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Surprised

 

Techniques > Resisting persuasion >  Surprised

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

Be surprised at what they say, attaching the surprise to moral judgment. Show how you are amazed how the other person, who you believed to be a truly good person would stoop to such a low thing.

Then pause and watch them back-pedal (towards a more socially acceptable position).

You can also offer them a way out, by acting as if they do not really mean what they said.

Example

Well, I'm surprised at you saying something like that.

That's not like you. Who told you that?

Mike -- think about what you are saying there. I don't think you really mean that...

Discussion

Being surprised or shocked not just at what the other person says but at the person themselves puts them into a morally lower position (and, by implication, you in a higher position).

The neat trick about surprise is that it appears as an unthinking and natural reaction. As it seems like a reactive response, it is forgivable in terms of challenging or judging the other person (as opposed to a more conscious criticism).

See also

High ground

 

 

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