Provocation is a very effective method of psychological influence on a person and therefore is often used by different people to achieve their goals. With its help, a person can cause a thoughtless, spontaneous reaction, because of which he will begin to make mistakes. If you have ever encountered explicit provocateurs, then you probably remember this experience. And I’m sure you have not the best impressions about him. And all because provocateurs force people to say and do things that they would never have done, being in a calm, balanced state. However, this is precisely the point of provocations – to force you to do what the provocateur needs, but you do not need to. Therefore, it is necessary to be able to recognize provocations, understand them and correctly respond to them. How to do it
What is provocation
First, let’s find out what provocation is. In short, provocation is an incentive that is likely to provoke the one to whom it is directed the desired reaction. Literally from Latin the word “provocation” is translated as “challenge”. And this is really a challenge for the one who is being targeted. Indeed, in order to correctly respond to a provocation, it must first be recognized, and then find the right answer to it. It is very important not to respond to the provocation, namely to respond to it, that is, act deliberately. And for this it is necessary to have [and if you do not have, then develop] self-control so as not to allow emotions provoked by provocation to overshadow your mind and push you to erroneous actions.
A provocation can also be called a well-designed and targeted stimulus, awakening certain emotions and feelings in people and pushing them to rash actions. I repeat, to provoke a person means to induce him to such an action that he would not have performed without an external stimulus. The provocateur predicts the act of his victim, planning to derive benefit from it, which can be either material or in the form of psychological satisfaction. There are other definitions of provocation. But we will consider provocation, precisely as a challenge, to which we must be able to adequately respond.
What are the provocations
Provocations are explicit and implicit. Explicit provocation is an open call, or you can also say “run over” someone. For example, on you. You can be insulted, slandered, humiliated, they can doubt your abilities and even try to play off someone with you so that you can predictably react to the actions of the provocateur. Most often, the reaction is emotional, stereotyped, predictable. Therefore, the provocateur is easy to calculate the actions of the victim and he can only adapt them to his tasks. You can also be provoked with positive things – to seduce, bribe, praise, elevate your virtues above their limit. In this case, you are already on a positive wave will do such things or say things that you would hardly have done and told in a calm, unexcited state.
Thus, no matter what and how they provoke you, if the provocation is obvious, you will see and recognize it. You will immediately understand that a person is prompting you to something, that he wants something from you, therefore he pays special attention to you and performs certain actions in relation to you.
As for implicit provocations, their peculiarity is that they are difficult to recognize and impossible to understand their goals. Implicit, hidden provocation is essentially a manipulation. They encourage you to something, but you don’t understand what provokes you, you don’t see a provocateur in a provocateur, but a provocation in a provocation. This plays into the hands of the provocateur, who may not be afraid of opposition on your part. For example, a person can tell something about himself, which he supposedly does not tell everyone. That is, he shares with you the innermost, trusts you, opens before you. The question is, for what purpose is he doing this? As an option, this is an attempt to talk to you, encourage you to open up in return and give out valuable information about yourself. Or he is trying to gain confidence in you in such a way as to incline or get something from you. But if you don’t even think about the reason and meaning of such a heart-to-heart talk, then you don’t even understand what provokes you. In other words, an implicit provocation is a pure manipulation with the help of which they may try to extract some information from you or prompt you to some kind of action. Below I will talk in more detail about what methods of provocative influence are. In the meantime, we will consider ways to recognize provocation when it is not obvious.
How to recognize a provocation
Sometimes provocation is not easy. But this can always be done if you are attentive to everything that happens to you and around you. The first thing you should pay attention to is discomfort. A feeling of discomfort always signals a danger. Usually it’s uncomfortable with provocateurs, even if you still don’t understand that it’s the provocateur who provokes you. Such a person can annoy you, he can cause you to feel disgust and you want to distance yourself from him. This is because the provocateur creeps into your head and soul without your consent, he tries to break into your psychological defense and circumvent your rational caution. Therefore, if you are not comfortable with a person, this is an occasion to ask yourself: why do you need it, to chat with him? And ask yourself an even more important question: why does he need you to communicate with you, to give you attention and to do something for you? These questions will be the beginning of your recognition of provocation.
