The internet is full of life hacks. Most of these are just simple DIY tips, but one group of redditors has discovered some genuine life hacks that help people to cheat their way around the difficult, annoying or just inconvenient parts of life. These personal tips and tricks help people to live life on easy mode – and all it takes to level up is reading through this list of the best real-life cheat codes out there.
1. Very important papers
When I was in my old 500+ person building, I kept a stack of papers on my desk. When I was bored, or got tired of sitting down, I’d get up, grab my stack of papers and walk around. I called them my “walking papers” and did this for months. Got a lot of head nods and not one question the entire time. People always assumed I was on an important mission, but nope. Not in the least.
2. Time to think
Introverts think than talk, extroverts think while they talk. Took a class that said if you want to run a good meeting, wait 10 seconds before moving on. Introverts (such as myself) need time to process before they speak. Started running my meetings this way and I will be damned if the introverts didn’t start speaking more and providing really good input.
3. Explain yourself!
You don’t have to always “give away the recipe”. By that I mean, don’t over-explain yourself. If you can’t do something, 9/10 times it’s okay to simply say “unfortunately I’m not able to do that”, “can’t swing it this time”, etc. You don’t have to go on and on about why, or make up reasons and list them off. Over explaining just ends up looking more suspect than simply being clear and concise.
4. Taking some convincing
If you’re ever trying to get somebody to agree with you, nod a lot when you make points and say their first name often. It’s used frequently in sales. So on the flip side, if you don’t want to be sold something and you notice the salesperson doing these things, you can be aware of what they’re doing. It feels super sneaky.
5. Who said it first?
If someone is going to complain about you to their boss, or your boss, or call the cops for a noise violation, or something like that, all you have to do is complain about them first and you’ll usually come out the victor. In these situations, it’s way less about who is right and who is wrong, and way more about who lodged the initial complaint against whom.
6. Over and over again
When someone tells you something or a story for the 2nd or 3rd or 100th time. Dont say “Yeah, you told me this before” it sounds rude like you dont want to hear it. Say “Oh, I remember you telling me this before”. If you say remember it makes it sound like it was important enough for you to put it to memory. Not you are bored with them.
Also, try not to say I’m sorry, instead replace it with “Thank you”. We say sorry a lot and it makes you sound like it’s your fault. Instead of “Sorry I’m late” say “Thank you for waiting for me.” Or instead of “Sorry I forgot” say “Thanks for reminding me”. It makes you sound appreciative of the person and no fault towards yourself.
7. A key skill
When applying for jobs, take the entire job description on the website and copy and paste it into your resume with white colour and the smallest font size possible. That way when the computer filters scan your resume you’ll have all of the keywords to get passed the filter and in order to get a real set of human eyes on your resume, which is often the hardest roadblock to beat.
8. Kindness is golden
Niceness gets you everywhere. I get free s*** from being nice. And no, it’s not because I’m a cute girl. Because I’m not. I’m an overweight, balding man. People respond to niceness. I’ve befriended the Comcast customer support person. I’ve befriended the most disliked, crotchety person in our office. I get special treatment at my cafeteria because I treat the service staff like actual human beings. I get fees waived because I asked nicely. Be nice. It costs little and is worth a lot.
9. Breaking up the work week
I like to book weekend getaways. The people I work with do Thursday night, Friday, Saturday come home Sunday. I leave Sunday, come home later in the day Tuesday, going to work Wednesday. Usually, cheaper prices to stay and easier to schedule work coverage. I get it if there is an event on the weekend, but often there isn’t a specific event people are looking to go to and everyone fights over Fridays.
10. Don’t check the clock
Turn your clock around at night before you go to bed. This also includes putting your phone face down against the table or bed. It’s so that you can’t keep fidgeting and looking over at the clock to see what time it is, and then get angry at yourself for not falling asleep after a certain amount of time passes. If you wake up in the middle of the night, it’s easy to convince yourself that you have plenty of time left, which helps you calm down.
It also prevents you from waking up, rolling over and seeing that it’s already 5am and you only have a little time left to sleep, and getting anxious that you have to wake up soon, etc. I started doing this like two years ago and it’s helped lower my sleep anxiety tremendously. It’s such a small thing that has such a big impact.
11. Talking about yourself
People like talking about themselves. When you meet someone just ask them questions about their lives or the things they’ve done – if you have enough questions you won’t ever run out of things to talk about during the conversation and they walk away feeling sooooo heard. If you’re feeling mean on a date, you can keep count of how many questions you can ask in a row without the other person asking about you.
Plus, then you know more about them and next time you see them you will have even more to talk about or follow up on – “hey last time I saw you you were mentioning this thing at your job, how did that go?” etc. If you remember a couple of key things to follow up on, your friendship will flourish with the person so quickly.
12. Taking shortcuts
I’m in a theory of mind class, and one of the things I’ve learned is that if you want to do something, for example, make copies in a copier and there’s a long line, if you give an excuse, no matter how bull****, people will generally let you cut ahead of them. What’s so surprising is that it doesn’t actually matter what you say.
