Lately I have been getting a lot of questions about reverse psychology.
“What is it?”
“Does it work on an ex boyfriend?”
“Isn’t it harmful?”
Now, I don’t usually spend the better part of a week (that is how long it typically takes me to write one of these things) writing a guide unless it is something really important or something that a lot of people ask about. It just so happens that reverse psychology is both an important part of the “get your ex back” process and it is also something that a lot of women have been asking about.
I suppose the best way to kick this thing off is to define reverse psychology.
What Is Reverse Psychology?
It’s funny, I found a lot of different definitions for reverse psychology. Some of the definitions were way more complicated than they needed to be while others weren’t in the framework that I needed them to be in.
So, lets start there with setting up the proper framework.
I want you to imagine for a moment that you are a teenager again (some of you still may be) and your father comes into your room. Now, since you are a teenager your room is quite messy. Your father is not too fond of this fact so he will try to get you to clean your room.
One of the tactics that he could potentially employ is reverse psychology.
Now, in that framework your father would use reverse psychology to win an argument over when you are going to clean your room. While technically reverse psychology may be the ideal method to employ in that situation it isn’t really going to help us for our purposes of getting your ex boyfriend back.
Well, getting an ex boyfriend back isn’t about winning an argument. No, the task that’s ahead of you is much more challenging. What you basically have to do is convince another human being that their life is better with you in it.
That is the framework that we are going to be working with here.
So, in that framework what is the best way to define reverse psychology?
Hmm… perhaps I should back up a little bit and tell you what the real definition of reverse psychology is.
Original Definition- Making another person do something that you want them to do by telling them not to do it. The theory is that if you tell someone not to do something it may make them want to do it more.
If we were to use the “clean your room” example I gave above your father may try to say something like,
“Fine… don’t clean your room. When you have a boyfriend come over I want him to see how you live like a slob.”
The idea is that you would get so angry at his comments that you would clean your room just to spite him.
Therein lies the problem though.
If you were to clean your room just to “spite” him then that leaves you with a pretty negative feeling doesn’t it? While your father may have ultimately gotten what he wanted with you cleaning your room you did it to spite him so technically you are still a little peeved at him aren’t you?
Now, imagine if your ex boyfriend got back with you just to spite you?
A solid foundation for a relationship can’t be built on feelings of spite like that.
So, instead I have decided to modify the definition of reverse psychology to better suit our needs.
Modified Definition- Making your ex boyfriend do want you want him to do by understanding what he expects you to do and then doing the opposite. This will ultimately inspire him to say, “I may have made a mistake by letting her go.”
You see, I won’t feel I have done my job properly if I help you get your ex boyfriend back but he is still so angry with you that he won’t ever give your relationship a chance to thrive. While I think reverse psychology can be an amazing way to get what you want I don’t want it to stunt the “regrowth” of your relationship.
What Type Of Men Will Reverse Psychology Work Best On?
Believe it or not but there are some men that reverse psychology tactics won’t work on.
In this section what I would like to do is talk about,
- The types of men that RP (reverse psychology) works on.
- The types of men that RP won’t work on.
- What to do if your ex boyfriend is the type that it won’t work on.
I suppose we should just hit the ground running!
The Types Of Men That Reverse Psychology Will Work On
Reverse psychology will work on highly emotional men or men who are in a highly emotional state.
This makes 90% of ex boyfriends the perfect candidates for RP.
Why do you think RP works best on men who are often resistant and emotional about things?
Well, if we go back to our “clean the room” example (sorry to keep going back to that) and you were to get emotional and demanded that you shouldn’t have to clean your room after your father says,
“Fine… don’t clean your room. When you have a boyfriend come over I want him to see how you live like a slob.”
An internal battle in your head is going to get started.
“Wait, what if I really do have a boyfriend come over and it looks like this? God, what will he think of me?”
Then you might think something like,
“Wait, my father is such a jerk. I can’t believe he even said that. I’m not cleaning my room at all just because he brought this up.”
Then the internal battle shifts to thoughts like,
“But my room is pretty messy… and if I do have a boyfriend come over I don’t want want him to think I live in garbage.”
It’s almost like this internal battle is like having a devil and an angel on your shoulder and reverse psychology is supposed to use the argument between the two to your advantage to get what you want. Of course, as I pointed out above we aren’t trying to get your ex boyfriend back in the framework of an argument.
