Podcast #51: Building a Powerful Trance

Brain Software hypnosis podcastWelcome to Episode 51 of Brain Software with Mike Mandel and Chris Thompson! We’ve got another interesting and hypnotic discussion that I think you’re going to love. You’ll discover how to build powerful trances and make effective (positive) suggestions.

Here are the show notes for this episode:

  • Mike talks about the discussions made on the previous podcast and shows how to get even further.
  • The main topic discussed this week is about the laws of suggestion. What are they? Listen up to find out.
  • The purpose of truth and logic in hypnosis or in making suggestions
  • What will happen if we bring in emotions into hypnosis or with suggestion?
  • Chris talks about the video series we recently published involving Mike debunking common hypnois myths.
  • Mike talks about how to generate good rapport with a subject.
  • Mike discussed the topic of literalness and Raphael Rhodes’s Theory of Psychic Relative Exclusion.

 Empowering Question:Who in your life are you most able to influence and how will you do it for their benefit today?
Closing metaphor: Canada Geese at the Parking Lot
Please leave a rating for this podcast in iTunes!
 Go leave a rating in iTunes, and send in your questions by emailing questions (at) MikeMandelHypnosis (dot) com.

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Raw Transcript

Chris: Welcome fellow storm riders. You are officially a rider on the hypnotic storm. Welcome to session number 51 of Brain Software with Mike Mandel and I’m Chris Thompson. He thinks Black Sabbath is the greatest metal band of all time, cooks amazing scallops a l’orange and is convinced that time is passing faster everyday. He is the living hypnoticon, the transducer pour l’excellence, please welcome mike Mandel.

Mike:    Yes Chris the trance-ducer is in the house. No applause please, just throw money. We have such fun with these. Number 50 was a great podcast because we generated considerable interest by talking about mentalism again. It’s such a remarkable field influence. Another one you can throw in, those of you who listened to 50 probably is just about everybody listening right now notice – remember, I said the ocean and the sky idea, setting the geometric shapes, if you’ve got a good result with that and you also got a good result with the number appearing which is number 37 is the first choice and people are amazed with your telepathic abilities. If you want to go a bit further, you can send them yet another image. Say this time, I’m going to send you an image. Out of the thousands and thousands possible, I’m going to cause you to think of a furry animal and you focus and focus and focus it. Overwhelming majority of people with the words furry animal, you know what it is Chris? I know you’ll get it wrong.

Chris:   Yeah well my kids are obsessed with chipmunks so I’m probably sure it’s not that.

Mike:    It’s a bear, a bear. The way I got this was a TV show and it was one of these stupid things where people vote on. Our survey says and how many people said this and when they said furry animal, almost everybody – 80% of them. So we’ve got Pareto’s principle said bear. So I stored that away and started using that on stage and it works but another one you can do, I used to do a blindfold act and have my face covered with cotton around my eyes, tape that with masking tape, a heavy duty blindfold and people would hold an object between my hands and id be able to get senses and impressions of it’s a set of house keys – this sort of thing. But I would often say to the person, do you have a scar on your left knee? And I’d say that if that was a woman especially and almost always they gasp. Women are far more aware of their scars than men are. Guys think they’re cool. Women think they’re disgusting.

Chris:   Horrible yeah

Mike:    As a general principle. So when you say a scar on your left knee, most right-handed people have scars on their left knee because of how you feel and it will freak them out and when I used to say I mean it’s – sorry, horrible cough here – when I used to say you have a scar on your left knee and the woman goes yes! And I would say something like and that underwear is very, very attractive as well. [Unclear 2:45] Oh it was all the fun we had in the 70s, 80s.

Chris:   It’s hilarious about the left knee thing though.

Mike:    The implication is that you can see within someone’s clothing with your amazing power and id be blindfolded of course while I’m saying this. You can see through blindfold and the jeans and whatnot. So, on we go. Hey, wait a minute; I do think time is going faster. Certainly my perception of it is Chris, I’m interested if our listeners are picking up on this. This freaks me out beyond measure because it seems to me it’s always freaking Friday. Now, its Tuesdays we’re recording this but in about 20 minutes, it’ll be Friday. I wake up, my wife says Friday again. I go no, no. it feels like the week is about five days long now. Anyone else notice time is going faster? Let me know.

