There are two common techniques which are ofted discussed among the hypnosis underground. One virtually forces the listener(s) to think about a specific image, and the other pushes them to think about a specific statement or (preferably) question.

The first one doesn’t work well in print, but in spoken form it is quite effective at forcing someone to imagine a specific image. The basic pattern is simple enough: invite the subject to imagine (or try not to imagine) the image, briefly describe unnecessary details of it, pause, and then specify a change to it.

A popular example is “I invite you to try as hard as you can not to imagine a purple rhinoscerous with a yellow parrot on its shoulder…

The other shoulder.”

A few things to note about it: Some particularly self aware people will “succeed” by making it a point to change the colors (and maybe the variety of bird). That can work in your favor, since they need to concentrate even more on the image to do that. And note that the follow up does not specify an action: it does not say something like “move it to the other shoulder.” Such a construct actually weakens the pattern considerably.

Now that you think about it, how often have you seen or heard an advertisement inviting you to imagine a stack of $100 bills in your hand? A bigger stack?

That brings up the second pattern. Take something that can be phrased as a question. Making it a question, in and of itself, makes it more compelling. Then preface it with “Now that you think about it,” which makes it virtually impossible to avoid thinking about the question.

Done right, each of these very simple patterns can be exceptionally powerful. But as with most such things, you need to practice until the patterns are second nature.

 

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