Have you ever tried to convince someone to do something for you? Whether it’s asking your boss for a raise or trying to convince your spouse to go to the movie you want to see, having a persuasive and charming personality goes a long way.
But one study shows that if you really want someone to follow your wishes, there is one phrase that works better than the rest. No, it’s not “please.”
Instead, it’s this:
Yep. If you really want someone to do something, according to one study, you should start your request with the phrase “You will probably refuse, but…”
French researchers conducted a study on the streets of two French towns, where they asked 640 passersby to donate money to charity. The researchers found that the above phrase led to an increased number of donations.
Why is this?
The researchers believe that it is because the phrase triggers us. People don’t like being told what to do, and when someone says “You will probably refuse,” it makes us feel like we are being told how to feel or behave.
Essentially, the phrase is a clever bit of reverse psychology. It makes the listener subconsciously want to reclaim their freedom and prove that you can’t tell them what to do.
Meanwhile, they end up doing exactly what the person asking wanted in the first place! Sneaky, sneaky.
Other similar phrases may have a similarly persuasive impact, such as “I know you will say ‘no,’ but…” or “I already know you’re gonna turn me down, but…” Remember, you just have to make the person think that you are taking away their choice, which will automatically make them want to prove you wrong.
But, remember… let’s all promise to only use this Jedi mind-trick for good!
Watch the full video about it on Business Insider.