Chris:   Let’s get on with the content we want to talk about today which are the laws of suggestion.

Mike:    Oh that’s a good one. The laws of suggestion is pointless, come up fornication. When you are doing actual hypnosis with another human being, there are a number of things you can apply which are laws or the principles of suggestion that will enable you to be far more perfected in installing programs with someone. Well what comes to mind here Chris?

Chris:   Well let me pre-frame this as well that this is going to be useful for hypnotherapist, hypnotists but also in everyday conversation right?

Mike:    Of course. And if you’re a street hypnotist you can use this as well. Any type of hypnosis, any type of influence but it is designed primarily to be very, very effective and efficient in constructing hypnotic suggestions that will affect people. See the old methods are rather pathetic – you know speaking in monotone, say things three times. Everything has to be said three times. Three times, three times, three times. I heard a stage hypnotist do this. You’re getting very tired this evening, very sleep tonight, very sleepy, very tired tonight, very tired this evening, very sleepy tonight. Everything three, three, three. You’re getting very tired, you’re getting very tired. You’re sinking to your chair, you’re sinking to your chair…

Chris:   No I’m not., I’m getting bored. Boring, annoyed.

Mike:    And so, there are laws or at least principles that enable you to construct you good suggestions. The first one is the law of familiarity. Now what this means is it doesn’t mean I’ve heard that suggestion before. It means if something is familiar, it’s more easy to accept than something that is completely new and leader.

Chris:   And so as an example on your stage, in your stages how – in your stage shows, when you get people involved in that homoaction and heteroaction mood of feeling itchy or hot or cold or mosquitoes are attacking them or whatever, these are things that are familiar. Everybody has been on a hot beach where it’s really hot and everybody, most people – at least in Canada, most people have been in very cold environments as well. So those things are familiar right?

Mike:    That’s a perfect example Chris and being bitten by insects. If I did something completely off the wall and said, and you know and you can feel your skin tingling from the radon gas in there.

Chris:   Exactly.

Mike:    It doesn’t make sense to me. What’s that? It’s not familiar. Most people are not human Geiger count. They certainly cannot determine something like this. They’re not going to be able to sense it and the fact that it’s familiar, it’s something that they’re already aware of and have already experienced. It’s much easier to create it. That’s a real key here. You work within a person’s own schema. I worked with a memory guy years ago and he would run all these different memory systems and we talked about this in a podcast about memory. I think we did a couple of them touching on how you take a feature of someone’s face and you’re going to – the obvious feature on my face obviously, the nose and that is what you choose.

Chris:  [laughs]

Mike:    [laughs] and so, you choose an object and then you’re going to link their name to it or whatever

Chris:   Like I would look at your nose and I would imagine that it was a microphone or something with little mesh holes. [laughs]

Mike:    Hilarious, absolutely hilarious to that which cannot be said on a friendly podcast but suffice to say, Chris’s features in a certain [unclear 6:41] part of the male anatomy. So let it go, let it go, let it go. Say the guy as Harry Loraine said, his name is Mr. Smolenski. You turn it into Smolenski, the small m skin so you see a small letter m skiing down his nose so the next time you see the guy, hey, he’s got a prominent nose. What was on his? Oh he was a little [unclear 7:00] Mr. Smol – hello, Mr. Smolenski. This memory guy was not using the familiar stuff. So he had this all the stuff in his act showing people how to memorize things and he chose weird stuff. Jimmy Durante – do you even know who that is?

Chris:   No

Mike:    I’m 61 and I barely know who Jimmy Durante is.

Chris:   Okay so pick people who…

Mike:    He was some old guy with a big nose like in the 40s, in movies and stuff so he said, I realize that was too old so I switched it to Jamie Far.

