Indirect Hypnosis : The Introduction to Neurolinguistic Programming

I started this website to answer all questions posed to me. Most times, the questions you ask are great. I’ve answered many of them. I recently received my favorite from Doug Schlesinger. “Teach me how to perform the Jedi Mind Trick.” Well, you might think this is a joke. Obviously I can’t teach a fictional mind trick. I can however teach you all the skills needed to convince people of most anything.

Welcome to the world of Neurolinguistic Programming! NLP is used in nearly every form of professional marketing you consume on a daily basis. It is a branch of psychology, first created, by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Most of the books and papers they wrote on it are out of print, but your in luck, because I’ve read them all.

NLP techniques are used to figure out how a person’s brain processes information. More specifically how a person:

  • Reasons
  • Gathers Information
  • Decides on Preferences
  • Deals with Stress
  • Emotes
  • Reacts to Situations
  • Makes Decisions

To put it bluntly, if you get someone to take one test, you will be able to get them to do, or believe anything. Don’t believe me?

Neil Strauss, a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine, decided he wanted to learn how to become a pickup artist. A guy that can pick up any woman. So, he went to the best and learned how it is done. He is now considered to be the best pickup artist out there. You can read about his adventures in a book called The Game.

In Strauss words, “By using high-powered marketing techniques, I’ve turned seduction into an effortless craft…” All of his techniques were formed from his knowledge of NLP. So, enough talk. You either believe me or you don’t. The trip will be long, but I think ultimately worth it.

We All Follow Maps

Through out our lives we create maps that we can follow unconsciously whenever a situation occurs. For example, when you first started to drive you no doubt found it to be complicated. Now you drive while talking on the phone, sorting papers and flipping through music. How is that?

The world hits us with an infinite number of stimuli and we perceive a small portion of it. What information we do notice is further filtered through our past experiences, beliefs, interests, values and assumptions. After all the filtering is done we create a map that we can follow, in the future. For example, an artist, zoologist and a child would see a zoo in completely different ways.

Where does NLP fit into all of this? NLP provides you with the ability to look at a person’s personal map. You can then emulate it, or change it (Indirect Hypnosis).


Let me briefly touch on a complicated subject in NLP. It’s called Meta-Programming. Meta-Programming refers to habitual patterns commonly used by an individual across a wide range of situations. For example:

  • People move Toward goals or Away from problems
  • People look at failure as simply a Failure or an Opportunity to learn and try again
  • People will lean toward asking How something works, or Why something works
  • People will prefer seeing the Big Picture or the Details

There are about 40 further examples of how people see the world. If you understand them then you have access to the Meta-program that they follow. Better yet, if you understand your own programming you’ll be much more likely to make the right decisions. Much more on this later.

What is Rapport

How you feel emotionally, is based off of your internal responses to what you see and hear. By paying attention to what others say and project through body language, you decide how you will respond accordingly. How can you be sure you are projecting the right messages though? We have all had the experience of upsetting someone accidentally. Why is that?

The answer lies in our body language not jiving with what we say. Communication is based off the following:

  • 55% Body Language
  • 38% Tone of Voice
  • 7% What you actually say

I wrote an article on detecting liars, if you want further information on body language analysis.

So, what is Rapport? Rapport is the process you follow to build trust and an atmosphere in which people feel free to respond freely. You will know you have built rapport with someone if they start to copy your posture and gestures. You can use a process known as mirroring to build rapport with someone more quickly. When you meet someone who you want to build rapport with, subtly match there:

  • Breathing pattern
  • Posture
  • Gestures
  • Slang
  • Eye contact
  • Tonality
  • Tempo of speech
  • Volume of speech

By utilizing this technique, you can build rapport quickly and test if they are willing to follow your directions subtly, before you ask them. You would do that as follows:

  1. Mirror and Match them
  2. If they are in an unresponsive state ( Bad eye contact, Slumped over, Arms crossed, etc. )
  3. Slowly start to position yourself into a welcoming state ( Lean forward, Hand on chin, etc. )
  4. If they follow you into your new position, you know they are in a state to respond to you
  5. If they don’t, match them and then move toward a positive state again
  6. If a person won’t follow you into a positive state through body mirroring, they won’t be open to follow your direction, through verbal commands either

This technique can be used in any situation. If you are approached by someone that is angry, match their anger and then move toward a calm state. If you meet someone that is shy, match their shy state and then move them toward an excited state.

