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Devices of Persuasion (Part 1)

Artful Prudence
February 12, 2021

“Such people bow not to the person, but to their fortune, and offer praise not in acknowledgement but in expectation of future benefits.”

Baltasar Gracian


Whether you want to accept it or not, you have fallen victim to weapons of persuasion, it is a form of deception that is exercised by more or less everyone, except most people are just inferior at it, and comprehending that most people are imperceptive to strong persuasion makes it even more effectual. Strong persuasion is imperceptive to the average man because its potency lies in its roundabout means and subtlety. Devices of persuasion are much like prompts which if activated in an individual, will be exploited. These prompts find their basis in human nature, and persuasion is simply the thorough understanding of human behaviour and motivation and applying artifice to leverage it to reach your ends in business and life.

For instance, there is a continual sense of duty and obligation underlying the act of giving, receiving, and also reimbursing. Obligation to be given lessens our capacity to pick out whom we want to be beholden to and shifts that control to others. On the other hand, if we were to completely disregard the yearning to return an opening favour, we would exterminate the feedback loop and make it debatable whether our comrade would follow up with such deeds in the future. Consequently, you may be ready to comply and carry out a more considerable act of courtesy than the one you received, to mitigate yourself from the burden of entitlement. In addition, an individual who contravenes the rule of reciprocity by welcoming and not giving is detested by the community.

Rule of Reciprocation

Rejection then Retreat

For the reason that reciprocation rules over the procedure of agreement, it is practicable to utilise an opening concession as an element of an exceedingly successful approach. It is relatively straightforward, let us assume you want to me to comply with a particular appeal. A course of action to grow your chances would be to first and foremost make a bigger entreaty, one that you in all likelihood know I will reject. The bigger entreaty you propose initially should not be your genuine one, but after I have turned down your initial request, you propose a small-scale plea that should be your real incentive, to begin with.

If you have organised your requests prudently, I should be more considering your second plea as an acknowledgement of the one I have directly open to me, and that is acquiescence with your second appeal. It is also of import to note that your second appeal can impartially be a considerable one, but to the extent that it is smaller than the initial request, the course of action will still succeed. The signification of this method, therefore, is that the capable mediator is one whose opening stance is overstated enough so it permits a subsequent string of reciprocal concessions that bear a substantial closing deal from the adversary while not seeming so off-centre that it gives the impression that it was forbidden from the beginning.

By starting off with an overstated request, you are going to win both ways. If your adversary complies with your initial appeal, you have made twice as much money from your adversary as you intended. On the other hand, if he rejects your initial offer, you have made the mark you deliberated and it is a win nonetheless. The organization and act of concession bring with it feelings of control and contentment and compels targets to become further involved. These are the pleasant ramifications of utilizing the technique appropriately. To sum up, it is anticipated for an individual to measure up to the treaty if he feels accountable for the stipulations of a deal. Moreover, people disposed to agree to further preparations are already pleased with an established arrangement.

Learn How to Say No

Knowing when to say ‘NO’ with dignity and integrity is a sign of a superior man. You know very well that people have a propensity for the feebleness and timidity in other people. You can bring out the merciless nature of people who are not necessarily cold-hearted, mainly if you are ready to comply and withdraw to their conditions like the little spineless, demure man that you are. If people make a fool out of you, it is in all likelihood because you are foolish. Put your act together and proceed lionhearted. You do not pull back, safeguard and submit to others’ conditions if you are not going to come out having achieved your ends because if you do, you will be picked out to be the kind of man who is continually disposed to hold talks. People will start to regard you as the pushover that you are, and this is not a way to live. Forget compliance, you are much better off being displeasing and uncooperative in matters of negotiation because peoples’ primary concern is invariably their selfish interests, with minor exceptions.

It is crucial to understand, besides, that the appealer who calls on the rule of reciprocation to earn your acquiescence is not the actual adversary. Such an appealer is a warrior who affiliates with the extensive power of reciprocation and then unties that force by initiating the good deed or concession. The actual opponent, therefore, is the principle. If you do not allow yourself to be mistreated by it, you ought to take the sufficient course of action to lessen its force. One way of doing so is by stopping its trigger. It is possible that you can sidestep the rule by turning down the solicitor to employ its power against you, to begin with.

