Are you familiar with the term reverse psychology?
Even if you haven’t heard about it, you may have used it in your life at some point or the other. So, let’s try to understand its real meaning.
Reverse psychology is the practice of encouraging a particular behavior in a person when actually what you want from them is the opposite. Now, it is time to consider the obvious questions – What is the role of reverse psychology in a relationship? Is this manipulation of male psychology effective or a waste of time? How can you use reverse psychology on a man?
Read on to find the answers to these questions and more. This article lists 8 tips on how to use reverse psychology techniques to build the relationship you want.
How can reverse psychology help in a relationship?
You met this guy and got to know him. You sense that he too likes you. But for the life of you, you can’t understand why he is holding back. He is not making the next move and taking the relationship to the next stage. He is not taking the bait you cast either.
You find yourself at your wit’s end. You have tried everything you can think of other than throwing yourself at him. Nothing seems to have any effect on him. He continues to be standoffish. Most probably you are looking for commitment from him but you are afraid to ask directly for fear of rejection. You don’t seem to understand his male psychology.
In case you find this guy is losing interest in the relationship and pulling away, you’re scared to make any move to make him come back as it will make you look desperate and pathetic.
In both these situations, reverse psychology techniques can come in handy for you. Let’s see how you can make the most of it.
Does reverse psychology work in a relationship?
Often, reverse psychology tricks are considered a kind of manipulative behavior or treated on par with mind games. Both, as we all know, have no place in a healthy relationship. Then, what about using reverse psychology on a man? Is it ok to use it on your guy? Will it entail adverse consequences?
When you are using reverse psychology on a man, you are saying something when you want exactly the opposite. You say the opposite knowing fully well that your partner will not comply. They will end up doing what you want in the first place.
When you reach a dead-end with a person, reverse psychology tricks usually help. This is a strategy in male psychology that is founded on the Reactance theory. This theory comes into play when a person feels that someone else is trying to limit their choice of response and/or their range of options.
In other words, all of us want to feel free to make independent choices and would like to believe that we are not controlled by others or their opinions. We want to make it clear to the other person that we are not in their control. In this effort, we choose the opposite of what they tell us or suggest that we do.
People are of two types – resistant and compliant. Compliant people always do what they are told. So, with them, you won’t face this issue at all. Moreover, reverse psychology won’t work on compliant people.
On the other hand, resistant people like to show their rebellious side and show that they cannot be controlled. They cannot help choosing the opposite of what they are told just to prove their independence. The funny thing is that they choose the opposite of what is told/suggested even when they agree with the other choice.
If your guy has a resistant personality, he probably won’t take your obvious or subtle hints. For instance, you want him to let you know whenever he is running late in the evening. But he fails to do this and you don’t understand why.
You started by giving him subtle hints that you prefer to be informed. When that didn’t work you started telling him outright that he should inform you. Then, this became the reason for many fights and yelling matches. He just refuses to do this simple thing for you, though you know he loves you so much.
Try reverse psychology on him. Tell him not to bother because you will be too busy or unreachable. You may add that if he isn’t informing you, there may not be hot meals waiting for him. Or any other story. Put him in a situation in which he is forced to choose.
Make sure that it is convincing enough to make him believe in it. Try to be as mysterious as you can about your own activities. He is sure to feel intrigued.
On days he is late from work, he may actually call you rather than text. Though his instincts tell him to choose not to call/text, you force his hand to take the other option.
This is how to use reverse psychology on a man.
8 tips for using reverse psychology on a man
Relationships aren’t easy. And, this is made harder as men and women often live in their own worlds and don’t make the effort to see their partner’s viewpoint. Using reverse psychology can get you what you want in a relationship, especially when you have exhausted all other options.
Here are a few suggestions on how to use reverse psychology to benefit you in a relationship.
1. Figure out if reverse psychology will work on him
As mentioned earlier, reverse psychology will work on a person with a resistant personality. It will be ineffective on a compliant personality type. So, before you use this on your guy, you need to figure out whether he is a suitable candidate.
People with resistant personality types are rebellious and stubborn, refusing to accept authority and follow what they are told. They will do their best to show their independence, including doing the exact opposite of what they are asked to do.
This means reverse psychology has a better chance of success with them.
Most probably they will do the opposite of what they are told. All you need to do is say the opposite so that you can get them to behave exactly the way you want. This is what using reverse psychology on a man is all about.
So, how to figure out his personality type?
