One of the best and most subtle ways to hypnotize someone is through language softeners. Language softeners are phrases like perhaps, maybe, you might and could. You can put these at the head or the middle of a sentence.
Key Insight 1: Soften Commands To Avoid Antagonizing people
A lot of people don’t like to be told what to do. If you say to someone, “Open the door. Close the door.” that can seem like a very harsh command, and a very direct sort of way of expressing yourself.
By the way, those things are very, very effective and have their right place as well.
But sometimes, especially with the personality type that hates authority or doesn’t like to be told what to do as much, you have to couch it in a way that they can find more acceptable.
Instead of saying, “Close the door.” You might use, “Perhaps you could close your door in a moment.”
Notice how that softens the whole frame. The instruction is still there but it comes across a little more gently and a little less in your face. Examples would be things like instead of ‘open the window’ – ‘could you open the window?’
Key Insight 2: Make A Failure To Respond To A Suggestion Irrelevant
When it comes to hypnosis, there is a specific use that language softness can be used for and it makes it more powerful again. In hypnosis, often you will ask people to do certain things internally. For example, imagine a certain scene, feel a certain sensation.
The problem, of course, is if you say to someone, “Feel yourself becoming more comfortable,” it’s a direct instruction and for some reason they don’t experience that comfort straight away. You may begin to lose some of the hypnotic rapport that we talked about before because the instructions and their reality don’t match.
In other words, they begin to lose faith in the hypnotist. It is a very bad thing to happen.
One way to counter that is to begin to give them choices which are instructions and at the same time are soft enough so they don’t have to have them straight away. For example, instead of, “Imagine yourself in a relaxed bed.” We might say, “You could imagine yourself in a relaxed bed.”
They can’t argue with that because they could imagine themselves – whether they do it or not is irrelevant. Some people at that point will imagine themselves in a relaxed bed. Others may not do so but you still haven’t broken the flow of ideas because they still have to say yes to that.
So this is a very powerful way of introducing new ideas to someone without them necessarily resisting it. It’s particularly effective if you want them to go into new directions, into something that they haven’t previously experienced before.