5 Reasons reverse psychology works

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Reverse psychology in brief

When i talked about reverse psychology earlier i said that it's one of the very effective ways you can use to persuade people.

The simplest form of reverse psychology is telling someone that they can't do something in order to motivate them to do it. For example telling someone that they can't finish a simple task because they lack the needed skills is one form of using reverse psychology. A typical person would get challenged by this statement and then try to prove you wrong by doing that task.

Some people underestimate the effect of reverse psychology and even have doubts that it can work. So in this article i will explain to you why reverse psychology works and why sometimes it might not.

5 Reasons reverse psychology works

Here is why reverse psychology works:

  • 1) The thing will become more valuable: When we are told that we can't get something then we automatically assume that this thing is more valuable. It's a part of human nature to assume that the things that are out of reach are more valuable and this is another reason why playing hard to get sometimes works
  • 2) The person will want the thing more: When a person is told that they can't get something they will feel more like getting this thing. Many studies have shown how thought suppression only makes the thoughts come back in a stronger way. Once you tell someone that they can't get something they will want it more
  • 3) It triggers your rebelling spirit: Some people are rebels by nature. Those people hate to abide to rules and they always want to challenge the norms. Reverse psychology works perfectly against rebels because they just can't accept the fact that someone is challenging them. See How to deal with a stubborn person
  • 4) It involves the ego: We humans are egoistic beings at least to a certain extent. Once you challenge a person to do something and show them that you don't believe in them you actually trigger their ego. This is why egoistic and highly competitive people respond the best to reverse psychology. See How to spot egoistic people
  • 5) It restricts freedom: We humans like to be free and we hate to be told what to do. When someone uses reverse psychology on us he makes it seem like he is restricting our freedom. Once that happens we we might feel angry and then try to get our freedom back by doing what this person challenged us to do

When can reverse psychology fail to work

If the person realized that you are using reverse psychology on them then they will certainly never comply because they will consider it a manipulation attempt. So when using reverse psychology on people make sure you never make it obvious that you are trying to control them.

Some people are more agreeable by nature. For those people reverse psychology might actually have the opposite effect. When it comes to agreeable people just tell them what you want them to do directly, this will work better than reverse psychology.

Charming people might seem like a very hard thing if you don't know how to do it. But the good news i have for you is that i created something that can help you charm any person, anywhere and anytime. Check out the Master of charm course.

Want to know more?

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