These quick social psychology tips will position yourself as the alpha male, help you understand office body language or simply put you one step ahead in social situations. Get your note pads out.
1. The Interrogation Technique
This is a classic interrogation technique – If you ask someone a question and don’t believe their response, maintain eye-contact and stay silent. They will usually continue talking as they will assume their first attempt wasn’t good enough.
2. The Alpha Male
When a group of men laugh, the less dominant in the group will instinctively look towards the alpha male or the group member they feel closest to. Often this is a sign of respect.
3. Brilliance vs. Confidence
In hierarchical environments such as an office setting, the difference between brilliance and confidence is blurred. If you seem like you know what you’re doing, people tend to buy into that and rally around you.
4. Keep Walking
While on a busy sidewalk, look at where you’re going instead of at the people in your way. If they see your eye-line they’ll likely move out of your path.
5. Who’s The Boss
Whilst sitting in a social settings, take a look at the direction of people’s legs. They often gravitate to the alpha male, the person they are attracted to or what to be closer too.
6. Get What You Want
People are more likely to agree to a smaller favor if they deny a larger one or two first.
7. The Angry Boss
If you’re in a meeting at work and expect a colleague confront you or take you on, sit right beside them. They’ll feel the pack mentality break down. Close confrontation is far less likely, their instinct to attack becomes minimised.
8. Tricking your Brain
Chew gum whilst being nervous or stressed will trick the primitive part of your brain into thinking you’re ok (or not in danger). The brain associates eating with comfortable and safe environments.
9. Not Interested
If someone’s feet are pointing away during conversation, they’re telling you they really don’t want to speak to you or just want the conversation to end.
Photo Credit: Jim Carey in My, My self and Irene. The Matrix. Gary Cole, Office Space. Christopher Waleken in Pulp Fiction. Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Bastards.