As soon as you have ascertained that his open concession was not a kind act but a tactic to gain your agreement, you merely have to conduct yourself accordingly to liberate yourself from its effect. Also, so long as you discern and interpret his conduct as a device of consent, the rule of reciprocation does not facilitate him. As you know, the rule states that favours are to be met with favours but it does not necessitate that stratagem is to be met with favours. Your ensuing next step should be an easy and confidential move which will involve a rational reinterpretation – Explain what you have been given from the examiner, not as gifts but as selling tactics, and you will be unencumbered to turn down his proposal effortlessly without force. Remember: A favour accompanies a favour and not a bargaining plan. That being said, what you do is accept whatever the negotiator is putting forward, show your courtesy and then gallantly direct him to his egress like the finer man you are.


The Benevolent Burglar

Have you ever got demands from people you are familiar with and hold in esteem? You in all likelihood have. On top of that, you might not comprehend that you would rather comply with his requests than to other people who are newcomers. What you may find surprising, though, is that this common precept is utilised by outsiders in myriad different ways to convince us to abide by their requests. For that reason, the adept’s compliance strategy is ridiculously elementary; they make you like them, first and foremost, because they know full well that your liking for them will develop an individual assurance and confidence in their offering to you.

For instance, attractive people tend to be more likeable and that proves greatly effectual in matters of selling because they have that pre-established edge over ordinary salesmen. That pre-disposed likability is usually greatly leveraged by proficient salespeople because they recognize its potency. There seems to be a near-instantaneous reciprocation to good-looking people, and this occurs instinctively without anticipation. This particular response is what social scientists call The Halo Effect.

The Halo Effect: When one favourable quality predominates and controls the opinion and outlook people have of you.

Attractive people are also more probable to receive support when required and are typically more convincing in talking people into changing their opinion. It is evident that good-looking people benefit from a substantial social upper hand in our culture and in matters of aid, likeability, and persuasiveness, they generally outshine average looking people. As a consequence of their good looks, they are typically seen as being blessed with superior personality characteristics and higher intelligence. This is much a game of appearances, and similarly, you are more likely to lend a hand to someone who is well-dressed or reflects your style of attire. There is also a concept called mirroring which salespeople utilize, where they essentially assert similarities such as interests and experiences to yours, falsifying resemblances to enhance their appeal in your eyes.

Supporting the testimony that we are more approving and agreeable towards people we are familiar with, a number of people advocated a contact attitude towards bettering connections of race. The argument stated that by merely supplying individuals from diverse ethnicities additional exposure, those people will grow to like each other more as a result of familiarity. In Psychology, this is coined The Mere Exposure Effect.

Controlling the Course of Action

Stratagems that give the impression of offering the other person an alternative is many a time unrivalled. Your adversary gets the sense that he is controlling the dynamic at play, but in actuality, whatever their selection, the ball is in your court. There are various means of controlling the options, two archetypal methods are withdrawal and vanishing. This typically makes people acknowledge how circumstances will disintegrate in your absence and therefore, you provide them with an ‘alternative’. The alternative is as follows, I dissociate and you pay the price, or I remain under conditions that I enforce.

Invariably, they go with the alternative that puts the power in your hands because they know the price to be paid for the former is more odious than the latter. This mode of indirectly compelling their hand gives them the impression that they do indeed have an option. When people believe they have the ability to choose, their propensity to fall in your trap is that much higher. The misapprehension of options wedded with the potentiality of good luck will entice even the most obstinate jerk in your ploy.

Conventionally, you choose to be convinced that the game you are playing is equitable and you have adequate independence in your choosing. This is less mental strain than considering the extent to which you have freedom of choice. Your reluctance to investigate the minuteness of your choices emanates from the truism that much liberty brings rise to a sensory anxiety. If you think about that thoroughly, you really do not want inexhaustible choices because far down you know that it will immobilise you more than put you at ease. Practically speaking, you yearn for comfort, and you will get that freedom from hardship in having restricted choices.

For the cunning and shrewd, this is ample opportunity for artifice. People who are picking out between choices struggle to discern that they are being swindled and this, of course, is the perfect state of affairs for the clever to leverage your imperception. They cannot grasp the fact you are permitting them a controlled amount of independent choice that will merit your desires whatever way they please. For that reason, establishing a confined range of options should regularly be utilized in your stratagems.

Controlling the options can take many forms, ensuing are some of the most ordinary methods that maestros in history have exercised with greatly favourable outcomes. I would like to note, in addition, to recognize the suitable contexts to apply the procedures accordingly, possess good judgement and prudence to read the state of affairs meticulously.

