Have you ever wanted some information out of a person, but no matter how hard you try, they just won’t spill the beans? Well, I’m about to tell you how to accomplish this goal and you won’t even have to go, Jack Bauer, someone. If you don’t know who Jack Bauer is…click here.
So, you want to know how to get information from someone? Maybe you just met a person who’s a little shy and you want them to open up. Maybe you are on a first date trying to get to know if this guy/girl is worth your time. Or maybe you’re a cop who for some reason didn’t get this tip from any of your senior officers. Whatever the reason, use this life hack at your own discretion.
Don’t Say Nuthin’
Speaking of cops, you know those movie and television scenes where two criminals get arrested and one says to the other, “don’t say
The detective goes into the interrogation room with the suspect, asks him a few questions and then waits for the suspect to talk. If he doesn’t ask for his/her lawyer they will most likely deny knowing anything about the crime. This is when the detective tells the perp what they know that they did it and then they just sit back and stare at them.
If the detective holds his ground and only interrupts with a simple, “come on you really want me to believe that?” sooner or later the criminal will slip up. Then the detective leaves the room and lets them sweat it out in silence for a while before returning and doing the same thing over again. Follow so far?
The best way to get information from someone is to ask them a question and then shut up. That’s right. It’s that simple. Ask a question then just look them in the eyes, nod and listen very carefully. When they stop to breathe and you get that awkward silence just keep looking at them.
Now, you might be thinking, “isn’t this going to get a little creepy after a while?” The answer is yes, it might. But, if you want that info you’re going to have to work for it.
You see the truth is most humans get uncomfortable during an awkward silence. Thanks to James Sudakow and his article from inc.com, I found out about a Dutch study focused on brief silences and how they affect social needs. During this study, they found that “we expect fluent conversations to serve two different needs: the need for self-esteem and the need for control.”
By the end of the study, the final consensus was that “conversational flow is associated with positive emotions and a heightened sense of belonging, self-esteem, social validation, and consensus.” On the other hand, “disrupting the flow by a brief silence produces feelings of rejection and negative emotions.”
Of course, there are those people who can keep their cool and their mouths shut while you stare at them with a smile on your face. Then there are those that might ask you why you’re being weird. I got something for them too. Check this out.
For the strong silent type who can deal with long breaks in conversation, simply ask them more questions. Eventually, they will keep talking just to stop you from asking them questions. That’s when you get on your job. Focus, and stay engaged. Sooner or later they will get more comfortable talking to you. Eventually, you can throw your question back in there and chances are they will answer.
For the person who asks, “why you’re being weird”, or something to that extent, simple deny being weird and let them know that you don’t have much to say and their stories are more interesting anyway. Compliments are very powerful. You have to use them wisely though. Just like this information I just gave you.
Look at that. You didn’t say one word to me and I gave you all the information you were looking for. Seems like you have this lifehack all figured out. Now you know how to get information from someone. How will you use this new skill?[ Feature Photo by Anna Vander Stel on Unsplash]