“What Are Some Dark Psychology Tricks That Actually Work?” (39 Answers)

Some people may think of psychology as less of a science than physics or biology, because they might consider it subjective and don’t believe in personality types. But as any other science, psychology has a question, then a hypothesis and ways to confirm or deny it through experiments. It also can apply the results for problem solving. 

You can even test out some of the things yourself. While there are a lot of myths about what works and doesn’t work, people on Reddit have already done the work themselves and witnessed the desirable results without anyone even knowing they were deliberately manipulating someone.

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If someone is bothering you at your desk too often, continue the conversation but get up and walk them back to their desk.

Had a boss who was a guru at this. You'd be back at your desk wondering how the f**k you got there.

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People start to believe something if they're told it over and over and over. Even if it goes against everything they know.

That's why the news is so important to pretty much every government on earth. They get to decide what we hear over and over.

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It's not really dark but every mistake I make at work I go out of my way to admitting to. For some reason that makes me more trustworthy.

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Not really a dark trick but one that I've found effective, when someone's being rude to you stay completely silent and stare at them. It'll make them feel incredibly uncomfortable and they'll usually act civilly after a few moments.

EDIT: **DISCLAIMER**Do not do this to people who are exhibiting aggressive behaviour, and / or whilst in an unsafe non public environment. This will not work on the local thug in the street, and will likely cause you harm. This is a tactic meant to be used on otherwise mature adults in safe environments.

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Silence. If you want to know something, ask the question then wait. People want to fill the silence and will talk and talk.

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My boss likes having meetings after 5pm and even though I technically can be there for it, I don’t want to. So I tell him I have an important class I’m going to at exactly 5:45. I show up for about 5-10 minutes of the meeting then leave. He thinks I’m an amazing team player for going out of my way to hop on for just a few minutes. When in reality, I have no class to attend and I hate those meetings.

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If you want to be an effective liar, build a reputation of being honest. The more you are known as being reliable, the easier it is to deceive and manipulate. Not terribly complex, I know.

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Talk good behind people back, It’ll get to them trust me, It’ll get to everybody

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If someone doesn't want to give you specific information, like tuition costs, or hours expected, give them an example that's completely unreasonable. They will usually immediately give you an exact number and feel embarrassed for pretending not to know.

Me: How much does your C++ course cost?

Them: It really depends on what your goals are.

Me: Don't you have a beginner's course? Can you give me a price range?

Them: We can work with you to fit your individual needs.

Me: Okay, fine. So is it, like, $10 for access to all your courses, or...

Them: Oh, no. We have a subscription for $99 a month, it you can buy the beginner's course for $120.

Not useful very often, but it works every time.

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It depends on what you hand them. Working retail, I've learned that if you hand someone something while they are talking, they will take it, put it in their pocket/purse/etc and then have no recollection of you ever giving them something. It has worked on every person I have tried it with

EDIT: lol no, I didn't make anyone shoplift. It was usually their receipts, pens or the credit card slips, etc. Then after them talking, they'll ask for it and I tell them they pocketed it. But I learned this is a real psychological trick and also to wait until they are done talking to hand them something.

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When walking in a crowded area look where you’re going and not at the other people. They will naturally move out of your line of sight making it quicker to move around.

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If someone is incorrect (like you know 100% they are) but the correction would have little or no bearing on the conversation, argument, etc., just keep it to yourself. It's not worth embarrassing or belittling them and halting the conversation. (I'M LOOKING AT YOU MOTHER-IN-LAW)

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Staring at peoples forehead irritates them quite a lot.

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One thing that my dad does, that he may be completely unaware of, is when you give him good news he always exaggerates it back to you, thus forcing you to downplay your own accomplishment. I honestly don’t think he’s consciously doing it, but it drives me absolutely crazy.

“Hey I have amazing news! I got promoted to vice president.”

“That’s great! Wow, so senior vice president?”

“No, just a vice president.”

“Oh, well that’s still good.”

And now the wind is all out of my sails.

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Change the perspective from I to we and people will automatically align themselves with you

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People will be more favourable to your idea if they think it's THEIR idea.

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Whenever I want to help someone with something but I know their pride gets in the way or they don't want to impose, I ask them for a favor first even if I don't really need it.

Examples would be like asking a peer how they arrived at a solution for xyz, and then "repaying" the favor by going, "You wanna see something cool I learned recently?" and showing them how to do something more efficiently/correctly. Or when you know your parents' heater is broken but they insist on calling a repairman instead of troubling you, and suddenly you need to borrow sugar but while you're over there, might as well check out that heater.

People like to feel helpful and I like to give unsolicited advice, it works out

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Sunk cost. Basically any time or effort or money that has already been expended or spent tends to be factored into decision making even though it shouldn’t. When I met my wife, she would always finish her drinks even if she didn’t like them because she paid for them. I asked her, if you already paid for them then the money is already gone. Why suffer through a drink you don’t like if there is literally no change in outcome as opposed to not drinking it… except not enjoying it.

That is why buying a car takes so long. You have spent so much time already that you almost feel like you have to buy it. You have INVESTED time and need to get something for that investment. And oh my gosh I do not want to go through this again!

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Certified hypnotist here; you wanted dark, here you go:

Leading a topic by stating something you know the subject will agree with.

