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Cheap psychological tricks for girls! We let you in on the sneaky science behind always getting your way!

They'll be weak against your mind powers. Oh, yes, they will be ...

A very clever psychologist by the name of Perry Buffington recently wrote a book titled Cheap Psychological Tricks for Parents. This book gives parents hints on how to secretly get kids to do things like finish their homework and extra chores. Hmmph! How dare he! So, in hopes of evening the score, GL came up with our own guide to major mind magic.


Pesky problem Your weekly allowance isn't even enough for penny candy.

The super sneaky science Ever hear of pupilometrics? Doubt it. (Your science teacher probably doesn't want you to start using it on her!) So what is it? Pupilometrics is the study in the change in size of the pupil, which is the center black part of your eyeball.

Studies have shown that pupils get bigger when we see something we like and get smaller when we're not happy. So wait until your parents' pupils are large to ask for more moolah. That's when their minds are automatically set to say, "Yes!" If their pupils are small, they're more likely to turn down your request for a bump.

Another tip: When answering a question, a person will look you in the eye, then look away while coming up with an answer. Right-lookers tend to make fast decisions based on the facts, so be prepared to give solid reasons why you have earned more allowance. Left-lookers are emotionally driven so, state your case for how happy you'd be with some more pocket change. And keep an eye on those pupils! If they get smaller, ask again later when they're wide.


Pesky problem Oops, you've done it (whatever you get in trouble for) again.

The super sneaky science When confronted with something you don't have a good explanation for, the science says it pays to think smart and think fast. First, stand up when your room confronts you for whatever it is you've done. This makes her see you as more trustworthy, and studies have shown that standing actually gets your heart rate up, which pumps blood to your brain and helps you think quick, um, on your feet.

Now, deflect the situation. Say what you do know to be true, such as, "Wow, your white sweater is really nice. I can see why you think I borrowed it without asking." The idea is to calm her down and buy yourself some time to steer the conversation in another direction.

If Mom still has you on the spot, allow your face to turn bright red and be totally, completely, utterly embarrassed. Say, "I can't believe I took something without asking. I'm so ashamed." Studies have shown that others have sympathy for a person who is honestly embarrassed, so maybe she'll cut you some much-needed slack.


Pesky problem You're in the be-home-before-dark ages.

The super sneaky science Before you request a stay-out extension, make a list of the reasons you deserve more freedom (you got mostly A's, do chores without being asked). Have solid reasons ready, written down and at your fingertips.

Next, practice posing your question. Never say something like, "Would you consider letting me stay at the mall a little bit longer this Friday night?" Wishy-washy lines imply that you don't deserve what you're asking for. Instead, try, "I deserve a later curfew." Then, practice asking for even more than they'll allow. Try saying, "I would like to stay out until midnight, and here's why," then present them with your list.

Aim higher than you need or deserve, and you'll have a much better chance of your parents being willing to meet you in the middle. Just say, "I'm willing to compromise," and start negotiating! Plus, when you ask for more than you want, you're showing that you have mucho confidence in yourself--and that means they'll have more in you, too.


Pesky problem Your sis has a secret. You want to know the scoop--and now.

The super sneaky science Ask sis a short, simple question about the suspected secret ("So, what do you think of the new lifeguard?"), and look her squarely in the eyes while you await her answer. This is an old trick reporters use to make people they're interviewing uncomfortable. Most people can't stand the quiet and will start to stammer, then spill.

Is she still keeping her trap shut? If that's the case, be playful. Say, "Give me a little hint," or, "Let me guess it." Being funny and making it a game can cause her to let down her guard. Oh, and at this point, stop the staring.

If she still doesn't tell you, back off and try again later (wait until her pupils are big!). Never beg to hear a secret--that makes it way too much fun for the other person to stay mum.


Pesky problem Your mom's about to have an out-of-the-blue arterial explosion.

The super sneaky science Let's face it--moms are under a lot of stress and can be prone to the occasional meltdown. The secret to making Mom feel like you care--even when, well, you'd rather be watching TRL--is to listen quietly, with an attentive, understanding expression. Hiding from the situation or blowing her off is guaranteed to make her nuttier.

How do you get her to spill before she spazzes? Simply ask Mom (or Dad or your smelly stepbrother), "What's the matter?" Now, allow the ranter to spew while you sit quietly, listening. Once the tirade is over, ask, "Is there anything else that's bothering you?" Mom will either drop it or tell you what's really wrong--like, someone at work is being a pain.

Either way, you've skillfully diffused the anger in the situation, and you've endeared yourself to Mom by being the person who cared enough to listen. Now, hopefully, you can go back to watching TRL in peace.

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Author:Kemp, Kristen
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2004
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