Jump to content

Reverse psychology, does it work?

Recommended Posts

So, i was desperate one day and went google searching on ways to get him back.


One of the site the popped up was a book by homer mcdonald. His book is all about reverse psychology. His study shows that when you agree with someone they tend to go the other way. Well i guess my question is, has anyone read the book or know anything about this subject matter?


The book is like 80 dollars and is really expensive for someone like me who don't have a lot of money to spare. although if i can turn things back around there is no price i wouldn't pay...


Thanx a lot

Link to comment
Well i am in psychology major also, so im thinking if i can't get him back using it, i could probably use it on a study or something, either way psychology is great if its possible to manipulate someone with it.


Hey MG-


I seriously, from the bottom of my heart, hope you are joking when you say this. Please...tell me you are just kidding with this disgustingly asinine and misguided statement...


And as far as those studies go, be careful when only reading the "punch line". The conclusions are formed from an opinion(s) on results, which in turn come from experiments, which are never perfect. Look at the construction of the study and the assumptions made or overlooked...yeah, be careful with those studies and be wary of the statement "studies show" until you really look under the hood at every belt and hose of them...


And those studies are generated from funding, from which the investigators are motivated to produce results and often times "sell" such results with clever wording to produce more funding... Don't think for a second science and business aren't related...

Link to comment

okay so you want the ex back by manipulation - and then what you get married via manipulation and love each other by manipulation - NO!


You cant get an ex back they must want to come back for you to truly feel the meaning of love and respect - playing games plays with your heart and feelings.


You are worth more and you know it. Stick the 80$ in a higher rate account and watch that grow instead - it would be better and healthier then reading a how to manipulate people. It also means that you will have a nice interest saving at the end which you can go and spend when the time is right.

Link to comment

well mysteriousgirl, i agree with everyone's thoughts that manipulation isn't the way to go. it's very common, this stage that you are going through: the "bargaining" stage of grief, where you say "well, what if i/he/we _______? then maybe he'd want me back. then maybe it would work." you aren't ready to accept the end yet, so you try to find a way around it.


don't waste your time trying to become a yes-man (or yes-woman). use this time to become strong and independent. that's a waaaay stronger aphrodisiac than manipulation.

Link to comment

When a person's fed up, there is nothing you can do about it.


As hard as breaking up is on all involved, if its over, its over.


You cant make somebody love you if they dont. As Joyce pointed out, in your healing you are still bargaining. You are not ready to accept that its over. The quicker you allow yourself to move through this and past it onto the next stage to truly grieve the loss.... the faster youll be healed.

Link to comment

I don't think you will gain anything by 'manipulating him to come back'. Wouldn't you wonder if it was because of you or because of the psychological trick you used?


If 'love' can be manipulated, it isn't love in the first place. It's there or not. The same holds for trust and true friendship. Together, love, trust and friendship form the three most important ingredients of a relationship, and none of them can be forced into existence.


If I were you, I'd use the 80 dollars for something else. Treat yourself with a great pair of jeans that make you feel good, or a bottle of expensive perfume. Go to a spa. Have a day out with a good friend and allow yourself to laugh.



Link to comment

I've read the book. It's loaded with options and cases. It comes with no guarantees. You must read it in its entirety and do what's best for you.


Be careful with the word manipulation - the author uses this term and I don't think it belongs in the book. The bottom line message is this: IF your partner is confused, unsure, not absolutely committed to leaving, you may have a chance. Regardless, you need to shut up, listen, validate their feelings (you don't have to agree with them, but you can't tell them their feelings are wrong). THEN you have to do some soul searching and make changes to correct your behavior that caused them to feel that way.


I found the book far too "logical" and would recommend instead "It only Takes One to get the Ball Rolling" or "Save Your Marriage" instead.


Do not manipulate your partner. Stop, shut-up, listen. observe... this will help you to understand where they are coming from. Validate their feelings - this will show them that you respect them and are willing to make changes.


Be careful, however, as many have stated in this thread - if they have made the decision that they want out, you can't force them to stay with you. You may have a chance, however, if they see and accept your changes and as a result they change their mind ON THEIR OWN!!!!


It's all about understanding and respecting how they feel and why they feel that way. It's about not arguing, not trying to tell them they are wrong for how they feel, not using tactics such as pleading, begging, groveling to get them back. THAT is manipulation.

