The art of manipulation is a highly underrated tool in our everyday colloquial interactions, yet it rules our lives in all mass forms of communication.
Have you ever looked at a Victoria's Secret ad and automatically envisioned yourself buying their products and turning your whole life around?
Here's how to do that to other people, but with your opinions.
1. Offer them candy or pizza.
Okay so this one may be right out of the pedophiles playbook, but honestly, large corporations do the same thing to their employees.
Free food is seductive. It is the absolute best way to bend someone's mind and trick them into believing that they need you around. You can skip the full dental coverage as long as you give me "Pizza Fridays."
2. Ask them about themselves even if you don't care.
I don't care how Susan's weekend was, but if Susan's lease is up on her rent-controlled 2 bedroom this month, you can bet your first-born child I'm gonna be pretending to listen to Susan better than her own therapist does.
People love talking about themselves, and most people are narcissists. (Editorial note: maybe I'm projecting, but I'm more of a sociopath.)
The point is, if Susan loves to talk about herself enough, she'll eventually drop hints about that apartment, and there's your opening.
3. Tell them you have a podcast.
Who-the-fuck-knows why, but some people don't understand that you can literally start and record a podcast in your bathroom while you are mid-shit.
For some reason, having a podcast has become a symbol of someone who is dedicated. Someone with influence. Someone who creates change.
It's the world's greatest con. Go buy a microphone, plug it into your computer, and suddenly, you're an INFLUENCER. Nobody knows you have no listeners but you, and that's all that matters in this "Age of Spin," as Dave Chappelle so aptly named it.
"I HAVE A PODCAST!" is the new, "DO YOU KNOW WHO MY FATHER IS??" and can be used accordingly.
4. List sad stats until they hand over their life savings or STFU.
Sometimes you need someone to just shut their wild, rambling mouth. The world is full of people you don't want to get caught in a conversation with — people who will look directly into your glazed-over eyeballs and continue to talk.
These people are Kendall-Jenner-Pepsi-Ads come to life. They are self-important, tone-deaf and suffer from delusions of grandiosity. They believe they have a story worth telling, but the end of their stories always leave you with a feeling of, "Wait, is it over? WTF did I just watch?"
A good way to shut these people down is to memorize sad statistics that will make them either STFU, or pay you to do so.
Next time they roll up to you with a story about their childhood, just start cannonballing them with facts like "There are 210 orphans in the world and nearly 15% of them will commit suicide before they hit 18!!!"
If that doesn't kill the convo, I don't know if I can help you.
5. Start off being amazing then slowly reveal that you are not.
You can take this page out of pretty much any relationship you've ever been in. You start off being the best you can be, and slowly but surely just allow yourself to fall off at a precipitous decline, leaving the other person longing for the cool cat you promised them you would be.
This is no different from the false advertising campaigns we see everyday on subways, buses and computer screens. The only difference is YOU are the ad, and your personality is the lie!