Ideally, if you were to use reverse psychology what is supposed to happen to your ex should look something like this,
This is a fun little graphic because it illustrates what is going to happen in your ex boyfriends mind.
Lets take a moment and dissect the circle graphic above.
His Expectations Of You
After a breakup your ex boyfriend is going to have certain expectations of you. For example, he may be expecting you to call him numerous times throughout the day begging him back. Why does he have this expectation? Well, because throughout your relationship you were never one to hold back your feelings and he knows that the break up wasn’t amicable.
So, lets stick with this example for a moment.
(Ex: That you will call him throughout the day begging for him back.)
You Do The Opposite Of His Expectations
We already know what he expects you to do post breakup.
(Call you and beg for you back.)
If you understand that he is expecting you to do this then you can put reverse psychology theory into effect.
How do you do that?
You simply do the opposite of what he is expecting you to do. So, rather than begging for him back by continuously calling him you won’t call him at all. It may take a while for him to pick up that you aren’t begging for him back but once he does begin to realize that he didn’t know you as well as he thought he did something else amazing will happen.
He Begins An Internal Battle
This is going to paint my entire gender in a very bad light but men love to think they are smarter than women.
(None of us are really but we like to think that we are.)
Anyways, your ex boyfriend probably thinks he is the most clever man on planet earth because he has this undying belief that you are going to call and beg for him back. Now, your ex is a pretty patient guy so he understands that the begging probably won’t come for a few days.
However, after a few days pass and the begging hasn’t come yet, doubt begins to creep into his mind.
“Maybe I didn’t know her as well as I thought..”
“Maybe I didn’t matter to her as much as I thought I did..”
This kick starts an internal battle in his mind that could potentially land on one conclusion.
He Begins To Regret The Breakup
Throughout this site I have constantly peddled one theory about men.
Do you remember what it is?
Men always want what they can’t have.
It just so happens that this hypothesis aligns perfectly with what we are talking about here with reverse psychology since RP basically means you are going to say, “you can’t have this” to your ex boyfriend in order to get him to want you.
So, after your ex boyfriend determines that he didn’t know you as well as he thought and he realizes that your world doesn’t completely revolve around him (like he wants it to,) your value is going to go up in his eyes. Remember, at this point he realizes that he can’t have you.
Men always want what they can’t have.
This realization is going to urge him in the direction that he may have made a mistake leaving your relationship. In other words, he may have made a mistake.
Coming Full Circle
I could have ended my explanation of the graphic after the last section but something felt incomplete to me.
What I am trying to teach you here is to use reverse psychology to get your ex boyfriend back and just making your ex regret the breakup isn’t the same thing as getting him back.
I thought a lot about how to explain this and I finally settled on this phrase,
To get your ex boyfriend back you need to use reverse psychology in more than one way.
In other words, you need to make your ex boyfriend go through the process outlined in the circle graphic above multiple times to make his feelings of regret so strong that he will actively pursue you to get you back.
The Types Of Men That Reverse Psychology WON’T Work On
So, now that you have a good idea of what type of men reverse psychology will work on lets shift our focus to the type of men that it won’t work on.
Before I get started on this section I would like to point out that I have a firm belief that the men that I am about to discuss in this section are very rare.
So, what are these allusive type of men?
Well, if your ex boyfriend is very agreeable then he is probably not going to fall for a reverse psychology tactic because he will probably agree with it.
Lets go back to our “clean the room” example.
Lets say that you and your father are at odds about cleaning your room (what else is new?) Well, your father gets so fed up that he decides to whip out some good ole fashioned reverse psychology. Unfortunately, you are a pretty agreeable person so when he says,
“Fine… don’t clean your room. When you have a boyfriend come over I want him to see how you live like a slob.”
You take it literally and decide not to clean your room. You are an agreeable type after all.
This is interesting though because if your ex boyfriend is very agreeable wouldn’t the better approach to get him to do what you want be to simply be straightforward with him?
Well, yes and no.
Allow me to expand.
What To Do If RP Won’t Work On Your Ex Boyfriend?
Lets say that you are trying all kinds of reverse psychology tactics on your ex boyfriend but no matter what you try nothing seems to be working.