Quick Tip: You can also build strong rapport, by just eliminating one word from your vocabulary. Replace “But” with the word “And.” The word but can destroy rapport in seconds. When used, it implies you have heard what is said … but … object to the idea. “And” implies that you agree with their point of view and have a few they may be interested in as well.

The Eyes are the Window to the Soul

When we are asked a question, we find the answer by remembering something we say, heard, or felt. For a split second, we actually re-experience a past event. In NLP, the way a person stores information ( seeing, feeling, hearing, taste and smell ) is known as representational systems. We all prefer a specific representational system and if you can discover someone’s chosen system you’ll build rapport that much quicker.

Each one of us prefers to learn in one of the following ways:

  • Visually (60% of People): Someone shows you how to do it
  • External Auditory Explanation (20% of People): Someone tells you how to do it
  • Internal Auditory Explanation (20% of People): You talk yourself through how to do it
  • Kinesthetic (20% of People): You learn by physically doing something

You can discover a person’s chosen representational system by watching eye movements and/or asking questions. NLP uses shorthand to describe the representational systems.
Eye Accessing Representational Systems
Vr: Visual Remembered: Eyes move up and to your right, or stare straight ahead
Vc: Visual Constructing (Imagining something not seen before): Eyes move up and to your left, or stare straight ahead
Ar: Auditory Remembered: Eyes move to your right, sideways
Ac: Auditory Constructing: Eyes move to your left, sideways
Ai: Auditory Internal (Talking to Self): Eyes move down and to your right
K: Kinesthetic (Remembering an action or feeling): Eyes move down and to your left

These eye movement patterns are true for 85% of all people. The other 15%, just do the exact opposite. Some people think that left handed people do the opposite of right handers? To find out which representational system someone uses and which eye movement pattern they use just ask the following questions:

  • Why did you decide on your present choice of car?
  • What helps you decide where to vacation?
  • What let’s you know that you can believe in a product?

These questions are devoid of representational system leading predicates (I’ll explain this in a second). If you ask them, exactly as I have written them, you’ll find their representational system.

Representational System Leading Predicates

We use words to describe what we are thinking. If you analyze what predicates they use, you’ll shine a spot light on their preferred system. The following are examples to look for in speech:

Visual People Talk about

  • Color
  • Two or Three Dimensional
  • Location
  • Distance
  • Size
  • Brightness
  • Contrast

Auditory People Talk about

  • Volume (Loud or Soft)
  • Sounds
  • Tone
  • Tempo
  • Distance from sound
  • Clarity (clear or muffled)
  • Continuity

Kinesthetic People Talk about

  • Pressure
  • Textures
  • Intensity
  • Weight
  • Temperature
  • Shape
  • Emotions (I Felt)

Other Ways to Find a Persons Chosen Representational System

Visual People Normally:

  • Speak fast
  • Use the wrong words
  • Maintain more eye contact

Auditory External People Normally:

  • Speak slower and more rhythmically
  • Speak with more expression
  • Listen intently

Auditory Internal People Normally:

  • Rest hand on the side of their head
  • Repeat what is being said to them
  • Move their lips, without saying anything

Kinesthetic People Normally:

  • Tend to speak slowly, pausing often
  • Tend to repeat themselves
  • Look down much more while speaking

After you practice your ability of identifying representational systems, you will be much better at building rapport and persuading. After you have built rapport through body matching and voice tone, your next step is to speak using their chosen representational system. Then just set back and watch them suck up everything your saying with rapt attention.

More Ways to Discover Representational Systems

Visual People use the following words: look, picture, focus, imagination, insight, scene, blank, visualize, perspective, shine, reflect, clarify, examine, eye, focus, foresee, illusion, illustrate, notice, outlook, reveal, preview, see, show, survey, vision, watch, reveal, hazy, dark.

