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Confusion

 

Techniques > Resisting persuasion > Confusion

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

Act confused. When the other person tell you lots of things, question them like you are a bit stupid or are having difficulty understanding.

If they like talking, let them go on for some time and then point out that you have not understood anything they have said.

You can even draw them into the confusion by deliberately misunderstanding what they have said. Another way of confusing is to use compound sentences that cover too many different things to remember or understand.

Example

Er, sorry, I don't quite understand what you are saying there.

Um, could you run that by me just one more time?

So, with a 10% discount after taking off the optional extras and including the new fitting that would be half price - that is if I gave you cash today which I could get from the machine down the road whilst you fill out the order.

Discussion

Confusion takes the wind out of the persuader's sails as they based their pitch on you understanding what they are saying. Having to repeat it just does not have the same impact.

This is a method used by TV cop Columbo, who played dumb in order to encourage the guilty party to talk. You can also get the seller to tell you more than they planned by playing the 'confused' card.

If they are using confusion methods themselves, then you can play the game with them by pretending to be confused. They will think they are in control, which of course they are not, giving you and advantage.

See also

Confusion principle

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