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Man Skills: ‘Manipulating’ people to your advantage

Hey… it’s Jimbo here again, (on behalf of my business partner Bob Pierce and the rest of the crew), with more amazing “Man Building Skills” for you.

Today we will explore how to manipulate people using non-verbal communication. (You know, so you can quietly take over the world… muahaha).

Okay… “manipulation” sounds creepy, but it’s happening all the time. You’re doing it when you dress-up for a job interview. (“Hey pal, are you trying to manipulate me with that suit and tie?”)

Folks do indeed judge a book by its cover.

In fact non-verbal communications, (like appearance, posture, gestures, eye movements and expressions), accounts for 93% of what you’re communicating to others. The actual words coming out of your mouth account for only 7%. (Which means knowing what you’re talking about is completely unnecessary).

Point is, understanding non-verbal “signals” and how to actively manage them gives you significant control over people’s impression of you, (and is in fact how I tricked my wife into marrying me).

There are three main categories non-verbal “signals”:

  • C-Signals: Indicates credibility.
  • F-Signals: Overall friendliness.
  • L-Signals: Leadership abilities.

Okay… it’s not all or nothing in any one of these categories. Everyone displays their own unique mix of these three signals.

But with a little skill you can emphasize any one of them to suit a particular situation, thus allowing you to gain the upper hand, (like hypnotizing your boss into giving you a major raise).


Credibility and Competence.
(That smart, impressive dude).

Non-verbal C–Signals communicate credibility – most notably competence, trustworthiness, confidence, and intelligence.

An example would be a celebrity spokesperson or a news anchor. Think Walter Cronkite, (or perhaps someone less dead).

Displaying a high level of C–Signals makes you appear more believable and trustworthy — that smart, respected, well-informed dude able to persuade and inspire confidence.

As an added bonus: Once you’re seen as competent in one area you’ll be seen as competent in other areas, (which explains how actors instantly become experts in politics).

Here are some methods that can increase your non-verbal C–Signals:

  • Dress conservatively in a manner that exceeds the expectations of your audience – without overdoing it. (That three-piece suit for your night job at the slaughterhouse isn’t necessary). Clothing and jewelry that’s too sophisticated will generate suspicion rather than credibility.
  • Choose dark colors for your clothing, particularly if you are short or endomorphic (a fancy word for “pudgy”). You’ll be perceived as more powerful and authoritative.
  • A large person should wear lighter shades to avoid appearing intimidating and overpowering.
  • Clothing and accessories should communicate a consistent message. A dark suit paired with casual shoes or a cheap watch will damage your credibility.
  • If possible avoid tattoos… overly pasty or overly tanned skin… dirt under fingernails… long hair… a scruffy beard… bad breath… and stained, chipped and missing teeth. Right or wrong, these visual cues are instinctively perceived as a “low edjumication” by others.
  • Avoid constricted postures, bodily rigidity, and crossed arms and legs, (AKA: the “frightened bunny” look). All of these behaviors suggest a lack of assertiveness.
  • Maintain an erect posture, walk with confidence and a purpose, and keep your chin parallel to the ground.
  • Look people directly in the eye both while speaking and when listening. Break eye contact to the side during pauses.
  • When responding to a question, lean forward and stand square to the person you’re addressing. An open and relaxed stance with unrestricted motion shows confidence.

Occupy your space using broad gestures and posture. People with higher levels of self-confidence and self-esteem tend to stand closer when communicating, but not too close to make others uncomfortable. (If you’re touching noses, that’s too close.)


The Friendly Guy.
(Won’t you be my neighbor?)

The F–Signal is a measure of the individual’s likability or interpersonal attractiveness. The stronger the F–Signal the more attractive you’ll be to others and the more likely you’ll generate a sense of deep trust.

An example would be Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon.

While it’s difficult to quantify friendliness, there are specific factors that will influence the perception.

Someone who is interesting to speak with… who knows how to listen… is a good conversationalist… humorous… sociable… and emotionally expressive while still conforming to the rules of social convention, all will be perceived as very friendly traits. (Also, handing out wads of cash helps.)

Here’s how to strengthen your non-verbal F–Signals:

  • Try to match the level of sophistication in your dress and accessories. If you’re too formal in comparison to those around you, then “loosen up” to appear more casual and flexible.
  • Take care not to wear overly fancy jewelry, expensive watches, and other “bling” that outshines others and signals that you’re perhaps at a superior income level. (“That’s right, look at me. I’m better than you.”)
  • Clothing should be neat and crisp, but a looser fit will increase the perception of friendliness. The colors should be softer and lighter then what you’d select to promote credibility.
  • Posture should show confidence. However, you can express friendliness by initially standing at a 45-degree angle to another person, tilting the head and torso towards them, and then slowly working your way around to their front. (As opposed to immediately squaring-up and getting in their face).
  • Animated facial expressions showing interest, happiness, and empathy with the other’s feelings, will be perceived as more likable.
  • Wandering eyes, a lack of facial expressions, and yawning, (“Man, you are sooo boring”), will greatly reduce the F–Signal.
  • Eye contact is also important in increasing F–Signals. It indicates interest and a willingness to initiate or continue some form of communication.

Look at the person when they begin to speak and continue steady eye contact. When they finish talking, look away briefly and then return eye contact when responding. When you finish speaking glance down to signal you’re finished.

Again, use pauses to appropriately break eye contact. Proper eye contact is vital. Locking eyes during pauses can appear awkward, condescending or even confrontational.


Leadership Cues.

(Follow me, boys).

L–Signal is a measure of the leadership ability of an individual.

Someone displaying a high level of L–Signal will be seen as the dominant person.

Of all the character frequencies, this one can have the most powerful influence on others, but these signals can also have very negative consequences.

Non-verbal L–Signals portray power and confidence. These signals include: Initiating the conversation… standing square to the other person… and maintaining a wider foot stance than normal.

Lean forward while speaking and then straighten while listening. You need to interact at a closer distance than normal and claim more personal space and territory through your posture and sweeping gestures.

An example would be a drill instructor. He cultivates a strong command presence not only with his uniform and posture but with his lack of emotions and strong visual dominance ratio, (VDR) as well.

The Visual Dominance Ratio (VDR) is a measure of the percentage of time looking at a person while speaking relative to the time spent looking at a person while listening.

As the level of looking at another while speaking to them increases… and the level of looking at them while listening decreases… your visual dominance ratio goes up.

You’re basically demanding that people listen to you, but then you generally ignore them while they’re speaking. (Hear that Dad?)

L-Signals are powerful, but they also can open you up to potential confrontation, (because you can basically look like a real a-hole).

Combining Signals:

A true master of impression management is fully aware of what types of signals he’s sending and emphasizes specific signals which will serve him best in particular situations.

Because there are times when you need to be seen as more competent, or more friendly, or the dude in command. The magic happens when you’re able to properly combine these signals to elicit the desired response from the listener.

While each signal is independent, they work together to create a composite image — almost like the bass and treble controls on your stereo.

For example: An attorney may place more emphasis on generating C–Signal and less emphasis on the F–Signals. A politician may put more emphasis on the F–Signal and less on the L–Signal. A fire lieutenant handling a crisis would want to maintain high C, low F, and high L Signals.

If you want to know more about controlling your own “Power Signals” you can get that HERE.

More to come. So stay tuned.

Stay Manly,

Jimbo, Editor
Man Skills

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