Here is the list of some common psychological needs. These needs resemble pressure points or “buttons” that make people move in your direction when you press on it. Sure, every situation is very individual, but after reading this you will have a better idea about how people do their choices and how you can affect them. In other words, you will understand how persuasion and manipulation work. This might also help you recognize patterns of unhealthy relationships and escape before it’s too late.
According to some psychologists, the need for acceptance is number one need after all basic needs are fulfilled. Rejection, which is the opposite of acceptance, is one of the things we fear the most in our lives. Way too often, we wouldn’t even try to get the things we want and dream about just out of the fear of failure (kind of rejection).
Make a person feel accepted, make her realize that you are not judging her, that you genuinely like her, and she will open up to you. This makes a great base for a good relationship and connection. Remember: you can’t affect anyone unless you connect with them, and that is only accomplished by understanding people and finding out what makes them tick.
This can be tested quite easily. Next time you go to bank (or any other place) and the service is slow, just tell to the employee, “I feel for you, you seem to have so much work!” and see her change. It will work because you conveyed the message of acceptance, making her want to help you.
Another common need is attention. Many people love it dearly, but some are really suffering from its deficit. Often these are people who were successful in the past. Probably they were athletes, or they had some special talent, or they were beautiful or powerful, but those days are gone. You can recognize them by the way their face changes when they receive some attention in a social setting; you will see a spark in their eyes. Affecting this kind of people is easy, just make them talk about themselves, let them tell you stories of their glorious past, and they are yours. In other words, let them shine again and they will be grateful to you.
3. Rescue from Boredom
There is plenty of people who are really bored. Their lives are routine — nothing changes. They will fall in love with the one who will bring something new and exciting to them — a sense of adventure and a little danger. If you manage to do just that, they will get addicted to you. Depending on situation, they will become your loyal friends or lovers. It is a very common need.
Casanova, who was a famous seducer, liked to deal with village girls whose lives were monotonous and followed a predictable routine. He would come in his dazzling clothes and seduce them with his words and deeds. Maybe those girls realized this was going to harm them, but many people cannot resist the temptation of something new and exciting when their life is dull and boring even if it’s something that will eventually backfire.
It doesn’t have to be a seduction always. Think of what kind of effect happy people have on you. People who have some interesting hobbies, who are building something in their lives. Instantly you admire them and wish you could be around more, maybe some of their happiness and enthusiasm will rub off on you. And it probably will. Strong human emotions — positive or negative — tend to spread from one person to another, so if you know positive people like that, stay around and learn from them.
Some people have unusual amount of energy, and they just can’t stay idle even for the shortest periods of time. To affect them you need to give them adventure, some cause, some goal they should strive to achieve. As soon as they achieve it, you need to find them a new exciting task, otherwise they will get bored and disappointed by you.
This is exactly what Josephine did to Napoleon, because she realized his nature of a conqueror. She was never where she was supposed to be, and she never did what he wanted her to do. He would get angry and aggressive, but in reality his love to her would only increase. If she was to make herself an easy prey, he would get bored very fast.
5. Need to Belong
We are social beings; we just don’t do very well in isolation. Ever wonder how some sects or groups whose beliefs or goals are stranger than fiction and unacceptable by any social standard still get the followers? They are able to do that because they give these people the sense of belonging. The victims feel the sense of kinship with everyone within the new group and begin to fear to do anything that displeases the leaders, because they might kick them out of the group or punish them in some way. The victims of cults are usually very lonely people — they don’t have anyone. Or maybe they have a family, but the communication within the family members is broken so they become very vulnerable and susceptible to the impact of such groups.
Generally, people tend to accept new ideas from someone who is somewhat similar to them (there are exceptions of course). So if you are dealing with a group of people and you need to persuade them to accept your point of view, you need to make clear what is common between you and them. Basically, you need to figure out what you need to say or do in order for them to decide that you are OK.
Some people are so addicted to power that they will use any opportunity to get control over others. They like to play the role of noble rescuers, which explains why they are only attracted to people with problems. The tricky part is that while these power addicts may help others solve their problems, they do that for unhealthy reasons; they do that to create a false sense of superiority and control over others. If you have any kind of problem, you become instantly attractive to them.
Marketers use this to get you buy things like insurances and fire alarms. Similarly in personal relationships, there are people who were hurt in the past and don’t trust easily anymore. To affect these people, you need to find a way to make them feel relaxed and comfortable.