15 Psychological Life Hacks That Really Work!

December 29, 2014 Updated: December 29, 2014

Our mind is the root of everything we do. Sometimes, when things aren’t going well, all it takes is a change in our mental state to change the situation. In other words, there are a lot of little known mental ‘tricks’ we can use to our advantage in life. Similarly, there are many common mental aspects of other humans that we can take advantage of.

Reddit Mode asked, What are some psychological life hacks you can do to give you an advantage in situations?

Below are 14 psychological life hacks from the thread that really work.

1.When you find yourself in a situation where you’re forced to do a job you don’t care about:

Instead of thinking of the job as something you’re doing while you wait for your One True Passion, just forget about what it means to you and think instead about doing it well. Making sandwiches to pay the bills? Make really good sandwiches and be friendly. Doing scut work for your coworkers since you’re the lowest on the totem pole? Do really good scut work. Sweeping floors? Make your floors the cleanest.

If you get your ego out of the way, you’ll realize that there’s a lot of joy to be found in doing anything well… With passion, integrity, and care for the people who you’re serving. And the people around you will recognize you as a passionate, serious, caring person, even if what you’re doing isn’t what you’re truly passionate about.

Perhaps more importantly, it will create the habit of excellence. You don’t develop that habit by slacking your whole life and then suddenly being awesome once you reach an imaginary plateau.”

Shared by Reddit user nickiter

Definitely. You will not be happy if you constantly pout over what you want but can’t have. Take what you are given, and in the process, develop the positive, said traits and live a content and comfortable life.

2. “When I worked in retail, I had a tendency to get real curt with rude customers. When I realized I was just taking the bait, I decided to be super nice even when they would get openly hostile. Some of them would get even crazier and they looked like tools.”

Shared by Reddit user sleestakslayer

The thing is, when people being angry or hostile, they don’t realize how irrational they really are. By maintaining your kindness, your kindness will serve as a foil to their hostility, and then it will hit them.

3. If you have no expectations going into something, your experience will be better.”

Shared by Reddit user Lord_Whosit

It’s ok to have expectations, but oftentimes we expect too much, and it will rub us the wrong way when we can’t get what we want.

4. When you’re studying/learning something new, teach a friend how/about it. Let them ask questions. If you’re able to teach something well, you understand it.”

Shared by Reddit user MoreWhiskeyPls

I can’t stress this one enough. Thisis truly a great study tool for students, and for learning anything really. Obviously, there are times when you truly do understand something, but don’t know how to explain it. But for the most part, if you are at a loss as to whether you’ve truly understood something, find a buddy and explain it to them. If you can explain things clearly and confidently, then you really do understand the material. If you often have to pause or look things up, they you haven’t truly absorbed the material.

Inside A Job Center As Euro-Region Recovery In Services Output  Supports Job Creation
(Getty Images)

5. If you’re in a group meeting and you suspect that someone in there might come after you about something, sit right next to them. They were hoping that the group would provide some sort of herd defense, but if you’re right next to them it can’t be anything other than personal. This tends to make them back off, or at least substantially temper what they say.

Source: had a job with a huge target painted on my back for years.”

Shared by Reddit user drmike0099

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is the saying I believe. Yes, people often rely on the “herd” to back them up, and when that herd is absent, they become insecure.

A herd of bison roam on the Fort Peck Reservation near Poplar, Mont., on April 24, 2012. Native tribes from the US and Canada signed a treaty Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, establishing an inter-tribal alliance to restore bison to areas of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains where millions of the animals once roamed. Leaders of 11 tribes from Montana and Alberta signed the pact during a daylong ceremony on Montana's Blackfeet Reservation, organizers said. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)
(AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

6.Refer to people you’ve just met by their name. People loving being referred to by their name, and it will establish a sense of trust and friendship right away.

