Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Disruption-then-Reframe – Definition
  3. Examples of Utilization


The full name of this technique is cognitive reorientation after disruption. This technique is particularly useful when the person we want to influence typically responds the same way to a given question, but we aim to obtain a contrary response.

Disruption-then-Reframe – Definition

If you formulate a request in an unconventional manner, it is more likely to be fulfilled.

My acquaintance experienced an extreme application of this technique:
He met a girl at a party whom he really liked. Due to being a bit tipsy, he came up with a rather unconventional idea. He approached the girl and bluntly said, “Listen, I’d like to propose sex to you. Right now, without any unnecessary fuss.” The girl was shocked, it stunned her. However, after a few seconds, she replied, “You’re actually the first person who ever asked me such a question,” and… after a while, they were alone together…
Of course, I assume that women routinely respond “no” in such situations.

Disruption-then-Reframe doesn’t have to be only verbal. We can disrupt with our nonverbal behaviors (gestures, facial expressions, etc.), attire, or presentation style.

IMPORTANT: If someone routinely responds to a particular request in a way that satisfies us, we should never disrupt them from that routine!

Examples of Utilization:

  • Useful during negotiations.
  • In some cases, during charity fundraisers (though the “every penny counts” technique might be more appropriate here).
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