What do you do now?
Should you just be straightforward with him?
Well, that depends on a number of factors. I think you ladies learn more when I give you examples so let me do that.
Lets say that you and your ex boyfriend had a very bad breakup. Lets make this the mother of all breakups. He was yelling at the top of his lungs at you and you were yelling at the top of your lungs at him. Things were thrown, broken and maybe even the neighbors had to call the cops since you two were getting so loud.
Yes, the breakup was that bad.
In circumstances like these I think it is safe to assume that your ex boyfriend is going to be furious for a while. You may have even tried to reach out to him a few days after the breakup only to get a text message response that looks like this,
In a situation like this reverse psychology will probably work. An ex who is highly emotional is actually a perfect candidate as I described above. However, at first RP tactics probably won’t work because he may be blinded by rage and nothing you do will have worked.
This is something that you have to watch out for.
I am sure I am going to get a lot of questions in the comments section saying something like,
“My ex boyfriend is emotional but still this reverse psychology stuff isn’t working on him. Why???”
Well, sometimes you have to wait until his initial anger from the breakup subsides before ANYTHING will work on him (not just RP tactics.)
Of course, the worst case scenario for pretty much everyone hoping to use reverse psychology on an ex is getting a guy who is super agreeable.
Generally speaking, reverse psychology won’t work as well on men who are like this. So, the question I posed above was,
What is the best way to approach someone who is super agreeable?
Should you be straightforward with them and just tell them that you want them back?
Well, I don’t think being straightforward and with your ex boyfriend is the best move at this point. The women who have been straightforward with their exes end up begging, pleading and annoying their exes to a point where he doesn’t want anything to do with them.
Look, I am not saying you can’t be straightforward with your ex at some point but you need to be carefully testing and measuring him for when the time is right.
Lets pretend that your ex boyfriend is super agreeable and reverse psychology won’t work on him. Rather than coming out of the gates and screaming,
“I WANT YOU BACK”
The smarter move is to slowly be straightforward with him. The only time you should ever say “I want you back” is when you know for a fact that the timing is right for him to hear it and that is done through something I like to call priming.
What Is Priming?
This isn’t the first time that I have mentioned priming on this site.
When it comes to men who aren’t susceptible to reverse psychology, priming is going to be your best friend.
Have you ever noticed how sometimes the “when” is just as important as the “how” when it comes to talking about something controversial?
For example, lets say that you and your ex boyfriend have gotten back together but aren’t married yet. Well, one day you find out that you are pregnant and this scares you a little bit because you don’t know how your boyfriend is going to react to the news.
Right now you are at a crossroads. You can either find out what he thinks (without doing any priming) or you can prime him by getting him into the right mindset to hear the news.
Now, I want to ask you in which of these two circumstances do you think a guy will react better to?
If you guessed priming then you were right.
So, your main goal if you are going to be straightforward with your ex boyfriend is to prime him and get him into the right mindset to hear the big news that you want him back.
The question on the table now is, how do you do that?
Well, the answer to that question is quite long and frankly I don’t have the time to go into it right now. Fortunately for you, I have created multiple guides on how to get your ex boyfriend back (using priming tactics.) Here are a few of my favorites,
- How To Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back (Version 2.0)
- How To Make Your Ex Boyfriend Fall In Love With You Again
The Risks Associated With Reverse Psychology
As helpful as reverse psychology can be in getting your ex boyfriend back there are a few risks that go along with it.
In this section I would like to take a look at those risks and teach you how you can minimize them.
I think the best way for me to start this section out is by giving you some insight into the majority of ex boyfriends out there.
“His Idea” Theory
In my time here at Ex Boyfriend Recovery I have seen a lot of couples get back together. In the majority of those reconciliations I have noticed a very interesting trend.
The Trend – It is the mans idea to get back together.
(or he likes to think it is.)
The fact of the matter is that you are on this site because you probably want your ex boyfriend back. That means that you have probably tried to get him back before you had even read a word that I have written. Obviously you failed in your attempt to get him back (because you are here on my site now.)
You probably failed because he sensed that you were trying to win him back.
Your ex boyfriend consciously made the decision not to be with you. Men don’t like to second guess themselves because we always like to be right (its just the way we are.)
