5 Psychological Hacks You Can Use Today

by Damien Mercer about a year ago in how to

Tips For Navigating Some of Life’s Problems.

5 Psychological Hacks You Can Use Today

In the fast paced, hectic, and often stressed out world we live in, it can be difficult to catch a break. People are usually out for number one. They’re often times defensive, stubborn and just basically not ready to help you. And we’re usually just as bad, often resulting in some form of ineffective communication.

Most times it’s not a lack of desire to help, or so I tell myself, it’s merely the lack of time to deal with problems other than our own, or again, at least we think. A lack of patience may even be more accurate.

It’s tempting to get frustrated and retaliate in these circumstances, after all, we only need Denise to stop talking for five minutes so we can have that document handled!

So what can we do when Denise hates us? Or when we’re getting the phone slammed on us more than once a day? Or even if our colleagues are just being total dicks?

Well my friends, here lies the power of psychology.

I will list five psychological hacks that you can use in your day to day lives, helping you get through your it with less resistance and hopefully more results!

Disclaimer: While these tricks are powerful, they won’t make you Omnipotent, exercise caution and be mindful not to manipulate!

1. The Benjamin Franklin Effect

This one is fabulous. The Benjamin Franklin Effect is an apparent psychological hack that states, if a person agrees to doing you a small favour, they will believe they like you more! Furthermore, they’re even more likely to help you out going forward, than compared to a situation where you did a favour for them! Great right?


Dan: “Hey Ryan, would you mind just popping this file round the corner to Debbie? I’d be ever so greatful!”

Ryan: “Sure, that’s no problem at all!”

Ryan is now thinking “You know what I kinda like that guy!”

It sounds wild, but it’s been shown to work!

Subconsciously by doing something for someone, you logically assume you must like them. So starting out with small favours works wonders!

2. Cunningham’s Law

If you’re ever in need of the answer to something, but you have means of performing an internet search, try using Cunningham’s Law.

Cunningham’s Law essentially states that you’re extremely likely to be corrected if you present incorrect data. So if you can use this to your advantage then all the better! It’s particularly effective on the internet.


Person 1: I can’t remember the capital of France... and I’ve got no internet, this is frustrating... oh I know, I’ll Cunningham Law it!

Person 1: “Dude, my friend asked me what the capital of France was the other day “

Person 2: “Oh yeah?

Person 1: “Yeah, for his exam, so I told him it was Vienna, couldn’t believe he didn’t know.”

Person 2: “Dude! The capital of France is Paris! You’d better tell him!”

It’s a rough example but you get the idea!

3. Getting them on the phone

For any of you who work largely with phones, especially those that cold call, here’s a hack that may help you get that person to not slam there phone down on you... or tap the end call button as it’s done these days...

When you first call your vic...err customer typically, you might open with...

Hello sir/madam could you spare two minutes?”

This sounds fine in theory, but it’s going to put them immediately on the defensive, you’re effectively stealing at least two minutes and everyone knows you’ll take longer, so the interest never has chance to grow... instead, here’s something that may prove more effective...

Hello Sir/Madam I hope I haven’t caught you at a bad time?”

This shows way more genuine concern for your clients time and won’t put them on the defensive as quickly as the previous opener, you’re also not eluding to any kind of time frame so there’s less reason to form a resistance to you.

Let me know how this one goes for you!

4. Negotiation Hack

Another for the people who have to persuade, negotiate, and convince often as part of your job role or life.

Often times when you’re opening any kind of negotiation with someone, you’re trying to bring them over to your way of thinking or perspective, but overall, you’re attempting to achieve an outcome that works for both parties.

Maybe you’re selling a car or a home, maybe even just a laptop or phone etc, and maybe you aren’t selling at all. Hopefully you’re not involved in any hostage situations...

For arguments sake, let’s suppose a situation where you’re in a sales environment, your customer/client is aware that you’re trying to sell, and there’s an argument/debate, you’re trying to negotiate a price.

For starters, no matter the circumstances surrounding said event, you’re starting from a place of disagreement, and that’s very tough place to begin negotiations, although obviously the most common, what you need to get them to do is...

Agree to something else first!... Possibly multiple things.

Achieving a place of agreement, gets you and your ‘target’ on the same page, and they’re much more likely to agree to something, when they already share common beliefs, or believe they do, with the person they’re negotiating with.