Transition into a re-statement of whatever it is they agreed with and alter it slightly; end with a rhetorical question leaning towards agreement. (Isn't that right?)

If you're slow and careful about this, you can get people to concede or agree to nearly anything without even noticing.

Number two, this one is incredibly f*****g simple: consistently thanking somebody for very very basic things; things you might not even thank someone for. Think moving out of the way for you, or handing you your water bottle from a few feet away.

Once you make the interaction consistent enough, they will be used enough to the praise that it will be missed. Then, *don't* thank them for one or two things, and they will very frequently go out of their way in order to earn your thanks.

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Next time you get in an elevator face towards the rear the whole ride. It freaks the other people out and makes me laugh. It's the same principle behind stopping on the sidewalk and staring up. Sooner or later somebody else is going to stop and look to see what you're gawking at.

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People want to be acknowledged, accepted, and appreciated. It takes almost nothing to give them that, but empires have risen and fell because of it. People will be so happy that you've given it, even if they know they're being manipulated, they'll ignore the manipulation for the sake of what you're giving them.

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Nodding your head up & down slightly when you want someone to agree with what you are saying

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Giving the wrong answer online to get the correct one. Also the Kubrick stare, with the head forward just a little, really makes people leave you the hell alone.

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Not dark psychology, but if you experience trauma, retelling the story over and over in present tense past tense being “he pulled the gun out” vs present tense “he is pulling out a gun” will move the memory from your amygdala and engaged your pre-frontal cortex, making the memory more of a historical retelling rather than an emotional one. I probably got the brain parts wrong, but my therapist taught me this one.

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If you want someone to like you, ask them to do small favors for you and be very appreciative when they comply. Positive reinforcements for tasks, just like training a dog

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Waiting several seconds or up to minute to say something after someone has given you an offer or asked you for something will make what you say next high likely to be agreed with. Most people hate uncomfortable silence especially sales people.

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The power of suggestion is incredibly potent. Most people underestimate how this tool can affect others.

For example, I had a sociology class in high school (it was that or health) and we had to build, conduct an (psychology/sociology) experiment and write a report on our findings. We were in groups of four. We had free reign to do what we wanted but it could not be immoral or unethical but being the group of antisocial rebellious teens we decided to do an experiment on suggestion. It was relatively simple we picked three "subjects" and chose a positive and negative suggestion and the third was our control. Now we picked three people one popular, one not so popular and someone in the middle (control) these subjects were picked so each one of the group members would have an interaction every class period for one whole day. For the popular girl (Subject A) we decided to simply ask her if she was feeling alright because she looked pale.

Unpopular male (Subject B) was asked why they didn't speak up more in class and they should do it. We chose suggestions that would be counter to their personalities

Control (Subject C) was simply asked how their day was going.

By the end of the day (experiment) Subject A had gone home sick after three class periods Subject B had an overall increase in participation that lasted several days after the conclusion of the experiment and Subject C showed baseline behavior.

Now we did get into trouble because what we did was unethical but the teacher was so impressed with our report that he let us slide and made us apologize to the participants.

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Having a heated argument… Ask the other person if they are okay because they’re breathing really hard. They will stop arguing and try to pay attention to their breathing. Resulting in the end of that discussion.

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If you make a favor seem bigger than it is before asking it, the person on the receiving end is much more likely to help.

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Don’t react when somebody is getting unnecessarily angry. Drives them crazy

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Mirroring is incredible... if you can pull it off from a simple swinging of a chair or a gentle smile... you can actually control their presence.

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the wording of the questions often influences the answers.

For example, to the question “how fast were the cars going when they crashed”, people give, on average, an estimated speed that is faster than when the question is formulated as: “how fast were the cars going when they collided”

(English is not my first language sorry if there's any mistake)

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I was a gymnast in college. When the younger hotshots were warming up for competition, just before warmups end and it all gets real, one of us would say, “Wow, that’s a great trick. One question, when you’re doing that insane maneuver on the apparatus, *when do you breathe?”* Screws them up every time.

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If you want to emphasise a point, no matter how small, change your vocabulary. For example, instead of saying "I've been doing that for 8 years", say "I've been doing this for almost a decade".


If you want to extract agreement from someone you know reasonably well begin the conversation by talking about occasions in the past when you have cooperated to achieve a common goal. One or two examples is enough. This primes them to go along with your current proposal.


I used to lead people to bathroom. Telling them I gotta go to get them outta my office. If they followed me into the bathroom. Id go into the stall and pretend to take a dump. ?


Asking someone to do you a favor makes them like you more. Seems wrong on the surface but shown to be true. So, ask your boss for small personal favors every now and again.

also, if you want someone who has no opinion of you to think well of you, you can try this psychotic move…. Act rude towards them (not overly, just some small transgression), then seek them out the next day and apologize for your behavior stating you had a bad day and later regretted *whatever you did*. now that they know you, wave high when you see them. They will end up with a positive opinion of you.


In a competitive environment if you notice that your opponent is a beginner or showing signs of anxiety, ask them *"Are you nervous?"* while trying to act as nonchalant as possible (I'll even yawn if I can). This **always** gets in people's heads at Street Fighter if they aren't mentally strong to begin with.

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When someone says the correct answer, ask “are you sure” and watch the self doubt rip their soul out.

Former school teacher here ?

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