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This Is the Way Things Are

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > This Is the Way Things Are

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Get people to do as you ask simply by telling them that this is the way things are and there is no other way.

Indicate that you cannot change the way things are done and nor can the target person. Point to laws, policies, statues, customs, social norms and other rule-sets whey the person must do as you say.

Example

Why? Because. It's how things are, my dearest.

It's just the way things work around here. Might as well go along with it. Everyone else does.

Sorry, but I didn't set company policy. I just have to implement it, that's all.

Discussion

In effect, this method is an authoritarian response that says 'Do not challenge me. I'm not going to let you argue.' It is also a variant of 'You can't fight city hall'. This places the point of authority in a distant, vague and inaccessible place.

Parents tired of challenges from their children often resort to this method. It is also the response of tired managers or those who cannot be bothered to explain (or perhaps do not have a good argument for asking as they do).

This Is the Way Things Are is the 57th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Rules

 

Kellermann, K. & Cole, T. (1994). Classifying compliance gaining messages: Taxonomic disorder and strategic confusion. Communication Theory, 1, 3-60

 

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