Fake insight

Tags: KC CT

How it works

Appearing to know about something when you don't is a useful skill in many situations, whether business related or personal. This section will overview a set of technics designed for this purpose. Some of these technics rely on linguistic features and some are inspired from cold reading. These are aimed at giving a superficial effect usually generated within a communication with someone who requests the insight. In this context, maybe more than anything else, encouraging positive cooperation is paramount to the success of the technics discussed here. This basically implies seeming honest, kind, nice, open, ... It can also include informing the person that the process is interactive and that her feedback and help is required for success, and that in some cases, with some people (close minded, unperceptive, ... make it sound like there fault for not having the capabilities to make it work) the process might not work correctly.


  • My Obvious to subtle: Whenever something obvious can be stated (from observation, statistics, season,...) extrapolate to a more subtle statement in order to increase effect, deduce less obvious things. The important thing is not so much the information you have but how you actually transform and use it to appear to have deeper insight
  • My Irrelevant facts: Facts that are true and seem related but aren't (inspired by jargon blitz...)
  • Rainbow ruse: State something and its complementary (you can be nervous at times although you are usually a pretty calm character)


  • Fuzzy fact: General statement that can be made more specific if it seems to hit
  • Good chance guess: Statements which have higher than expected probabilities of being true
  • Stat fact, Trivia fact, Cultural tend, folk wisdom: Statements which are likely true but don't seem fully obvious. They are usually based on statistics, common sense, tends, ...
  • Seasonal touch: Facts which likely hold true for the current time of year
  • Push statements: A fact which is planned to miss but can be pushed to a hit (by generalising it progressively with strong confidence) making the person aware of something himself forgot about
  • Sherlock Holmes: A fact deduced from sheer observation of the person based on personal experience (blue chalk on hands might indicate a pool player)
  • Russian doll: A fact that can have different interpretations so it can be adjusted until it fits


  • Jacques statement: Something that very likely holds true for the given context (talking to 30 year old women with no children: you are concerned about when is the best time for children)
  • Frustrated talent, Greener grass: Choices or possibilities not taken advantage of (when you were in you late teenage you felt you had talent for something, but you never got the opportunity to fully give yourself the chance to go for it)
  • Barnum statements: Broad generalities which usually hold true (you like people to appreciate your work, you like your projects to run smooth and good, ...)


  • Fine flattery: State the person is better than most on a positive aspect (you tend to be more perceptive than most),
  • Psychic credit: State the person is superior at understanding system or specifics at stake (you seem to understand better than most the concepts of our proposal)
  • Sugar lump: State that as the person is better than most he should understand and accept the system or specifics at stake (your higher than average aptitudes to analyse should help you understand why this proposal is worthwhile)

Winning strategies:

  • Forking: Confirm or reverse previous statement depending on feedback (you don't attach much importance to wealth... 1-but you have come to realise that you need to feel comfortable OR 2-so you've never gone out of your way to gain more money)
  • Public prediction (My Prediction change): if confronted to a mistaken predictions state the context has changed since the time where the prediction was made
  • The neverwas prediction (My Invented prediction): publicly claim to have predicted something that has indeed happened
  • I am right but ... You don't know yet/you can't remember/it's hard to admit
  • I am wrong but... Will be right soon/it's not important/right emotionally/right in system/right in idea/right in orientation/I never claimed to be infallible


  • Direct/Incidental/Veiled/Diverted questions, Jargon blitz: Questions which aren't apparent or give the impression of giving information or are drowned in jargon
  • Negative question: Ambiguous negative question which appears like a good guess (you don't work in an office, do you?...1-yes, I felt you did... OR 2-no, I felt you didn't) and expand to confirm the hit

Predicting the future:

  • Peter pan: statements about the future which simply for what the person expects or wants (your health will get better, your carrier will progress)
  • Pollyanna pearls: statements that current or passed problems are going to improve
  • Certain predictions: predict things that are quite likely but without giving a time scale (I can feel a new customer will come to you)
  • 50-50, Likely, Unlikely, Factual, Vague predictions: predictions about the future that more or less might turn out true, in all cases the good ones get remembered and the misses get dismissed
  • Self fulfilling predictions: predictions that the person will likely try to realise himself (I fell you will work at improving your relation with your parents over the coming months)
  • Unverifiable predictions: predictions about things that will happen outside the scope of person (management is going to take some decisions you're not aware of but will be positive for you on the long run)
  • One way predictions: two fold complementary predictions with one always becoming true (an old friend will try to contact you unless he gets caught up by remorse)