Ep. 137 – Human Hacking With Chris Hadnagy


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In this special episode, Chris Hadnagy joins Maxie Reynolds to talk about the amazing stories and useful lessons contained in Chris’s new book: “Human Hacking: Win Friends, Influence People, and Leave Them Better Off for Having Met You”. Listen as Chris delves into the process of making “Human Hacking” and shares the awesome story behind its inception. Maxie and Chris also discuss the importance of empathy especially when it comes to hacking humans.

Chris a global security expert and master hacker. He is the founder and CEO of Social-Engineer, LLC, the creator of the popular Social Engineer Podcast, website, and newsletter, and designed “Advanced Practical Social Engineering,” the first hands-on social engineering training course and certification for law enforcement, military, and private sector professionals.

00:09 – Introduction to Maxie Reynolds

02:13 – Introduction to Christopher Hadnagy’s brand-new book: “Human Hacking: Win Friends, Influence People, and Leave Them Better Off for Having Met You

02:51 – Human-hacking is a skill that can be used in everyday life by everyday people

04:19 – What it means to “Leave Them Better Off for Having Met You”

05:50 – “The martial art of the mind” and how a malicious person could use it for harm

07:39 – Empathy and why it is so important when hacking humans

09:21 – Showing empathy while amygdala hijacked

11:40 – Empathy is more than just putting yourself in someone else’s shoes

14:15 – Empathy is often hierarchical

16:33 – The power of “I’m sorry”

18:02 – Why understanding the meaning behind someone’s actions is so important

21:48 – Accuracy of the stories told in the book

24:15 – The process of co-authoring the book with Seth Schulman

26:43 – The amazing story of how the book came to be

31:16 – How to fight the isolation and social awkwardness brought by technology and, more recently, COVID-19.

34:46 – Giving your feedback on the book

36:20 – A distillation of the “Advanced Practical Social Engineering” course, made applicable to everyone

40:50 – Socially engineering the world’s best rock band

43:51 - “Quick Fire Questions”:

44:04 – Chris's favorite story in the book

45:04 – Is there a stage in child development where less empathy is shown?

46:10 – Would the new book have helped teenage Chris?

48:01 – Is it as nicer to feel empathy yourself or receive it from someone else?

49:49 – Balance is required when teaching empathy.

51:19 – How we can all better our communities by learning to “Win Friends, Influence People, and Leave Them Better Off for Having Met You”

53:35 – Chris's book recommendations

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

The Dictionary of Body Language: A Field Guide to Human Behavior

54:56 – Outro

Human Hacking Book Website

Human Hacking Book Amazon

Maxie on Twitter

Chris on Twitter

Social-Engineer on Twitter

SEVillage: The Human Hacking Conference



The Innocent Lives Foundation


132 episodes