PERSUASION IS SUCH A USEFUL ABILITY to have while traveling — I have none of it. Whenever I’ve had to talk my way into a place, or bargain a price down, I’ve always done a miserable, clunky job. Fixed prices are the sole reason I’ll only ever thrive in a Western society. But Richard Wiseman, a psychologist based out of the University of Herefordshire, has a simple tip to make people better at the art of persuasion: start small.

He gives a great example in this very short video, but the basic point is that if you have a big end goal that you want someone to agree to, you shouldn’t start by asking for that: you should start by asking for something much smaller. Once a person agrees to something small, they are much more likely to agree to something big. It’s a good tip for pretty much all of life, but might be especially useful when you’re trying to get a seat upgrade on your plane.

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