So, for a lot of men the only way that he can see himself getting back with you is if it is his idea to actually get you back.
This is very interesting because it kind of ties into a big picture of reverse psychology. For example, a lot of the women who succeeded in getting their exes back via the advice on this site made their exes think that it wasn’t their idea to get back together when in fact it was.
I know this may be a little complicated to digest so let me break it down for you.
Lets say that you want your ex boyfriend back so you try the tactics that I recommend on this site. Well, if you do those tactics correctly you will influence your boyfriend to the point where he will think it’s his idea to get back with you when in fact it was your influence that pushed him to that point all along.
That’s the effect that reverse psychology can have in a nutshell ladies 😉 .
Of course, this is also a perfect lead in to the big risk with reverse psychology.
The Risk With RP
No one likes to be manipulated and make no mistake about it reverse psychology is a little manipulative.
So, the risk that is often associated with reverse psychology is the fact that if you are found out or too obvious about how you attempt your RP on your ex he could shut you down immediately.
This is often why people who are way too obvious about reverse psychology on their exes fail.
Instead of getting him to think,
“Wait, I may have made a mistake in letting her go.”
He will probably think something like,
“Wow, she is trying to get me back by manipulating me… there is no way I will ever go back to her after this.”
Essentially if you are found out not only will you push him away but you could ruin your chances of getting him back forever. I know that may be scary for some of you to hear but you wanted the truth right?
So, I guess the question now becomes,
How do you minimize the risk with reverse psychology.
The Key Is Subtlety
The key to pulling off reverse psychology is that you have to be subtle about it.
For example, an ex boyfriend is probably going to expect you to mope around and cry for days after the breakup. Well, using reverse psychology theory you are supposed to do exactly the opposite of that. So, instead of moping around and crying you decide to be proactive and put yourself out there by going on a date with a guy who has been asking you out for quite some time.
(Technically this can be a form of RP.)
Lets do a hypothetical situation for a moment to highlight the importance of subtlety.
So, you are out on a date with your new guy and your ex happens to be at the restaurant and sees the two of you. At this point you have two choices.
- You can rub the fact that you are on a date in by kissing, cuddling, or hugging your new guy. (An obvious attempt to make your ex jealous.)
- You can remain cool as a cucumber about the situation, ignore your ex and focus on your date instantly having an effect on your ex.
Choice one is not very subtle and women who do this tend to fall flat on their face if they are trying to win their exes back. Look, creating a little jealousy is not necessarily a bad thing but it can be very dangerous if you are not subtle about it.
Because your ex isn’t as dumb as you may think.
Remember the section above when I talked about the risks of reverse psychology?
Well, if you are not subtle about how you use your reverse psychology your ex will begin to connect the dots and pretty soon a light bulb is going to go off and he is going to think,
“Oh my god… she is trying to get me back.”
The Correct Way To Use Reverse Psychology On An Ex Boyfriend
I have come up with a three step method that women can use to decide if reverse psychology is the best route for them on their ex boyfriend. In this section I am going to cover that three step method extensively and give you some massive insight into how to pull it off.
You see, the thing that really sets this guide apart from the others on this site is the fact that there are some major risks with reverse psychology (relating to exes) while the other guides cover relatively low risk tactics. So, before I really get going on my version of reverse psychology I do want to say that you don’t necessarily have to put any of what I talk about here into motion.
While I always have your best interests at heart and I did my best to lower the risks with reverse psychology I would completely understand if you choose to forgo this little trick in getting your ex boyfriend back.
So, what are these three steps that I keep teasing you with?
The Three Step Method
You are in a very interesting position.
If you were to do a simple Google search for RP you would get all kinds of advice on how to pull it off. In fact, there is no doubt in my mind that a lot of that advice would be amazing. However, the situation you are in (with your ex boyfriend) requires some shifts in the traditional methods that everyone else out there teaches.
Below I have put together three steps that need to happen if you are going to use reverse psychology.
- Is He A Candidate?
- Your Insight Into Your Ex.
- Reverse Of Your Insight.
So, what does any of this mean?
Step 1: Is He A Candidate?
With this step you are aiming to remove a lot of the risk with RP.
In order to do this you have to determine if your ex boyfriend is even a good candidate to use RP on.
