Sometimes, whether it’s for just fun or because we’re being sneaky, it’s useful to be able to get someone to offer us information that we didn’t directly ask for.
Maybe we’re trying to make a sale. Trying to find out if the attractive stranger is single. Trying to figure out which party our friend is going to that we weren’t invited to..
You get the point.
I’m usually the first to tell you to simply ask. No need to play games. No need to be sneaky.
But then again, getting information from people easily is a fun skill to have. And there’s no reason we shouldn’t have multiple ways of doing it, right?
So here’s a very simple technique you can use when you want someone to give you more information about something, without you really asking for it:
Repeat what they just said, as a question.
“I can’t meet tonight, I’m going to a show.”
“You’re going to a show?”
“Yeah, I’m going to the Metallica concert with Nina and Mike.”
This example is a simple one, but it makes the point. Remember, the trick is to ask your question in a curious tone of voice, not in a judgmental or skeptical tone. People tend to offer up information more easily when they don’t feel judged or pressured.
Asking in this way will feel in the moment as if you’re asking for more information, but when people think back at the conversation they tend to feel like they were the ones who simply told you all the details.
Play around with it with your friends, and in no time you’ll level up a bit in your ability to get whatever information you need from people!