Self

The One Word Phrase That 'Tricks' People Into Doing What You Want

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woman thinking

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Be careful with your words"? While this phrase is mostly said to discourage people from causing verbal harm to others, there's another reason behind it.

Our words hold power and can make people do incredible and even impossible things.

So when you open your mouth to say something to someone, be sure to think through the words you have chosen to say. You may not truly understand the power they hold over others.

And there's one important word to be cautious when using, as it can make people do whatever you want: "because."

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Why is the word 'because' so powerful?

One TikTok that has gone viral, wracking up over 46,000 likes, explains why the word "because" is so powerful.

TikToker Ryan McNeill discusses in his video how "your brain is constantly searching for ways to make sense of the world," adding that your brain desires order and "wants an explanation for why things are the way that they are."

Seems pretty normal for the human condition, no?

   

   

McNeill continues to explains that your brain wanting control and order is the reason why using "because" has such a hold over our minds when used in sentences.

The word implies that there is a reason for what you are asking — and it doesn't even matter if the reason makes sense.

He then explains that a study from Harvard shows how using the word "because" has a huge effect on getting what you want.

The 1978 study, McNeill explains, showcased how when a researcher used the word "because" in her questioning to skip a line, 93% of people allowed her to cut, as opposed to 60% when she didn't use the word "because."

"Because of that magical word 'because', their brains tricked them into thinking it was a reasonable explanation," McNeill says.

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Is there a psychological reason behind the hypnotic effect of 'because'?

A book written by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD, titled "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion," discusses the same experiment McNeill talks about in his video.

Cialdini claims in his book that if you want to influence someone, give them a reason as to why they should comply. When given a reason, our minds immediately go into a space where we want to believe the reason someone gives.

The researchers behind the Harvard study hypothesized that people's minds go into "automatic" mode. Our brains acts as a shortcut for us to not have to worry about why we should or should not comply with the request — the word "because" gives us a quick and fast way to find order.

This is actually something we all crave subconsciously.

Therefore, when you use "because" and give a reason, it produces a significantly higher chance of persuading people, as opposed to not using the word at all to get what you want.

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Deauna Nunes is an associate editor for YourTango who covers pop culture, lifestyle, astrology, and relationship topics. She's had bylines in Emerson College's literary magazine, Generic. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for more.

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