The Backwards Law, also referred to as the Law of Reversed Effort or the Law of Reversed Psychology, is an idea in psychology put forth by Alan Watts, who contends that when we exert too much effort to achieve a particular result or goal, we frequently end up accomplishing the opposite of what we intended.
The premise of the Backwards Law is that sometimes our attempts to influence or manage a circumstance can boomerang and have unforeseen effects. For instance, if someone tries too hard to win people over, it might come across as fake or frantic, which might make people dislike them even more. A person may also become more nervous and worried if they are making too much of an effort to unwind.
Relationships, employment, and personal growth are just a few areas of life where the Backwards Law can be used. It implies that sometimes the best way to accomplish our objectives is to let go of our connection to them and put more emphasis on the here and now and the steps we can take to advance.
The fact that we are aware of how the reverse law functions do not mean that we should never have aspirations, establish objectives, or strive toward change. For what seems like an infinite number of reasons, we should shake things up and reject the status quo.
The reverse rule warns us not to be fooled by the idea that seeking happiness results in happiness. The reverse is true. And now that we are aware of this, we can experience the euphoric condition of “not desiring” a little more frequently. The reason is that, in the words of Alan Watts, “life’s riddle is not an issue to be solved but a fact to be lived.”
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