Watch his interactions with you closely as well as how he makes his decisions. The matters being considered may be major or minor. It’s irrelevant. Does he consult you while making decisions? Does he listen to you when you voice your opinions? Ultimately, what does he decide? Does he heed your advice or do the opposite?
In everyday life, do you feel that he agrees with others? Even when he is uncomfortable with the decision? Is he adaptable and accommodating? Does he put the needs of others before his own? If so, he has a compliant personality.
Or is he the kind of person who resists everyone and everything? Is he out to prove a point? Does he behave this way because he wants to make a firm stand? If this is the case, he has a resistant personality.
Once you know this about your partner, you can decide whether reverse psychology will work on him.
When a man chooses to take the opposite view irrespective of the view presented to him, you are in a difficult position. It would be impossible for you to make him see your side of things. Reverse psychology is the only solution to this relationship problem. This is the only choice left for you.
2. Put him in an either/or situation
Give him options to choose from. Include what you want him to do among the options. If presented alone, he is sure to resist this option. So, club it together with another option. This can be the option of his choice or one that you know he may never want to choose. You can make him choose your option with reverse psychology.
Let’s understand this male psychology better with the help of an example.
You are planning to eat out and having a hard time choosing the restaurant. Your friend told you about this new restaurant recently. She has been raving about it so much that you want to try it. But if you suggest it to your partner, he is sure to turn it down. He will do so even without considering the merits.
In this situation, you usually give up and accept his choice to avoid an ugly scene. With reverse psychology, you can get what you want without creating a fuss.
As you know him well, you should know which restaurant he would choose on an occasion like this. Consider this restaurant as your rival.
When it comes to making the decision, tell him about the new restaurant and everything you have heard about it. Stick to facts rather than get emotional about it. Contain your excitement and remain low-key.
“Susan at work had been to this restaurant and she found their menu selection excellent. She says the food is very tasty and authentic. She gives great reviews and a full five stars. She says we need to try it at least once. I have heard good reviews from others as well.”
You can suggest he look up the restaurant on Google or other restaurant review sites to get a better idea. Take care not to overdo this. Remember not to push for it too much. Don’t suggest that you go to this new restaurant because you want to. Don’t beg either.
Just say your piece with restraint and leave it be. Now allow reverse psychology to work its magic. Meanwhile, you need to stay calm and relaxed. You should behave as if you don’t care whether he picks the restaurant of your choice or not.
Move away from the scene while the idea takes root in his mind. Now, it is time for you to wait.
3. Let him know why your choice is better
Now he is torn between his own choice of restaurant and yours. Being of a resistant personality type, he will naturally go against your choice if you push for it. As you are not pushing your selection, his resistance is bound to be less. On top of this, make subtle comments about why your choice is better. The stress here is on the word “subtle”.
You can read out some good reviews of the restaurant on the internet or if there has been a writeup about the restaurant in the local newspaper, you can read the relevant parts from it.
Since you know the person well, choose what you are reading out. It has to be something that triggers his interest in it. All the while, try to remain neutral and not be pushy.
The moment you push your case, you lose your advantage. He will feel that he is being controlled or manipulated and will go the opposite way as you want him to.
If you can make him take the bait and pique his interest, you are almost there.
4. Highlight the negative sides of your choice
Now, it is time for you to play the devil’s advocate. Tell him why he shouldn’t go with your choice.
Read out a few negative reviews about the restaurant. Make sure that these aren’t too damaging. Or else, your plan will flop.
This may seem like digging your own grave or damaging your case. Not exactly. This is how you bait him using reverse psychology.
“I thought this restaurant was good when Susan was singing praises about it. That is why I suggested it in the first place. Now I can see that it has many one-star reviews on Google. Maybe it is not good. Don’t you think so?”
That should do the trick.
You introduced your choice in the mix but made it clear that you are not very keen on it. Now, he doesn’t have any reason not to choose this restaurant. As you are against this choice, he will feel that by picking this restaurant, he is being independent-minded. He is not being controlled by you.
5. Allow him to make the final selection
With all the options out on the table and discussion over, it is time to choose. Let him have a final say. Let him make the selection.
This will give him the illusion of total control over the process. If he is still hesitating, you can urge him to choose as you are fine with any of the options and you trust him to make the right choice.
In all probability, he will choose the restaurant of your choice. He will do this happily, feeling that it was his choice from the beginning and you don’t have a role to play in the selection.
