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Counterattack

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Excuses > Counterattack

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When accused of something, fight back. Do not naively accept responsibility. Show that you are very unhappy at being thought to be the wrong-doer. Things you can do include:

  • Accuse the person them of not trusting you.
  • Angrily deny the charge, accusing them of persecution.
  • Counter-accuse the person of some other action, perhaps dragged up from the past.
  • Demand to know why you are being accused.

If you can create an argument, keep it going for as long as possible until the other person gives up.

Example

Why do you always think it's me?  You're so biased! Can't you think of others? What about Tom?

That's a very poor argument. Can't you do any better?

Yes. I know that I did it. So what? Is it such a big deal? Picky, picky, picky.

Discussion

The underlying purpose of the counterattack is to take the topic of conversation off you and onto other things, such as other people and relationships.

A common message in a counter-attack is that the other person is being unfair and may have a personal bias or grudge against you.

When you are personally attacked, this is the 'attack the person' fallacy, which can be a central plank of your counter-attack (which, paradoxically, may use the same method).

Attacking back is sometimes called the 'tiger response'. The principle is that the other person discovers that it is dangerous to accuse you and thinks twice before doing so again in the future.

See also

Resisting persuasion, Fallacies

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