Reverse psychology is one of the concepts related to the psychological which has acquired the most notoriety at the popular level. You don’t have to be a college graduate to have heard, albeit superficially, of these types of resources used especially for persuasion.
However, it’s one thing to know what and another very different thing is to master how. And is the idea that reverse psychology fundamentally requires something to do the opposite totally fallacious. If it worked this way, no society would exist or be able to sustain itself, as our collective lives are based on constant demands, delegation of tasks, orders, etc.
In the following lines we will only see basic and fundamental ideas about how to use reverse psychology in persuasion processes.
How to use reverse psychology?
Getting to the point, we can define reverse psychology as a process by which we increase a person’s or group’s chances of getting involved in a task by communicating a frame of reference through which it is indicated. that he must do the opposite. This means that it is not just a matter of ordering others to take opposing action, but of working on each other’s roles and the expectations that are at stake.
Basically, reverse psychology is about shifting people’s attention to an aspect of the situation that reasons to behave in a manner apparently opposite to what he suggests who disclosed this information. Creating the impression that a communication error has been given, in short, making it clear which option is better and which is not.
Whether or not to use reverse psychology depends on a number of moral considerations which depend on the context. For example, if it is about giving false information, its moral implications will not be the same as if you are working with objectively correct information at all times. The fact that what is said to be true or false goes beyond the concept of reverse psychology is independent of it.
With that said, let’s see how to use this persuasion strategy step by step.
1. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the action you want to promote
The action option you want to be chosen by the other person (or the group of people you are targeting) it necessarily has advantages and disadvantages.
So, start by distinguishing these positive and negative aspects so that you can take them into account at any time. When using reverse psychology, you need to create a framework where you clearly present yourself to the lesser of these advantages and discourage the possibility of thinking about the disadvantages. For example, going to the gym has the benefits of providing a habit that makes us feel good, improves our health, and boosts our self-esteem, but requires physical exertion and costs money.
2. Discover a repository that can be attractive
Based on what you know about the person (s) you are going to talk to, think about aspects of the stock you want to promote that may be more appealing. For example, in the case of going to the gym, this element may be seeing more fit and having the admiration of others when they see their progress.
3. Plan which role you are going to talk about
This is important, because one of the keys to knowing how to use reverse psychology is to keep in mind that part of your power lies in taking on a role that the other person should oppose, if not out of hostility. In other words, we have to embody something that represents a “category” in which all of a sudden the other person does not feel included or even opposed.
For example, it can be done even when talking to a friend if we take as a reference one of the characteristics in which we differ the most or we oppose. One thing that illustrates this well would be to take advantage of the role of “big brother”, although speaking of its not so fraternal facet as a regulator of the behavior of the leaders. If we imply that an older sibling is not a perfect machine for defining what is best for his younger siblings, it is easy to generate this subtle transient antagonism.
4. Offer the option you want to promote as if it were a temptation
From the previous step, create a frame of reference for the conversation that makes it clear that you are speaking from that role in which your interlocutor (s) are not included and can easily have conflicting interests.
So, introduce the idea of performing the action you want to promote making it tempting but at the same time not recommended from the point of view of the role from which you are speaking (and towards which the listener has an antagonistic predisposition from the beginning). That is, not recommended from dysfunctional or meaningless logic, unless one embraces a role that does not appear to be one’s own.
5. Use a false dichotomy
To make the action you want to promote get more attention, you can use a false dichotomy. He speaks as if there are two possible options: choose this option or, on the contrary, one that you apparently recommend, the latter only because you are talking about a certain role. like that, you don’t even have to focus on the apparent attack of what you’re actually encouraging to doBut you can focus on praising the qualities and advantages of the other option, in a way that is not at all appealing to others.