1) Assume comfort in any interaction.
Our brain is an incredibly complicated instrument. Our relationship with it, is a love-hate one. We think we have control over it but usually something unconscious dictates our actions.
In most of our social interactions, we find it difficult to feel comfortable among strangers because our brain tries to protect us from exposure.
This however isn’t helping us when trying to be social and meet new people, is it?
This is why assuming comfort is so powerful. Commanding your brain to feel that you already know the person you are about to meet puts you in a position of advantage. It increases the chances of people showing interest in you and consequently even liking you.
2) Pay attention to people’s feet when you are approaching them.
Interrupting people when they are in the middle of an important conversation is one of the most annoying things to do. It shows that you have zero knowledge of social dynamics which will lead to unpleasant social situations.
When you approach a group of people while in a conversation, pay attention to their bodies. If they turn only their torsos and not their feet, it means they are in the middle of an important conversation and they don’t want you to interrupt them.
If they turn both torso and feet, it means you are welcome. This is extremely important, because the right timing in such situations may put you in a position of advantage, especially if the conversation was boring for both sides.
1. Airlines sometimes have cheaper flights to distant destinations that change planes in your intended destination city. So if you are flying to Chicago, you might book a flight to LA, knowing it stops in Chicago, and simply get off and not board the second leg. There is a web site called Skiplagged.com that is being sued by United for informing people how to take advantage of it.
2. I used to work at a PC repair shop and had to call HP warranty support in India almost every day. Talking with someone using a script + language barrier = aggravating and time consuming. I learned that if you select the option for Spanish you get transferred to a call center in Texas. From there you can just speak English.
3. Mobile videogames are literally designed to be frustrating instead of fun.
A great many mobile titles make use of mechanics that are put together with the intention of nurturing habitual behavior, frustrating a user, and then offering a slightly more enjoyable experience after money has been spent. This tactic has proven to be a more profitable model than actually offering entertainment, to the point where some companies take very careful steps to ensure that their games don’t accidentally end up being fun.
That sounds like satire, I know, but it’s actually true.
Let’s suppose you had a game like Galaga, for instance. A mobile game version monetized with in-application microtransactions would probably give you the option to upgrade your ship and your weapons, purchase additional lives, and other such things. You’d be able to earn “soft” (or “grind”) currency by killing enemy units, with small amounts of “hard” (or “premium”) currency being awarded when you advanced in level or something.
Now, that sounds like it would be alright, doesn’t it? Here’s where the manipulative part comes in, though: In this hypothetical game, it’s virtually impossible to make it beyond the third level without spending money, because there’s a “recommended” item of some kind that can only be purchased with hard currency… and it’s impossible to earn enough of it from within the game. This is called a “pay wall,” and a great many mobile games take advantage of the concept, albeit to varying degrees.
There’s only one small problem with the game concept I just outlined: It might actually be kind of fun to play. As I mentioned previously, it’s a far better idea to frustrate a user, and then give them a marginally better experience after they’ve converted to a paying player. So, maybe what we’d do with our hypothetical title is have all of the enemies slowly become more and more difficult over the course of five levels or so. Then, when a user inevitably died, we’d show them some kind of pop-up message:
“The aliens are advancing!” it might say. “Spend 15 SPACE CREDITS to revive?”
You’d be given the option to spend 15 hard currency for a single life… or to buy a pack of lives for only 50! Either way, immediately after you made the purchase, the game would become easier and more satisfying. If there were random items dropped by destroyed enemies, you’d see slightly more of them. Your score would increase more quickly, and there would be more explosions (or in the case of a game like Candy Crush, more flashing lights and noises).
After the level was done, you’d get bumped back into the typical difficulty and the same frustrating experience… until you spent more money, of course.
1. When a dealership tells you the vehicle is on the lot or will hold the vehicle for you and then tells you it was sold when you get there, leave. They pulled a bait and switch on you
This is a very common tactic to bring in customers on to the lot. Half of the work in selling a car is to get the buyer to come to the dealership. I have found that most of the dealerships that pull this tactic are not ones to be trusted; they showed you that they are willing to trick you so you can come to them, they have a mindset of tricking their customers for profit. If they dont have your vehicle then leave and continue your car search, dealerships like these are more trouble then they are worth.