Auditory People use the following words: say, accent, rhythm, loud, tone, resonate, sound, monotonous, deaf, ring, ask, accent, audible, clear, discuss, proclaim, remark, listen, ring, shout, speechless, vocal, tell, silence, dissonant, harmonious, shrill, quiet, dumb

Kinesthetic People use the following words: Touch, handle, contact, push, rub, solid, warm, cold, rough, tackle, push, pressure, sensitive, stress, tangible, tension, touch, concrete, gentle, grasp, hold, scrape, solid, suffer, heavy, smooth

A Little Jargon

A common term NLP uses in describing representational systems is Sub-modalities. A list of sub-modalities are listed above under the heading Representational System Leading Predicates. If you refer to a representational system as the model used to map an experience. The sub-modality refers to the more specific characteristics of the model. For example, a visual person might say the picture in their mind is blurry. Clarity is a sub-modality, that can be represented as clear, dim or blurry.

I will slowly introduce the jargon of NLP, in the hope that you will be able to internalize this information easily. If you want to start putting these techniques into practice:

  1. Watch people’s eye accessing clues on TV and in person and try to guess what representational system they are using
  2. Watch people’s eye accessing clues and guess when they are answering truthfully (looking to your right) or lying (looking to your left)
  3. Pay attention to how people, you are close to, match or mirror you naturally
  4. Subtly match and mirror others to build rapport quicker
  5. Practice using all of the representational systems in your speaking and writing

The Next Time

This has been a fun article to write. I hope it has been enlightening (Visual). Try to guess what my chosen system is by analyzing the predicates I use in my writing. Nobody just uses one, but everyone strongly favors one over another. Next time, I’ll talk about:

  • How to better guide people into a positive state
  • How to make a person change emotional states simply by touching them or saying a specific word
  • Explain further, people’s decision making process
  • And much, much more…

Till next time…

19 Responses to “Indirect Hypnosis : The Introduction to Neurolinguistic Programming”

  1. Hey,

    you've covered so much you're just about giving all the information away ?

    NLP has been a great resource for me. I used it in my sales career for many years for things like building sales rapport and answering salesobjections.

    Look forward to your next post, Greg

    • admin says:

      The first article is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll be covering anchoring next. By the end you’ll have a complete understanding of NLP. I hope you like it?

      • trace says:

        what rep system would sentences using metaphores such as where do we go from here, and your walking but not running, not literal in the context i heard them, as not sure if its kineathetic or visual

        • admin says:

          Hi – That’s a great question. You have to pay attention to the adjectives. Distance normally is a reference to a visual system and that is what I read in the phrase “where do we go from here.” I think it is easier to find someone’s chosen system by asking, “How do you know when something is right? When it sounds right, looks right, or feels right?” Hope that helps?

  2. Tim Johnson says:

    Keep making more blogs please.

  3. I think your blog is good.

  4. A Waller says:

    Really enjoyed this and found it very useful – many thanks!

  5. HypnoToad says:

    Wow o_o

    I love this whole site, this is the second thing I’ve read and its got enough knowledge to keep me happy, but is simple enough to understand and make use of! And I’m oh so glad that this information is free XD Information and knowledge should be shared – imagine what we could achieve together!

    Thank you for this 😀

  6. Furrygromy says:

    Heya,derek,this is very useful info you have here :)!I am wondering though if you know how to use covert hypnosis (or less known as conversational,Eriksonian hypnosis).If you do,can you please teach me?

  7. Frank says:

    I am wondering how powerful are embedded commands for influencing thoughts, feeling and behaviors in others? Are embedded commands really that powerful and do you have to use a bunch of them in a row rapidly or can you slip them into a conversation every so often to have an effect? Also do embeds build up effect through multiple interactions for example I use commands in a conversation with you on Monday and then I use similar commands when I see you again on Thursday? Would them power of the commands build through multiple interactions or would the effects be short lived?

    • Derek Banas says:

      Yes they are extremely powerful. I for example am not terribly gifted at this stuff. I was able however to get a girl to search for her boyfriend in a 6 foot long bathroom 5 times with embedded commands. I probably could have done it more times, but everyone started laughing, which broke the trance.

      It would have been impossible for her to not see her boyfriend in such a small bathroom. I embedded a different command though that “maybe she missed something”, which distracted her from focusing on looking specifically for him.

      One of the people that taught me was able to convince a stranger that she couldn’t see a car that was right in front of her.

  8. Frank says:

    When I use embedded commands I simply say the phrase with tonal shifts I do not employ trance states when I use the yet would they still be effective?

  9. sam says:

    I thought I knew you from somewhere. You forgot to mention Mystery I think he is the greatest pickup artist ever… remember the Mystery Method

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