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The 20 Most Effective Persuasion Techniques

1. The Horizontal Trans-Galoshes Stare

The Horizontal Trans-Galoshes Stare

How to do it: Wait until someone is prone, look quizzical, and make direct eye contact through the gap in their rain boots.
Why this technique works: People who are lying on their backs are particularly vulnerable to the persuasive arts.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Any kind of farm animal, but primarily farm seals.

2. The Sideways Tongue Extension

The Sideways Tongue Extension

How to do it: Locate the object you wish to have in your possession and stare at it like you are some kind of love-addled teenager. Act as if you’re prepared to throw yourself from a tall building if your passion is denied.
Why this technique works: Melodrama tugs at the heartstrings and aggravates at the same time, and the combination can be devastating.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Idiots.

3. The Flip-Flop Hostage

The Flip-Flop Hostage

How to do it: Threaten the sanctity of someone’s footwear.
Why this technique works: People need their shoes.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Flip-flop fetishists.

4. The “My Arms Are Too Short For My Body” Technique

The "My Arms Are Too Short For My Body" Technique

How to do it: Extend your tiny little arms pathetically in front of your body and squeak.
Why this technique works: Ever since the dinosaurs went extinct because they couldn’t reach their breakfasts, people have had a subconscious sympathy for the small-armed.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Dinosaurs and their direct descendant, the common rabbit.

5. The Sultry Dashboard Surprise

The Sultry Dashboard Surprise

How to do it: Find an unlocked car; flounce.
Why this technique works: It can be very difficult to negotiate traffic with a seal on your dashboard.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Urban seals.

6. The Door-Stopper Attrition Technique

The 20 Most Effective Persuasion Techniques

How to do it: This technique isn’t so much about how you do it as it is about when and how long. If your answers to those questions are “5 a.m.” and “however long it takes” you are on the right track.
Why this technique works: This is essentially a low-level form of terrorism.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Terrorists.

7. The Armchair Intervention

The Armchair Intervention

How to do it: Any old armchair will do for this, but you will need to practice EXTREME earnestness in front of the mirror. Protip: It’s all in the way you drape your arms.
Why this technique works: Nobody expects an emotional assault from their armchair.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Armchair philosophers; domestic shorthairs.

8. The Keyboard Takeover

The Keyboard Takeover

How to do it: Interpose yourself between a viewer and his or her screen and then act like the world is about to end.
Why this technique works: People only really pay attention to their computer screens because that’s what’s directly in front of them; you can use that principle to your advantage.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Anyone small and desperate.

9. The Appeal To Conscience

The Appeal To Conscience

How to do it: Create a clear visual dichotomy between your own sorry state and the relative warmth and comfort of your subject.
Why this technique works: People are stupid and gullible.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Manipulative tree rodents.

10. The “I Am DEADLY SERIOUS About This”

The "I Am DEADLY SERIOUS About This"

How to do it: This technique can be deployed at home, in the office, or anywhere in between. The key is getting enough determination and intensity into your facial expression to overpower your subject.
Why this technique works: Because once you’ve started down this road, you will never give up until you succeed.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Reckless sociopaths.

11. The Baby Coercion

The Baby Coercion

How to do it: Take a baby hostage. Any old baby will do.
Why this technique works: People really seem to care about their babies.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Dingoes.

12. The Intervention

The Intervention

How to do it: Say, “I need you take a seat over here for a second,” but say it with your eyes.
Why this technique works: Most people go through life with a nagging feeling that they are about to get busted for causing some terrible catastrophe without realizing it; this technique plays on that primal fear.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Colonel Meow.

13. Outright Bribery

Outright Bribery

How to do it: Buy a cheap bunch of flowers and put on a nice shirt. This one’s all about the smile though.
Why this technique works: Literally no one in history has ever been able to resist a corgi in a collared shirt.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Classy corgis.

14. The Kissing Booth

The Kissing Booth

How to do it: Cut a hole in a cardboard box and look wistfully through it.
Why this technique works: It is a basic rule of economics that kisses get a higher exchange rate the furrier your face is.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Acquisitive cats with loose morals.

15. The Dapper Gentleman

The Dapper Gentleman

How to do it: “I put on this tie just for you. The least you could do is give me a minute to make my case.”
Why this technique works: Studies show that people are 10 times more likely to be deferential to a cat if he is wearing a tie.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Cats in ties.

16. The “I Don’t Have Opposable Thumbs”

The "I Don't Have Opposable Thumbs"

How to do it: Look very, very, very sad and think about how completely unprehensile your paws are.
Why this technique works: Sheer, overpowering guilt.
Primary practitioners of this technique: The cross-section of individuals without thumbs and individuals who care about what’s inside cans.

17. The Lonely Valentine

The Lonely Valentine

How to do it: What is the loneliest thing you can think of? Be that thing.
Why this technique works: People with broken hearts are easier to manipulate.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Lost souls.

18. The Unconditional Surrender

The Unconditional Surrender

How to do it: You have to be willing to give up everything to get what you want.
Why this technique works: It lulls people into a false sense of security.
Primary practitioners of this technique: Cowards.

19. The Lost Tourist

The Lost Tourist

How to do it: Look lost, affect a foreign accent, and intimidate your subject with superior numbers.
Why this technique works: It plays on a powerful combination of sympathy and fear.
Primary practitioners of this technique: German raccoons.

20. The “How Could You Say No To This Face?”

The "How Could You Say No To This Face?"

How to do it: “If it were for me, I wouldn’t even be asking you, but would you just look at her? She needs this.”
Why this technique works: How could you say no to that face?
Primary practitioners of this technique: Merciless gangs of feline con artists working in tandem.

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