What is psychological pressure, and how to resist it?

Have you ever quarreled with your loved one? Have you ever done something after such a quarrel that you later regretted? Are you familiar with the situation when you thought about an idea for a long time in order to then voice it, for example, to your boss at work, but after a conversation with him you left the office squeezed like a lemon, and even with the need to carry out a completely different project? Have you ever made unnecessary promises or taken on ridiculous obligations while communicating with someone?

If you answered positively to at least one of the proposed questions, it means that you have experienced from your own experience that this is psychological pressure. Unfortunately, communication with people around us, including even those closest to us, is not always free from manipulation and attempts to influence us. Knowing how to withstand psychological pressure is not a whim or upgrading your skills, but a real necessity of life.

What is psychological pressure?

Psychological pressure is used for various reasons. This is often done due to a lack of real power on the part of the person applying the pressure, or due to lack of self-confidence. A person with inner strength and confidence does not put pressure on others, but resolves problems by trying to use direct and honest methods.

Psychological pressure not only “breaks” the victim and causes him a lot of anxiety and loss of internal sense of security. This method of influence can also turn against the one who uses it - the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation provides an article (Article 40 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) for those who exert irresistible psychological pressure. The article provides punishment for psychological pressure on a person, and at the same time is an exculpatory clause for the victim of such influence - the justice of the Russian Federation considers pressure so powerful that it can drive a person to commit a crime against his will.

Thus, pressure in psychology is an extremely undesirable method of action. It may seem that knowing how to put psychological pressure on a person is healthy and effective, and very helpful in life to achieve your own goals. Many psychologists, especially those who specialize in business training, also think so. However, pressure remains an unhealthy strategy that can only produce temporary results, and in the long term brings only trauma and suffering to those around them.

Knowledge of how to suppress a person psychologically is necessary, first of all, in order to be able to resist this pressure from others. Many people are familiar with this condition in which, after manipulation, they are forced to do something that contradicts their inner beliefs. At the same time, they experience a lot of mixed negative emotions - from shame and anger to a literal split of personality into two parts.

Present yourself in a favorable light

It is better to complete this step first if you are meeting a person for the first time or have not seen him for about six months. In life, the saying “You meet someone by your clothes...” works well, so in the first thirty seconds people evaluate your appearance and style of clothing, then fifteen seconds they evaluate your demeanor and gestures, another fifteen seconds remain for your manner and literacy of speech. The impression you make on a person in the first minute of communication is the most lasting, and it is very important not to ignore this moment.

Types of psychological pressure

There are several types of psychological pressure, each of which requires special attention to its management and evasion strategies. Let's list the most common types of pressure, and then we'll talk about how to resist them.

The first of them, the most simple and undisguised, is coercion. Coercion can be used by a manipulator who has imaginary or real superiority over his victim. This could be a boss threatening to fire you, or a back-street bandit threatening with a knife. Both are nothing more than coercion.

Humiliation (or humiliation) is the second type of psychological pressure. For him, the manipulator gets personal, insults (probably even publicly), emphasizes painful shortcomings for the victim: appearance, illness, marital status, etc. The most base and offensive words are chosen, which are designed to “crush” the victim of manipulation. How does this work for a manipulator, what would a humiliated person want to do for the person who told him so much? It’s very simple: after the nasty things have been voiced, the manipulator immediately offers a way through which the humiliated victim can rise in the eyes of society - to carry out the proposed assignment.

The next pressure technique is avoidance. In this case, an implicit manipulation is carried out, and when the victim tries to clarify the situation, the manipulator indignantly waves it away. Thus, the victim of manipulation is created with “cognitive dissonance” - an unpleasant feeling that she is doing something wrong. In an effort to get rid of this feeling, a person fulfills any requests of the manipulator.

Suggestion and persuasion are options for using psychological pressure. In this case, the manipulator must have some kind of influence on the victim: either have unconditional authority in her eyes, or be a person well known to her. Suggestion is more focused on emotions. The manipulator may use phrases like “Listen to me, I know for sure...”, or “Don’t you trust my opinion...”, or “I only wish the best for you, so...”.

