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Challenge Others


Techniques Willpower > Challenge Others

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When you are developing your will, you may start with yourself, doing things that have been hard to convince yourself to do. To develop your willpower further, seek challenges where you need to convince others to do things they would not easily do.

As with building self-will, start small, beginning with things that are easy to agree with, then moving up to larger challenges where others  may well argue against your proposals.

The exercises you do and the order in which you do them will depend on you. Here are some ideas (you can make any one of these more or less challenging):

  • Negotiate a lower price when buying something.
  • Ask somebody who is not your subordinate to do something for you.
  • Disagree with people in work meetings.
  • Ask for a raise in salary at work.

As you are building up your willpower in dealing with others, also gradually increase the strength of projected will.

In doing this, watch and develop your language, making careful use of words and structures. Also develop your body language, using assertive or dominant body language as appropriate.

Start with people you know and those who will be easier to persuade. Gradually move to smaller requests to more challenging people and bigger commands to people who are more compliant. Also steadily move from people you know to strangers and people in authority. As you are doing this,


A shy person starts by asking people they know for small things. Then they move to making bigger requests. They try out more commanding words on strangers first, then act more assertive with their family. There are several comments made about them as to how they seem to be a new person!

A student who is rather quiet wants to challenge their teachers more often. They start with interested questions and then get more challenging a bit at a time. A big hurdle that they overcome is embarrassment when they ask 'silly questions'. They create a standard answer to this about 'better to ask dumb questions than not ask any and be dumber'.

A person who wants to be able to challenge more joins a debating society. At first, they just listen. They they start joining in. Before long, they are proposing motions and defending ideas.


There is is a big difference between willpower as self control and willpower as persuasion and control of others, although self-control can be harder in some ways. Often the biggest question is about belief in one's own abilities, which is why getting out there and trying things is so important.

'Imposing one's will' can be seen as being 'bad' in some way. This is so when, in doing so, you harm the other person in some way, for example by damaging their confidence. This, however, is often used an excuse not to try to persuade others, just in case some harm is done. In the end, however, there is always risk and you have to make a judgement as to what is reasonable or not.

When you are used to verbal duels, this can be a lot of fun. Just arguing with others who like to argue back. This makes negotiation for good prices in shops fun too. The first step is self-control to get going and overcome fears, then the next step is to look for ways that will persuade the other person.

See also



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