Reverse Psychology

What Is Reverse Psychology?

Reverse psychology is a manipulative persuasion technique that involves the assertion of a belief that is opposite to the one desired.

Reverse psychology is a form of communication; it is an indirect way of communication to getting our needs met and can hand a nasty taste in your mouth later on.

It is a form of a self-fulfilling prophecy because the words used, the expectations, and intentions do not align, which could cause the result to go either way. Positive or negative.

The motive behind the use of reverse psychology is selfish. It is often never to the good of the other person, and this can damage relationships and friendships in the eventuality of the other person finding out that they are being manipulated.

It is worthy to note that reverse psychology does not work on everyone. Just because someone fell for it in the past doesn’t mean they will fall for it again in future.

It is vital to have a clear understanding of the kind of person you intend to utilise it on.

How Do People Use Reverse Psychology?

  1. They often project negativity with the hope to get something positive in return.
  2. They do it by planting seeds, ideas and let it sit for a while in the other person head and then suggest it after a while.
  3. They might indicate that they are not forcing their decision or desire on you but still implant the suggestion, e.g. they may say things like “I’m not saying that you should” this creates a compulsion to take the subject matter on board. or
  4. They could induce in you the feeling of guilt by indirectly implying that you are not considerate or caring. Feeling guilty will create in you the compulsion to proving them wrong, and invariably, you will be accomplishing the desired expectation.

Some Of The Reasons Most People Rely On Reverse Psychology

  • It works
  • They probably are less confident or too proud to make direct requests.
  • They do not want to experience the feeling of disappointment should the other person exercise their power of choice and turn them down.
  • It is a responsibility avoidance strategy in the case of anything going wrong in the process of carrying out the request. After all, it was your sole decision. You have not been asked to do anything.

A lot of people rely on reverse psychology to get their needs met. They eventually become addicted to it, forgetting that it could go wrong.

How to Annul the Effects of Reverse Psychology

Remember, reverse psychology is about suggesting something opposite to the desired expectation. They often project negativity with the hope to get something positive in return.

When you have been approached with this sort of expectation, resist the urge to act immediately to prove them wrong. Pause and process the information or request received.

  • Interpreted it with the awareness that you are undergoing an emotional intelligence test. People who use reverse psychology believe they know you more than you know yourself and to an extent, this is true!
  • You are expected to have the ability to read their minds. Empaths can absorb the needs and energy of the people around them. The ability to take on the emotions of other people is the reason why em-paths are a frequent target for this kind of abuse.
  • They know which of your buttons to target to get a specific reaction.  We are the ones who lack awareness in ourselves and our surroundings.

For example;

I want the dishes washed but so tired to do it myself. If only I had more caring people around me to help me do these little things(This statement could make you feel guilty of being an uncaring individual)

At this point, you will feel the need to meet the need to prove that you are caring; you want to prove them wrong.


This is the agenda; to

  • Have you prove them wrong
  • Set you up against yourself and force you to act on your own accord.
  • Have you spend your time and probably the rest of your life having something to prove to them,
  • Have you proving through works how good and valuable you are.

You must avoid the above traps at all cost!

Try These
  1. Let your actions match their words, not their covert expectations. Remember that the words they project are negative but with the hope that you will prove them wrong and act opposite and positively.
  2. To avoid the obligation to do anything. Wait until there is an open request, like Eg. Can you please…? Do you mind helping me out with this? Etc.
  3. Ignore the urge to make decisions even when you feel morally bound to and also when requests, needs and expectations are not explicitly stated or openly communicated.

The truth is that they know who you are, they know you are one of the most caring, loving and reliable people around. They know that you are a person of integrity. Still, they chose to play on your emotional intelligence in other invoke negative emotions to make you uncomfortable and cause you to act just the way they want you to.

I hope this piece will help somebody!

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