In this case, the psychological suppression of a person occurs as if out of good intentions, as a result of which the victim adopts the imposed opinion and begins to consider it his own. Conviction is characterized by rationalization, i.e. they try to convince a person of something using the arguments of logic, sometimes quite perverted. The number of arguments, both real and imaginary, reaches such a quantity that the victim’s brain simply gets tired of perceiving the information critically and automatically agrees.

Thanks required. This is a variant of long-term psychological pressure. The manipulator first provides the victim with a service: one that he was not asked for and which did not really cost him anything. He can regularly provide such imaginary “help” to the victim, ingratiating himself with the victim’s trust. The moment the manipulator needs something from the victim, the request to “return the favor” comes into play. The request can become quite intrusive and turn into threats if the victim does not agree to the terms immediately.

A couple of tips from a psychologist

We are not always able to recognize the aggressor and the manipulative techniques he uses. However, every person has innate instincts to identify such situations. A long stay in a stressful, conflictual atmosphere has a destructive effect and a person strives to get rid of this pressure.

We must not forget that in such cases it is almost impossible to predict the behavior of a particular individual. No matter how you plan, he may act completely differently. This depends on many mental properties that cannot be predicted. Behavior may not be rational or logical.

Strive to use positive influence and communication to avoid unexpected situations. Don't forget to also subscribe to my blog. Until next time.

How to resist psychological pressure?

It should be understood that manipulators are not guided by a special list that says how to put psychological pressure on a person. This means that the manipulator does not choose only one method of pressure - in life there can be the most sophisticated combinations of strategies that change as they influence the victim. These methods are chosen depending on the inspiration and degree of depravity of the manipulator, i.e., practically nothing limits his imagination.

In this regard, coping strategies must be flexible. To know how to resist psychological pressure, you need to recognize that it is being put on you. Sometimes this is very difficult to do: as already mentioned, there are a lot of ways to exert psychological pressure on a person and they can form the most unexpected combinations. Therefore, you need to regularly ask yourself the question: am I doing this because I want to, or does someone else want it? If, when answering a question, you feel some fragmentation, duality, if your motivation is dictated from the outside by a specific person, this is a sign that pressure is being put on you.

Psychological pressure can be defeated by resorting to straightforward resistance. However, this does not work for all manipulators, and not every victim can maintain a “fighting spirit.” A straightforward response implies that the victim, aware of his situation, tells the manipulator that his demands are unrealistic or undesirable. Some manipulators can be confused by directness and admit defeat, but in many cases the victim can be immediately entangled in a network of less obvious manipulations, accept the feeling of guilt imposed on her and become mired even deeper in the ambitions of others.

Work on yourself and your self-esteem. It is no secret that it is easier to put psychological pressure on a person if he is not confident in himself and his own abilities. It is almost impossible to independently reach a higher level of your life, especially for a person who is already under pressure, so in such situations the intervention of a specialist is necessary.

The psychologist conducts trainings and practical sessions on personal growth, and also helps people who have fallen under the influence of manipulators to realize their own goals and learn to avoid pressure from others. Specialist help is especially required if the toxic environment includes the victim’s immediate circle of friends – family or loved ones. A psychologist, such as Nikita Valerievich Baturin, will teach you how to resist the psychological pressure of your husband or parents without destroying family ties.


Please read carefully the characteristics of behavior under psychological pressure:

  1. ignoring your partner's feelings
  2. ridiculing and insulting all women as such
  3. ridiculing and insulting the partner's values ​​and beliefs, as well as her religious beliefs, race, relatives or social group
  4. constant insults, ridicule and criticism of her
  5. humiliation both in private and in public
  6. refusal to communicate with her friends
  7. ban on working
  8. control over the spending of money and all decisions made by her
  9. denial of access to money, car keys and other benefits
  10. frequent threats to leave her
  11. threats against her family and herself
  12. pressure on children in situations where the partner’s opinion differs from hers
  13. threats to kidnap the children if she leaves him
  14. cruelty to domestic animals and killing them in order to intimidate her.
  15. accusing her of something she didn't do
  16. manipulation of facts using lies and contradictions
  17. damage to furniture, household appliances and interior items during disputes.
  18. intimidation with weapons

If you have become a victim of psychological pressure, do not tolerate violence, seek help!