So, how do you do this?
Well, you can scroll up to my section on “The Type of Men That Reverse Psychology Will Work On” and read that again for starters. The truth is that all the information you need is right there.
Of course, there is one type of man that I purposefully left out above in preparation for this section.
You may run into one type of man that is a hybrid of the type of man that RP will work on and won’t work on.
How the heck does that work?
Lets take a look below.
Be Aware Of The Hybrid
The hybrid is an interesting contradiction.
One thing we already know is that men who are emotional or in an emotional state are prime candidates for reverse psychology. Well, there is a certain type of man who is highly emotional that is not a good candidate for reverse psychology.
Let me give you an example to illustrate my point.
Lets say that you have identified your ex boyfriend as a good candidate for reverse psychology since you have found him to be a little emotional.
You decide that you aren’t going to contact him for a while since he specifically told you to, “keep in touch,” after the breakup.
That is reverse psychology after all.
What you need to be aware of here is that you have a goal, you want him to fall in love with you again and you want him back. While I would still say a little distance can be a good thing make sure you don’t lose sight of your goal.
Cutting the hybrid out of your life for too long could be a little dangerous because he may take your silence as a way of you saying,
“I don’t want you in my life anymore.”
Let me expand on this a bit.
You actually do want the hybrid to think that you don’t want him in your life anymore but you don’t want him to think about it constantly because then he will begin to believe it. In his mind he is going to think,
“Wow, maybe I wasn’t as important to her as I thought.”
This is good because it will actually make you a little more attractive in his eyes.
Because men always want what they can’t have remember?
Of course, most men think that their time is just as valuable as yours (it’s not but they like to think it is.) As a result, they aren’t going to stick around and wait for you forever. This is why I recommend the 30 to 21 day no contact rule that I talk about extensively here.
In a nutshell, if your ex is constantly doing things that scream CONTACT ME. It actually might be better for you if you take him up on his offer eventually. Yes, you still want him to earn the right to contact you but don’t halt your progress completely just because you want to see the reverse psychology through.
The thing most visitors fail to realize about getting their ex back is that there are really no rules. There are just guidelines and make no mistake about it, reverse psychology is just a guideline.
Step 2: Your Insight Into Your Ex
You know your ex boyfriend better than I ever could.
That is an undeniable fact.
So, you are going to put this knowledge to the test by comparing it to my knowledge on ex boyfriends in general.
“Wait… what are you talking about?”
Well, I am going to list all the expectations that ex boyfriends tend to have of their ex girlfriends after a breakup. Now, some of the stuff I talk about may make you go,
“(insert ex boyfriend’s name) would never do that.”
While some of the stuff may make you go,
“That totally sounds like (insert ex boyfriends name.)”
In other words, I want you to use your knowledge of your ex and compare it to my knowledge of exes in general to understand what type of reverse psychology tactic will be most effective for you (which is step 3 of this entire process but more on that later.)
I realize that you still may be a little confused but don’t worry it is all going to make sense when I begin talking about expectations.
What the heck, I am just going to jump right in.
Expectation 1- She Is Going To Contact Me First
With a show of hands…
How many reading/writing this page have ever thought this after a breakup?
(I raise my hand…)
Yup, you are looking at an offender right here. It’s not something I am necessarily proud of because I am usually very mature about how I handle even the most painful situations but at the time I wasn’t very mature (it was my first relationship ever so.. ya…) and it was definitely a painful breakup.
So, what did Chris Seiter say to himself after the breakup?
“Screw that… I am not talking to her until she contacts me first.”
Ok, so maybe this isn’t an actual “expectation” and more of a mindset but you know what.. so many men think this after a breakup I decided to include it.
Expectation 2- She Is Probably Going To Beg For Me Back
Sadly most of the women on this site have already begged for their exes back confirming their exes expectations of them.
I see this expectation a lot with men who end up breaking up with their girlfriends.
Well, if a guy breaks up with a girl it means he probably thinks that he is better than her and she will have this grand realization after the breakup and come crawling back. Seriously, this is how guys think.
Oh, and every time that you ladies actually do come crawling back and pull out the, “PLEEASSEE what do I have to do for you to take me back?” type of lines you aren’t doing yourself any favors because all you are doing is feeding his ego.
