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How to Influence and Persuade With Touch

Increase your ability to persuade your lover.

Key points

  • Research has found that a touch on the hand or shoulder significantly increases patrons' tipping.
  • Touching a lover's shoulder or back while asking them to buy a drink, dinner, or a present can make them more likely to say yes.
  • A study has shown that bus drivers are more likely to give a passenger a free ride if they touch the driver while making the request.

This week, I will continue our discussion on the importance of touch in dating and relating. We will learn a bit more about how to influence and persuade others with touch ... not to mention flirt, build attraction, and enliven a relationship! Thus far, if you've missed it, we have looked at "Part 1: How Touch Increases Attraction."

Now, we will turn our attention to the persuasive power of touch. Yes, beyond making you more attractive, touch can also make a partner more attentive and agreeable too! Read on and learn how to get your partner to say "yes" with a pat, hug, or rub. Learn to be persuasive and influential with touch!

Touching to Influence and Persuade

Several research studies have found that touching is influential and persuasive. In other words, when you touch other people, they are more likely to agree to your request. Here are some examples:

  • Hornik (1991) organized student experimenters to randomly touch shoppers as they entered a bookstore (a light touch on the upper arm). Shoppers who were touched browsed longer in the store, did more shopping, and had a higher overall evaluation of the store.
  • Similar effects were found when shoppers in a mall were asked to participate in a survey (Hornik & Ellis, 1988). Shoppers who were touched were more likely to agree to the survey request. They also saw the task as a bit less of a burden than shoppers who were not touched.
  • Crusco and Wetzel (1984) found that a touch on the hand or shoulder significantly increased patrons' tipping. The effect was particularly strong when the touch was relatively unobtrusive. This was dubbed "the Midas Touch."
  • The influential aspects of touch also include getting things for free. Researchers have demonstrated that bus drivers are more likely to give a passenger a free ride if they touch the driver while making the request (Gueguen & Fischer-Lokou, 2003).

Touch is certainly persuasive and influential. People who are touched end up being more agreeable, in better moods and see requests in a more pleasant light. Touching others makes them want to help, agree, or do as you ask.

How to Influence With Touch

If you want your date or mate to do something ... touch them before you ask! Here are some examples:

  • Touch the hand or upper arm of a potential date as you tell them about "a great place you'd like them to go with you for dinner."
  • Touch a lover's shoulder or back as you ask them to buy you a drink, dinner, or a present.
  • Give your mate a quick snuggle and a kiss before you ask them to take the trash out or tackle those dirty dishes.
  • Rub a partner's back before making a gesture to get more "intimate."

In any case, find an excuse to touch and increase your chances of hearing a "yes." Touch while you suggest that second date. Touch when you offer them a drink back at your place. Touch when you want them to make dinner tonight. Touch ... and get what you want!


Touching is influential and persuasive. Plain and simple. If you don't touch a date, lover, or mate, then they might not be as attentive or agreeable as you'd like. So, make sure to rub your lover the right way. Find excuses, opportunities, and ways to touch as often as possible. Get comfortable with touch ... and increase your ability to persuade your lover.

Next in Part 3, I show you how touch can also be used to spark intimacy, romance, and sex.

Until next time...happy dating and relating!

Dr. Jeremy Nicholson
The Attraction Doctor

© 2012 by Jeremy S. Nicholson, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D. All rights reserved.


Crusco, A. H., & Wetzel, C. G. (1984). The Midas touch: The effects of interpersonal touch on restaurant tipping. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 10, 512-517.

Gueguen, N., & Fischer-Lokou, J. (2003). Another evaluation of touch and helping behaviour. Psychological Reports, 92, 62-64.

Hornik, J. (1991). Shopping time and purchasing behavior as a result of in-store tactile stimulation. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 73, 969-970.

Hornik, J., & Ellis, S. (1988). Strategies to secure compliance for a mall intercept interview. Public Opinion Quarterly, 52, 539-551.