With the copier example, you can say “can I cut ahead, I need to make a sandwich”, people will generally let you by. This was tested in an experiment, and around 90% of people actually let the person with a BS excuse cut ahead. It’s fun to see how wacky you can be without people noticing, and it’s a good way to inject some whimsy into your day.
13. Have your hands full
If you’re trying to get better seats at a show, go get two beers and carry one in each hand. No one checks your ticket when you’re carrying two beers. When they ask just look at your beers and shrug your shoulders. Then find some better seats. Works 100% of the time, 60% of the time. Also if it’s a standing gig, people don’t get mad when you push past them, as they assume you have a friend waiting for you.
14. A thank you goes a long way
Write handwritten cards! In addition to sporadic “thinking of you” cards to friends and family and after interviews. I’ve started sending New Year’s cards to some professional contacts (think mentors, supervisors, etc.) that say something along the line of “you’ve made such an impact on my last year (with a personal anecdote), and I wanted to thank you and send wishes for a happy new year”.
These have been so well received and have kept me on other’s minds in a positive way. It has even helped in part as new job opportunities came up, as people remember me as being thoughtful and kind due to the card-sending. I’ve even gotten some long-term penpals out of it, it’s been great to be reminded of how connected I am.
15. Buttering up the kitchen
Try the secret service industry upgrade. Going out to a nice restaurant? Bring an (unopened) bottle of Fernet, give it to your server and tell them it’s a gift for the kitchen staff. Order your meal as usual and get ready to be pelted with bonus dishes (some of them off-menu) sent out free of charge alongside your meal.
16. Slicing prices
You want a discount on your favourite pizza, google its competitor’s name. For example, if you want Dominoes Pizza and they dont have any discounts on the overall bill, just know that they do but only for the customers who are going to their competitors. So google “Pizza Hut delivery” and the first google add will be “Dominoes 20% off- order now”. Did this multiple time here in Australia, worked every single time.
17. You snooze, you lose
I’m a bartender. A problem we have occasionally is when someone falls asleep at the bar. I have learned to take their drink before you wake them up. Whenever you wake a drunk up at a bar they always deny that they were sleeping. They can get pretty annoyed and aggressive if you try to tell them what was really going on.
If you yoink their drink first when they claim they were awake you can look at them and ask where their beer went. They always look confused. This is when you hand them their tab and tell them it’s time to go. Usually the missing drink acts as irrefutable evidence, and they put up less of a fight when you tell them to move on.
18. Lying about lying
Create a visible tell for when you are lying, ie, looking around, scratching your lip etc. Then drop some little white lies while using this tell, more playful than deceptive and get caught out and admit it. This builds up the tell in their mind, and they will think they “know” when you are lying. Then make sure if you ever have to lie to that person, you focus on NOT doing your “obvious tell”.
19. Jumping the line
Here’s a good one – if you ring a company with a long queue (like British gas for example) look up the agent number and ring that – ignoring the warnings about only agents being able to use the line – and just start speaking normally like you belong. It feels really scary the first time you do it, but the results make it worth it.
They’ll quickly realise that you are a normal customer and all you have to say is “oh I’m sorry I was transferred here after waiting on hold” and they will 99% of the time transfer you immediately and tell the operator on the other line you went through to the wrong department, bypassing that pesky half-hour hold queue.
20. Making an effort
If you are travelling to places where you don’t speak their language, learn the few most basic phrases and always start off with them, even if it’s in a country where many people also speak your language. It shows people that you care, and makes them much more open to speaking with you in your language even if they aren’t too comfortable with it.
For me, it’s been very noticeable how much smoother interactions that start with me asking “Hello, do you speak English?” in a horrible broken accent go compared to the times I’ve started in English. People are much friendlier when they think you’re making an effort, and you normally improve leaps and bounds at the new language as locals will correct your pronunciation and teach you new phrases.
21. Surprising compliments
If you have no complaints about your food service/staff at a restaurant, ask to see the manager and pay a compliment and a “thank you” about the server/host/staff. Usually, people want to see a manager to complain, and a compliment is nearly always welcome. I’ve gotten countless free drinks/appetizers/chips/% off my bill – all for just making a polite comment to management.
22. The illusion of choice
Want someone to do something? Give them two options. The thing you want them to do or something similar. For most, it takes away the notion of a third option or the option not to do it at all. Works wonders with my kids. “Do you want to put on your pyjamas or brush your teeth?” eliminates the option of “I want to keep playing and not let you get any sleep tonight.”
23. The name game
Learn peoples names around the office and use it every time you interact with them. It will force them to learn your name and will allow you get your name out there. It also immediately builds familiarity, making your coworkers more likely to trust you and approach you with important tasks. It also makes you seem busier than you actually are.
Did this with a VP of our company every time I passed him in the hall. He now knows my name and uses it when we cross paths even though I am low on the totem pole. It will impress your co-workers and boss that the high ups know who you are. May possibly help when promotions/ bonuses come up because they know who you are.
