Mind Games: The Art of Finesse

By: Eman Elshahawy

Cheaters never win, but finnesers always prosper.

Webster’s dictionary defines “finesse” as: skillful handling of a situation. Throughout life, we experience unfavorable social situations that we’d all want to handle as skillfully as possible. Whether it’s moments with our family, friends, teachers or co-workers, we’ve all handled our interactions with these people differently in given situations. Take a look at how to finesse some common awkward situations we find ourselves in with these people.

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Forgetting Something Important: It’s happened to the best of us., but forgetting your sister’s birthday, to clean the house or turn in an assignment does not have to be a destined doom. When confronted, it’s important to keep your cool. Make up something you were doing in the person’s favor leading up to whatever it is you forgot. In this case, you are not admitting to have forgotten anything and whoever confronted you now feels bad for accusing you of forgetting when you were just going above and beyond. For assignments on a deadline, your explanation should acknowledge that you’re not trying to make excuses for yourself and then proceed with an excuse that would have inhibited you from completing the assignment on time. It’s a moral stretch, but claiming to be ill or having an immediate family emergency works best. There are many photo editing applications online where you can create doctor’s notes excusing yourself from work you’ve missed. Due to HIPPA privacy laws, medical places can’t confirm or deny seeing a patient if someone asks, so use a real place to increase the legitimacy.

Avoiding commitment: You don’t have to keep agreeing to go places you don’t want to go or participate in activities you don’t want to do! We often feel put on the spot by the people around us and compelled to go along with their plans or requests. There’s a way you can get out of going to see that play with your parents or going to the gym with your friend. First, express your interest, but claim you already pre-committed to something else. In the case that they suggest another day or time, continue the pre-commitment narrative for whatever day they suggest, and let them know you’ll reach out to them when your schedule opens up. This way, their feelings aren’t hurt from you flat out telling them no and you get away with avoiding an undesirable situation!

Getting what you want: The best way to getting what you want from a person is to make the person believe it’s what they want too. This finesse inception can be achieved by informing the person on the benefits they would gain from whatever it is you want. A person is more