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Interruption

 

Techniques > Resisting persuasion >  Interruption

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

Where someone is trying to persuade you of something, introduce a whole string of interruptions into the process.

The phone is a great distraction, and the mobile a splendidly portable version. In the middle of you meeting, their phone goes off, and so do they. Or somebody pops around or they just want to go to the bathroom or outside for a cigarette or a thousand other little excuses to break up and shorten the meeting.

Another simple way to interrupt them is to use your voice. Ask questions. Interject with disagreements and alternative views.

Even coughing, scratching or attending to various other body parts can be highly distracting for the other person.

Example

Excuse me, I just need to go the bathroom.

Sorry,  I must take this phone call.

Good gracious! What was that?

Discussion

Distractions and interruptions act to break up the flow of the other person's persuasive activity. When they have a spiel to get through, interruptions will add tension for them rather than you as they are unable to complete their plans.

When they are seeking to apply steady pressure on you, interruptions give you space to unwind and think more carefully about what they are doing. You can then get your act in gear and respond appropriately.

See also

Interruption principle, Distraction principle, Completion

 

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