24. Interrupting yourself
My favourite small cheat code of sorts is that if you’re stuck in a conversation with someone and need to go, the trick to keeping everyone happy and not looking like a d*** by having to leave is to interrupt yourself instead of them. If you jump in to tell people you’re leaving you can bring the conversation to a crashing halt, but if you interrupt yourself the flow can continue after you leave.
The conversation will naturally flow between the group of you, and while you’re talking, you can just say something like: “Oh my gosh, that sounds so interesting – you know I saw a YouTube video the other day about that but I digress, I’ve really got to be heading now or I’ll be late” or whatever. It works like a charm!
25. Name shame
Have you ever met a new person at work or been introduced to someone at a party and you just can’t remember their name 20 minutes later? Here’s what you do. Simply ask them what their name is again but when they repeat their first name just say no your last name. They’ll start off slightly offended that you forgot their name but then assume you misspoke or they misheard you when you asked again.
26. Skipping the middle man
If you want a better price on television or internet service – call the 800 number of the company and ask to speak to the retention department. If you get a male, hang up and try again. If you get a female, politely tell them you were offered another deal at X company and provide a lower price. Sounds like a random tip, but it usually works.
8/10 times the company you are dealing with will get you a better deal. If it fails, tell them you are planning on cancelling all services… this will really increase your chances as the retention departments goal is to keep customers… sometimes they even get a commission for this service. – Signed, an ex-Comcast Employee who is male and never gave discounts.
27. Respect the janitor
To get ahead in life always treat doormen, janitors, secretaries and other low-level gatekeepers with the utmost respect. Bribe them often with baked goods. They will help you out whenever you have minor difficulties and they will make your life 100% easier. I taught at a college prep school for many years and I’ve always advised my students to make friends with the secretary of the particular school that you’re going to major in.
Have a problem getting into a full class? Have you been bumped in your schedule? Is a grad student teacher a major pain in the a** and giving horrible tests? Need access to a classroom after hours? All of these can be helped by knowing and befriending the Secretary at the office of your major. Bringing a card and some sort of sweet treats for them at the end of term will keep them in your favour forever.
28. Very important wristband
Order the wristband catalogue sample to a wristband shop. Ask for as many colours and models as they can send you because you have a very special event. When you go to a cool party, concert or private party, bring them with you, see which one the VIPs are wearing and go hang out in the bathroom with the rich and the famous.
29. Playing the wallflower
If you dress unimpressively and act unimpressively and underplay yourself, a**holes will think you’re a nobody and instantly show their true selves to you, sparing you the time you’d have to waste to figure out which of the people in your life are fake or not. Basically, the trash takes itself out, additionally, people will underestimate you so if you excel at something, you will blow their minds.
30. Front of the line
If you use a digital boarding pass, they don’t check to see what boarding group you’re in. Lay it down upside down for a scan, and you’re in! With a paper one, they always check and you’re busted and sent back to wait until Group 5 boards and all the carry on space is already gone! It won’t always work as some employees will catch on, but the majority of the time it’s a neat trick!
31. You can do anything
Never say that you “Can’t” do something. Can you make a hydrogen bomb? “Well, I am not sure how but sure, I can learn to do that.” Can you fly a plane? “Well, dumb drunk people do it all the time, so sure, I can learn to do that”. You do not HAVE to know how to do something, you can learn, there are dumber people than you doing that thing so you can learn to do it as cr***y as they can. Ergo, you can.
32. Your future self will thank you
It’s easier to think of things as “future lazy” instead of organized. I want a lazy morning tomorrow, so dishes are done after dinner and clothes are laid out for the morning. Nice relaxed morning, here I come. I want to not have to rush around before my shifts finding food or buying stuff last minute – do a cook up on a day off and separate meals into containers in the fridge/freezer.
No more rushing, and saves money too (yasss more video games please). I don’t want to do a huge pile of laundry, so I’ll fold it or put it on hangers as it comes off the line. No more giant piles to sort where everything is creased and now needs ironing too. It’s best not to assume your future self will be the best version of you, you’ll usually be disappointed.
33. Staying out of trouble’s way
If you have a bad habit you’d like to kick. Avoid doing whatever leads to you indulging in your bad habit. Example: if you wanna quit eating fast food every day, but you do it because it’s the closest place half-way through your run, plan a new route as far away from fast-food restaurants as possible. If you want to stop using social media before bed, leave your phone in another room.
34. Give them what they’re really asking for
Don’t ask companies for job interviews. Ask to sit down with them and learn exactly what they look for in their employees. The answer often isn’t on the ad. Stick it at the top of your resume and cover letter as you are applying to jobs later. That’s if the initial conversation doesn’t end with a job offer thanks to your initiative-taking.
You also get direct contacts who have a good impression of you within the company you can occasionally check with for openings you can shoot for. You can also ask them for other companies and people you can talk to for opportunities or continue the cycle. Networking can feel intimidating but there’s no secret code or anything, anyone can do it!
