An idiom refers to a tough-and-soft psychological tactic

tphuong122002

Senior Member
Vietnamese Vietnam
Hi my friends,

I am looking for an idiom to refer to a psychological tactic to achieve one’s goal in a war of nerves where one side employs two seemingly contradicting approaches to press the other side to accept its demand: to combine threats with nice offers; as soon as it hurts the other side with tough words, it soothes them with some nice words and its offer; as soon as it hits the other side, it says that they are still good friends,... until the other side yields to its demand.

Which idiom would you recommend?

Thanks,

Tphuong
 
  • tphuong122002

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese Vietnam
    Thanks, bennymix and Parla, for your help. The context I am talking about is not interrogation. For example, this tactic is sometimes used in international politics: One big country threatens to attack a small country if the small country does not give up its claim of a disputed island. At the same time the big country offers generous aid to the small one if it agrees to do so. The big country repeats this tactic many times until it gets ­what it wants.

    Any other suggestion please?
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Good cop bad cop can be used in lots of different contexts. It was the first thing I thought of too.

    What are you actually trying to say? You need to think in terms of a whole sentence of you are writing about international relations.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    this tactic is sometimes used in international politics: One big country threatens to attack a small country if the small country does not give up its claim of a disputed island. At the same time the big country offers generous aid to the small one if it agrees to do so. The big country repeats this tactic many times until it gets ­what it wants.
    This sounds to me like the carrot and stick approach:)
     
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