2. If a baby/toddler appears to hurt themselves (falls over, hits head, etc.) and they look to you, always meet their gaze and smile 😀
I see this mistake made constantly: someone is watching their kid (who is just learning how to walk) run straight into a table that is conveniently right at head height. The kid looks around for mom (or whoever), not quite crying yet but definitely on the brink of tears, and the mom freaks out and puts on a horrified face to match. Kid sees face and begins to cry hysterically.
This can be avoided for the most part by smiling and not over-reacting when your kid looks to you for help. They’re confused. They haven’t felt like this before (they’re 1 remember). They’re pretty sure this is bad but don’t know yet. They look around for help and to see how others are reacting to the situation. When you smile at them you are re-assuring them that everything is going to be okay. Pretty much without fail kids will calm down almost instantly in response to a genuine smile.
It also helps to lay some infant directed speech on them, but this isn’t totally necessary, they’re really just looking for facial confirmation that they’re not going to die.
Obviously you’re still going to want to check them over for any serious bumps or bruises but just make sure you’re smiling when you do it.
3. If you are away from news for a while and want to catch up search “[month] [year]” in Wikipedia. This will give you all the major world news for that month.
For example, typing “April 2015” will give you the latest on ISIS or Baltimore Riots
Have you always wondered about the subtle things you can do to totally improve the outcome of a situation? It is something that I have constantly been thinking about. After spending some time searching up on the subject I came across some incredible bits of advice from a Reddit discussion. From this, I’ve pulled out and organized users’ top advice on how to improve your outcomes.
- When you first meet people try to notice their eye color while also smiling at them. It might be because you look for a second or two longer, but all I can tell you is that people really respond to it.
- Pay attention to people’s feet. If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation. Similarly if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing in another direction, they want the conversation to end. You should check out Carol Kinsey Goman’s research on these types of things in the workplace.
- Foot-in-the-door phenomenon. People are more likely to agree to do a task for you if you ask them to do something simpler first. (Gradual Commitment—¦ makes people them think you like them)
- Alternatively you ask them to do an unreasonable task, and they’ll say no, so then you ask for what you wanted, a much more reasonable task, and they’re more likely to agree that way.
- If you ask someone to do you a small favor, cognitive dissonance will make them believe that because they did that favor, they therefore must like you. (Ben Franklin)
- If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer just wait. If you stay silent and keep eye contact they will usually continue talking.
- Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that would make you nervous like public speaking or bungee jumping. I can’t remember where I heard it but apparently if we are ‘eating’ something in our brains trip and it reasons ‘I would not be eating if I were danger. So I’m not in danger’. Has helped calm me a few times.
- Avoid the sidewalk shuffle by looking intently over the person’s shoulder, or between people’s heads in a group. Your gaze shows them where you’re going. They’ll drift toward the opposing side / create a gap to avoid you.
- When you’re studying/learning something new, teach a friend how/about it. Let them ask questions. If you’re able to teach something well, you understand it.
- People will remember not what you said but how you made them feel.
- For interviews I recommend altering your psychological state beforehand. Tell yourself “I’ve known these people all my life. We’re old friends catching up. I can’t wait to see them”. Visualize the experience, shaking hands, making eye contact, having conversation. What things can you not to wait to tell them? Hold an open pose—¦stand with your legs apart, hands on your hips, and shoulders back while doing this and SMILE. This may sound cliche but you are in charge of your own psychological state and the power of suggestion is strong.
- If you get yourself to be really happy and excited to see other people, they will react the same to you. It doesn’t always happen the first time, but it will definitely happen next time.
- My personal favorite is when people are angry at me; if I stay calm it’ll get them even angrier, and be ashamed about it after.
- If you have a warm hand when you shake somebody’s hand, you immediately become a more desirable person to get along with.
- People have a certain image of themselves and will fight tooth and nail to cling to it. Use this information wisely. You can make people dislike you by attacking their self-image.
- False attribution of arousal. When you take somebody out on a first date, take them somewhere exciting that will get their heart beating. e.g. roller coaster or horror film. This gets their adrenaline up. It makes them think they enjoy spending time with you rather than the activity.
- The key to confidence is walking into a room, and assuming everyone already likes you.
