4 easy steps to master the art of reverse psychology

Have you ever felt like you were being duped into doing something against your will?

Has a friend ever convinced you to do something that you already said you didn’t want to do?

Has your mother ever gotten you to clean your room even after you swore you wouldn’t do it?

That’s probably the power of reverse psychology at work!

Reverse psychology is that process that many people use to convince someone to do something in a roundabout way.

Unfortunately, not all reverse psychology is positive. Many people use this power to manipulate others into doing things for them and it can ruin friendships and relationships if it’s used incorrectly.

Here is how you can master the art of reverse psychology for good…not evil.

Step one

When you want to convince someone to take your side of the argument or agree to a certain activity, you start by planting the seed of choice.

You offer them options related to what you want them to do. Let’s say for example that you want to convince your husband to take a cruise this summer but he really wants to visit his parents out west.

While that sounds lovely, you really want to work on your tan and catch some rays on the blue ocean on that dreamliner cruise ship you’ve been eyeballing online.

You can start planting the seeds for getting your cruise this summer by talking about all the fun things that are offered on the cruise.

Suggest several things you could do while visiting your husband’s parents and then drop some ideas about the cruise.

It’s always best to talk in future tense when using reverse psychology because then it will sit for a while in the other person’s brain.

Step two

Revisit the idea several times. Ask questions about the options you presented and get a feel for how your husband feels about the trip out west.

Talk about friends who have taken cruises and look at pictures in a place where your husband can see you viewing your friends having a great time.

Talk in future tense about how you can’t wait to go on a cruise. Then drop subtle hints about how it doesn’t cost any more money than going to visit your husband’s parents in the grand scheme of things.

Or, whatever the topic or choice happens to be that you are trying to gain the upper hand in.

Step three

Start offering up the choice in real time. Ask your husband how he would rather spend time on his vacation now that you have presented all of the fun things you can do on a cruise.

You could say that you really don’t think the cruise is the best use of your money right now, and then you’ll suddenly find that your husband is coming around to the idea.

He is going to start to think that he can sit in his parents’ living room for two weeks or he could go on a cruise to a new place.

If you start saying things like, “it’s probably best we spend time with your parents” then he’ll start to rethink that prospect and reconsider an alternative option: the cruise.

Step four

If he suddenly says he wants to take the cruise, continue pushing to visit his parents.

This is solidify the fact that he really wants to take the cruise and then you don’t look like the bad guy for skipping out on his parents.

Suddenly, this whole thing feels like his idea and he is advocating for the cruise harder than you are. And you’ve won!

So the next time you want to win an argument, take a cruise, or even get your significant other to clean the house, try using reverse psychology to get what you want.

Remember to not use this power to hurt people and always do it from a place that makes it clear that you are acting in everyone’s best interest.

Sometimes it just takes others a little longer to see what you see. Keep at it and with time, you’ll get good at getting people to take your side and give you what you want.

There’s no shortage of ways to capitalize on using reverse psychology and you can really get ahead, and take others ahead with you, when you do.

Lachlan Brown