In an essay about how fragile the human mind is and how it can be affected by the slightest changes in our behavior, Derren Brown recounts a night he made a grown man cry. It began when a drunkard with his girlfriend began becoming very aggressive with DvB, challenging him to a fight.

o, I responded with, “The wall outside my house is four-feet high.”

I didn’t engage at the level he was expecting me to, so immediately he was on the back foot. He came back with, “What?” and I repeated my bizarre response. I delivered the line in a completely matter-of-fact tone, as if he was the one who was missing something here. Suddenly, he was confused. All his adrenaline had dropped away, because I’d pulled the rug from under him. It’s the verbal version of a martial-arts technique called an ‘adrenaline dump’, whereby you get the person to relax before you hit them.

But things really get interesting when Derren continues the line of unorthodox conversation…

“I lived in Spain for a while and the walls are really huge, but in this country they’re tiny.” After a few of these exchanges, he just went, “Oh f*ck!” and broke down in tears.

This comes from a mini guide of sorts that Derren penned about avoiding awkward situations, including sending a meal back at a restaurant or getting someone to turn their music down.