What is reverse psychology? How does it works?


What is reverse psychology? How does it works?

In: 11

You do one thing but want the other to react the opposite according to what they perceive you want.

If you recognize that a person is unlikely to do what you want them to do, you instead pretend that you want the opposite. Then, in their desire to not do what you want them to, they do the opposite of *that,* which ends up being what you originally wanted them to do.

Example: You’re a parent trying to get your child to eat their vegetables. With the way kids are, you can command them to do it a dozen times and they never will. It’s more effective to say something like ohh I hope you don’t eat all those vegetables. They’ll think it will be funny to eat them up, because you told them not to.

But you DID want them to.

It’s where you have someone, let’s call them an arsehole for ELI5 purposes. They hate being told what to do so much that they’ll actively not do what they are told to do.

So……….. you tell them to do the opposite of what you actually want them to do. Them, being an arsehole, well then do the opposite and think that they’ve won when they’ve actually done what you wanted them to do.

A famous example comes from the tale of Brer Rabbit, who is caught by his nemesis the fox.

“Now how shall I kill you,” the fox muses.

“Any way you wish, sir, just please don’t throw me into that briar patch!” Brer Rabbit pleads, staring with terror at the sharp thorny bushes. “Anything but the briar patch!”

“Oh really?” the fox says, and with malevolent glee throws Brer Rabbit into the briar patch, expecting to see him speared to death… only to see the rabbit happily frolicking among the twisting vines.

“I was born in the briar patch!” Brer Rabbit laughs, and disappears.