someone if they are talking complete crap, and yes it takes time, practice and patience for these to really work on people you meet. Nevertheless, you should go out there and try them if you feel as sneaky as I do. 😛

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: