Elicit fear

Knowing how to elicit emotion in a person can be a persuasive and powerful ability, and since there is no emotion greater than fear, knowing how to elicit fear is the most powerful of abilities. Fear is an instinctual, primal feeling that every person suffers from. There are many different ways to elicit fear. Whether you want to use the emotion as a way of motivating someone or you want to use it as a persuasive way to gain respect, knowing how to elicit fear and manipulate it to your benefit can prove to be a very useful skill.

A judge holding a law book

Holding a position of authority can elicit fear.


Holding a position of authority can elicit fear. It depends on the situation and context, but many people have an innate fear of authority figures. Authority can come from relatively unassuming or unsuspecting people, and being able to prove to somebody else that you are in a position of authority will make them anxious about what you will do with that power. It may even elicit admiration as well as fear.


Intimidation comes in different forms and the threat of violence or other menacing repercussions can elicit fear in many people. Whether they are implied or very real, vague or direct provocations will make others afraid of the consequences, and even unconvincing threats of intimidation can make people feel ill at ease and elicit fear.


Knowing a lot about another person can make them very anxious about what you will potentially do with that knowledge. Whether its a deep secret that you are privy to or a lie that you can catch them out with, the looming threat of knowing too much is an excellent way to elicit fear.


The majority of people suffer from at least one phobia. Some phobias are physical, like being scared of heights or spiders, while others are more psychological, like a fear of failure. Whatever the reason, phobias can be one of the most powerful ways to elicit fear because they often represent a lifelong (or at the very least long-term) aversion to something. Exploiting or manipulating another person’s phobia can completely affect the way they think and act.

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