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How to argue with a cat – the key to mastering the art of persuasion

If you can persuade a cat…you can persuade anyone. New York Times bestselling author Jay Heinrichs offers top-notch cat wisdom on the art of persuasion. After all, cats are top negotiators. As any cat owner will know, they can talk you into just about anything without uttering a single word. Whether you serve their dinner early, stop what you are doing to play with them, or sit down immediately to provide a lap, cats are skilled manipulators. Persuading a cat to do your bidding on the other hand, isn’t so easy. If you can master this, persuading humans becomes a breeze.

The Cat Persuasion Checklist

Here’s how to master the art of persuasion…according to cats:

Focus on the end goal: Instead of trying to dominate the other person during a disagreement, try making your opponent feel as though they have won even if you actually end up getting what you want. You can do this by presenting a choice to make your goal seem more attractive

Get the timing right: Effective persuasion depends on waiting for the right moment. Hang back until you’re ready… and until your opponent has talked themselves out

Set the mood: Lay the groundwork for persuasion by changing your opponent’s mood and willingness to do something first

Grab their attention: A distracted audience is much harder to entertain

Switch tenses: Angry people use the past tense. Ditch the blame game and switch to the future tense (‘come here and I’ll give you a treat’)

Love your audience: Although this part is somewhat harder with humans than with cats, at least you can pretend and they will like you more

Establish trust: If they trust you, they are more easily persuaded

Make sure your audience understands: Facts and statistics aren’t terribly important, instead try to focus on what your audience believes and expects

Sit up straight: A good posture wins respect

Confidence is key: Even if you’re faking it, good self-attitude is crucial

Make the task digestible: Ask your audience to do a little thing, followed by another little thing, eventually leading to a big action. Offer a reward and praise at each little step, making the goal seem as tempting as possible