35. Compliment the landmarks
International travellers stopping for a meal or drink in a small town: as you enter the town, make note of any particular landmark that a local would know. When the server greets you, compliment how lovely their town is and point out that particular feature you’ve picked and say it’s stunning and how wonderful it must be to live here.
You get extra special excellent service, and many times I’ve received a free drink, side or dessert. And every single time you leave that person really happy and proud to have had their town complimented so nicely. This doesn’t work as well in big cities, but in small towns you can really brighten people’s days. Not only that, but you end up on the lookout for town landmarks and beautiful places wherever you go.
36. A little help goes a long way
Offer to help people at work, especially with little things. It takes a small amount of time/effort, but most people really appreciate it. And then when you need some help, many of them will do what they can to return the favour. Also, if you help people out with small, easy tasks, they won’t want to bother you again with the bigger and more annoying ones.
Also, it’ll just make the workplace a more pleasant place in general. A lot of most people’s daily stress is less about one big problem, and more just a huge mish-mash of a gazillion little problems. Helping with some of those little problems and making them go away can make everyone a bit happier and less tense, which leads to better communication.
37. A tuneful solution
My choir teacher in high school got stuck with a class of almost 70 kids, most of whom had no experience matching a note accurately before the class. She taught us to pretend we were turning a tuning peg on a guitar in front of us while trying to adjust our pitch to match her note. Almost everyone was able to match the note instantly, and it had the added effect of sounding like an orchestra was tuning.
38. Taking off sick
Coughing and hacking on an aeroplane that allows you to pick your seat stops people from wanting to sit with you, so they move on. Fake sick. Play up that s*** like a toddler. Act cold, make your eyes look drowsy, Act all sniffly and rub your nose. But appear gross when doing it. Obviously only works if you don’t have a full flight. But seriously, no one wants to sit next to the sick person on a five-hour flight.
39. Thank your hostess
When you go on a longish flight, bring a bag or two of nice chocolates, or similar treat, and give it to one of the flight attendants, while thanking them for what they do. I’ve done this twice, and both times I’ve gotten free drinks, free food, and overall better attention on the flight, for me and my family. And I would mainly do it to make the flight better for the flight attendants, not for my personal gain.
40. Take the plea
If you’re ever charged with a crime and have a serious court date visit the district attorney and offer to plea guilty to a much lesser charge. They’ll often go for it especially if it’s your first crime and they can get something out of it, usually money from a fine. I got a felony DUI reduced to a civil infraction and paid $180 instead of losing my license and facing jail time.
41. Free drink: no strings attached
Take an unreadable or highly scratched debit card to any fast food joint and order a meal. Usually, they hand you your drink first then swipe your card. When your card gets declined they won’t give you your food but you have a free drink because they cannot take the drink back. Works most of the time all the time. It is a bit of a mean trick but who cares?
42. Stopping to smell the roses
Walk slower. This will decrease your stress levels. Everyone always seems to walk about as if there is a sense of urgency. You may not really be in a rush, yet you might just be a fast walker. That sense of urgency adds a lot of pressure that you likely don’t realize. Slow down your pace to a stroll. Give yourself time to appreciate the journey, even if it’s just down the hall. Chances are that whatever you are walking to will still be there a few seconds or minutes later.
43. One chapter at a time
In college, I was assigned A LOT of reading. I learned the best thing to do was read the introduction and table of contents, pick one chapter and take good notes. I would then have one or two good questions/ideas for class, and would speak up at the first opportunity. I looked like I did all the reading, and gained a lot of cred with professors for helping with their lectures.
44. Mountains out of molehills
When you need a small to mid-sized favour from someone: approach them and make it appear like you’re about to ask for a HUGE favour. Like “Man, I am so, so embarrassed to ask, and please feel free to say no, I will understand, totally no pressure” etc, etc. Just make it sound like it truly would be a big favour. And when you reveal the actual favour, they will be so relieved, they will most likely agree to whatever you need from them.
45. A project by any other name
At work: put a name on that big project of yours. Something relevant and easy to remember. For some reason, it gives it more weight to people. People will easily forget that “thing” you killed yourself doing but hey didn’t you have something to do with the SaBER report? It also helps to keep a notebook of all the projects you’ve worked on, for posterity.
46. The right side of the bed
When your wake-up alarm goes off put your fist in the air and enthusiastically say “Yeah!”. It will make it easier to transition to a wakeful and goal-oriented day (well, at least it does for me!). When you didn’t do well on sleep-discipline (underslept) tell yourself that you feel well-rested. Apparently, some college in Colorado concluded this increases cognitive function.
47. Compliment the kids
Don’t have kids but your boss does? Ask to see pictures, compliment the little suckers on having his or her eyes or nose. Even if you don’t want kids, enthuse about how great kids are even if they’re a ton of work and how much you respect your boss for being a parent and working. It instantly puts you in a chummier “good people” category with the boss. This has worked 100% of the time for me. Even just coworkers.
