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How to easily be more credible when complaining:

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You’ve gotta get emotional. Smiling can help. And if it’s not a highly justified complaint, you’ll look more credible by getting ANGRY:

Emotion displays do not only signal emotions but also have social signal value. A study was conducted to test the hypothesis that expressing anger when complaining may lead to positive outcomes for the complainant because anger signals goal obstruction and hence the presence of real harm. The results suggest that the social signal value of anger enhances the credibility of the complainant and hence leads to better compensation, but only when the complaint itself presents room for doubt. For highly justified complaints the additional expression of anger does not add information and is discounted. In contrast, showing an affiliative-smiling demeanor was found to enhance credibility for both types of complaints. Overall, the present research confirmed the important role of emotion expressions as social signals. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Source: “When scowling may be a good thing: The influence of anger expressions on credibility” European Journal of Social Psychology Volume 39 Issue 4, Pages 631 – 638

Ever since studying negotiating in school I’ve been fascinated with it. I’ve posted about the subject a few times in the past: Here are the seven most powerful persuasion techniques, how to use the good cop/bad cop technique, a great method for getting a deal on a car, the optimal starting price for negotiations and auctions, and how to easily make more money on eBay.

Getting to Yes is a book that can teach you to be a good negotiator while still being a nice person. If you’re less Jedi and more Sith, check out Jim Camp.

About Eric Barker