Chris:   I still don’t know who that is. [laughs]

Mike:    [laughs] I know you don’t. Jimmy Far was on Nash. He was Harper Claire and he has a big nose and he’s still like decades out of date. So the same as suggestions, pick things that resonate with someone.

Chris:   And this actually applies to metaphors too. If you want to tell a story to an audience that’s going to really get them in the emotional state that you want them, tell a story that’s going to seem like it could be familiar to them at least.

Mike:    Sure, and like you said emotional state. As soon as you bring the emotions in with hypnosis or with suggestion, it is far more powerful when you derive emotions from something like the film or something that’s not happening to you directly but you’re watching it in a movie, those are the movies that you remember. You don’t remember movies unless they were so incredibly boring that you hated them for the wrong season but the stuff that engages the emotions will be the most powerful and when you’re engaging the emotions, you by and large engage in the right brain as well. so that’s another aspect to this. when you’re giving the suggestion to someone, engage their emotions. You don’t want to just say you’re going to be more powerful at work, you’re going to be in the zone, you’re going to  get your job done. There’s all this data. You’re going to say think about how great you’re going to feel when you shine and [unclear 8:46]

Chris:   Bring in that emotion.

Mike:    Bing the emotions into the suggestion. That’s much more powerful. So what’s next?

Chris:   Oh let’s see. Let’s talk about truth and logic. Logical suggestions of course aren’t going to have…

Mike:    Well if its illogical, it will wear off quickly so let’s say you’re dealing with someone for smoking cessation. The old way was to say you know you’re going to cough and hack every time you try to smoke and you’ll eventually quit. I did that in my youth and it does work.

Chris:   And there’s some logic to the fact that it makes you cough.

Mike:    But if you say every time you light a cigarette, superman is going to appear and the man that you  throw that outright thought that out right away, it’s not as likely going to work because it’s not logical. It’s stupid.

Chris:   With that said, if they have huge loops in their handwriting and they’re imaginative then you might do that just for that.

Mike:    There was a study done years ago chris and what I mean truth and logic, I meant specifically to get them to accomplish this task. It should make sense to a degree. Now, there is a sense that the more bizarre a suggestion is, the more likely the brain will accept. It’s a whole weird corollary to this. a study was done many years ago where a hundred people were asked, they were given postcards that were pre-stamped and addressed. They were told to just mail one every day. The second group was hypnotized to mail one every day and the third group was hypnotized with a bizarre suggestion to mail one every day. The third group before they mailed it had to stand in front of the mailbox, bang in on their head and go arrr, arrr, arrrr. Guess what happened at the end of the day? guess which group mailed most of them.

Chris:   The third group.

Mike:    The arrr, arrr, arr group. The chicken quacky rooster group mailed most of them. The second most consistent group was people who were just asked to do it.

Chris:   So the idea of hypnotizing them and giving them a very ordinary suggestion was kind of boring so it didn’t have any purpose.

Mike:    It doesn’t tag clearly at the stage because it has no purpose.

Chris:   So there was either some more emotional charge to…

Mike:    Something bizarre they couldn’t forget it. so in a way,

Chris:   That’s kind of interesting too because it’s sort of the idea you talked about how to Smolenski on the nose. It’s a bizarre thing so you can’t forget it. you’ll always remember it just like the weird suggestion.

Mike:    Exactly. So truth and logic makes sense. If you’re trying to help someone, it will be trying if you’re illogical. If you are logical with your suggestions, that will be really good and this brings us to the law of reverse and effect. This is a classic hypnotic processor, hypnotic understanding. We get what we try to avoid. That’s right. Another way to put it is what we resist persists and everybody’s experiences with insomnia.

Chris:   Try not to stay awake all night.

Mike:    The more you resist being awake, the more you try to sleep, the harder and harder it becomes. You see this in almost every hostage movie at some point, the people whose family members whatever were taken hostage will be sitting up and they’ve been up for 40 hours, they’re exhausted and the police interrogator will say try to get some sleep. I hear that in so many movies now. but reverse effect, if you try not to fall, you’ll probably fall. So that’s why we talk about what you want to do instead of what you don’t want to do. A classic example too is anything that you resist, the harder you resist – not the example but the principle is the harder you resist something, the more you’re focusing on the very thing that you don’t want. So always focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want and a number of people came to my office and I say what do you want? Well, I don’t want to be depressed. Okay, suppose I hypnotize you and make you terrified of carpets. Oh I don’t want that either. Okay so do you want to be a tin miner in Jupiter? No I don’t want that either. The list of what you don’t want is infinite.

