How to (Almost) Always Get Your Way

OK, we’re not talking about coercion, persuasion or -- yikes! -- temper tantrums. But if you want to get someone on your side in any given situation, there are some effective (and ethical!) tactics you can use to sway it your way. We’ve tidied it up into an art form, right here.

“I want my parents to let me stay out an hour later on the weekends. Is that so much to ask?”

The Art of Accepting as Is

Whether you’re looking for a later curfew, more allowance or fill-in-the-blank-here, the first step is to do ... nothing. Your parents know whatever privileges you’re after, right? If not, go ahead and ask. But once you’ve asked, do not bring it up again for at least 30 days. At that time, calmly ask again.

Repeat this pattern until they eventually agree. And the only reason they’re likely to go for it is because you didn’t hassle them. You demonstrated maturity, patience and acceptance of their decisions. Works like magic!

“This one girl in our group snubs me, and it makes me uneasy. I want her to be nice!”

The Art of Attitude Adjustment
First off, we know it’s tough, but never take anyone else’s attitude personally -- even if it comes off that way. You really don’t know what insecurities or other issues this girl might have, so approach the situation from a place of non-judgment.

Also, remember that no one can make you feel uncomfortable. This is tricky too, but how you react to anything is always your choice. Turn this around by adjusting your demeanor. Relax, and treat her the same as you would like her to act toward you. Start out by subtly smiling and nodding at her. As long as you’re sincere, the tension will gradually fall away.

“My teacher gave me a totally unfair grade, and I want it changed.”

The Art of A+ Appreciation
If you genuinely feel the grade is unfair, make arrangements to see your teacher after class. But instead of storming in and waving your paper in protest, approach him or her with an air of gratitude.

Being authentic -- not fake -- and thank your teacher for taking the time to chat with you. Then make your case. Rather than griping, “I spent hours working on this project,” talk about how much you learned and gained from the assignment. If the teacher refuses to alter your grade, ask about extra credit. Whatever the outcome, continue to be appreciative, and you can be sure next time Teach is teetering between giving you a C+ or a B-, she’ll lean toward the better grade!