It is likely that, on more than one occasion, you have seen a television series, the Internet or a movie in which the protagonists try to deceive another person through statements contrary to what they are actually thinking, in order to make the receiver perform specific acts. This fact is generally called reverse psychology and it is very popular in fiction, since it is dramatically very aesthetic and helps the viewer to become part of the protagonist’s elaborate thinking.

In the same way that can happen in a novel, the reader or viewer of this fiction series or film will feel identified with the protagonist who is using this psychological technique in order to convince someone to perform an action, asking him otherwise. . This complicity makes the reader or viewer feel more intelligent, but also aware of the power that their words and their actions have on others, achieving the final objectives through persuasion, whether, for example, that a guilty person confess or tell the truth.

In our day to day there are also people who use reverse psychology. In fact, there are those who believe that using this technique can be good when it comes to giving a correct education to the smallest or favorable in certain personal relationships, whether they are sentimental or work. However, you must know what reverse psychology is to be able to determine if it is a technique that you would use with the people you love the most or in your work environment, see if it really works the way you have seen it in the movies and thus discover, also, why it is so popular in the world of film fiction, publishing or in television series and the Internet.

What is reverse psychology

Reverse psychology, also known as reactance , is a psychological response that a person can have when exposed to a situation in which they must choose an act or reaction through the persuasion of a third party. However, what makes this reaction characteristic is that it will be contrary to what the person wants to carry out or had planned to carry out at first. Thus, it is your interlocutor who has been in charge of guiding your behavior towards the opposite of what you had in mind, through deception, probably, making you prefer another that was not your priority.

With children, this reverse psychology can be used by telling the little one that he should not do something, that he really cannot do, so that he or she themselves decide which is correct, choosing the one that the educator had thought as correct in the first place. place. The good thing about this technique is that the child believes that he or she has the possibility of choice and that he or she herself has chosen the correct option, feeling pleased with their action and demonstrating to the adult or educator their reasoning ability.

Although this technique does not always work in the way we would like with children, reverse psychology can also be used with the elderly or with yourself. There does not always have to be someone who wants to convince us otherwise through persuasion, but we can apply reverse psychology to ourselves. This reactance can occur in paradoxical cases , such as when you feel attracted to someone and the less attention that person pays you, the more you like them. Thus, it is a case of reverse psychology, since it should be the opposite, the more case and the better that person treated you, the more you should like it and not the other way around.

This type of relationship can become toxic and hurt the feelings of the person who is suffering from this reverse psychology, since we all deserve someone who loves and respects us and the more and better they show it to us, the greater should be our feelings and not the other way around.

Reverse psychology may help the interlocutor to change the actions or attitudes of the receiver, but it is also possible that the person who is being asked to modify this behavior with contrary actions becomes aware that he is being manipulated. Then you must solve the situation by taking control of it and making the most appropriate decision that you create, without being influenced by the reverse psychology that may be suffering and being the owner of your actions. This type of situation is very attractive for fiction, because, as we mentioned, the receiver of the novel, series or film identifies with the sender in his game of persuasion, becomes his accomplice in the game and the intellectual adventures and together they manage to change the attitude of the receiver, making him do or say the opposite of what he wanted, for his own benefit. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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