Expectation 3- I Was The Best Boyfriend She Ever Had
This was something that I talked about in my last guide which covered male psychology.
Here is an interesting insight into men. Any time they get into a relationship with a woman they have to believe that they are the best boyfriend that she has ever had.
Speaking personally, I don’t think I could survive in a relationship without that belief. It would absolutely drive me nuts to know that somewhere out there, there is a guy who was better than me to my significant other. I would probably lay awake at night thinking to myself,
“Then why isn’t she with him? If she is in love with someone else what am I doing here with her?”
The fact of the matter is that ALL MEN have to believe that they are the absolute best you have ever had to survive in a relationship.
So, it only makes sense that they get a big head after the breakup with all the,
“Oh ya… I was the best boyfriend she ever had.”
Step 3: Reverse Of Your Insight
Now comes the fun part.
Now you get to combine your knowledge with mine.
Above I talked about three expectations that most men have after a breakup. What you are going to do is use all of the knowledge you have of your ex boyfriend to see which of those three expectations above he is most likely to have. Some women may find that he is a lock for one of the expectations and not the other two. Other women may find that he is a shoe in to exhibit all three of the expectations.
Heck, you may think he won’t any of the expectations (he will though I promise 😉 .)
Whatever the case I want you to use your knowledge and identify the expectations you think he is a lock for.
What do you do next?
Well, you are going to use reverse psychology by doing the opposite of that expectation.
I will show you how you can do that for each and every expectation below.
Reverse Psychology For “She Is Going To Contact Me First.”
This one is pretty simple.
Your ex boyfriend thinks that you are going to contact him first. He thinks you’ll be the first to break… but you wont.
In fact, if you want to really stick to the reverse psychology method you aren’t going to talk to him until HE contacts you first. This is going to require extreme discipline from you.
Seriously, there may be moments where you think it’s unfair and that the world has risen up against you. Whatever happens make sure you don’t break down.
Well, pretty soon reverse psychology will cause his mindset to change.
Right after the breakup he will keep muttering to himself, “I am going to make sure she is the first one to break.” Well, after 10 days and no sign whatsoever from you he is going to start that internal battle that I talked about a long time ago in that circle graphic.
Internal battle = progress
Unfortunately, experience has taught me that I am dealing with people who lack that discipline (no offense.) So, here is my offer to you. If you feel the urge to break down and contact your ex first come here and leave me a comment. Say something like, “I am really struggling and need someone to set me straight.”
I will be happy to provide that for you 🙂 .
Reverse Psychology For “She Will Probably Beg For Me To Take Her Back.”
This one kind of goes hand in hand with the one above in that your goal here is to shift his paradigm and create that internal battle within him.
I don’t think I need to spell out that the reverse psychology of begging for him is to NOT beg for him back.
No, what I really want to talk about here is what to do if you have already begged for him back.
A lot of women come to this site, realize they made a mistake in begging for their ex back and automatically think that their chances of getting him back are over. While I am not going to lie, your value has been lowered in his eyes a little bit it doesn’t mean that your chances of getting him back are over.
No, it just means that the past is the past and you can’t make the same mistakes in the future.
Every day I see way too many women who dwell on the past and make the same mistakes over and over again. Look, if you begged for your ex back in the past you aren’t going to be able to change it (unless you have a time machine… if you have a time machine then you can email me at [email protected] because I would very much like to use it 😉 .)
For us mere mortals without time machines we can’t change the past so there is no use dwelling on it. Instead, the smarter thing to do is to focus on the future and focus on not making the same mistake of begging for him back again.
Trust me… he probably liked the fact that you wanted him back. So, when all of a sudden that feedback from you stops he may find he misses it a little and begins that internal battle we all want him to have.
Reverse Psychology For “I Was The Best Boyfriend She Ever Had.”
This is the one where you get to have the most fun.
Basically what you are trying to do here is use subtle methods to tell him the opposite of what he believes, that he was the best you ever had.
How do you do that?
Well, when you finally do get to a point where the two of you are talking again every once in a while I want you to slip in a text message like this,
Notice how subtle it is.
It probably wouldn’t go over too well if you had said something like,
“I wish more people were romantic like that with me…”
Or maybe it will…
I guess it’s up to you 😉