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!
1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..
5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.
7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)
10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.