If you know a close friend or relative with a similar problem, help him! Don't be indifferent!

Psychological pressure: protection against manipulation in several steps

Psychological pressure is more difficult to recognize than to overcome. If you know exactly who is putting pressure on you and on what issues, a few simple defense techniques will help you. They may seem insignificant, but if you are aware of what and why you are using them, they will work. Techniques against psychological pressure are as follows:

  • Create “barriers.” If you feel that an unpleasant conversation is starting, in which they will try to “crush” you, place various objects between yourself and the interlocutor. An ashtray, a chair, a cup, a cell phone - any, even insignificant, object on the way from the manipulator to you can become your mental “protection” and an obstacle to aggressive influence.
  • Take closed poses. Cross your legs, cross your arms, place your finger on your lips or eyebrows, and support your face with your palm. All these natural barriers that you create with your own body on the path of aggressive influence will help you think more critically in relation to what the interlocutor imputes to you. In addition, these poses give confidence.
  • Create mental barriers. Draw a circle near you with your imagination, stand up a dome or wall, you can mentally put yourself in a spacesuit. Imagine that behind an imaginary barrier there is your safety zone, where no one can penetrate, no matter how hard he tries.
  • Distract the manipulator's attention. Move objects in front of him, perform various manipulations, cough, yawn, stretch: show any physical activity that will not allow your opponent to concentrate on what he is saying. The main thing is not to overdo it, because everything should look natural.
  • Introduce your interlocutor in a funny way. For example, mentally put a jester's hat on your important boss or make him a screaming penguin. As long as you're focused on creating a funny image, you won't have time to be afraid, which means you'll have more opportunity to process and confront incoming information.

The listed techniques will help you gain confidence and find the mental resource to resist the manipulator. These techniques can be used constantly, but they are not enough to constructively discuss a controversial topic and unconditionally regain the advantage in the situation.

Emotionality of speech

You need to express your position enthusiastically. Moreover, women are more inclined to show emotions than men; accordingly, when communicating with women, you need to actively use facial expressions, and vice versa with men. The greatest effect is obtained if a man communicates with a woman using the language of facial expressions and gestures; she gets the impression that he is a sensitive and understanding person. And vice versa, if a woman communicates with a man with restraint, then he involuntarily develops the opinion that she can be relied on and trusted.

How to get out of pressure?

Here are specific techniques that will allow you to win the advantage to your side in a conflict situation:

  1. Ask questions. The first question to ask when applying pressure is: “Can I refuse this request?” Even if your opponent answers “Yes, but...”, you can already use this answer to explain your refusal. If the answer is no, you should ask a number of other questions. It is especially important during such an “interview” to monitor the reaction of the manipulator - his facial expressions or gestures. Often only a gaze is enough to break an opponent's confidence. In a situation of pressure, clarifying questions that are not direct confrontation, but help to identify “holes” in the manipulation, can help. “Does it look like I don’t want to take responsibility?”, “Does it look like I’m afraid?”, “What should I be afraid of?”, “Do you think that I have no right to refuse?”, “Why are you Are you so sure of what you’re saying?” Such questions can confuse the manipulator and buy time for the next step.
  2. Determine your opponent's strategy. How and with what are they trying to break you? Maybe the manipulator refers to his experience or age? Take advantage of your experience and age. Refers to authorities? Challenge them or tell them that this figure is not an authority figure in your particular dispute. Is he trying to put pressure on others? If they are present in person, you can ask each of them why they support your opponent and not you. If the manipulator tries to gain an advantage with pace or a quick attack, take a break and tell him that he urgently needs to move away. The main thing in any dispute is to take your time and be attentive to exactly how the pressure is applied in order to find the weaknesses of this method.
  3. Use your advantages. It is best to use the same strategies as your opponent - find support from third parties or authorities, your own merits or experience. However, you should not overdo it: your task is to extinguish the conflict by balancing the forces, and not to provoke a new one, transferring the manipulator to the status of a victim.
  4. Make an agreement. Now that the manipulator’s strategy has been reversed and he cannot unconditionally dictate his terms to you, you have an option that will suit both of you equally. Offer compromise solutions. If it is possible to forever avoid contact with the manipulator, you should cut off all the ends and no longer deal with this person.