It also happens that with a provocateur you feel very good, free and easy. This happens when you are provoked through positive thoughts and feelings. You, for example, can be greatly praised, admired by you, so that, succumbing to emotions, do something for the provocateur in gratitude, tell something to him, give something, and so on. Or they may offer you some benefit, or an interesting idea, from which you will be delighted. And then you yourself will do what the provocateur expects. It is important here to keep your head sober, remembering that just like that, people never do anything. It is not their nature to do good to others without special need. Therefore, you need to find out what their need for doing well for you? So I suggest you think about it in that situation,
Questions are the main tool for thinking and finding the right information. With their help, you can not only recognize the provocation, but also correctly reflect it. If you are asked questions that force you to disclose information that is undesirable for disclosure, you are likely to be provoked. And vice versa, you yourself must be able to ask and ask questions that will allow you to understand the reasons for what is happening to you and in the sense of other people’s behavior. Ask people what they want in order to have at least a rough idea of their intentions. Do not be afraid to seem suspicious and cautious – God saves the careful. Try to ask questions more often, and not answer them, communicating with other people in order to control the situation and show provocateurs that you are a tough nut.
And the last thing I advise you to do is to calculate your actions. If a provocation is difficult to recognize, it can be found. To do this, you need to calculate the cause and effect relationships in order to understand whether it is beneficial for you to do something or not. If not profitable, then it is likely that the one who prompts you to these actions is a provocateur and manipulator. So using your thinking and calculating the situation a few steps forward, you can avoid many mistakes that are pushing you. This is not easy to do, I understand, because the future is not predetermined and any forecasts may turn out to be erroneous. But this is better than simply reacting to the words and deeds of other people without thinking about the consequences of their actions. Take time to think, do not rush, in a hurry you can not notice much, do not understand that with a more detailed study it will become obvious. This also applies to the behavior of other people, and your own decisions and actions. Something to calculate your actions, you need time, find it and use it to ponder your situation. Then for provocateurs you will be a tough nut to crack.
In general, we can attribute many actions and words of people to provocations. For much in our interaction with each other can be called a stimulus and even a challenge. And many of the irritants that we encounter force us to act in a way that is not convenient for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to pay attention primarily to intentional, targeted provocations, and only then look for a catch in what seems to be quite normal and natural. A provocation is all those actions and words of people that can cause you some kind of damage. This damage must be assessed before you suffer it. With explicit, obvious provocations, this is easier to do. Remember that provocation is an instrument of struggle, hostility, rivalry, competition. Therefore, in some cases, a provocation can be recognized by the clearly hostile intent of other people against you.
Methods of provocation
Now let’s talk about what methods of provocation are in order to better understand the principle of their work.
1. Take the victim on weakly. This is a fairly common provocation method, because it is very simple to execute. Even children use it. All that needs to be done in order to provoke a person with this trick is to doubt his abilities, his honesty and other qualities. A person will want to prove that he is not a weakling, not a coward, not a lazy person, not a fool, not greedy, not poor, not a cheater, not a cheater, not a thief, not a murderer, and so on. And when a person does this – to prove, explain, justify himself – he will tell a lot of unnecessary things and will do a lot of unnecessary things for himself. If this provocation is not obvious to the one against whom it is directed, then it becomes many times more effective. But even if people understand that they are provoked in this way, they can still follow the provocateur’s occasion to show themselves to him or other people on the good side.
2. Raise a person. This is also a very good way of provocation. Seeing in a person who he is not [but who would like to be], admiring this and emphasizing it in every way, one can arouse the desire and desire in him to conform to this image. Here, the victim of the provocation simply needs to agree with the opinion of the provocateur that he, the victim, is smart, brave, generous, practical, responsible, modern, to fall into the trap. Since you are the way you want to see yourself and the way other people see you – match this image and do what you should do.