Link to comment



a solid understanding of psychology will definitely give you the edge in any and all interpersonal relationships. if you have patience and can really control your own emotions, it will make you a master manipulator .. it is not a bad thing ... keep reading ...


whether or not it helps you get your ex back depends on many factors. it may not be possible if the ex has gone past the point of no return, it may be possible after years and years of "manipulation" .. or it may just happen soon ... but even if it is possible it will be a LOT of effort trying to do so.


instead i suggest you use your new found psychological skills to find and keep a new mate ... and enrich your own life and relationships with the understanding that you have of human interactions ...


and don't get disenchanted with all the negative comments on this thread ... most of the folks here on eNotAlone are in complete denial of the fact that each and every person in the world is a manipulator .. this includes peolpe like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela .. infact these Nobel Peace Prize winners are MASTER MANIPULATORS!


think about it, they manipulate the masses with non-violence, love and peace


the other thing that most of the folks here on eNotAlone are denying is that they are the biggest (and usually unskilled) manipulators themselves ...


when they talk to the ex ... or beg, please, rationalize, try to seek approval or give approval, cry, argue, send flowers, write emails, make calls or return calls after 3 days, buying presents, making yourself look pretty, doing NC with the hope of getting back the ex, try to make the ex jealous etc etc etc ... all of these are nothing but tactics of manipulation!!!


usually the people do it without knowing what the heck they are doing .. they "assume" they know that reverse psychology works so they will try their own way of doing this but really they do not have a solid understanding of what they are doing .. so they end up being emotional and ineffectual manipulators ....


talk about hypocracy of the ppl here !! hehehe


flame away fellas ;o)


the moral or ethical issue that these people are worried about is if you are trying to force someone to do something against their own will, controling them, or manipulating them into doing something *bad* ...


manipulating someone into liking you more, or loving you more is not inherently a bad thing because at the core, this will succeed only if you first manipulate YOURSELF into being the person that your lover (or ex) will LOVE .. and then manipulate them into seeing it


PS .. another piece of unethical advice .. if you know how to search P2P networks, you'll find copies of almost all books, ebooks, workshops, seminars etc about relationships FOR FREE!! including the book on reverse psychology

Link to comment



Listen to what heyduh is saying:


"…each and every person in the world is a manipulator .. this includes people like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela .. in fact these Nobel Peace Prize winners are MASTER MANIPULATORS! T hink about it, they manipulate the masses with non-violence, love and peace "

We are all manipulators, it's human nature


"...when they talk to the ex ... or beg, please, rationalize, try to seek approval or give approval, cry, argue, send flowers, write emails, make calls or return calls after 3 days, buying presents, making yourself look pretty, doing NC with the hope of getting back the ex, try to make the ex jealous etc etc etc ... all of these are nothing but tactics of manipulation!!!"


I think the point here is that we aren't suggesting "manipulation" in the devious way, but we are saying that everything you do, you do in hopes of showing your partner how much you care, in hopes of "catching their fancy" - because we are really doing a dance with our partners, that's what love is all about. So, don't get hung up on the "manipulation" word.


Relationships aren't something that just magically happen - we work very hard for them, we have to work very hard at them. Come on, life is no fairy tale!!!

Link to comment
A relationship that is built on honesty and trust would be healthier in the long run without the reverse psy. stuff.


I do not agree with trying to trick someone, anybody, into doing what I want or playing games to get what I want.


I don't want someone doing that to me.


I think manipulation is a strong word, and while I don't agree with it in the 'textbook' sense, it certainly has a part in any relationship.


Again, forgive the word 'manipulation' because it possibly isn't the most accurate to use. But waiting to call someone for a few days, having a life apart from a partner, keeping your emotions close to your chest at times....all these behaviours (and many more) when 'performed' against our natural instincts are a form of manipulation.


They keep a relationship fresh, and in some cases (ie having a life away from a partner) are indeed healthy...but they also 'manipulate' the other party's feelings in our favour.


The word manipulate automatically conjures up negative connotations....and justifiably so. But the majority of posts I read on these boards are refer to a manipulation of sorts - any behaviour performed by someone (usually the dumpee) in order to ilicit a reaction from another (the dumper) to benefit onself (the dumpee again...attempting to achieve reconciliation) is a form of manipulation.

Link to comment

I'm with ilse. take your $80, buy a cute new pair of jeans (I recommend the Uplift jean from Victoria's Secret), and go out and meet some new men! (Another form of manipulation? )


let's backtrack a second.... why did you and your ex break up? why do you want him back? who broke up with whom?

Link to comment

just wanted to add that reverse psychology is just one tactic that can be used in influence and persuasion (which is what relationships are all about, c'mon be honest)


there are tons of other books out there on NLP and influence strategies .. one of them i'm reading right now is Sleight of Mouth by R. Dilts ..


here is some more info.. "Sleight of Mouth involves clever language patterns which can have a huge impact in the mind of the listener.


The concept was devised by Robert Dilts who observed Richard Bandler (the co-founder of Neuro-linguistic programming), who always seemed to win arguments. By breaking down the methods, Dilts came up with 14 (sometimes stated as 16 or other) patterns. The persuasive power of someone who is well-versed in Sleight of Mouth is nothing short of amazing."


and here is an example of how SoM works (theoretical argument between a couple??)


nagging wife or g/f: You're late again, which means you don't love me.


possible responses using SoM

Intent: I'm glad you care enough about me to be concerned about that.

Consequence: You're just trying to get me to always fit within your timetable.

Another Outcome: Would you have preferred me to cancel our dinner, if I knew I was going to be late?

Counter Example: Have you ever loved someone, but still been late?

Apply to Self: An accusation like that makes it sound like you don't love me.

