Reverse Psychology Applied
Reverse Psychology Applied
Stephen A. Peterson
“Hey Pete! May I have a word with you?” asked a co-employee.
“Sure. How may I help you?” I responded.
“I’m having trouble with my husband. He is such an idiot! Over the last couple of months, he seems to be out of it. I’ve given it a great deal of thought. I’ve decided to divorce him as soon as I am able to do so. I can’t stand him. As a matter of fact, I hate him!” she said.
“Have you discussed your observations or thoughts with him?”
“Well, not really! Besides, he just sit there listening, I think. He does not say much when I talk to him.”
“Do you let him say anything?”
“I talk a lot when I’m really angry. I just think I’m tired of this marriage. But then I’m not sure. What do you think I might do?”
“I gather from what you are saying you are not certain as to how you wish to approach your husband. Would you be opened to trying to save your marriage?”
“I might consider it.”
“In that case, try this approach.” I said. “Talk with him. Hear him out. Begin showing him with compliments. When you notice he believes you have become indispensable to him—when he believes you love him devotedly—then begin the process of divorce if observe no progress or if you want to hurt him as you say you do. I am willing to bet you he will feel betrayed and hurt.”
“Okay, I’ll do as you suggest.”
“Do this for about 90 days,” I suggested.
After 90 days had passed, the wife/co-employee visited with me to report that she did as suggested. “Good,” I said. Now is about the time to do what you proposed. That is, to divorce him.”
“What! Divorce him!” exclaimed my co-employee. “No, I don’t want to anymore. Pete, he’s actually a pretty good guy. We talk to each other. He’s been bringing me flowers every so often. Occasionally, he cooks a meal for me and the kids. After we talked, he washes the clothes, dishes, floors, windows. He tells our daughters and son how beautiful and handsome they are. He takes them out to a meal for the last couple of month. He gave my oldest daughter a really special ring over a special meal when she turned sixteen. I learned all of this when I began to listen to him and the kids. We’ve gone out to dinner—just me and him. I’ve fallen in love with him, Pete. Can you believe it?”
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