3. The conflict. Provocation of conflict is the most common and obvious form of provocation. Unlike manipulative provocations, this method of inducing people to certain actions can often be recognized without much difficulty, but it is very difficult for many people to refrain from succumbing to this provocation. It’s all about strong emotions – resentment, anger, hatred, fear, which people find it difficult to control. From this, the divide and rule technique is relevant at all times. As life shows, it is not difficult to provoke a conflict between people by releasing them with each other. It is only necessary to evoke in people a certain emotional state and the associated behavioral reaction. If a person gets angry, offended, or scared, he will behave in a predictable way. And if you call this behavior at the right time in the right place, then you can get some benefit from it. The point is to force an excited person to make a mistake.
4. The temptation. A person can be provoked to thoughtless actions and deeds, by seducing him with something. Money, sex, status are some of the most commonly used lures for seducing people. For example, a lot of money or their absence can provoke a person to a crime. A beautiful woman can provoke a man to treason, and an overly persistent and cunning man with the help of fairy tales about love can provoke a woman to leave the family. The desire to improve their status in society can provoke a person to betray loved ones. And the consequences of such actions can be very different, depending on who and for what purpose seduces a person.
5. Shame, guilt. You can cause a person to feel guilty and shameful and thus provoke him to actions with which he will try to make amends to someone and correct his mistakes. This is a manipulative provocation, that is, as a rule, having hidden intentions. However, sometimes a provocateur can openly demand compensation from his victim for damage, without hiding the fact that this whole situation is in his favor.
6. Not tactful [provocative] questions. This is a fairly effective method of provocation. It is often used by lawyers in court and scandalous journalists. A tactless question may prompt a person to tell the truth or make a mistake that will cost him dearly. After all, wanting to refute false information, sometimes frankly false and cynical, a person gives reliable information. Or his emotional state will become so unstable due to surging feelings that he will cease to behave rationally, begin to get nervous, worry and will surely make some kind of mistake. For example, a person can be asked about how long he stopped using alcohol or drugs, which implies that he generally did this once, if they really want to, it may not be so. And if a person is inattentive to a question and begins to answer it rashly, he can confirm with his answer the fact of drinking alcohol or drugs, saying that he has not been using them for a long time. That is, one incorrectly spoken word can make him a former alcoholic and drug addict. Or he may experience negative emotions due to such a question and begin to show aggression towards the one who asked him. And this will put a person in a bad light and people may think badly of him, including the fact that he is really a former drug addict with an unbalanced psyche. Or he may experience negative emotions due to such a question and begin to show aggression towards the one who asked him. And this will put a person in a bad light and people may think badly of him, including the fact that he is really a former drug addict with an unbalanced psyche. Or he may experience negative emotions due to such a question and begin to show aggression towards the one who asked him. And this will put a person in a bad light and people may think badly of him, including the fact that he is really a former drug addict with an unbalanced psyche.
7. Joy. What people do not just do for joy. When a person is overwhelmed with emotions, he begins to behave primitively, making the most straightforward decisions. It’s easiest for people who are happy to sell something. When people experience a storm of positive emotions, they don’t really count money. The main thing is to awaken these emotions in people. There are many ways to do this. For example, see how well various sales encourage people to make purchases, including unnecessary ones.
8. Intentional misconception. This is a more subtle method of provocation, manipulative, with many variations. Its meaning is to intentionally make a mistake in something, to demonstrate your delusion to the right people and thus encourage them to correct you or completely refute you. This allows you to get them to do some work [work on proving that you are wrong] or to get valuable information from them, and generally allows you to attract the attention of these people. Thus, people will spend certain resources, succumbing to such a provocation and disclose the necessary information.
For example, I may not know the address of the person I need and I do not want to ask anyone about this so as not to arouse suspicion because of my curiosity. But I can intentionally name his erroneous address in the presence of people who, in my opinion, know him, so that they correct me and give me the necessary information. Or it is possible to present such absurd information on a topic that it will outrage many people and they will want to refute it, citing the information necessary for the provocateur as evidence of its fallacy. So, in particular, you can find out from what sources they draw information and what knowledge they have in a certain area. In some activities, such information about the source of information is of great value.
