If you have ever watched a game of poker, you will notice that the most skillful players are those that are experts at bluffing. They know how to size up their opponents, look for what they call in poker as “tells” regarding their opponents strengths, and then take advantage of that to help them win the game. Many of the same concepts used in bluffing can be applied to everyday life and today we will look at bluffing in real life.
Know Your Opponent
The key to a successful bluff is knowing which person you can bluff and which you cannot. Let’s say you want a raise at your job and you are planning to tell your boss you want a raise or you will quit for a better offer. If your boss is one that doesn’t appreciate good workers, then your plan will fail. Adversely, if your boss thinks of you like his right hand man, then chances are you will have some leverage.
Know Your Image
In poker, the table image of a player will help them in bluffing. If a player is known to only bet when they have strong holdings, they will be able to run a successful bluff more often than one who is seen as a wild card. The same principle applies in real life, you need to know how people view you. Going back to the job scenario, are you viewed as a person that hops from one job to another or one that is very career and goal oriented? If you are viewed as the later, then your threat to move to a better job might hold weight. Should you be someone who stays with companies a short time before moving on, your boss will probably let you go on your merry way.
Have a back up plan
In poker, a semi-bluff is a bet with a hand that could still win if the player becomes lucky. When you are in a bluffing situation, you want to give yourself a way to still come out ahead even if your bluff is called. For example, prior to telling your boss that you will leave without a raise you will want to update your resume and even apply for a few jobs. You don’t really want to leave the job, but if your boss doesn’t bite, you still might wind up with another job. Also, if your boss sees that you are serious in your threat, he may change his mind.
Bluffing is more than just observing a person’s body language and reading tells. It also involves looking at the whole situation and sometimes exposing yourself to massive loss in order to win. While the risks are great, the rewards to running a successful bluff can be great. You will find that in life, the really successful people are those that have mastered the art of bluffing.