What are you today? A drunk, an idiot or a criminal? Now quickly, tell me!!!
Remember how Sherlock got his witnesses to talk? While completely unorthodox, his methods worked magic on the scared, the guilty and the downright mad. In the books, he used disguises more often than not and Guy Ritchie’s movies stayed faithful to Sherlock’s fashionista side, while the BBC relied more on his dramatic persona and on his ability to cry and intimidate and throw on shows that would make Hercule Poirot cringe in respect and horror (too much mud on the shoes).
Since fight-or-flight reactions appear in places where costumes and make-up are out of reach, the only disguise you can afford is the one that your words can give you. You don’t necessarily have to make your self portrait through them, but you can make Irene proud and get the guns down and the assassin assassinated just by buying some time and figuring out how to deal with the idiot that thought he can mess with a Sherlockian.
OK, back to finding out stuff.
The first thing you need to assess (and here is where people-observation skills come in handy) is what type of person you are dealing with? Is he a leader or a worker? Brave? Smart? Open-minded? Completely dim-witted?
Reading the person is important, because, just as Irene and Sherlock putting on their armors, you need to know what you’re fighting against. You might of course risk it and start flirting with a man with seven wives or smacking your fist in the face of a champion boxer. And we don’t want that to happen, now, do we?
Next, you shall move on to the actual discovery. I won’t write on whom these versions work on, because, since you are in training, you need to notice that from my choice of words. If it gets unclear though, the comment section is a scroll below.
From Sherlock, the most known method is telling erroneous phrases and waiting to be corrected. From my experience with the 10-year olds that are my class mates, I know that people truly don’t like to tell you things, but they love to contradict you. Why? Well, why does Sherlock like to insult others? We have a desire in us to be smarter than the rest and when one makes a mistake, the instinct is to make a fool of him and watch him squirm and drag on the floor like a worm. Not necessarily, but school kids are crueler than you, dear blogger or tumbler fan. Since this is a movie example, it’s easy to put into practice. You’ve already seen Ben cry on cue and performing a theatrical inception. You know what to do.
The Alpha Method is best used if you are slightly taller than your opponent, but the right attitude will make things work in any case. Here, your scope is to intimidate. You’ll read a person and you’ll see whether he/she’s the type that breaks under pressure. Apply more than needed and he’ll tell you his plans for the marriage he probably thinks he’ll never catch. In order to succeed, keep your back straight, your head up and raise your voice.
Don’t scream, but shout. Hard and as menacing as you can make it. Keep Khan’s monologue in mind. Depending on the type of person that You are, you will know whether shouting or threats work best for your voice. Don’t say many words. Keep your sentences short, but commanding and make sure that person understands perfectly what you want to know.
*Please use only in life-or-death situations. I don’t want to get emails from bullied kids. I’m aiming this at sociopaths, not psychopaths.
Something that I applied in many cases and Sherlock so funnily used in Hounds of Baskerville is appearing uninterested. The lad with the tourist walks, he liked attention, he wanted to keep Sherly’s mind to the things he said. Later, when Sherlock became annoying, he no longer cared. Holmes read that, took advantage of it and used John as a decoy.
Two methods in one scene? You’ve gotta love Gatiss. Sherlock mentioned The Bet. People love bets. They are obsessed by them. What did the lad want? To make Sherlock look and feel bad. He didn’t like him, so he pulled out every single thing he had or knew to make Sherlock lose the bet. Did we find more than we wanted about the ghostly hound? Hell, we did. Taking advantage of your opponent’s feelings towards you makes this method work. Be very careful with which side of the bet you are on.
Bad consulting criminals would tell you that blackmail works wonders. However, fear, just like love, is a powerful motivator. Scared animals are the ones we should really fear. They are the ones that attack. And usually, that’s what we do as well. So never EVER try to blackmail. Besides being morally wrong, it is also dangerous and worthless.
Good consulting criminals however will know that terrified creatures shut up. Joyful ones however talk too much. There is a reason why proverbs like Keep your friends close and your enemies closer exist. There is a reason why, in the game of thrones, everybody was everybody’s friend, but just like Poirot’s thoughts: “The kind smiles, what secrets do they hide?” Becoming your enemy’s friend is the easiest way to learning anything. Especially if he has never perceived you as an enemy, merely a… Person.
But you are not just a person, are you now?
- I. See. Everything. (sherlockianmind.wordpress.com)
- Sherlock’s Mind (sherlockianmind.wordpress.com)
- Sherlock on BBC (sherlockian02.wordpress.com)
- BBC coverage of Murray vs Janowicz at Wimbledon angers Sherlock fans after clue episode is postponed (metro.co.uk)
- [Sherlock] I can’t live without you. Don’t leave me again. Please. # Sherlock (carrotdiary.wordpress.com)
- The Title in the Title (sherlockianmind.wordpress.com)