Social engineers often use this method of provocation to fish out the necessary information from their victims. For example, they can call the bank card holder, introduce themselves as a bank employee and clarify the information they need on the card. But they do not just ask him about it, it can cause suspicion, but they will give out partially correct information and partially incorrect, referring to the fact that they lost the rest of the data due to, say, a computer failure. A person who does not want to have problems with the card and the bank and sees that it is already partially known about him, will give the scammers the missing information, after which money will be stolen from his card. This method of provocation has many forms and methods of application. People’s desire to point out other people’s mistakes, errors, lies, and at the same time emphasize their awareness is often used in their interests by competent provocateurs.
9. The threat. Threats, both real and imaginary, are also a fairly often used method of provocation. This is a more open and explicit provocation. The calculation is made on the alleged human reaction to a threat against him. A person in such cases can be very predictable. He may be frightened and abandon his ambitions, may make concessions, may hide, run away, retreat, or may show aggression in response. All these types of reactions may well turn out to be erroneous, inappropriate, ill-conceived and inaccurate, especially in those cases when the threats of the provocateur are worthless. The result needed by the provocateur will be achieved if the victim believes in the reality of his threats and is scared of them.
10. The scandal. A dirty, but very effective and common method of provocation. Scandals are a great way to focus people’s attention on some issue that they would never have paid attention to without scandal. The main task of the scandal is to attract attention and, if possible, hold it for as long as possible. In the process of scandal, certain points of view on a particular issue are imposed on people, which they begin to perceive as their own opinion and, based on this opinion, people subsequently make decisions, perform probabilistically predetermined actions, for which provocation is started. With the help of a good scandal, you can distract people’s attention from the problems that are really important for them and direct their discontent in the direction needed by the provocateur. Most people are interested in the scandal because that their cultural environment is replete with all kinds of scandals. Many people in conflict situations slide into a scandal, because they are not trained in any other way to resolve these situations. Therefore, for them it is an attractive incentive. On television, this method of provocation is very popular. All kinds of talk shows, where any scandals constantly occur, attract the attention of many people.
How to respond to provocations
To protect yourself from provocations, you need to correctly respond to them. A competent reaction is not an emotional reaction, but a deliberate answer. And the first thing that can be done in response to a provocation is to do nothing at all. Just ignore her. The power of inaction is that it does not provide the necessary response from the victim in order to understand how successful your actions against her were. A person ignoring a provocateur deprives him of self-confidence. Therefore, try not to mess with provocateurs, so as not to be exposed to them and not show them that their actions are successful. And if they themselves aggressively attack you, then just don’t notice them. Well, as much as possible. The provocateur always counts on a certain reaction on your part, he expects you to answer him. If this reaction does not follow, his efforts will prove futile. So the best answer, I repeat, is the lack of any answer. If you are not able to control yourself so well that you do not succumb to provocations, you need to work on yourself, on your own or with the help of a specialist.
In some situations, ignoring the provocation is not possible. Even if you have strong nerves and a stable psyche, you should still respond to it. The fact is that others may consider you a weakling if you do not give a decent answer to the provocateur. For example, in prison, one cannot but respond to some provocations, this is fraught with negative consequences. So you have to answer. But not how the provocateur wants it, how he plans for you to answer, but in a different way. You cannot react predictably, otherwise you will lose. Apply a retaliatory provocation, remembering that in some cases the best defense is an attack. Provoke a provocateur so that not you, but he will take the first action. Since the conflict cannot be avoided anyway, then at least win this confrontation. This will be a plus for you in the eyes of others.
Another good defense against provocation is unpredictability. Be unpredictable so that provocateurs cannot count you. If you act in an unpredictable, inconsistent, illogical way to a provocateur, this can, at a minimum, make him nervous, and at the very least, abandon his hostile intentions towards you. The provocateur wants to provoke a predictable reaction in you with his provocation, so you need to deprive him of this trump card with his unpredictability.
Well and most importantly – do not be afraid of provocations. Fear robs you of immunity in front of them. It is better to work out various options for their response to certain provocations in order to prepare themselves for them. Provocations are one way to manipulate you. But provocation is not always a manipulation. Often it’s nothing undercover aggression. You are challenged by provoking you. Do not be afraid of him. It is still impossible to hide from provocations and related conflicts, since they are everywhere. Therefore, it is necessary to answer them, not to respond, namely to answer, thoughtfully and calmly.