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Negative Esteem from Others

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Negative Esteem from Others

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Get other people to comply with your requests by pointing out how, if they do not do as you say, other people will think less of them.

Talk about the people they know and whose respect they value. Get them to imagine how those people would react if they did not agree with you. You can also do the same with a more general 'everybody' and the basic principle of social exclusion.

Example

What will your wife say if you do not take one home today? You said she wanted you to get a good one, and this is the best.

If you can't say sorry then who knows what our friends will think of you.

If you don't work hard at school, your grandparents will be very disappointed in you.

Discussion

People have a deep need for esteem from others, particularly those they respect. When people look up to us, we gain status, which is also a deep human need. With status, we can influence others and get what we want in the world.

Negative esteem is the basis of much blackmail, where the blackmailer typically threatens to tell other people about something shameful that was done unless the target person does as they are told (typically paying money to the blackmailer). Forms of blackmail are common in everyday life when a person effectively says 'If you don't do as I say, I'll tell others what you did.'

Negative Esteem from Others is also written as 'Esteem (Negative) by Others'.

Negative Esteem from Others is the 30th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

The Need for Esteem

 

Kellermann, K. & Cole, T. (1994). Classifying compliance gaining messages: Taxonomic disorder and strategic confusion. Communication Theory, 1, 3-60

 

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