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Provocation

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Excuses > Provocation

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Prod them with some comment that gets them aroused in some way. This can include such tactics as:

  • Insulting them
  • Asking them about their football team
  • Telling them that they have a 'wardrobe malfunction' of some kind
  • Making a loud noise to startle them
  • Make physical contact with them, for example accidentally stumbling forward
  • Challenging them in an 'unfair' way
  • Telling them that other people are gossiping about them
  • Saying that you like/do not like their clothes

And so on. The key is that you trigger them into a strong emotional state.

Then keep them off the topic of you and on something else.

Example

Aaahh! What did you say!! Noo!

Are you nuts? That's really stupid.

Before we start, you should know that Jane has told everyone about your affair.

Discussion

Provocation has the deliberate effect of moving the other person into an emotional state. When we are emotional, our judgement becomes impaired and we will react rather than think, which may lead to us saying things that we later regret. In this way, the accuser may be provoked into becoming a guilty party who can be accused and prosecuted in return.

Provocation acts as a distraction, moving attention away from the accusation you are receiving. An aroused person is easy to steer away from the point in question. If they insist, then it is easy also to wind them up further so it becomes a personal fight, for which they may later have to apologize.

See also

Distraction

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