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Negative Self-Feeling

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Negative Self-Feeling

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Persuade other people to comply with your request by saying that if they do not agree to do as you say, they will feel worse about themselves.

Talk about how they know that not agreeing with you would be wrong or bad. You can exaggerate this by indicating how other people will suffer unless they comply.

You can also counteract fear or cowardice by talking about how such emotions are shameful or 'not the real you'. An alternative is to emphasize the regret they will later feel if they do not comply.

Example

Doing that would be rather selfish, wouldn't you say? You'll feel bad if you do that.

This is your only opportunity. If you don't do this now, you regret it forever.

Don't do it. It may make you feel good today but think about how you will feel tomorrow. How will you live with yourself then?

Discussion

When we act against our values, we feel the inner conflict of cognitive dissonance as our actions and beliefs mismatch. Sometimes we try to ignore this or make excuses to ourselves ('I had to do it'). But when somebody else points out that our actions are (or will) in contradiction to our values, then we cannot avoid feeling guilty and think less of ourselves as our self-worth declines.

Regret is a powerful emotion that can ruin lives. It can also be called upon as anticipated regret, where the thought of the bad feelings of regret are enough to stop you doing something today.

Negative Self-Feeling is also written as 'Self-Feeling (Negative)'.

Negative Self-Feeling is the 52nd of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Values, Regret

 

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

 

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