Reverse psychology is mind games used to confused others into giving you want you want. Often, specifically with children, you might ask them to do one thing and they will do the other. This opposite activity usually occrus because you have heightened their curiosity.
By telling the child they can have their way, the novelty is taken away — and most of the time, the desire is taken away as well.
When reverse psychology is used is not overdone, it can be very effective. The following are examples of reverse psychology and the possible repercusions:
1) The Challenge
“Nah, you can do it — you can’t eat all of your spinach.”
Taking a minor negatvie and transfering it into a positive, the subject subconsciously want to suceed. There is a good chance they will finish their spinach.
2) The Diversion
“Since you are not going to clean your room, I have no choice but to go in there and clean it myself.”
The subject will want to maintain control and privacy. In order to keep the upper hand, they are inclined to complete the task at hand — in this case, cleaning their own room.
3) The Informer
“It’s your life… if you choose not to wear a condom and you get HIV, you’ll just have to deal with the consequences.”
Using this methods get a message across, in this case a frightening one, yet without a lecture. The decision to practice safe sex, although planted by you, is internalized as their own.
It is important to know your subject and the possbile repurcussions before using reverse psychology. I would never tell a five-year-old child to go play in traffic. Nor would I sit my teenager down with a pack of cigarettes and bottle of whiskey then let them go to town with them.
Use reverse psychology wisely and in moderation.