Chris:   It’s really fascinating because once you learn this, and once you really absorb it, you will notice people telling you all the time what they don’t want and you get in the habit of saying okay, so what is it that you do want?

Mike:    Right and that’s much, much better. You ask what they want, it identifies the target state and then the brain can start using [unclear 12:52] activating system to move towards it.

Chris:   And it’s actually quite funny because you’ll say to somebody something or I will say like okay, you told me what you don’t want. So what is it that you do want? And they repeat what they don’t want like they don’t even comprehend and so you say it a second or even a third time if necessary and it finally breaks the shell and they kind of clue you in.

Mike:    And so you’re telling me you don’t want to do that anymore?

Chris:   [laughs] Nice.

Mike:    I’m a comic genius. Now listen, so reverse effect, we get what we try to avoid. What we resist, persists. The law of dominant effect is another wonderful aspect of suggestion which means that as I said, emotionally charged things are more effective. Stronger suggestions will override weaker ones. So that’s why you really have to build. If you have a weak suggestion that’s telling you you eat potato chips everyday and you’ve installed this yourself somehow or snack before bed. you need something powerful to wipe that out. So we can actually get competing anchors and states like this.

Chris:   So let me just – I’m thinking for example, I don’t know why but I’m thinking about healthy eating right now so the idea of if somebody wanted to b healthier and gave them a posthypnotic suggestion to  focus on healthy eating might not be effective as telling them that they would suddenly find themselves much more interested in making their own healthy meals.

Mike:    That’s wonderful.

Chris:   Getting more involved in the part – not just going to buy something healthier.

Mike:    Typical Erickson.

Chris:   But cooking it.

Mike:    You have them really enjoy the process and Erickson would typically work with married couples who had trouble in their sex life and had lost intimacy and he’d tell them to prepare a meal together. They hypnotize them, you’re going to go home and make this delicious dinner together and it would bring the whole cooperation and everything and it would map across into you know [unclear 14:34] and the beater.

Chris:   [laughs]

Mike:    So we got reverse effect,, we got dominant effect that the stronger ones will override the weaker ones and another one is the obvious thing that the greater the depth of the trance, the greater likelihood that suggestions are going to stick.

Chris:   I was talking about that.

Mike:    So many times Chris we hear…

Chris:   People say [unclear 14:56] yeah.

Mike:    You only need a light trance to make all kinds of changes. But why did they say that over and over and over? Because most of them can only create light trances because they’re often script readers o just inept. And when you can zone people through the floor, not surprisingly, you’ll get a much, much stronger depth of trance which will be much more robust and resistant to being fragmented and then consequently your suggestions will hit. They’ll be much, much stronger as a result of that as well.

Chris:   By the way, speaking of scripts Mike, we just published a series of videos that so, for those of you out there who are interested in learning more about hypnosis and learning about the myths and having Mike explain how those myths are untrue, one of which is about hypnosis scripts, head on over to mikemandelhypnosis.com/hypnosis-myths and you’ll sign up for a series of videos that are really fun but educational as well. I will be upfront and tell you the whole purpose here is to promote the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy which is totally awesome and risk-free but you’re going to love the videos.

Mike:    Thank you Chris so let’s continue to our next one here.

Chris:   Let’s continue. Where are we? Oh the law of prime.

