I just heard this one recently from one of my colleagues.
A true story.
In NS the men were falling in.
And there was this guy who for some reason wanted to commit suicide. So he was on the 5th floor already, and seemed about to jump.
And the garang* officer went:"Don't waste my bloody time. I give you 5 seconds. You want to jump, jump. If not jolly well come down here, fall in."
And the fella promptly made his way down the stairs to fall in.
Well they caught him in case he would try anything funny.
Hmmm. Just thinking. It's a kind of bet, really. If the guy really jumped, the officer would probably be court-martialled. But it's reverse psychology. My reasoning is that the guy wanted attention, so if the officer says something like that, even if you want attention, it'll take the purpose and meaning out of committing suicide.
So then, if I was the officer, would I take such a bet? That would probably (I think) get the guy to come down. Save his life. I reckon calm reasoning might not work, if the guy already wants to end his life. Then again, would I risk the court-martial?
Life is in shades of grey (some say with great big splotches of black). By doing the same thing you can either save a life or be blamed for the rest of yours.