7 Scientifically Proven Ways To Increase Your Influence

7 Scientifically Proven Ways To Increase Your Influence

I got a chance to interview Instructor and Lead Human Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards. Her mission in life is to help you become the most memorable person in the room. She refers to herself as a recovering boring person who was uninterestingly bland. So she turned to science to overcome her dilemma.By using current research out of academic institutions and research organizations around the world, she’s able to share the latest people science in an actionable, applicable and un-boring way.

1. Connect with people emotionally

According to Vanessa’s research, she’s discovered that if you want to intrigue and influence people you have to get their dopamine pumping. Dopamine is that pleasure/reward area in our brain that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. She says you need to be relentless about stimulating that part of the brain, if you want to influence someone. A great way to do that is by having excellent conversation starters handy. Two that she always uses is, “What was the best part of your day and what was the worst part of your day?” or “What personal passion project are you currently working on right now?”


2. Be emotionally curious

When you make others feel important, your influence goes a long way. All of us want to be liked, loved and accepted. When you fulfill that need for others, you are perceived by them as being influential. Dale Carnegie once said, “To be interesting, you have to be interested.” So be genuinely interested in other people. A great way to become interested in people is to ask them open-ended questions. Get them talking about themselves and that will help increase your rapport with them.

3. Use Confident Body Language


Researchers at Harvard Business School, according to Vanessa’s class conducted a study wanting to know if a person’s body language could affect other people’s opinions of them. It turns out that it can. Low power body language is normally contracted, with the shoulders rolled with one’s head down or bowed. High power or confident body language is expansive. The head is held high, the arms are loose, shoulders are back and the chest is out. When you manifest power body language you are seen as more influential. Confident body language not only affects the way others see you, but it also affects the way you see yourself.

4. Tell a Story

Our brains are hard-wired for stories. When we hear stories, our brains feel like we are right there with the other person. It’s like you are experiencing the story along with them. Do you see the potential of how influential this could make you? When you tell a story, the brain of the other person is in sync with you. If you can stimulate the other person’s brain with a story, you can in effect get them on your side. Vanessa suggests creating a story toolbox. This toolbox should consist of relevant and thought-provoking stories you can tell at any time when you’re with people. Then after you tell the story, follow it up with some interesting questions. She suggests, “What was your most challenging moment and how did you overcome it?” or “When did a person, situation or moment turn out differently than you expected?

5. Be Vulnerable


Being open about your emotions actually increases your likeability and influence. People perceive you as being real when you admit to weaknesses or flaws. They are better able to relate to you. Vanessa suggests sharing a vulnerable story from your story toolbox. By doing this you not only tell a great story but you are being vulnerable as well, so it doubly increases your influence.

6. May I ask a favor?

According to Vanessa’s class, whenever you ask someone for a favor, you are perceived more positively. It turns out that asking for help is one of the best things you can do to be seen as an influential person. It is known as the Franklin Effect. So freely ask for help in the form of advice, other people’s opinion and their guidance.

7. Become Charismatic


Who is the most charismatic person you know? Why did you pick that person? Most likely you chose that individual because of the way that person makes you feel. According to scientific research, most people don’t remember what a person looks like or what they may have said. They remember how the other person made them feel. Charismatic people make others feel good. Vanessa gives three non-verbal ways to up your charisma quotient. When talking to someone, she says you should tilt your head, your torso should be aligned with theirs and lastly, your toes should point toward them. As Dale Carnegie said, when you show you are interested in other people, you become more interesting.

Featured photo credit: Thomas8047 via

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Founder - Never Ever Give Up

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Last Updated on June 21, 2018

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.


How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!


  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.


  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.


Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via

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