You'd rather do the opposite of what someone is trying to make you do.

Also known as the “Boomerang Effect” or “Anti-compliance”.

When we feel our liberty is being constrained, our inclination is to resist, however in doing so we can over-compensate. While blind conformity is far from an ideal way to approach things, neither is being a knee-jerk contrarian.

Be careful not to lose objectivity when someone is being coercive/manipulative, or trying to force you do something. Wisdom springs from reflection, folly from reaction.


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  2. Brehm, Sharon S. (1981). “Psychological reactance and the attractiveness of unobtainable objects: Sex differences in children’s responses to an elimination of freedom”. Sex Roles7 (9): 937–949. doi:10.1007/BF00290976. S2CID 144603360
  3. Silvia, Paul J. (2005). “Deflecting Reactance: The Role of Similarity in Increasing Compliance and Reducing Resistance”Basic and Applied Social Psychology27 (3): 277–284. doi:10.1207/s15324834basp2703_9. S2CID 14554526
  4. Dahlgren, Peter M. (2021). “Forced vs. Selective Exposure: Threatening Messages Lead to Anger but Not Dislike of Political Opponents”. Journal of Media Psychology. doi:10.1027/1864-1105/a000302 (inactive 2022-04-16).