Reality Strategy: How did you come to that conclusion? Has someone accused you of something similar in the past?

Model of the World: I'm guessing that it's not so much that I'm late, but you're concerned about me not focusing on the little things in our relationship.

Meta frame: Where did you learn that being on time equates to love?

Change Frame Size: Most people are late for meetings every day ... are you saying that none of them care?

Hierarchy of Criteria: Isn't it more important that I actually made the effort to get here, in spite of everything that happened along the way?

Chunk Down: What about all the times I have been on time?

Chunk Up: You're judging an entire relationship based on time-keeping?

Metaphor/Analogy: Isn't that like saying if you don't cook for me every time, you don't love me?

Redefine: You're saying a small delay defines an entire relationship?



SoM claims to be about *belief* change.. so from the example above you can see how the henpecked (but psychology educated husband may be able to reframe his wife's argument in many different ways ...

i'm still very much a novice but the little i've used on friends and family (during casual banter) .. its been nothing short of AmAZiNg because I can pick the most logical (and emotionally neutral) reframe from one or more of the above *patterns* and the person who I'm having a casual argument with is more often then not left speechless!!!


let's look at the above argument again:


nagging wife or g/f: You're late again, which means you don't love me.


husband responds using SoM:

Model of the World: I'm guessing that it's not so much that I'm late, but you're concerned about me not focusing on the little things in our relationship.


this opens the dialogue into deeper relationship issues rather than focusing on the symptom of anger @ his being late


if husband responds with Counter Example: Have you ever loved someone, but still been late? and the wife will realize just how lame her accusation was in the first place


obviously the application of SoM (and any other psychological tactic) is situational and would require some amount of thought, emotional control and experience ...

Link to comment
WOW heyduh...pretty powerful stuff!


I wonder if it really works though...I'll have to try it!


yeah it does work, and it is pretty damn powerful stuff ... people actually go to school for *years* persuing grad degrees in subjects like conflict resolution, negotiation, etc which all involve the study of human psychology


BUT (big BUT)


it requires a lot of study, understanding, patience, emotional control and quick thinking-on-your-feet ... in the little bit i've used so far, i've realized that i'm successful at influencing (or should i say manipulating?!) the other person if i have a stack of many patterns to use, one after the other ...


... since i've only used it casually on friends/family for lame "debates about the meaning of life over beer" kind of stuff, i've been able to see the power of structured arguments/ SoM ... but in romantic man-women relationships there is TOO much emotion involved so using structured language patterns, SoM and other psychological tactics becomes much more difficult for *most* of us


an important thing to point out that whenever trying to persuade someone, it will work only if the persuader has a *stronger* frame then the persuadee .. what i mean is if you are trying to convince your lover to change her belief, your belief must be much stronger and with more conviction than your lover's belief .. which is very possible because most people in the world are wishy washy about most things going on in life .. but if you are trying to persuade someone who has a stronger frame than your own ... for example if your lover has a stronger conviction to a belief that you oppose, but with less conviction .. then it just won't work!


am i making any sense or just rambling


hehehe .. slow day @ work

Link to comment

I was not saying that manipulation is not human, nor that not all humans are subject to it. I was saying that true love, trust and friendship themselves can not be manipulated into existence between two people. Would you want to look back in 10 years, and say: 'wow, I am happy that I read this book and managed to manipulate my ex such that he saw valid arguments in my pleedings to get back together?'


Wouldn't you rather be able to say either 'wow, I am happy that he realized himself that there was too much love between us and we worked things out' or 'wow, I am so happy with someone, I can't believe I ever pondered about buying a book to get that ex back'?



Link to comment

hey guys, i apologize for making a thread and not explain the whole story. I feel like i typed it so much or told it to much i start to annoy myself. But than again its a good thing to see how pathetic i've become..


My ex and i been together for three years. A year ago we broke up and i beg plead and all that didnt work. I found this site stopped and blocked him from aim and start to ignore his little calls. Great he started acting desperate. He started calling my roomate instead.


Maybe girls are more softer in heart.I was really flatter by everything he was doing i even stopped seeing the guy i was seeing to be with him again.


Well a year later he is pulling the same * * * * again... This time is bad cuz we live together. In the beginning he was cold and the usual jerk he trys to be. But than he does things like we are still together!! that is why i am considering that psychology book to play his own game on him


EVen though i live with him i try to not call him. I just want to make enough money and move the hell out. But he confusses me. He would call me more than i call him. Txt me or call me after i work or school to hang out. INclude me in his events like "oh he invited me so that means he invited you" like we are a pair.


He brings food to my work and leave it outside and calls me later to tell me to check the back door.


He would still hold me really tight to sleep.

Do things for me. Like technical stuff


Lastnight i test him i woke up at 3 in the morning i said "I want to play monopoly" he has to get up at 9. and he was tired as hell he was like "Okay." i asked him why he is hella tired, he repsond "because u wanna play"



I DON'T GET IT! i am so frustrated at this game playing. I just want to turn the tables around.


can u guys understand why i would be intersted in a manipulation book?

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...