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Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
December 24, 2023 ·  5 min read

10 Powerful Psychological Tricks Everyone Should Know

Our brains are incredibly complex, and with that comes a range of emotions, including social anxiety. However, these ten psychological tricks can do wonders at helping you succeed, particularly in social settings.

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1. Eye Contact

This is a tricky concept for those suffering from shyness and low self-esteem. Or those coming out of abusive relationships or childhoods. In contrast, studies have shown that eye contact can make you seem more charming or charismatic to others. Therefore, some methods have been found to be helpful in strengthening this tough but common skill.

Try to Look elsewhere.

Focusing on the face of the other person rather than directly into their eyes gives the impression that you’re still engaged in the conversation. Additionally, it can help you (secretly) practice strengthening your ability to maintain eye contact. This can be looking at their forehead or cheeks while someone is talking and or shifting your gaze every few seconds between their eyes and mouth. Another recommendation is the 50/70 rule. They are, essentially, making eye contact 50% of the time while speaking and 70% of the time while listening to others.

2. Psychological Tricks like Chewing Gum

In a professional setting, this psychological trick is frowned upon. However, in social settings, it can calm the nervous system. Renowned psychologist Ryan Anderson explains, “By chewing gum, you are basically tricking your brain into thinking you are comfortable.” Additionally, sucking a piece of hard candy can have similar effects.

3. Fake it Until You Make it.

While this method can apply to almost any skill, it’s helpful in social settings because we may find ourselves interacting with someone like a friend of a friend. In those instances, we may not always like the other person, or they may not like us. However, being friendly and enthusiastic to see them can actually get them excited to see us in future interactions- eventually bringing everyone involved closer together.

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4. Make Lasting Impressions

Focusing on a successful first impression is such a highly stressed concept because, in many cases, we only get a few seconds or minutes to interact. This could be meeting with potential new investors or supervisors, and sometimes in passing while meeting the people your loved ones love most. Try rubbing your hands together and then going in for a firm handshake to both show confidence and leave the other person feeling a sense of comfort in your presence. Alternatively, ending things on a high note is equally important. Saying goodbye is important to ending a (hopefully) great first impression. Therefore, reflecting the same energy and enthusiasm as saying hello is one of the vital psychological tricks that may leave others with a positive and long-lasting impression.

Read: Why Do So Many People Stay In Toxic Relationships?

5. Use someone’s Name

In many cases, using someone’s name as often as possible when speaking to them can have great benefits. For example, others may feel more valued or respected by you. In turn, you will come across as more personable and likable.

6. Nod at Times

By nodding occasionally when others are speaking to you it shows that you are present and engaged in the conversation. Just be sure to nod when it’s appropriate, and nod subtly because overdoing it can come across as disingenuous.

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7. Don’t Say I Think

Saying “I believe” rather than, “I think” is a subtle statement that often gives people the impression that you’re confident in yourself and your ideas. The change in dialect shows a calmness and certainty that is lacking in phrases like “I think,” “In my opinion,” and “I’m not sure.”

8. Ask Questions

Asking questions can leave a good impression both in social and professional settings. It shows you’re interested, engaged, and enthusiastic to be part of someone’s work team or personal life.

9. Psychological Tricks like Avoiding Social Media

In a world where people now have the resources necessary to just pack up and go, social media is a great tool for staying connected. However, it’s also a cause of low self-esteem for many people. Some filters give off the impression of perfect complexions and hair days. People have the ability to post only what they want, so most of the time, we only get to see the good. The happy toddler moments before or after a meltdown. The wedding pictures without all the stress of everything that didn’t go as planned. Or even those perfect hairdos without the drama and time invested in order to achieve that perfect look.

Social media has been deemed a bit of a double-edged sword. Therefore, taking breaks from these platforms is a great way to reset and focus on your own life’s blessings and is one of many Psychological Tricks to help you feel more grateful, grounded, and confident.

10. Reframe Your Thoughts

Life is altogether quite challenging. Therefore, it’s difficult to stay positive all the time. Luckily, mental health experts have found that there is such a thing as toxic positivity, meaning always feeling the desire to sweep negative thoughts under the rug or feeling a sense of pressure to ignore difficult things such as confrontation when addressing a work or personal matter. It turns out that trying to ignore these stressors can actually have a “toxic” impact on mental health.

Instead, try acknowledging the mistakes you’ve made and figuring out how to improve the next time. For an added sense of self-confidence, acknowledge the things you’re feeling insecure about, such as public speaking. Name the feelings that are associated with the anxiety, then practice the act and tell yourself that you are good at those things. Repetition and rewiring your brain to believe it will, in turn, make you feel more confident and eventually better at the things you struggle to achieve.

Life and feelings are hard to navigate for everyone. Fortunately, mental health professionals are constantly learning new things about the brain and working in tandem with each other to make the world happier. Moreover, by giving people a sense of security and support, these psychological tricks will work wonders in improving self-confidence and likability.

Keep Reading: There’s Proof That Clutter Causes Anxiety; Try Removing These 20 Items To Support Your Mood


  1. 16 Research-Based Hacks for Your Social Life.Psychology Today. Ryan Anderson Ph.D. 2016.
  2. 5 psychological tricks that will make you look and feel more confident, according to a psychotherapist. CNBC. Tess Brigham. February 4, 2022.
  3. How to Overcome Eye Contact Anxiety.Very Well Mind. Arlin Cuncic, MA. November 17, 2022.
  4. 15 Psychological Hacks That Will Give You a Leg Up in Life.Inc. Jessica Stillman.