The Secrets of Mind

Find out what you don’t know about it

To Say or To Suggest?


Have you ever noticed how quickly you can refuse to do something if you were asked to do that? It is normally enough to simply say ‘no’. Why is it that easy and how to make it more difficult for others to refuse from what you want them to do? Read onwards to find the answer and you will see how quickly you can understand this technique and apply it immediately to everyday life situations that you previously didn’t have success at. 

There is a lot to human nature that makes us see the freedom that we will have by making our own decisions. Hence, when we are obliged by others to do something we immediately notice that and special protection inside us gets activated. It tells us that our freedom has been discriminated and that it may be dangerous or unpleasant for us so we naturally start to resist that. We start to try to get our freedom back by refusing to do the orders of other people. Otherwise, we could be easily controlled by anyone without that person even building rapport with us and I think I don’t have to explain to you what our world would be like if it were so.

That all means that you shouldn’t get surprised when people are not willing to do something that you asked them to even if they are your kids, colleagues or husband…

Instead, try to make the visibility of their choice while keeping your initial intentions in place. It is called ‘ making a pseudo-choice’. By making a pseudo-choice you’re giving the same command to a person as in direct orders but the difference is that the result is effective. An example of pseudo-choice is introducing an ‘or’ statement into your expression. So if you want your kids to tidy up their room it wouldn’t be really effective to just say: ‘Jamie, tidy up your room!’ or even ‘Kelly, tidy up your room please’.  This is what most parents would say if they wanted their children to tidy up their rooms but in a lot of cases those parents wouldn’t be pleased with the results.

The more effective way of doing this is the following:

1. ‘Jamie, would you like to tidy up your room OR have your dinner first?’

2. ‘Kelly, would you like to tidy up your room before OR after you get disappointed with the way it looks?’

3. ‘Chloe, would you like to tidy up your room before OR after i get really upset that it’s messy?’

If your children still resist doing what you ask them, say: ‘ I just want to give you some choice, otherwise I can’t ‘ 

How to use this technique?

Always talk with a calm but firm voice and lowered intonation. Don’t show other people that you get really nervous about something that you want them to do because it’s such a big deal for you. Try to seem relaxed, be relaxed. It should look like they are doing what you’re telling them because any bad outcome of their disagreement with you will not be your fault or concern.

So, pseudo-choice statement:

  • ‘Would you like to finish the project before or after you may start to worry that it’s too late ‘

And now, compare it with the following:

‘Finish the project! We can get late!’

I’m now sure that you will make the right choice.

© Efim Bychkunov. All Rights Reserved.                                             


February 6, 2008 - Posted by | Psychological Tricks


  1. Nice Stuff, man! Keep up !!

    Comment by David | February 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. I rally like the last phrase…it’s hypnotizing!

    Comment by Shane | February 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. Yeah, it is!

    Comment by Jared | February 17, 2008 | Reply

  4. ummm

    Comment by Anvi | February 17, 2008 | Reply

  5. That make sense, I’ll try that in my classes.

    Thanks you.

    Comment by Xiaosong | February 27, 2008 | Reply

  6. awesome stuff here! works like magic..

    Comment by Shenon | March 9, 2008 | Reply

  7. excellente!!!!

    Comment by Vincent | March 10, 2008 | Reply

  8. I always used to give orders to employees, but this way they will actually do what you want.


    Comment by Martin | March 11, 2008 | Reply

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