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What Is Reverse Psychology And How Does It Work? Know Everything Here

Reverse psychology is a method to persuade a person to do something by asking them to do the exact opposite. It makes it easier to deal with people with opposing nature. Here is everything need to know about reverse psychology.

What Is Reverse Psychology And How Does It Work? Know Everything Here

Reverse psychology attempts to get someone to do something while asking them to do the opposite


  1. Reverse psychology is a different approach to make people say or do somet
  2. You can also involve reverse psychology as a parenting method
  3. It is also called strategic self-anti conformity in scientific term

Reverse psychology is interpreted as a type of strategy which attempts to get someone to do something while asking them to do the opposite. Many scientists coin this technique as "strategic self-anti conformity" which means that your consciously made wishes goes against what you desire for. What happens when someone warns you to not to say something? You are always tempted to say the same thing. Similarly, if a toddler is provided with five toys and one of them is taken back, he/she is enticed towards that very toy which is taken aback. This explains reverse psychology. Why does this happen?

There can be few factors relating to it:

  • You wish for more
  • You feel barred
  • You want others to realize your importance

Also read: The Impact Of Music Therapy On Mental Health

Reverse psychology in parenting

As stages of childhood until adulthood can be difficult for a parent, there are ample ways to opt for a better parenting strategy for your child. One of them can be practicing reverse psychology. This can be followed in situations like, when your child is not willing to eat veggies, you forcing them to eat them would build anger inside them and they would be reluctant to do it, therefore you might try putting it on your plate and telling them it's yours. This strategy can help them in being eager for the same and wanting to try it.

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Reverse psychology in relationships

Being manipulative in interpersonal relationship is different than practicing reverse psychology into your relationship. Using this technique can be both helpful or damaging depending upon the type of relationship as well as the nature of people who belong to it. It is known to be more damaging as it is based on the reactance theory. It works on the principle where one becomes reluctant when taken in control. Hence, they do anything and everything to express their reluctance which comes out as dangerous while trying on relationships.

Also read: Mental Health: Do Not Ignore These 8 Early Warning Signs Of Mental Illness

There can be two different ways of compliance which support reverse psychology:

1. Foot in the door technique-

This technique can be simply stated as making a smaller request (i.e. bringing the foot forward) which can be appealing and acceptable before bouncing towards a larger request (i.e. the door). It is explained as a compliance technique to make a person agreeable for favour.

2. Door in the face technique-

This is another technique which works in contradiction to the previous technique. It works by beginning with an unusual request which is likely to be discarded and then making an acceptable request to the same person. This later proposed request makes the person feel obligated to agree to the request and thus acts as a compliance strategy.

Reverse psychology can't be generalized for everyone, but it can perfectly work for people who are rebellious and opposing in nature. When it is tried on people with non-resilient nature, it might be of no help. It should also be kept in mind to use reverse psychology efficiently, it can be hard to recognize when it is happening but is recognized by the person you are using it on, and this might turn the other way around as they ought to do what you exactly tell them to do.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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