Hypnotizability is an indicator of how easy it is for you to access a trance.
Different people can enter hypnotic states with different levels of ease – for some it’s a snap, for some it’s a tough challenge.
About 10% of the population are highly hypnotizable.
Then there is about 80% of the population with medium hypnotizability.
And then there are about 10% of the population with very low hypnotizability.
These people with very low hypnotizability are often believed to be unhypnotizable. But the truth is: they are not unhypnotizable – instead, they go into trance in different ways from the majority of the population. And most hypnotists are overstrained by these clients, because they never learned how to put them into trance.
It’s like a key that doesn’t fit in the lock for these people. And of course: if you put the wrong key in the lock, then the lock won’t open. But that doesn’t mean that the lock is broken. It just means it’s not the right key.
Characteristics Of The Hypnotizables
- Ability to concentrate: if they read a book, watch a movie, talk to someone on the phone, perform a certain task that engages them, they can totally immerse themselves in that one activity and focus all their attention on it.
- Tendency to daydream: if you “travel places in your mind” while waiting for the bus, that’s another sign of high hypnotizability
- Imaginative: if you are good at imagining things, creating pictures and movies in your mind, that’s also an indicator of high hypnotizability.
- Confidence: This goes a bit against the common belief that easily hypnotizable people are weak-minded, but studies have shown that easily hypnotizable people are rather confident. Insecure people and “control freaks” often have the hardest time going into trance, because they fear that the hypnotist might “take control of them”. It takes some confidence to allow yourself to let go of conscious control and lay your trust in another person and your subconscious mind.
- Open-Mindedness: This ties in a bit with the previous point. Easily hypnotizable people are open to the experience of hypnosis.
- Mental flexibility & creativity: Rather than rational and strictly logical thinkers, easily hypnotizable people tend to be non-linear in their thinking.
- Ability to follow instructions: the ability to follow instructions is something different from the willingness to follow instructions. You don’t need to be willing to follow instructions, you don’t need to be a mindless sheep in order to be hypnotized. But if you are able to follow instructions if you believe it is in your own interest to do so then that is a good indicator that you are highly hypnotizable. Why do I say it that way? Because some people are almost unable to follow instructions – not because they are strong-minded, but because they want to maintain their own feeling of independence. And following another person’s instructions – even if that is in their own interest – feels threatening to their sense of independence. That is why these people are very hard to hypnotize with traditional hypnotic inductions, because they will resist the hypnotic suggestions. With non-authoritarian approaches to hypnosis these people can be hypnotized too, though.