48.Stating the obvious
In the event that you’re in a position where a compliment is expected but you don’t want to lie, STATE something obvious in a high pitch voice. People care about your tone more than your words when they expect a compliment. Example: Group of People Meeting a Friend’s Baby: Shes so cute! You: Look. At. That. Tiny. Dress!!!! Mother: I know! Right?!
49. Cheating the career ladder
If you don’t want to do anything at work, stand on a ladder, in an area you would need one, of course. If anyone questions you, just say some bull**** like “oh, looking for _____” or “organizing this area”, really, whatever you can come up with. I prefer suspended ceilings, so I can look at Reddit in peace, but in 10.5 years of the same job, no one has ever given me s***. My record is 3 hours, see if you can beat it.
50. Reassure the workers
If you are UPSET and you want to speak to the manager, just make sure the kid at the front desk knows its not their fault. I always say “Hey, I need a manager, I know its not YOUR FAULT and YOU DIDNT BREAK MY ACCOUNT PERSONALLY, but it’s just been frustrating and I would appreciate some help.” People want to help nice people. I have helped an a**hole demanding a manager 0/10 times in my career.
51. Clear your cookies
Websites track your clicks using cookies. So if you search for the same flight and hotel, again and again, the price will usually increase (not always). So when you are finally ready to book, use a different browser or clear your cookies. You may avoid paying extra. Or just use incognito mode when searching and comparing hotels.
If you need to stop someone on a dime for whatever reason just yell “FREEZE” in your sternest, most serious voice. ‘Freeze’ is the cop word, the authority command. People like to assume you don’t mean them if you say something like “wait, sir!” or “hey, stop!”. If you yell “Freeze!” everyone panics and looks to make sure they aren’t the one that f***ed up. I don’t recommend using this if it’s not necessary, it can freak people out.
53. A cancellation query
I discovered recently that if you want to negotiate with a company about the price of your phone or wifi plan, call their customer service department with a “question about cancelling”. I have terrible social and phone anxiety and couldn’t imagine trying to haggle with a company on the phone, but this hack made it immediately so much easier.
When I called to ask my ISP when my cancellation would take effect, they immediately transferred me to their “customer satisfaction department” and then doubled my speed for half the price. This doesn’t always work, I’m sure, but it’s certainly worth a try – you want to be the one they’re trying to get something out of, instead of the other way around. The attitudes are vastly different that way.
54. Guessing birthdays
If you forget someone’s birthday, just buy them a small gift (pack of chocolate, etc.) and wish them a happy birthday. They’ll most likely tell you that it’s not their birthday today, thus you can ask them “When is it, then?”. Think about it. In general, getting someone’s birthday wrong seems to be much more acceptable than forgetting it entirely. It still shows you cares, after all.
55. The other rule of three
I call it the rule of three. If someone is yelling out my name (typically my mom, girlfriend, or sister), I wait until I hear my name three times before I respond. 80% of the time they figure out what it was that they were hollering about or it wasn’t particularly important to begin with. It’s the same idea as when someone says they’re confused, but actually just needed another second to digest the info.
56. Avoiding accusations
When talking with someone, try to avoid using the word, “you” in a negative manner. For example: “you don’t know what you are talking about.” Or “you are wrong about the facts” or “the task is too difficult for you.” Each one of those is fine but can be unnecessarily hurtful. Try to rephrase it without “you”, and people will be much more receptive to you.
57. Admitting faults
If you’re in a group project and it fails somehow and everyone else is trying to talk about why it failed with the upper management people, instead of waffling about like everyone else, go ahead and talk confidently about what you think went wrong and what you think you may have done wrong. Do this without ever pushing blame in another direction.
Hell, if you know maybe why someone else did something and it didn’t work but you know their rationale and they’re not talking too much, maybe throw that in so that they can agree with you. It sets up that you’re confident and willing to learn from your mistakes and also take ownership. It also allows you to feel trusted as people who might not be able to discuss things so easily can feel they can come to you for leadership or advice.
58. Creamer before coffee
I drink s****y coffee with creamer every morning, but, I pour the creamer in first, then pour the coffee so I don’t have to mix with a spoon. Saves a plastic spoon (a lot of people throw them out after a single use), or saves water to wash the spoon, perhaps a paper towel if someone likes drying the spoon afterwards. Not a huge tip, but I like it.
59. Getting it in writing
If you are calling customer service about an issue with an order/your account etc. and they say, “Okay, I’m can give you this discount” or anything that helps you, make sure you ask them to put it in the notes. Every account or order has a notes section, and if it doesn’t go in there then you don’t have any proof of the transaction.
This way if you are still having issues and call back, the new rep you talk to can look at those notes as opposed to going, “Uh, that’s not a discount we offer.” I’ve had this happen multiple times and if it’s in the notes, then they know you aren’t just making it up and then they will either offer you that discount or get you something similar.
