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Make Your Opponent Angry

 

Techniques General persuasion > The Art of Being Right > Make Your Opponent Angry

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

This trick consists in making your opponent angry; for when he is angry he is incapable of judging aright, and perceiving where his advantage lies. You can make him angry by doing him repeated injustice, or practising some kind of chicanery, and being generally insolent.

Example

 Hah. You are so stupid and childish. Anyone but you would have worked it out by now!

No, I'm not going to do that for you. You're just not worth it.

Discussion

Anger is a powerful emotion and much of its power is over the angry person, whose rational self-control is easily lost as the anger takes control. Anger is designed as a survival mechanism, to prepare a creature for fighting, possibly even to the death. It banishes fear and stimulates the fight reaction, readying the body for action.

In this unthinking and aroused state, we can be manipulated into saying or doing things that we may later regret, and for which we will need to apologize, perhaps making amends with concessions of some kind.

Anger can be provoked in many ways, for example:

  • Acting in a superior manner
  • Showing disrespect
  • Insulting the person
  • Insulting others under their care
  • Ignoring them
  • Breaking social norms
  • Acting in an unfair way
  • Acting in an angry way towards them

Make Your Opponent Angry is the eighth of Schopenhauer's stratagems.

See also

Anger fallacy, Attack the Person

 

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