6. Try to make yourself scarce
Reverse psychology will work every single time you try it on your man if you learn how to restrain your behavior. You should learn not to push your case. Just present it with its pros and cons and then, withdraw from the scene, allowing him space to choose.
If you are using reverse psychology to make him more attentive and affectionate towards you, you should take care not to be too available. Don’t pamper him or fuss over him. Don’t smother him with your love and attention.
You should let him know that you will always be there for him. But you have your own life and you are busy with it. If need be, you are willing to be by his side.
Some men are happy to take from you without bothering to give anything in return. They are at the center of their own universe and you are there only to serve them, comply with their demands, and make them happy. They are always ready with excuses about why they don’t have time for you.
With such men, reverse psychology will get you what you want. There is no need for you to set aside your dreams and life for the sake of avoiding conflicts in the relationship. Go ahead with your plans and live the life you want. Let him follow you and not the other way around.
You also need to understand that loving your partner doesn’t mean giving up on your dreams and life. You need not choose him every time over yourself. You need not run to him every time he calls you. You need not comply with his every demand. You can love him and still continue your life.
Don’t give him everything he asks from you. Give him the opportunity to fight for it.
He will love and respect you more when you are independent and can handle your life. Despite all these efforts, if your guy is refusing to budge, you may consider leaving him.
7. Learn to rein in your reactions
Often we can see the fault in others while we ignore the shortcomings in ourselves. Before you employ this strategy on your man, you should get a grip on your own responses and behavior, in general.
Your ability to stay calm and remain neutral, at least on the outside, is vital for the success of this method. You may want to press harder, support your cause vehemently, and feel nervous and angry. If you indulge in one or more of these reactions, your attempt is headed for failure.
You might be concerned about your partner getting wise about your strategy. What if he gets to know what you are up to? How is he going to react? Will he lash out at you for manipulating him?
Yes, all of these are possibilities. But if you have a good grip on your emotions and have a good understanding of what you are attempting, you needn’t trouble yourself with these thoughts. These can only sabotage your attempt.
However, at any point, if you lose control over what you say or do, you may end up in a deeper mess. You need to realize that your relationship has no future as it is. And, if your partner gets wise of your actions, again, it is over.
So, it all depends on how you can keep your wits around yourself and carry this through to a successful conclusion.
8. Be subtle and don’t overdo
Reverse psychology can work wonders if you use it exactly the way it is meant to. In your enthusiasm, don’t overdo it. Neither should you lose control of yourself. Another important point to remember is to use it sparingly only for vital decisions and not day-to-day matters.
You may effectively use reverse psychology in daily life to get your way as long as it is not too forceful. Such as with the choice of restaurant or the kind of food you want to order. However, if you use it too frequently, it will lose its edge and won’t be effective anymore.
Moreover, you will develop some kind of addiction to this and feel lost without its help. Overuse of reverse psychology can end up damaging your relationship as it changes your perspective about your partner. You will ultimately lose your respect for him.
In case your partner gets wise to your tactics, that is the end of your relationship. After all, you cannot blame him for this either. If you were in his position, you would probably do the same.
To avoid all these mishaps and misadventures, make sure that you have your emotions and behavior under control beforehand. It’s definitely good to have things go your way but the health of your relationship suffers when you are constantly manipulating.
Fallouts of using reverse psychology on a man
It is beneficial in many ways. You get what you want in the relationship without your partner being wise to your manipulative behavior. At the same time, it comes with its own set of setbacks. Let’s see how it can harm you and your relationship.
If your partner gets to know about your manipulations, it will damage your relationship irrevocably. It will ruin the trust forever.
Your partner may consider this as an insult and may feel humiliated. He may feel that you could have asked him directly instead of going about it in a roundabout way.
If you let your emotions get the better of you or your behavior is out of control, using male psychology against him may backfire on you. That is going to make the situation worse for you.
If you are thinking of reverse psychology as the magic pill, you got it all wrong. It can indeed get you what you want in a relationship.
However, like a magic pill, this one too comes with serious consequences. There is always the danger of your partner getting to know about this. Moreover, it is neither for everyday situations nor is it suitable for use in serious situations. If you use it too much, it will lose its sheen and will become ineffective.
When considering serious life situations such as deciding the next step in a relationship, using reverse psychology on a man is highly discouraged. Forcing a decision on him may have repercussions later on. His consent and readiness are more important for this.
Effectively use reverse psychology on your partner in the right situations to make life easier and happier for you and your partner.