60. Out of town
“Out of town.” When someone is asking me to do something or inviting me to an event in which I simply do not care to do or attend, I simply say, “I’m going to be out of town, sorry.” My local Walmart and Home Depot are actually in the town next to ours although maybe 10 minutes away. So technically, while shopping at either one I’m out of town.
61. Everyone’s connected
Engage everyone like they are the CEO of a business you want to be a part of. The number of times I could have had a real s****-attitude toward someone, only to discover they were the parent of another child in my kid’s class, or a community member I would see frequently… or even a CEO of my company, is much higher than you think it would be.
I’ve also worked with the elderly. The number of their children that ended up being large influences in my organization was astounding. They all had heard of me, in a very positive light, before I had been formally introduced. Also: if you make an effort to have a positive attitude, it doesn’t take long before people start to annoy you less.
62. No second chances at a first impression
Any time you start a new group (at school or work or really anything), especially with people you don’t know already, always be a try-hard for the first 3-4 weeks. People will remember their first impression of you forever, so after that, you can slack off and people will assume you’re having an off day or are stressed with life or something.
63. Want vs need
If you want to help out someone in need, ask them, ‘Hey, do you you want some help?’ but if you want to look like a good person but not actually put in effort, then ask, ‘Do you NEED any help?’. People seem to subliminally take it as an insult to admit that they need help, rather than preferring it, so they will usually decline if you say ‘need’. This technique has made me seem like a decent guy, which is simply not the case.
64. A very cool hack
Most of the time stores will sell cold 1 litre bottles of pop for 1.49 – 2.09 at checkout. You can find the same size or a 2 litre for the same price or cheaper in the store but they’re warm. The first thing you do before shopping is to find said warm pop in-store and hide it behind some frozen peas. Do the rest of your shopping. 20-40 minutes later cold pop for cheaper.
65. What’s the problem?
If you are ever d***ing around at work and your boss walks up to you about to ask you what the f*** you are doing, before they can even open their mouth ask them a work-related question and seem like you have been working on something and needed to speak with them. It normally takes them off guard enough that it diffuses some of their potential anger or suspicion. Sounds stupid but it works pretty well.
66. Faking genius
Upcoming college kids, ALWAYS answer as many questions as you can during your first class for each new class. The professor will think you’re a know it all and will never call on you again during the test of the semester because they want to hear from other students. Then occasionally, raise your hand the first time you know the answer in class, and that will ensure they never call on you afterwards.
67. Smile! You’re on camera!
Are you on the train facing somebody who is smelly, annoying, coughing, taking up too much space? If so, break out your mobile phone and do some Internet browsing BUT do it in a way that makes it seem like you’re taking photos/video. Slump down in your seat a little, angle the phone more vertically, glance at them a little more often. After a few minutes, they’ll get uncomfortable and find a new seat.
68. Look where you’re going
If you’re like me and constantly do that awkward side to side dance with people who you’re trying to walk past, don’t look down. Instead of looking down and trying to guess which way they’ll go, look toward the direction you wish to go, it indicates to the other person which way you’re about to go. It’s an instant save in those precious seconds before a collision.
69. All the time in the world
Telling people in the service industry that you are not in a hurry and have no problem waiting will get things done faster than assumed. Sometimes even with a bonus. Example: I got my winter tires installed today. I said that there is absolutely no rush and they can call me whenever my car is ready. Not only did I get my car back within an hour. I also got a full check-up which they usually do when buying a pre-owned car.
70. A cheaper shave
If you’re fed up with how much it costs to keep a good shave you might want to look into safety razors. Cheap modern disposable razor suck and are expensive af compared to safety razor blades. Even the best (arguably) safety blades are 25¢ each which is pricey considering Astra sells great quality blades for as low as 7¢ each if you buy in bulk on Amazon. No more throwing money out the window for me.
71. Staying hydrated
Drink enough water. It’s a simple and nearly free cheat to better health, clearer skin, and improved energy. 64 ounces may sound like a lot, but it’s less than 2 liters and I know some people have no trouble downing that in other drinks. If you need flavour squeeze in some lemon or float some cucumbers in it, and you’ll find your overall energy and outlook improve pretty fast.
72. Write everything down
I call this The Book: it’s the fastest way to level in an office environment. Keep a book and write in it, not all the time, not like a crazy person, just notes at meetings etc. Any time you have to do something that would leave you in the s*** at work, anything you suggest that COULD have saved money or effort that was rejected, write who said no and when and why. Anyone asks you why you’re writing – just say compliance or diligence.
73. Finding things to like
For a while now I’ve done this thing where I start finding reasons to like someone once I realize I don’t really like them. The cool thing that has come out of it is that I’ve found it easier and easier to find the good in people and I find it harder and harder to define people by the things I don’t personally like about them.
74. Solutions before problems
At work, if you run into a problem, make sure you come up with some solutions before taking it to your boss. The saying is “bring your boss solutions, not problems. That way instead of putting the burden on them to solve the problem for you, you are pitching them options and getting their feedback/approval. Even if the boss doesn’t go with any of your ideas, they’ll appreciate that you came up with some.
