Dr. Jack Schafer wrote a book The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting and Winning People Over, in which he talks about how to gain friendship, maintain relationships, and create an aura of comfort and trust around you. The intelligence services in America have been using these techniques for 2 decades now and recently it has also gained public attention.
We decided to bring these techniques to you so that you can use them both in your private and professional life. This article, in the end, will also show you the way to become friends in the way that the special agent himself has developed them. It’ll help you understand how relationships are shaped.
1. To begin with, bend your head sideways
Have you ever noticed that women usually angle their head sideways unlike men? Similarly, men keep their head straight, usually in a professional setting, to express their dominance. In an informal conversation, a bent head shows trust; and animals too show their jugular vein when they find someone cute and trustworthy.
Offensive gestures: With your head tilted backward, if you roll your eyes, then it’s mostly received as hostile. Even if the gesture is only done in jest.
2. Play with your facial expressions
Raising your eyebrows at someone when you meet them implies a welcoming and non-aggressive emotion. One can see this sign from approximately 2m of distance and the brain immediately registers the person as pleasant. If you do not know a person but like him/her, then a quick uplift of the eyebrows could be a good gesture to begin with.
Offensive gestures: If you’re playing with your eyebrows, or holding a gloomy look or frowning at someone and staring at them, it could give a terribly negative vibe to the person.
3. Use you eyes to smile, not your grin
The brain is perceptive to a genuine smile and the moment it recognizes it, it responds to it. Hence, it secretes endorphins, which pumps you with joy. This allows further communication to take place between two people and furthers the probability of frequent visits to the same place and person.
When a person smiles genuinely, tiny wrinkles appear on the cheekbones and near the eyes and the mouth moves upward around the corners. Only if something strikes you as pleasant or amusing, can you smile this way; you can’t fake it.
Offensive gestures: A stiff smile and an emotionless gaze, or a grin.
4. Emphasize on certain points and change the volume to a soft whisper
To avoid awkward silence during a chat, use the last expression used by the person to make a slightly sympathetic statement. It’s an easy technique to make the conversation going and keep the atmosphere light.
When you whisper to a person, you naturally come close to say the words. It does two things: firstly, it violates the personal space, and secondly, it creates a sense of closeness between two people. Whispering is a way to share a secret with someone and it brings the person close to you to catch you better; hence, the sharing of something creates an intimate space between the two of you.
Offensive gestures: Speaking loudly, distancing yourself from a person, especially by resting your back completely on the chair.
5. No more “You’re welcome”
Don’t say “You’re welcome” to someone you’ve served. Instead, prefer saying, “I believe you’d have done exactly the same had you been in my place”. Statements like these imply a feeling of reciprocity. You open up the channel to allow the person to return the gesture rather than merely say thank you.
It’s a great idea to ask someone for an advice, a favor, or share a movie or a book. It makes the person feel important and also increases their self-esteem. Isn’t it great to be around someone who regards you?
6. Allow people to compliment themselves
Instead of complimenting a person, encourage a scope for self-praise. Urge the person to share their achievements and express surprise at it, “This is unbelievable! Did you actually do this yourself?’ “How’d you handle all this by yourself?” – these kinds of questions make a person praise themselves.
Using a third person voice of compliment can also be a great idea. Say, a mutual friend mentioned the person’s merits or quick wit.
Offensive gestures: Be careful not to slip into flattery, particularly if the compliment doesn’t sit right with the person. It’s appreciated if you notice the person’s hard work and acknowledge it.
7. Let your opponent notice your mistakes
Deliberately make a mistake such that the person you’re conversing with can correct you. This allows the opponent to feel more at ease with you and gives him/her confidence about their possible mistakes. It’s the basic rule of similarity wherein the common features between you will develop a scope of smooth communication.
8. Notice the pottery each time you’re together
The way in which you eat in the company of someone shows 70% of information about feelings, sympathies and thoughts. If the discusser keeps the cup in a way that looks like they’re building a boundary, then it’s an indication of desire for space. Think of the cup as a vase that’s between two people. Recall the way you push aside things from the table when you’re sitting with them for a conversation — it’s a way of inviting an unbarred conversation.
Share a plate to test the friendship — ask the opponent if you could pick something from their plate. This small agreement or disagreement tells a lot about the person’s attitude.
You will also be interested in reading: 10 qualities in women that men find Highly Attractive
9. Notice the person’s lips and learn how to alter the shade of your eyes
If a person’s been touching his/her lips or the objects around, it shows a sense of shyness. This usually happens when a question or a topic that you’ve raised has made the other person uncomfortable and there’s an attempt to avoid addressing it. Correct your attitude immediately to comfort the person.
Similarly, our brain recognizes enlarged pupils as a signal for interest and empathy. In case you wish to create a sense of likeness with your opponent, invite the person for a meal to some place with dim lights. Or, defocus your gaze at them. In either case, your pupils will increase in size and your eyes will look darker and more attractive.
Offensive gestures: Pursed lips, wrinkly nose, narrowed eyes, or an obvious yawn.
10. If it’s not going great, remember the way it’s in movies
Remember how it is shown in the movies when two people meet and don’t hit it off right away? It’s like walking on a rocky road till you catch your speed; most relations that overcome obstacles in the initial stages last longer than those which begin on a peaceful note.
Other gestures and tactics to win trust:
– An occasional touch: a light, friendly touch with the elbow or on the back eases the tension between two people. You can pretend to brush off something on their shoulder or arm.
– Use emotional signals: a slight nod of the head shows that you approve what the person is saying and completely empathize with their situation.
– Be sincere: share your dreams, weaknesses, desires, or simply things about your life. It attracts the other person to know you more.
– Demonstrate inaccessibility: this helps sometimes. It arouses curiosity to know more about you.
– Express the similarities that you share: one feels like a team if the members in it have commonalities between them.
An FBI agent’s friendship formula:
This technique is useful to develop a strong and trustworthy friendship, both in an informal setting and in business groups. It will help you come close to both your partner and boss.
– Psychological Gap or Proximity decides the level of closeness between people. Proximity is the sense of safety and security one feels during communication with someone. Sometimes crossing over to someone’s personal space will help to understand how close you can get to the person.
– Frequency is when you interact or meet a person a certain number of times. The more frequency with which you interact, the more chances are there to influence each other’s actions and thoughts.
– Duration and frequency are inversely proportional to each other. If you reduce the number of times you meet, you’ll end up spending more time together than if you meet too frequently. You can change the duration and see the frequency with which you meet.
– You can satisfy a person’s needs through your intense gestures. Both verbal and non-verbal gestures play an important role in indicating the sense of enjoyment that you both share with each other. Here’s where common aspirations and interests play a part.
Are these tricks already a part of your attitude around people or is it that you’re going to begin now? Do let us know.
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