Mike:    Let’s go back to depth for a moment. The deeper the trance, the greater chance the suggestions are going to be accepted. If you are always zoning people through the floor, you’ll get better results but there’s the Mandel loop that a lot of people don’t know and it’s a wonderful thing. the greater the depth, the greater the rapport you will have with the subject automatically. Not just NLP rapport where you’re in sync but hypnotic rapport as well which is a totally different thing. they’re related though. Hypnotic rapport is where the subject responds only to the hypnotist and is not distracted by surroundings, other people, conversations or whatever and of course this can be handed off and tagged to another person easily. Always tag it to another person and say, if the unthinkable should happen and I should have a heart attack and die during this induction then chris will be able to bring you out of it. great people think this stuff so seriously. So anyway, the greater the depth, the greater the rapport. One of the ways to build more powerful trances is to simply get greater rapport with your subject.

Chris:   That is an interesting one. So let’s talk about that. How do you generate good rapport with a subject?

Mike:    Well of course you’re going to honor their model of the world. Erickson operated from a principle of absolute integrity and that’s why he got such amazing results. Listen guys, if you want to use this stuff to manipulate people and damage people’s lives and just be a nasty person and dominate people, you’ll probably be able do it to a degree but it’ll come back on you one way or another. You’ll be a far more powerful hypnotist if you operate with integrity and when you have the absolute wellbeing and happiness of the person in front of you is your primary concern, you’ll be far more effective because that in of itself will build greater rapport. So caring about the other person, being interested in their life and honoring their model of the world instead of questioning, challenging it and attempting to dominate them will go a long, long way to building rapport and of course then there’s all the classic NLP methods of offering back the person’s own language. The person says, I’m feeling very uncomfortable lately and you say, that’s right. you’ve been very uncomfortable lately. Same word. You don’t say, I understand you’re a little upset. No… You have that itchy sensation on your right knee. [laughs]

Chris:   [laughs] Where does that come from?

Mike:    So that’s another classic. Build depth by building rapport and then primacy is the law of compounding. If I give suggestions A B and C and then repeat them and maybe repeat them again, suggestion A will be by and large the most powerful one, followed by B, followed by C. so you should always give your strongest and most important suggestions let’s say upfront because they will be the ones that will tend to hit stronger than anything and the more and more you layer on other suggestions, the more they will tend to keep reinforcing that first one even if you’re not mentioning it. it sort of an unusual paradox.

Chris:   Now this is also making me think about the idea of using these concepts in an influential way outside of the context of therapeutic hypnosis or whatever. So, if you were a salesperson and you wanted somebody to be convinced to buy a certain product, you might start with the discussion around the brand to make sure that they understood that this was the right brand and that suggestion once accepted makes it easier. Actually that’s more heteroaction I guess in a way but it’s sort of related.

Mike:    These things are all related.

Chris:   I can get somebody to believe that apple is the best computer out there. Then, we can discuss the fact that oh a Macbook or an iMac or an iPhone or whatever it is is the right product for you.

Mike:    I’m just laughing because I hear you effortlessly drifting into the language patterns after all you use it, if I can…. Then…

Chris:   Yeah I should have even noticed that. There we go. Unconscious confidence folks.

Mike:    Let’s move on here. the law of variety. This is a good thing. if you’re giving people hypnotic suggestions or attempting to influence them, don’t keep saying the same thing over and over and over. Change it up. You’ll be very relaxed. You’ll sleep well through the night. You’ll feel so comfortable when you go to bed. you’ll awaken refreshed. All different ways of saying they’re going to have a good night sleep. One of them is way more liable to hit if you give a huge variety of methods. So change it up. Say your suggestion in different ways but the same things.

Chris:   So when I speak to you Mike about moving away from Microsoft’s horrible operating system. I shouldn’t just remind you how often your computer crashes and how frustrated that makes you feel but I should remind you how incredibly pleasing it is to use a Bluetooth keyboard that just seamlessly integrates with a functioning operating system and a machine that doesn’t crash and that just looks beautiful and has a retina display. [laughs] Oh there we go.

Mike:    Let’s talk about literalness. Literalness basically means the deeper the trance, according to Rafael Road’s psychic relative exclusion theory, the deeper the trance, the more unconscious mind is in the foreground and the more the conscious mind has receded. According to people like Janae who…

Chris:   I’m wide awake now.

