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  • Writer's pictureClayton T. Robertson

The Art of Persuasion: The Embedded Command

By Clayton T. Robertson (Criminal Defense / Civil Litigation Attorney)

I'm starting a new series of posts on advanced techniques of persuasion.

Art of Persuasion Tip #1 -- The Embedded Command

A form of reverse psychology tapping into the unconscious mind in which you signal to the target your message or what you want by stating it in the negative. This type of "negation" gives you deniability about the intent of the communication, while still communicating the command or suggestion.


- "I'm not here to tell you why this witness wasn't telling the truth."

- "I'm not here to tell you why you should adopt this course of action."

- "I'm not here to tell you why you should agree with me."

Some of these examples (among many) are more or less obvious than others. The "embedded command" can also be used in situations in which directly communicating the message would also potentially be perceived as too combative or overt.


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