75. Love letters to businesses
If you appreciate a product or a service you have received, write a thoughtful note (preferably handwritten and mail it) to them explaining why you loved what happened. If it’s a product from a grocery store, write to the manufacturer. Even better if it’s a smaller start-up company. Works on larger companies as well. I’ve received TONS of free food for writing what I call “love letters” to companies I appreciate. Examples include Doritos, Franks Hot Sauce, Bakery on Main Granola, Heinz Ketchup, etc.
76. Playing dumb
When I was studying abroad some friends and I were lost at like 2 am trying to find a McDonald’s with wifi. I finally started to recognize the area and led us towards where I knew one was and we ended up jaywalking (there was literally zero traffic and all the trams had stopped for the day) because we just wanted to get home.
Two cops saw and stopped us to lecture us and take out passport numbers but I just played into the “dumb American” stereotype and said we needed help to find a McDonald’s. Their demeanour totally changed and they just sent us on our way. Playing dumb is pretty high risk and high reward, but when it works its undeniably helpful.
77. Making plans
Never say “Whatever. I am fine with anything.” when you’re making plans with friends, family or SO. You’ll end doing s*** you don’t like, eating food you don’t want to eat and spending money on things and activities you cannot afford or think are not worth spending on. Always have a clear answer on something you want to do. You can just have a default answer for anything. Plans for dinner? Hamburger. Daytime activity? Nothing in the woods or involving animals.
78. Keeping good receipts
If you’re white collar, learn to write this email: “Per our earlier conversation, you wanted me to accomplish X with A,B,C deliverables by Y date, and you will provide feedback on Z. Jimmy will be working on D aspect of the project, and Jane will be doing F. I’ve CC’ed everyone involved, just want to make sure we’re all on the same page.”
This way, when your boss, Jimmy or Jane try to say that they didn’t obligate themselves to something in the meeting, or that the date changed, or that nothing was agreed on, you have a paper trail. The email is a total lifesaver to stop yourself from getting in trouble unduly, and to stop other coworkers from taking you for a ride.
79. The food of love
Combine your grocery list with things your significant other needs from you emotionally (e.g. tortillas, cereal, remind her that you’re proud of her, eggs). I used to keep a separate notes section on my phone for things to do/say that make my SO feel good, and combining it with my groceries list means I see it a lot more.
80. Writing to remember
As silly as it sounds if you have trouble remembering things about the people around you, write it down. My family is pretty big so birthdays, ages, grades were impossible to remember. I’ve used this for my husband too, little things like the size of jeans he wears, what brand his favourite T-shirt is, and more. He’s hard to shop for because he’s really tall and athletic, and this helps.
81. Letting it all out
If a customer is angry, listen politely and occasionally acknowledge that you’re listening. Let them finish. Write down everything they said and then read back the key points. You’ll find most people just want to be heard and are far more willing to work with you once they know you are paying attention. Some of the best customer reviews I’ve received are from people who started out apoplectic with anger.
82. Punctuation tampering
When writing a large paper, every now and then go in and increase the font size of the punctuations by 1 more than what you’re supposed to be writing with. For example, if your professor assigns you to write a paper with the standard 12 point font, make the punctuations (commas, periods, and quotation marks) font size 13 or 14. It may not seem like much, but depending on the length of the paper, it may add an entire extra page, and it’s an almost indistinguishable difference, especially if you turn it in as a physical copy.
83. A two-person scheme
I once had my friend call the front desk where I worked and ask for me. He then asked me if I was serious and say this wouldn’t work. I proceeded to tell him to calm down, start from the beginning and explain. I then pretended he was telling me our “dad” was in the hospital and said that I’d be there right away. I got 4 days off paid.
84. Watch the shoes
The next time you’re in conversation with someone and you’re both standing, glance at their shoes. If one/both of their shoes are pointed away from you, there’s a chance that they want to leave the conversation. It could be anything from A. They have someplace to be, B. They don’t want to talk with you, or C. They point their feet in odd ways.
85. Freeze your grease
Anytime I cook hamburgers/bacon or anything that produces a lot of grease, I pour the grease into an old soup can and stick it in the freezer until garbage day. I never really thought anything about this but not everyone knows about a fat can and many people have just dumped the grease down the sink… !?!?!? please don’t do that. Sincerely, the sewer/ septic guy.
86. The power of silence
When trying to negotiate with someone, sell them something, or convince someone of a point, remember the S2E Rule: “silence and statement are your strongest weapons, and explanation is your execution.” People are uncomfortable with silence, and will negotiate against themselves or reveal crucial knowledge to fill the void in a conversation.
87. Shovelling toys
I sweep all the kid’s toys into a snow shovel and dump them directly into the toy bin. I then slide the bin into the closet and close the door. Bam! Room clean! I also lay down a blanket when they play legos. Then you just have to pick up the blanket by the corners and pour them back into the lego bin. Creating separate places for separate toys basically ensures you’ll never have a clean room.
