We all face stressful or emotional situations in our everyday lives — whether it's an argument with a friend or partner, or a toxic colleague bringing everything down. And if you're lucky, you might have a surefire tip or trick to deal with these scenarios.
Well, Reddit user u/PM_ME_UR_PUPPYDOGS asked, "What is the most effective psychological 'trick' you use?" — and the answers are super interesting.
1. "To avoid workplace drama and be liked, compliment people behind their back."
2. "Saying 'You're right!' instead of 'I know' makes you look less like an asshole and doesn't diminish something someone else may have just found out."
3. "On an airplane, if my seatmate is hogging the armrest or being too chatty, I grab the barf bag. Works every time."
4. "Instead of asking, 'Do you have any questions?' I ask, 'What questions do you have?' The first almost always results in silence, while the second helps people feel comfortable asking questions."
5. "Put headphones in and play the music that fits your hoped-for mood. It shifts me over to it mentally.
6. "I work in an office. When people stop by my desk and refuse to leave me alone, I get up and refill my water bottle while they are talking to me. Instead of walking back to my desk, I walk them to theirs. They instinctively will sit down. Then I just sever the conversation and get back to work."
7. "My 4-year-old got into the 'Why?' phase a little while back. I read an article that said the best way to get them to stop was to ask them, 'I'm not sure, what do you think?' It is a godsend.
9. "If you need to deescalate someone and get them to communicate, ask them questions about numbers or personal information.
10. "Thank someone for a trait you want them to have.
"Instead of telling a customer you’re sorry for the wait, tell them, 'Thank you for your patience or understanding.' Works wonders."
11. "Be direct and personal when you need things. Instead of asking IF anyone has an EpiPen, ask WHO has an EpiPen.
12. "I currently manage around 240 people among six restaurants. It is often hard to get them to do what is needed. I have found that saying, 'I need your help' is effective in getting them on board. People want to feel needed and that they are making a difference.
13. "When I have something important to say to my kids, I say it very quietly so that they listen. They're immune to my yelling, but whispering gets their attention."
14. "If you look happy to see someone every time you see them, they will eventually be happy to see you."
15. "Listen to someone without giving advice or asking for more information. This typically gets me more information than if I were to be pushy about it."
16. "If you're trying to pick out dinner with your partner, rather than ask, 'What do you want?' and getting the typical 'I don't know, anything' answer and then having suggestions shot down, start with, 'What do you NOT want?'
17. "To deescalate a situation or someone who is prone to violence, address them at one or two emotional levels below where they are. For example, If their anger is at a level 10, then you should come in at a level 8. Being completely calm, reserved, and polite only pisses people off more because you 'clearly don't understand the magnitude of the situation.'
"If they are screaming and yelling, you need to come in loud — while not attacking them, and agreeing with them (to a point). When you agree with their anger, they are more open to listening to you. Works pretty much every time, though there may be a little up and down in the middle. Just follow the person's lead, while always being a level below them."
18. "Say hello to everybody you know, and say it with a smile. Just imagine: If someone walks into you twice a year and both times you smile and greet them enthusiastically, they will think of you as a nice person. So little effort for a person to find you friendly!"
19. "When I do something bothersome to my husband and he goes quiet, I wait a few minutes and then ask him a seemingly innocent question, usually on the subject of how certain parts of a car works. This gets him talking about the car thing and he rambles for like five minutes, and then, bam! He’s happy again and not quietly brooding.
"I’ll never tell him I do this because I’m afraid it won’t work anymore if he knows about it. It’s foolproof, though; it works every single time, no matter how bothered he is."
20. "When somebody shy is speaking, if you look at them and nod your head, it encourages them to keep talking."
21. "I’m a professional poker player. When I am in a pot with one other player, I often try to make them laugh when they are thinking about what to do. If you can get them to laugh, it sets them in a mood where they are unlikely to bluff."
22. "I work with a bunch of idiot lawyers, and I use the phrase 'You’re correct' all the time. Even if it’s one teeny, tiny thing they’re correct about, it makes them feel smart and they instantly soften. It also keeps them listening because they’re hoping more flattery will come down the pike."
23. "My husband says, 'I will give you $50 if you hiccup two more times.' It works amazingly well — he's never had to pay me."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.