We have gathered for you the most unethical life hacks. So, enjoy!
1. You need some more time to complete the task before a deadline.
I’ve only done this once in my life but it’s useful at times:
Let’s say you have a paper that is due and you need some more time to complete it before a deadline.
1) Find the Paper on your Desktop. Make sure you also have the paper saved somewhere else before you do this.
2) Right click on the document and open it with Notepad instead of Microsoft Word.
3) Inside the Notepad File, remove half the text and Save (Ctrl-S).
4) Go back to your desktop and click the document. You’ll get this message.
5) Wait for a Professor or recipient to email you back and say there was something wrong with the paper. If you’re not done in time, ask him for more information and say you’ll look into the issue.
6) Finish your paper after the deadline and get off on a technicality 🙂
2.Reward someone publicly for something you WANT them to do
It’s called shaping and it’s a real psychological tactic. If you want someone to comply with something you’d like. If you’re the leader of a team and you want one of your employees to work harder you could offer them more money, time off, etc., or at the next team or company-wide meeting point out how hard of a worker that employee is, and how they always put in the hustle, then ask them to work longer hours on the special project.
Because this is who their PUBLIC identity is, and they’ve received praise for it, then they want to live up to that identity rather than betray their public persona.
This isn’t just something you can do publicly, you can do it privately too. If you know you have bad news to break to your significant other, first praise them for being such a patient, loving and understanding partner, then wait a bit before breaking the bad news.
Why does this work? Because people want to think about themselves in terms of their best qualities. How do people know what their best qualities are? Mostly from hearing from others. Someone’s identity is partially socially defined, and wanting to identify with positive reinforcement of good qualities will make them want to behave in a way consistent with those qualities. It’s Cialdini’s consistency principle.
3. Lead them to agree with you by asking why they didn’t disagree more
Again, this is a POWERFUL and potentially unethical life hack. This hack leverages someone’s own mind as a powerful persuasive mechanism, enrolling someone to your side to argue your points inside their head.
I’ve used it before in sales. I’ll speak with a prospect and pitch them something then ask them how motivated they are to work with me or use my product/solution, sometimes they’ll say something like “Um, I mean I find it kind of interesting.” Indicating that they’re not too excited. “Good to hear,” I say. “Can I ask you, on a scale of 1–10, 10 being ‘let’s move forward now’ and 1 being ‘not at all interested,’ where are you?” They’ll say something like “I’m a six” or five or four or whatever.
Here’s where the REAL move comes in: I then ask “Okay, great, why didn’t you rate yourself lower?” Now they are asked to justify their interest in their own mind. Whatever their answer is, it indicates to you how to persuade them to move forward and already engaged the commitment and consistency principle.
This is actually how my friend persuaded his then-girlfriend to get breast implants, big ones. He asked her “If you were going to get implants how big would you go? Why not go smaller?” Then she discovered a lot of opinions she had about how great large breasts were. Bang. Unethical?
This is perhaps the MOST unethical maneuver you can make with other people, but it does actually work. Gaslighting has been written about a lot lately but it’s basically this: when someone disagrees with you or doesn’t want to comply with your demands/desires/requests, you attack their sense of self, well-being, and their perception of themselves and events as they unfolded.
It’s basically attacking their world view.
Gaslighting is terribly unethical and hurts others… but it works.
Here’s why: It’s forcing them to choose between two values, making them commit to one or the other, either the relationship with you OR whatever they think the disagreement is about.
Gaslighting invokes cognitive dissonance – The target can’t both disagree with you and also be in a relationship with you. When they choose the relationship it again invokes Cialdini’s consistency principle and incorporates their decision into their sense of self, further internally justifying their decision.
As an example, I have a friend who was gaslighted by her horrible boyfriend for years, and out of fear continued to choose the relationship over her sense of events. She thought he was cheating, saw strange texts on his phone (which he didn’t hide), he’d show up late with no good excuse when they had dates planned, and when she brought this up he’d say “you’re being paranoid, you’re trying to make me look like a cheater so you can break up with me, you need to stop being so aggressive, if we had it your way I’d always just be home with you all the time and never have my own life.”
Soon, she apologized (tantamount to accepting someone else’s version of events and conceding that her feelings were somehow injurious to her boyfriend) and soon he used her for sex. By the way, this girl was a 10.
Something like this is EXACTLY what shitty pickup artists do because it WORKS.
BONUS: If you want to combat the above on yourself keep three things in mind:
- Recognize the feelings you’re having at the moment – If you’re feeling any kind of pressure make it known to yourself and REMIND YOURSELF THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING YOU DON’T WANT TO DO. Affirm your own control of events to yourself. What you decide is what you decide apart from social pressures.
- Refuse to “go along” with them – DON’T GO ON ‘AUTOPILOT’ and don’t simply agree with them because it’s easy. The reason these above three are unethical is that they leverage powerful psychological principles to make it easier to comply with the request or demand. If you go on autopilot and simply agree “because it’s easy” it means they have you. Don’t do it. When someone asks me “why don’t you disagree more” I might answer, but I remember I don’t have to comply or agree, or I might say “I just do.” If they press more then you know what kind of unethical person you’re dealing with.
- Finally, if anyone tries to make a disagreement “about you” and “about your problems” then you KNOW they’re a terrible person and nobody you should believe about anything.
5. Appeal to Authority Biases
Showing up in a uniform of any kind (even security) is a sure way to be given the instant benefit of the doubt. If you show up to a building wearing a mail carrier uniform or security uniform you can actually have pretty quick access to the building. Another variant of this is the IT guy. Several social engineers build a collared T-shirt with the service provider’s logo, a clipboard and a belt of tools and can gain access to the most sensitive areas of a large building.
Another variant of this is showing up to places in an extremely well-made suit and just showing an aura of confidence and you can gain access to VIP areas, some companies rather easily and overall just help with picking up the ladies (serious).
6. People Like To Do Simple Gestures of Kindness
Walk up to a closed and locked door which needs a key card with 3 boxes of donuts and no way to reach your key, and someone is bound to let you in. Another variate of this using coffee or a desktop computer hub.
People love doing simple gestures which don’t require too much effort but give a sense of self-gratification. When ordering a coffee at Starbucks pretend you lost your wallet and pull out only $2 in crumbled ones and explain the predicament and it’s most likely the clerk or the person behind you might be willing to pick up your bill in exchange for your $2. This can be applied to several different occasions.
7. You Can Lie About Anything If You Gain Initial Acceptance
So, about a year ago, my college roommate Anthony and I wanted to see if we could pretend that he was a celebrity and if it would translate into anything awesome. So we went to the mall. I was dressed in my black suit and followed behind him pretending to be his security and at one point another friend came up for an autograph saying that he was the lead guitarist of a fictional band.
As soon as the first person did it, several others came up and actually wanted pictures and autographs. It kept piling on and on and eventually led to him getting the number of a very attractive girl. This works extremely well because by having the initial social validation you can get the second validation. This is true in everything from life and dating to startups (what? you have Microsoft as a client, sure we’ll do a free trial).
I could go on and on about several cognitive biases which the average person has. The best way to learn about it though is to look into some of the greatest con men of the last couple centuries. Victor Lustig, Frank Abagnale, and even Jordan Belfort. They use these social engineering feats to do everything from flying airline flights without a single lick of training to selling the Eiffel Tower (twice).