88. Anyone could be listening
I talk about other people as if they can hear what I say even if they are not physically present. That helps me to keep an emotional discipline and integrity towards everyone I know, including the people I don’t like. I also make excuses in my mind for people who treat me badly for no reason. Things like “he is probably having a bad day” instead of just assuming I am interacting with a bad person. It helps to keep stressing interactions under control, never letting them escalate to something worse.
89. Traffic light roulette
If you need to turn right not long after a traffic light at which you are stopped but are not in the right lane, rather than trying to jump off the line to get far enough ahead to make an asshole right turn, start edging forward to make the driver in the right lane think you are wanting to jump off the line. It feels wrong, but stick it out.
In my experience, drivers are often competitive and will then try to go quickly upon green to prevent you from getting the upper hand. Then you can with relative ease come off the line slowly and ease right behind them. Often in my experience, the next person in the lane will have a rather delayed start compared to the first guy, meaning you have plenty of room to safely get in the right lane.
90. Matching gestures
Pacing someone is a good way to get them to agree with you. Next time you’re conversing with your boss, try to match their gestures and mannerisms. Don’t mimic, though, you should be subtle. When it comes time for you to bask your boss for something, they may be more likely to help you out (depending on the situation) because they will view you as someone like them.
91. No more ironing!
Here are my laundry hacks. I only buy clothes in wrinkle-free fabrics. And I live alone. I rarely bother to take clean clothes out of the dryer until I’m ready to wear them. It might not be the proper way, but it saves a lot of folding and ironing and carrying armloads of clothes about. I suddenly got bored of doing things “the right way” even though it was so much extra effort.
92. Diverting the grumpiness
If my boyfriend is in a bad mood he grumbles at me, not because I’ve done anything wrong but because I’m the most convenient target. When he does this I say some non-committal variation of, “Yeah, whatever”, and then look for something that I know will annoy him. Rubbish dropped on the pavement or dog turds that nobody’s cleared up are perfect for this. I point it out and do a quick grumble about whatever it is, and he takes to grumbling about it instead of sniping at me.
93. An unreadable essay
When I procrastinated on a school assignment, I used to create a blank Microsoft Word document, save it under the name I wanted to give to my paper, then close it. After that, you right-click and select “open with” and I would open it with notepad which would open a bunch of random characters and symbols. Then I’d just delete a bunch of those symbols. After that, I’d save it again and open it again with Microsoft Word.
It would then say “the file is corrupt and cannot be opened, would you like to repair it” and then if you try to repair it, it just fails and I would send it as an attachment in an email to the teacher. Then I had an excuse and I could usually get more time to hand it in. Works great because the teacher can’t prove you didn’t do it.
94. Airport speed-run
If you want to save some money when travelling, consider investing in a medium-size suitcase. They’re big enough to store whatever it is you’re travelling with but not big enough to arouse suspicion that it obviously won’t fit in the carry on. Then, when you go to scan your ticket, they’ll see your bag and say it won’t fit in the overhead bins but they’ll get the bag checked in for you. For free.
95. Working out in silence
Sometimes, at the gym, I’ll make sure I have headphones on but not have any music playing. It’s not that I hate people, but when I’m working out, I need to stay focused. I can’t have a conversation and intense exercise at the same time. Putting on the headphones helps me to feel as though I’m in my own little world, as well as stopping others from approaching me.
96. Watch out on the roads
I own two cars and one of them looks beat to hell. Sometimes I’ll take the old beat-up ride out for a drive when I want a smooth drive. People are much more careful driving around you when they think you’re a s*** driver who’ll ram into them. It sounds wrong, you’d think people would be more careful around a fancier car, but the opposite is actually true.
97. Nose contact
If you need to look someone in the eye without looking them in the eye, stare directly at the bridge of their nose between their eyes. I’m just not a huge “eye contact” person. But I understand the importance when you’re not because people just assume you’re lying or hiding something. Very few people can actually tell the difference between faux and real eye contact.
98. Playing sick
This is a bit of a sneaky trick, so use it wisely. Every time that you know you’re in trouble with your parents and they are about to go off on you, act sick. They usually won’t yell at someone who is sick. This usually gives them time to cool down which usually ends up with them forgetting or going easy on you once you’ve “recovered”.
99. Making buddies
Smooth compliments are the best cheats to up your socialising skill! All it takes is a quick glance to notice at least one feature that seems more or less uniquely cool about a person. Mention it while conversing with them, in a non-creepy way of course, and bam! You can consider yourself buddies. People love compliments, it never gets old.
100. A cracking hack
My favourite cheat code, even if it’s more like a hidden trick, is that you have a way easier time cracking eggs by knocking them gently on a flat surface. Knocking them on a flat surface is way easier, rather than say, cracking them on the edge of your pan. That realization blew my mind. It might look way less professional, but it’s worth it.