Tint the Choices

This is an effortless approach that was employed by Henry Kissinger comprehensively with good success. What you will do is put forward three or four options for a definite state of affairs, assure that you articulate them in such a fashion that your coveted choice is apparently the most ideal in comparison to the alternative options. This is especially effectual on the unconfident professional or the clueless who are obtuse in reading a situation swiftly. Be prudent in your application, you do not want to utilize this if your choices are indistinguishable because you run the risk of appearing overbearing and that may very well give rise to misgiving which will wreck your ploy. Ideally, you do open your proposal with the desired choice, for that too may induce lack of faith. Propose your desired choice somewhere around the halfway point, never on the extremes.

Adapt the Terrain to Your Advantage

This method works well with people who are very stubborn. They will feel like you are forcing their hand but it is not of primary importance to them. You do this by adapting the terrain, shifting it to ground that you are well familiar with but obscure to them. This is powerful in circumstances where the opposer is dependant on you because you can disintegrate his footing or a substantial part of it, at a moments notice.

For instance, let us suppose that your friend comes to workout with you regularly, and you have contributed to his fitness journey by providing him with your guidance and a workout plan. At this point, your friend relies on you in matters of fitness, and he has seen great progress under your wing. One day, you are working out, and a beautiful chick asks to use the squat rack that you and your friend are using. Your friend seizes this opportunity to seemingly win the girl over by playfully undermining your identity and blowing any potential chance of you have of getting with the chick. At this point, he has more to lose than you, but he tried to capitalise on the situation by subverting his very ground, this is trouble. If you are relatively prudent, the ensuing steps should be straightforward.

As time goes, you realize that your friend is becoming increasingly snobbish when women are around, you should not permit this. After all, you are giving your friend adequate counselling in fitness and he is impeding his own ground. Having recognized this, you make it a point to him that if this conduct carries on, he will have to start training independently, and in addition, the workout plans will be dropped. This will be a dealbreaker for him, he either conforms to your conditions or he suffers the consequences of his misconduct. Whichever alternative he chooses, you emerge victoriously but on the other hand, he has to choose wisely because there are consequences to be paid as a result of his dependency.

This illustration holds a strong moral; learn not to be contingent on people, because they will exploit your dependency to reach their ends or destroy you.

Double Barrelled Questions

This technique is widely exercised by lawyers in trials where the lawyer directs the witnesses to settle between two potential accounts of an incident but both of which prod an opening in their narrative. Essentially, you must give a response to the attorney’s questions but whatever you utter, the ball is still in his court. The crucial key here is to be swift with your strike and refuse the fool time to find an eluding route. Comprehend also that in your endeavours with your adversaries, it will often demand that you cause them discomfort and injury. If you do this directly without third parties, you can expect vengeance to creep up behind you.

If, on the other hand, they are convinced that they are the source of their difficulty, they will yield in silence. This is the reason why it is prudent to permit your adversaries their choosing of malice and on top of that, to mask your participation to the furthest extent possible. In order to pull this off, you must articular the questions in such a way that they both imply his offence and your adversary can in no possible means answer the question unless he wounds himself in the process.

e.g. “Answer Yes or No. Will you stop beating your wife?

Whatever your response, you are damned and convicted either way.

If you are in a situation where you ought to answer a double-barrelled question and pondering how to disengage from it, the answer is you can’t if you are already under the predicament. The panacea to this dilemma is to not get enmeshed in it, to begin with, because it will invariably hurt your good name. If, on the other hand, it is an ordinary personage that is attempting to undermine your reputation, you can utilize indirect means by not answering the question directly and exercising vagueness and courtesy to disentangle yourself, or, at times more hazardous, you can take no account of the said question.


There is a great number of means to persuade, some more effective than others in different conditions, however, if there is one thing to be mindful of, it is to always carry your dignity and integrity because that makes up a significant portion of your basis from which you take action. People with high levels of cunning and persuasion also concurrently have sufficient levels of nobleness and self-respect because courtesy and discreetness make deception that much more elaborate. One last note, practice artifice in trivial state of affairs, never inconsequential ones because you will get scorched.

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Post Information
Title Devices of Persuasion (Part 1)
Author Artful Prudence
Date February 12, 2021 1:17 PM UTC (2 years ago)
Blog Artful Prudence
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/blog/Artful-Prudence/devices-of-persuasion-part-1.44781
Original Link https://artfulprudence.com/persuasive-devices-part-1/
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