Remember that psychological pressure is a traumatic method of influence, and it is better not to resort to it unless necessary. And if you can’t cope with the pressure on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Parasite words

You need to watch your speech and mercilessly get rid of them. For example, in the phrase “it's me again” the parasite is the word “again” (again). Otherwise, this phrase can be pronounced as “Are you tired of me yet?”

Read also: How to deal with a hot-tempered boss


Psychological pressure can manifest itself in various forms. Coercion is one of them. This is the most blatant and unprecedented attempt to influence another person. This method is inherently an unlawful use of mental violence.

From the outside, its use looks like an informational impact on human consciousness. Which may be accompanied by threats of physical violence. But these are extreme cases.

Most often, a moral abuser uses other “trump cards”. This could be his power, money, influential status, compromising data. Some try to destroy their prey. They say words that grind a person’s dignity into powder and trample his self-confidence into the dirt. Actions can also be of a similar nature.

Others follow the tactic of intrusiveness. It consists of deliberate moral torment of a person using various methods.

Put on a black belt

Prepare for negotiations - be in your best expert form. For example, study in detail the new version of the law or analyze judicial practice on this issue. When communicating with officials, it is important to know your rights and be able to demonstrate this knowledge.

Make a list of uncomfortable questions, think about how you will answer them. If there is enough time, rehearse, try to speak convincingly, referring to the regulatory framework. Ask someone close to you to play the role of your opponent. Take a cheat sheet with you to negotiations on paper or on your smartphone; in a stressful situation, your memory may fail.

Andrey Shunin, instructor at Dojo Karate Kyokushinkai (Moscow)

Karate in communications

Sports sparring is projected onto negotiations. When you have practiced the ability not to show emotions hundreds of times on the tatami, so that not a single muscle flinches, and you are able to withstand difficult times. When you know how to overcome fatigue or pain, overcome fear and confront several opponents at the same time. When you know how to turn a position in your direction or vice versa - refuse “communication”. When you can save face and get out of any situation with dignity.


  • There are several methods of psychological pressure, but they all have the same goal - to force you to complete a certain task.
  • Learn to say “no”, even if it is “unaccepted” and “not decent”. Don't be led by stereotypes.
  • Don’t be afraid to offend your interlocutor who is trying to manipulate you - think about your own well-being.
  • Do not agree until you have thoroughly considered the offer, even if a loved one asks you.

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There is an exit

There are many recommendations on how to behave for women facing physical violence in the family. And much less - what to do for those who are faced with psychological pressure. In many respects, this happens because in each specific case a face-to-face consultation with a psychologist is necessary: ​​after all, some people really endure humiliation and prohibitions for years, while others call the well-founded claims of their spouse “pressure.” And yet, here are some effective recommendations that can make life easier for the victim.

  • Respect your feelings and sensations, listen to yourself - psychological discomfort today can turn into a nervous breakdown or psychosomatic illness tomorrow.
  • Try to look at the situation sensibly and consciously. If a tyrant blames you, is it really your fault? What is the measure of responsibility of the tyrant himself? Is what he accuses you of so important for the life of the family?
  • Do not think that the behavior of a tyrant will go away on its own. During his outbursts of anger, try to remain calm and do not feed him with your emotions. When he calms down, try to talk to him: tell him that you don’t think the accusations are justified, that his behavior is unacceptable to you.
  • Tell yourself more often about who you are, what positive qualities you have, what happy moments were and are in your life, remind yourself of your achievements. A tyrant tends to mercilessly devalue the victim. Remember often that you are a person who deserves self-respect.
  • Strictly stop attempts at tyranny towards your children. They also deserve respect and should not feel inferior at all, no matter how much the tyrant would like to portray them as such.
  • Try, if possible, to avoid or minimize physical and financial dependence on the rapist.
  • In case of prolonged psychological pressure, take it seriously and seek help if you are unable to change the situation on your own.
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