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How to Get a Secret Out of Someone

Get anyone to spill the beans with these sneaky strategies.


  • Step 1: Ask them outright Look them directly in the eye, ask them outright –and then don't say another word. Stare at someone long enough, and they'll say almost anything to fill the silence.
  • Step 2: Ask for a hint Still not talking? Ask for a hint. If you can get them to take that first step, you might be able to ease them into telling you everything.
  • TIP: Act duly impressed by the little hint they drop – it will encourage them to divulge more.
  • Step 3: Take a guess Say, "let me guess," and then give it your best shot. If they think that you already have some of the information, they'll feel less guilty about spilling the rest of the beans.
  • TIP: Carefully monitor their reaction to your guess so you'll know if you're on the right track.
  • Step 4: Tell them a secret No dice? Tell them a secret – and make it juicy. This kind of offer often makes people feel obligated to return the favor.
  • Step 5: Act uninterested Are they still holding back? Change the subject. Now that they've lost your attention, they may feel that revealing the secret is worth keeping you in their thrall.
  • FACT: Research shows that people who have been hiding a painful secret show improvements in physical and mental health when they unburden themselves.

You Will Need

  • An ability to stare
  • A wild guess
  • A juicy secret of your own

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