I have seen and heard people using hypnosis in manipulative ways in many everyday situations. On meetings, at home, at parties. Sometimes they didn’t even know it was hypnosis. In this article, I share the tricks of how you can defend others from being manipulated that way.
As controversial, as it sounds, there can be several unethical uses of hypnosis
Just imagine, you are in a meeting with your colleague. You become aware that your opponent is using hypnosis techniques, like conversational hypnosis or NLP to influence you. If you think it cannot happen, I have to warn you that it is entirely possible, because our brain reacts even to the tiniest subliminal bits of information it gets.
Now, suppose that you have the impression that your colleague is affected.
What do you do?
How can you be sure if he’s indeed in a hypnotic trance?
How can you help him “ to get out” of that state of mind?
First of all, you need to know that the secret of hypnosis lies in controlling the focus of the person in question, both consciously and subconsciously.
This control can be life-saving if appropriately used or manipulative if used for personal gain.
What are the signs then that your colleague slipped into a hypnotic state without being aware of it?
- First, he directs his focus at the other person on a conscious level.
- His attention is very narrow; you can see it because he pays hardly any attention to other stimuli.
- His meta-communication is very much in line with the metacommunication of your opponent. You might find that he reflects the breathing, moves, and gestures of the other person. That means that the person in question stands in the focus of his subconscious.
- His body might show signs of “surrender.” (Maybe there his eyes appear hazy or glassy, his muscles can become softer than usual, the position of his body changes, it can become meek, tense or uncertain, etc. All these signs depend on the person and the situation he is in, but trust your intuition. You will sense a particular change in him. )
- When your colleague answers he uses the words and expressions of your opponent. He tends to repeat them.
- You have the impression (just trust your gut!) that the other party has pulled your colleague into his world.
- You feel that your colleague is no longer controlling his attention, his focus is under the influence of others.
- He can abruptly change his point of view.
- Your colleague might say something that contradicts his previous ideas or beliefs.
In other words, you feel a shift in him.
What can you do in a situation, like that?
First of all, you need to be aware of how subconscious manipulation works. To find out the details, download the free e-book here.
You use essential hypnosis techniques to interrupt the trance state and help your colleague to get back the control over his focus.
There are two approaches
One is based on drastic distraction, while the other one is a softer solution. You decide, which one to use in that particular situation, with that specific person and of course which one suits your personality.
First approach: Sudden interruption
These are general tips. Adjust them to your situation. That way you will get better effects.
- Interrupt by saying or doing something unforeseen, even slightly shocking, (You can, for example, drop your papers, making a sudden noise and distraction. You can spill your glass of water, or you can call your phone – there are apps for fake phone calls, etc.)
- As that happens, turn the attention of your colleague immediately to you. (For example: “Oh, not that! Excuse me! I just got an urgent call. May we have a short break? I have to discuss this with my colleague. John, can I have a word with you?”) Be short, be clear and use his name. Emphasize your words with physical contact, for example, tap him on the shoulder.
- Talk to your colleague in private. Explain to him what happened and what methods the other party uses to gain influence. Make him aware of the words and expressions that are manipulative on a subliminal level. Make sure he realizes the importance of what you are saying. Make him aware of the importance of regaining control over his focus.
- He needs to learn to ask himself each time his opponent speaks the following questions: “Why is he saying this?” or “Why does he want me to think about it that way?”
- There can be situations where you can’t go out to talk to your colleague. In these cases, you can start interrupting the conversation and slowly take over the talking. To reinforce the original ideas and beliefs of your college, you can use vivid images and emotions. Choose words that you know, have an impact on him. For example: “Remember John, you always tell me just how much you hate taking unnecessary risks? I fully agree with you on that.”
- Ask questions that interrupt the speech of your opponent. You can raise unexpected, controversial issues, anything that helps you distract your opponent.
- Each time the other party seeks to evoke emotions by using certain words or vivid images that means they try to trigger subconscious response. Look out for words that corrupt your colleague’s sense of safety (Eg: “You should consider investing in our product if you want to avoid…”. This is a statement that tries to trigger fear and the sense of insecurity.) You can block that by asking something rational in connection with their offer. Thus you immediately activate the logical mind of your colleague.
Second approach: soft but firm intervention
The second technique is mostly the same, but not so drastic. Remember, you need to turn the focus of your colleague to you and help him to regain control.
- Become more active, take over the lead.
- Interrupt verbally, whenever the opponent uses emotions, visual pictures, suppositions or other techniques in a manipulative way.
- Remind your partner of his original ideas, views.
- Distract him, when you feel he gets under the influence of the opponent.
- Show resistance with metacommunication.
- Get physically between your opponent and your colleague if possible. Use your presence as a barrier.
- Use logical thinking. Ask questions that trigger the critical mind.
- Draw the attention of your colleague on you.
- Make him aware of the distortions or the manipulative approach. Make him doubt the words of the other party.
It is quite disturbing that many sales and marketing methods use NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) and hypnosis techniques as means of manipulation. It is rarely called by that name, of course, but it is based on the principles of the mind programming. We know that almost everybody wants to influence other people better. Much of this influence is necessary and positive. Some of it is harmful.
To avoid manipulation, it is essential for all of us to learn to control our attention and to understand how our subconscious works. With that, quickly become aware of any manipulative techniques that people use to influence us.
Besides, we learn to use our the most exceptional resource for achieving our goals and unfold our potential.
To find out more, please, remember to download the free ebook “How to Protect Yourself from Subconscious Manipulation in Sales?” here.