Reverse Psychology In Relationships

Saturday, 27 July 2013 0 comments

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Reverse Psychology is often used in relationships to get our partner to do something that they don’t want to do. It’s done by suggesting the opposite of what you actually want someone to do. It can be effective and harmless when used correctly, but since it’s a way of manipulating someone it can also backfire if used in the wrong situations. Here are some things to consider when using reverse psychology in relationships:

A1: Use it as a motivator. Reverse psychology is best used as a motivator for something positive, rather than as a way of tricking someone into something they don’t want. Use it to inspire your partner to change for the better or to improve on something. For example, you might say something like “You’re right, taking on that new role at work might be too much of a challenge” if you want to motivate them to take a new opportunity.
A2: It makes people feel in control. Reverse psychology works well because it makes people feel like they are in control of the decision, not that they are being forced into it by someone else, or coerced into something. Some people are very resistant to being told what to do, so it’s a way to suggest certain outcomes or behaviors without telling them what to do flat-out.
A3: Makes something seem unattainable and more desirable. Reverse psychology works well when people think that a certain outcome is unattainable. They become motivated and it becomes even more desirable. For example, you might say “It’s probably a good idea not to apply for that job, there will be a ton of really qualified people up for it”. By making the goal seem unattainable it becomes even more desirable, making them want to go for it even more.

A4: It works well for certain people. Reverse psychology works best with people who are stubborn or competitive, who need to feel like something was their own idea instead of feeling like they are being persuaded or told what to do.

A5: It’s harmful for certain people. People with low confidence or low self-esteem don’t respond well to reverse psychology. When you tell them they can’t do something (in hopes of motivating them to actually do it) they’ll just believe you and become discouraged. It can be damaging to people who are already lacking in self-confidence.

A6: Use it with caution. Only you can really know when reverse psychology is appropriate in your relationship, and when it just feels manipulative. It’s best used for smaller things, like getting someone to clean up after themselves, than for major life decisions like convincing someone to get married. It is a form of manipulation, so overdoing it or using it too much means that you’re spending too much time trying to control your partner.

A7: Understand what makes them tick. Reverse psychology works best when you know what really makes a person tick, or what really motivates them. If you know someone is really motivated by competition, or by what people think, you can then use that as the driving force behind your argument for getting them to do something. They’re more likely to respond if you know what’s important to them.

A8: Know when to back off. We usually use reverse psychology to motivate people and to give them a nudge in the right direction, but it’s important to know when to back off. Sometimes we think we know what’s right for someone, but they aren’t ready for it. We can use reverse psychology to try to help someone make a move in the right direction but if they are really resistant we need to be respectful and know when to back off.
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