Techniques > Resisting
Being persuaded is something that happens to all of us at various times. The
problem is that many of us later regret having been taken in and wish we were
more skilled at resisting the smooth talk of others. For you, here are a set of
techniques that can be used to slow down the proceedings and hold your own (and
for persuaders, these are just a few of the things you may face).
- Attack: The best form of defending is sometimes
Attack Negativity: You're just being negative.
- Bad Idea: Say their proposal is
- Blame: Make something their fault (and demand
Broken record: Keep repeating your refusal.
- Can't afford it: Show how you can't afford
what is being suggested.
Complicated: Make it all very difficult.
- Confusion: Act confused and put them off their
- Data dump: When they ask for information,
cover them in detail.
- Digression: Go off on a side track of talk.
- Denial: Say that something is not true or did not
Embrace, extend, extinguish: Pretend to agree then destroy.
- Escalation: If you are pressured, get help.
- Fake anger: Get cross and let them try to
calm you down.
uncertainty and doubt (FUD): Sow seeds that make them less certain.
- Filibustering: Non-stop talk to prevent
others making their case.
- Flight into health: Your problems magically
- Fuzzing: Keep things abstract and general.
- Gaze avoidance: Do not get into a staring
- Gotcha: Lay traps.
Hidden Agenda: Claim they have an ulterior purpose.
- Higher authority: Refer the decision to
a higher authority.
- High ground: Grab the moral high ground and
you are always right.
- Hmm: Small noises that distract and confuse.
Ignorance: Profess ignorance in the topic.
- I'll think about it: Slow things down.
Give yourself time.
- Illogic: Use arguments that do not make sense.
- Impracticality: Say 'that won't work' or
'It's only theory'.
Inadequate: Say the offering is insufficient.
- Interruption: Break up their flow with
- Mismatching: Do not let them copy you.
- More data: Keep asking for more data.
- Name the game: Tell them the tricks they are
- No Need: Say that it is not needed.
- Not my job: Refuse work by claiming it is not
- Not Now: Do not refuse -- just put it off.
- Not surprised: Don't be impressed,
whatever they do.
- Only theory: Discount ideas and explanations
as 'only theory'.
and Bun: You can get both.
Pre-empting: Destroy their argument before they begin.
- Procrastination: Put off until tomorrow
the things you're asked to do.
Propagate Problem: Make problem cause of
- Reversal: Turn the tables and persuade them!
- Qualifications: Counter a show of
qualifications with better ones.
- Say no: Just say no. That's all.
Selective response: Only answer some
things. Ignore the rest.
- Silence: Say nothing (and watch them squirm).
- Splitting hairs: Argue the detail.
- Stonewalling: Holding to one position, no
matter what is said.
- Surprised: Be shocked that they would say such
- Tears: If you can, get upset and turn on the
- Too...: Too early, too late, too expensive, etc.
- Too Hard: It's just too difficult for me/us.
- Too Much: More than I need/can do.
- Tried it: Say you've tried what is being
suggested before (and it didn't work).
Trivializing: Making things smaller than they are.
- Truth: Telling the truth 'shall set you free'.
- Unavailable: When they try to see you, be
- Unfair process: Object to the process.
Say it's unfair.
- Untried: Say it's not proven.
- What about: Complexify by asking 'what
- Won't work: Say that what is suggested will
Wrong Reason: Say they are missing the point.
- Yes, but: Agree, then show how they are wrong.
- Yes, yes, no: Agree until you are asked to
commit. Then say no.
Rules for respondents,
Resistance to change, Defensive body
about resistance, Excusing