- The physical effects of stress (increased breathing rate, heart rate ect.) mirror identically the physical effects of courage. So when you’re feeling stress from any situation immediately reframe it: your body is getting ready to do courage, it’s Not feeling stress.. A great example of cognitive reframing, researchers found that you do better when you appraise a stressful situation as a challenge, not a threat
- Refer to people you’ve just met by their name. People loving being referred to by their name, and it will establish a sense of trust and friendship right away—¦
- If you make the biggest smile you can, you will automatically feel happier
- The moment your alarm wakes you up, immediately react by sitting up, pump your fists and shout “YEAH!”
- Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control. For instance when I want him to put his shoes on I will say ,”do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?”
- People are extraordinarily aware of their sense of touch. If someone (a member of the opposite sex?) ‘Accidentally’ rests their knee on yours, let’s say, they know it’s there.
Absolutely important: drink a TON of water. Grab a water bottle (I have an insulated bottle with a sealable nipple that is a true life saver in the hot summers) and always have it full. Try to drink at least 3 full bottles each day and don’t worry about having to pee constantly. That will diminish with time.
Eat protein before bed. Anything sugary or loaded with carbs can cause your blood sugar to plummet at night, which can make for restless, non-REM sleep, which sucks ass. Eat a slice of turkey with cheese or do my favorite and eat string cheese before bed. Keeping your BGs stable will be a life saver. Works great for fear of flying too! Trust me.
I do hypnosis and before anyone hates on me, try it. If you’d like, I have a generic one for sleep that I can Dropbox to you if you want to give it a shot. It has changed so many aspects of my life for the better that I recommend it whenever someone asks. Meditation is also great, as our friend The Redditorist said, but personally hypnosis works best for me. Try both and see what works for you.
Sleep hygiene. Most people laugh when you say this but it works. People tend to sleep better when their room is cooler (65-72*F), darker, and quiet. Some need white noise to fall asleep so buy a little white noise machine to help you. I like to fall asleep listening to rain which I find to be the most relaxing thing in the world. Only problem with Los Angeles is we don’t get a lot of it, so I use the Sleepmaker app for iPhone (it’s free) and chose whichever type of rain and duration I want. Sleep like a baby.
Try not to let stress get to you. You’re studying for the MCAT which is intense and requires so much brain space it’s scary. Let it all go at night to fall asleep, either through visualization or meditation or whatever you’ve now found works for you. I visualize all the thoughts, events, and stressors of my day just running off of me and into my mattress, where it dissolves into nothingness. Less stress will also make you a healthier person over all, which is a big plus.
Don’t ever hit snooze. This one is more about self-discipline than the other suggestions above but you can do it. I never hit snooze because what happens is that you wake up and then fall even more deeply asleep than before (sometimes even hitting REM but out of order in your sleep cycle). This really screws up your circadian rhythm and most likely is why you feel like crap all the time. Don’t hit snooze. Just don’t.
Exercise. As Bosmerica said below, become physically exhausted and the mental side will follow. If you’re not into evening workouts then try something mid morning, afternoon, or whenever that really wipes you out. When I do circus training, boxing, or dancing I am thoroughly tired and sleep like a baby. My preferred time to workout (personally) is in the morning (7am+) but you may be different. Find what works for you and run with it (pun intended).
Using all the tools above (and those great suggestions below) start going to bed earlier. Since you say you normally go to sleep between midnight and o’dark something, try for 11:45pm to start. Do that for a few weeks and then drop it to 11:30pm. If possible, wake up every day at the same time. 7am is the best time of day for me and my body will wake me up within the 7am hour without even setting an alarm. This took years but eventually, with time, it will become habit if you stick with it. Promise.
Dim the lights in your home/apartment in the evening, which encourages your brain to recognize it’s sleepy time. Ever been camping and thought “Man, I could fall asleep right now” and then you check your phone, only to see its 8pm? That’s what I mean. The darker it is before bed, the better it is for you.
Keep at it. It will get better with time and dedication. With all the tools you now have, the key part in this equation is YOU. If you implement what you’ve learned you will benefit. Pick and chose but do something. Half-assing things won’t generate the changes you’re looking for so go out there and DO it. Good luck and know we’re rooting for you!