Say your friend introduced you to Peter. After 5 minutes he decides to leave. Don’t just say, “bye”, but instead say “Bye Peter!“”

Shared by Reddit user Isunova

Simple and effective.


7. “Plan something every Wednesday that you can look forward too.

Everyone looks forward to the weekend, but that always seems like a long ways away when you are getting up Monday. If you plan something small to do, like treating yourself to some frozen yogurt or setting up a movie date, you will look forward to that in the beginning of the week. Then by the time its over, half the week has gone by and you are that much closer to the weekend

Shared by Reddit user gihadjoe

For sure. The weekend is way too far away at the beginning of the week. Doing things this way can give you “two weekends” if you will. At the beginning of the week, you look forward to that thing on Wednesday, and then, you will find that the weekend is much closer.

8.For interviews I recommend altering your psychological state beforehand. Tell yourself “I’ve known these people all my life. We’re old friends catching up. I can’t wait to see them”. Visualize the experience, shaking hands, making eye contact, having conversation. What things can you not to wait to tell them? Hold an open pose…stand with your legs apart, hands on your hips, and shoulders back while doing this and SMILE. This may sound cliche but you are in charge of your own psychological state and the power of suggestion is strong.”

Shared by Reddit user Boo_tang

Jobs and money are important stuff, but it’s not like an interview is a life and death trial. The guy interviewing you has to be responsible and choose the people most qualified for the job, but he is not out to kill you; in fact, most guys want to see you do well.


9.Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control. For instance when I want him to put his shoes on I will say ,”do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?””

Shared by Reddit user MasterLogician

Pro parenting tip. As reddit user tigrrbaby explains, “It teaches the child that you are the one that makes the big choices, and those choices are not the negotiable part of the conversation. It also teaches the child that you care enough about their preferences to include them in the decision-making process at some level.”

10.when a girl gives you her number and you suspect that it might be fake, repeat the number misreading a digit and see if she corrects you.”

Shared by Reddit user sleepypikachu

OK i’ll admit, that was pretty clever.

11. “Charities use this one all the time (forgot its actual name, ‘foot in the door technique’ maybe?).

If you want someone to give you something (like money) ask for something outrageous first before lowering it to something more plausible.

“Hey man can I borrow 100 bucks?”

“What? No!”

“Ok, how bout 20?”

“Oh alright.“”

Shared by Reddit user MeltingDog

Yeah, this is the foot in the door technique

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

12. “Avoid the sidewalk shuffle by looking intently over the person’s shoulder, or between people’s heads in a group. Your gaze shows them where you’re going. They’ll drift toward the opposing side / create a gap to avoid you.

Shared by Reddit user Our-Year

This is the best! It truly works! I can finally stop bumbling into people everywhere I walk!


13. People will avoid the middle stall in a bathroom because they assume it’s the most frequently used one. It’s usually the cleanest.”

Shared by Reddit user tsundereanubis12

Uh..I’ll keep that one in mind.

14. “When you can’t stop procrastinating, tell yourself to work for 30 minutes then you can have a break. When 30 minutes passes you won’t want to take a break.”

Shared by Reddit user AmorphouSquid

You have to remember that getting started is the hard part! It’s like jumping into the pool. At first the water is too cold and you don’t want to jump in. But once you make up your mind and make the leap, you’ll start swimming around and find that it’s not bad at all.

15.Whenever you have too much on your mind, stressed out, flustered, etc. Just stop and think about the NOW. When thoughts of what if’s and when it happens that flood your emotions arise just clear your mind and think “RIGHT NOW AT THIS VERY MOMENT; I am driving, my hands are on the wheel, the sun is out and I’m driving on this road…” that is the only thing that is REAL. The past is done with and the future is subject to what you can control NOW.

I’ve learned to deal with a lot of anxiety attacks like this. Hope it helps someone out there.”

Shared by Reddit user nmddl

“The past is history, the future is a mystery, but today is a gift—that’s why they call it ‘the present'”

christmas present