Mike:    Who talk extensively about dissociation. It’s always part of your mind in present as a hidden observer in that theory. So your conscious mind is never gone completely but when your unconscious is in the foreground, that’s when you have to be very, very literal with suggestions or when your subject’s unconscious is in the foreground. The more the unconscious is in the present, the more the person will respond robotically and more like a child because you want to use very, very literal suggestions when someone is in a deep trance. That’s not your time to go to metaphor and say that sensation down below that place where you thought you can modify all that went before… that’s right. no, you just want to say, take that feeling and amplify it.

Chris:   So once you know they’re in a deep hypnotic state, somnambulistic state, not a samuelistic state, you can test it.

Mike:    Or somnabulistic. Yu can test it. now listen, this whole literalness thing also means the unconscious will be very, very literal. It doesn’t respond to metaphor the same as the conscious mind. So the literalness means if you say to someone who’s wide awake, can you tell me your name? they’ll say, Dave. You say to someone in somnambulistic trance, he’ll say yes. They won’t answer literally.

Chris:   You can test them by asking that. See what they say which is a yes or…

Mike:    Which brings us to this Victorian repressed English thing about this, I was wondering if you would be so kind as to pass me the salt. In other words, you’re wondering about his kindness and that means he passes the salt.

Chris:   And you’re wondering if he’s kind enough to pass the salt.

Mike:    Kind enough.

Chris:   Not if he would actually do it when he’s feeling real kind. Wonderful okay, so let’s see. Is there anything else? Literalness okay so as a test, you could ask somebody can you tell me your name? and they’ll say yes, I can. Or you could say where are you? and he’ll say here or in a chair or something like that.

Mike:    But all of our students, they know how to test this stuff because they’re able to calibrate your subject.

Chris:   And once you’ve done that, then you would offer very direct and clear and simple, literal suggestions.

Mike:    Exactly.

Chris:   And repeat them several times in exactly the same words in a boring [unclear 23:24].

Mike:    I’ve got an empowering question Chris.

Chris:   All right, let’s do it.

Mike:    I want those of you listening to ask yourself this or at least let you resonate with you. who in your life are you most able to influence and how will you do it for their benefit today? who in your life are you most able to influence and how will you do it for their benefit today?

Chris:   All right folks this has been session number 51 of brain software with Mike Mandel and before we do the closing, we’re going to move into the closing metaphor.

Mike:    Yes and this is an ongoing one Chris. Near my house, There’s a strip mall. Actually a larger mall than a strip mall and there’s a future shop there and about a block away, there’s a large open area with some scrubs and grassland and the Canada geese which are proliferating in this area were nesting and its now being turned into what do you call it, commercial blocks of offices and that they’re going to be renting out and using for real estate. Real estate is the word I’ve been looking for for five minutes. Thank you. so the [unclear 24:35] and the Canada geese that which is at but near the future shop as my wife pointed out, you can drive there at any given day and there’s a big, huge beautiful male Canada goose about two and a half, three feet tall strutting around the parking lot and people are trying not to hit him and they have just nested in the midst of everyone because right in the parking lot by the sidewalk, there’s a patch of grass maybe three feet by three feet and the female goose has built a nest there and is sitting on it apparently about to hatch some eggs and the male goose stands a few feet away keeping guard and all around when the cars are going by and people are shopping with bags of things and in awhile, the parking lot will be covered with baby geese walking in lines attempting to avoid the cars.

Chris:   Thanks everybody for listening to episode 51 of Brain Software with Mike Mandel and I’m Chris Thompson. So make sure you head on over to our website mikemandelhypnosis.com. sign up for our email list and get a copy of Mike’s awesome brain software eBook which is life-changing stuff. Check out the live classes we’ve got for you. make sure you check out the online training as well, the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Training Academy which you can see over at mikemnadelhypnosis.com/academy and last but not least, the simplest task of all, head on over and leave a rating for this podcast in iTunes. You’ll find a link over to the iTunes podcast in the Apple store there. You’ll find it right on our website under the podcast tab. Thanks everybody and we’ll see you on the next episode which will be number 52. Keep it rolling.