David: “Sir, I understand your concern for the price of this motorcycle, believe me, I’ve been there. So let’s agree to lay our cards on the table so we understand each other okay?

Mark: “Yeah, okay.”

David: “Can we both agree that you are in the market for a motorcycle, just so I’m clear?”

Mark: “Oh yeah, definitely after a new bike.”

David: “Great! So we’re on the same page there?”

Mark: “Yes!”

David: “Excellent! So would you agree that this _________ is a fantastic quality of bike?

Mark: “Yeah I can’t deny that.”

David: “She’s pretty ain’t she?”

Mark: “Haha oh yeah she’s a beaut alright.”

David: “I agree! You see Mark, I could always appreciate a man with good taste, I think you’ve got that down! Don’t you?”

Mark: “Yeah I guess so, I’ve had many years of riding haha.

David: “I can tell! Mark, shall we settle on our first agreed price, I think we both know it’s a really good offer?”

Mark: “You know what you’re right, I’ll take it! Thank you!”

This was a slightly altered (and shortened) version of a conversation that a salesman had with me when I was 25 that got me to buy a car! Oops... but yeah, it worked! Because the more I agreed with him the more I trusted him. I wish I had not, but hey live and learn!

5. Kill Them With Kindness

So this one I have personal experience with and I can say with full conviction, that it worked fantastically for me!

I worked, and sadly still do, in a retail environment. I wasn’t a manager and will never be, I am a simple shelf stacked, I stack shelves, push trolleys around, sit at a checkout etc etc it’s not glamorous, but it’s served it’s temporary purpose in my life and now upon the brink of leaving, I have some knowledge to drop regarding this psychological hack, that I had great success with here!

Amongst my coworkers, there was always a lot of playful banter, we would rip on each other most of the day. It helped me develop a thick skin, for which I’ll endlessly grateful! But one day a new guy starts...

And I literally abhor him. I detest him in all ways.

He’s the guy who starts on day one trying to force his way into the chemistry... he’s only 18 and we’re all over 24 years old.. he’s not funny he’s just insulting... he can’t take a joke.. and what’s worse, he seemingly has no understanding of social cues,

What do I mean?

When I got really really tired of him, I began to just ignore him, it’s my way of telling him I’m not interested in conversation or any kind of work friendship... you’re not funny, I don’t like you, go away sort it attitude.

I’m not one for calm confrontation, I can’t do it very well in person. So that’s what I relied on.

But it never worked for long... even having literally yelled at him to f**k off and leave me alone... nope... a few days later he was back to his usual awful self.

So after months of my failed attempts of ignoring him, I decided I needed something new.

Ignoring him wasn’t an option... fighting back wasn’t an option cause he seemed to enjoy the argument, he saw it as banter.... it was not. And I’d even told him in a casual conversation that I didn’t find him funny, but no, nothing. He remained the same.

What did I do?

I went 180 on his ass.

I decided that for every pain in the ass, not funny remark he’d make, I’d just agree and fire back with kindness!

Bob: “You’re really slow today, Jesus!”

Me: “ Yeah I know! Lucky I’ve got someone so smart around to keep me in line, thank you! :)”

Bob: “... Ohh err, yeah....” ....* Makes lame excuse and leaves.*


That’s all it took!

See these people can often operate from a place of insecurity, especially if they find you threatening! If something about me triggered him, his response was to try and bring me down and control me.

By fighting back and even ignoring him, I was responding in ways that showed his behaviour was having a negative impact on me, this only made him feel a sense of control and power.

By killing him with kindness, I took that power away by showing him his words meant literally nothing to me anymore.

At first I had to fake it otherwise my anger would have won out and I’d have killed him like, at least five times.

But I’m a VERY SHORT time, he got bored and frustrated. Frustration actually made him try harder, then he quit!

It’s a neat little truck, especially for bullies like him!

PS: It’s worth noting this kid claimed to have been bullied, interesting then, that he carried on that behaviour and actually became one himself, even if unknowingly.

So there ya have it folks! Five psychological hacks you can start using today! I wish you all the best, lemme know if they work for ya!

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Damien Mercer
Damien Mercer
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Damien Mercer

Greetings. I have always found writing a more palatable form of communication than spoken word. I love to share knowledge, wisdom and tales of my experience where I can, to help whomever I can!

See all posts by Damien Mercer