Prying into people's lives without them putting up their guard can be difficult, unless you can convince them that you already know them very well. Most people don't have many friends they can be honest with, and this can be exploited. Once they're convinced you already know their secrets, they'll start to fill you in on the little details.
Whether you need information from a new significant other, a coworker, or someone you've just met, the following tactics have kept gypsies and psychics employed for hundreds of years.
"You don't happen to sleep a lot, do you?" Regardless of what the answer is, you can appear to have already known it by responding with "I thought so," or "I thought not." Then what follows almost 100% of the time is the question "well, what makes you say that?" You'll then be given the opportunity to justify your response, giving you a chance at further prying.
The goal here is to avoid asking questions, and instead let the person fill in the blanks that you provide. Imagine how quickly a conversation would end if all you did was question someone. "Do you sleep a lot? No? Is it because you're stressed? What are you stressed about?"
Suppose the person says they don't sleep much. You say "I thought so," and quickly look for clues to justify your response. What about their appearance is different or doesn't belong? Is their shirt wrinkled and unirioned? They're stressed about something. Is it perfectly ironed and pressed? They're working too hard and not relaxing enough. Whichever you pick, it's probably true.
"You'rethat stressed out, huh?" you say. "Is it that obvious?" they might reply, and if you look at them long enough, there's a good chance they'll tell you exactly what's stressing them out.
For the most part, we're all the same. We all worry and stress about the same things—money, love, loneliness, success, stability. If you keep your statements vague enough, they'll think you already have them figured out. Since nobody wants to seem unreasonable or overly emotional, they'll start to justify their feelings or wrinkled shirts with the details of their situation.
Psychics get their clients to cooperate by taking their money. Without that luxury, you need to find other creative ways to put pressure on them. Set up situations in which silence is more uncomfortable than talking. Invite them into your office. Talk to them on a car ride to lunch.
Whatever the situation, it's important that they feel pressured to fill in blanks you provide them with you these "psychic" techniques.