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Reverse Psychology: 32 Examples (Sneaky Techniques!)

Reverse Psychology: 32 Examples (Sneaky Techniques!)

In this article you will learn all about the meaning of reverse psychology, including tips and examples of applications for a variety of situations such as relationships, parenting, business and love. Read along and learn all about reverse psychology!

When is reverse psychology useful?

Reverse psychology is very useful to apply in all kinds of situations. Think of coaching, upbringing, relationships and in business. We have previously learned that we should preferably formulate positively . At the same time, this means that in other cases it can be useful to formulate negative, for example …

  1. If you want someone to do the opposite! There are people who like to ‘mismatch’: they like to do the opposite of what you actually said. You can already guess the solution to this: reverse psychology!
  2. This technique can also immediately serve as a language softener. You soften your message when you say that something is ‘not necessary’.
  3. Finally, you can easily incorporate embedded commands (subliminal influence)  for the subconscious into your message, if you say the opposite.

A denial directs attention to what you deny.

Reverse Psychology – The Meaning

The subconscious cannot deal with negatives. Take advantage of this principle! Another reason why this technique is so effective: you remove the resistance because the premise is that the person is not obliged to do anything.

  • I’m not saying you should. I’m not saying that at all.
  • I don’t want you guys to think this is super easy to understand.
  • A client has slumped and says she has trouble planning. Exaggerate the client’s posture. “You can’t do it anyway.”

No, I said do n’t think about it … Why did you think about a pink elephant …

You push a thought away and it comes back like a boomerang. A person who is on a diet trying to get the thought of cakes out of their head may suddenly start dreaming about it. The waiter who is most focused on not tipping his tray has the highest chance of marinade sauce on his shirt. You are fighting a thought, and when you are fighting something, sooner or later your energy runs out and you cannot keep it up all the time.

You have to keep that $ 100 even though Santa is going to put you on the naughty list and never give presents again.
– Modern Family’s Cam & Mitchell to Lily after accidentally putting $ 100 under her pillow.

The Romeo and Juliet effect tends to revert to desire more and more when prohibited. If you want to be able to cope with this, you accept and embrace the desire completely so that it is given the space to go away again.

If something is not possible or not allowed, it becomes more attractive.

All examples of reverse psychology (You don’t have to apply them …?)

reverse psychology

Here are the other examples of the technique for using reverse psychology in your language. These techniques make use of ‘modal operators’ from the Milton Model . Note that, thanks to the soothing effect of reverse psychology, you can put extra emphasis on the command you are giving without scaring the client.

I wouldn’t want to tell you to {tell it here anyway}

  • I wouldn’t tell you to go to the store and run errands.
  • I wouldn’t tell you to go to college and become successful through it.
  • I’m not going to tell you that you are more likely to succeed if you focus on one thing.

I’m not going to want to tell you because {here you tell it anyway}

  • I’m not going to tell you to practice these techniques for the next week, because you decide how best to integrate them.

You don’t have to… do it now.

  • You don’t have to decide now, Debby.
  • You don’t have to choose your school now.
  • You don’t have to choose your car now.

I could tell you that {message}, but …

  • I could tell you that this experience makes you more confident, but I’d rather let you discover it for yourself.
  • I could tell you this is a great way to counteract resistance, but you probably already understand that.
  • I could tell you that you have to do this and that and that you have to write a blog post every day to be successful, but ultimately you have to listen to your own heart.

You shouldn’t (yet) …

  • You shouldn’t rush to enter a trance just yet.
  • You shouldn’t go into a trance too soon, now.

Don’t until …

  • You do not have to sign the contract before you are ready.
  • You’re not going to do it until you’ve seen how easy it is.
  • I didn’t believe I could gain confidence until I watched my colleague do it.
  • You don’t have to use NLP naturally just yet, because it is natural that you maintain the pace that is best for you.
  • You really shouldn’t be using NLP as part of your behavior right now. You have all the time you want to introduce these changes into your life in your own way.
  • And you really shouldn’t go into a trance until your eyes are completely closed / relaxed.
  • We can’t start performing / dancing right now …

It is not necessary

  • You don’t need to change your way of speaking now that you’ve learned NLP. Just notice how you normally talk and refine that.
  • There is no need to clearly understand how NLP works in its entirety until you have made a serious and thorough effort to practice it.
  • There is no need for you to find this session more fascinating and fascinating.
  • It is only natural that you should practice this step by step to the point where you perfect your language skills without even thinking about it.
  • There is no need to go into a trance.
  • There is no need to tidy up your room.

Other examples of reverse psychology

  • I don’t think this is for you – I want to ask someone. Do you know anyone?
  • I’m sure you won’t be able to sit still for 10 minutes.
  • No way that you can manage to kiss me.
  • A mismatcher is looking for something: “You probably won’t find it anyway, so don’t look.” This motivates him to do just that!
  • And when the interview starts just like that, you don’t have to talk or make any effort at all.
  • You don’t even have to think about that now.
  • You really shouldn’t be thinking about fantastic feelings and activities.
  • Don’t get crazy ideas!
  • Don’t think about blue.
  • I don’t want you to relax.
  • Forget number 256. You cannot remember number 256.
  • You shouldn’t think about what it’s like to behave properly for the next 5 minutes.
  • And you should NOT HAVE TOO MUCH FUN doing the exercises.
  • Don’t have too much fun.
  • Try to make as much noise as you can. You must not BE QUIET.
  • I’m not sure if it’s right for you (this arouses curiosity and ‘I’ll decide, show me!’) But we have a new promotion.
  • It is not recommended to have fun practicing these patterns.

“Don’t forget to get the messages” is very competent, skillful, and elegant use of reverse psychology / “the milton model” in the wrong direction.

In what ways do you use the principle of reverse psychology? Let me know in the comments.

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    I think you sound very fluent in English.