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Commonality Breeds Trust

As interaction gets closer, people don't rely on only their five senses to verify the legitimacy of the person with whom they're interacting. For this type of test, victims of the SE look to their own past and history to create trust. Many of the students of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) place this technique in the category of perceptual positions.

The victim will be looking for things in the SE's language and story to verify that he or she is a trustworthy person. One area of testing the victim will perform relies on commonality. If the SE has done his homework and knows that Vicki at the front desk has two kids, grew up in Pittsburgh, and has a cocker spaniel named Lady (a big "Thank you!" goes to Vicki's Facebook or MySpace profile), he can use this information to his advantage. As Vicki begins her questioning or pins the SE into a situation where he's an untrusted outsider (regardless of his attire), the SE can use his previous research to make Vicki gain a newfound trust. A fake call from his children arrives on the SE's cell phone. After slipping some hints into the "conversation" (Vicki is surely eavesdropping), the SE can hang up, apologize for his kids' interruption, and then complain about how "that damned dog" is constantly getting in the trash. One funny little anecdote about the dog eating a chicken bone and the kids freaking out and calling him creates an instant bond. Vicki has most likely experienced this situation herself, and will start to let down her guard.

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