To be popular with your fellow man, tell him what he wants to hear. He wants to hear about himself. So tell him about himself. But not what you know to be true about him. Oh no! Never tell him the truth. Rather, tell him what he would like to be true about himself.
“Cold Reading: How to Convince Strangers that You Know All About Them”, Ray Hyman, Skeptical Inquirer, Spring/Summer 1977.
found on p98 of Metamagical Themas
Douglas R. Hofstadter, 1985