virgin islands scene

Do, or do not. There is no try.
-- Yoda


Thursday, May 9, 1996

Just Because

Want to know a powerful way to get your point across? Want to know how to explain something so that your listener or reader believes you?

Use the word “because.” It’s that simple.

Our belief systems are deeply rooted in a cause and effect mentality. As a result, everything you believe can be stated as a cause and effect. Think of something that you believe. Then add the word “because” to the end of it and you’ll always be able to come up with an answer.

I believe taxes should be lower because. . .

I believe a low-fat diet is healthy because. . .

Now here’s the interesting and useful part. Whenever you state something using this cause and effect pattern, people naturally tend to believe you. It is automatic conditioning.

A fascinating study was done in which social psychologists studied behavior at a busy office copying machine, where people usually had to stand in line to make copies. Participants went to the front of the line and asked if they could go ahead of everyone else to make copies. The study found that when these people used the word “because” (as in “Could I go ahead of you because I really need to make some copies?"), the person at the front of the line let them go ahead 86% of the time. When they didn’t use the word “because", they had a much lower success rate of only 23%.

This is a powerful language pattern because it works.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.