Indirect Hypnosis: NLP Meta-Programs

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.

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

A basic introductory article on NLP is available here. When you are first trained on how to apply NLP techniques, you are asked a series of questions that tell you how your own brain works. In this article I will show you my results. The process is known as Meta-Programming. While it is a bit dangerous for me to put my information out there, because this information is extremely valuable to marketers and sales people, I trust I can keep from being manipulated. But, can I really? I guess I’ll find out?

As you are going through this exercise do your best to figure out what categories you fit into. I will be providing a test in the very near future. I’ll do my best to keep these articles short, so that you can take the time figuring out how your brain works. On with the testing!

How Our Brains Process Information

Reasoning Style (Details / General Case)

I prefer the specifics not the general. “Give me the details and I’ll see what it means to me.” Not: “Give me your general concept and I’ll figure out how it applies to me.”

Ask: “What do you prefer first the big picture or the details?”

Relationship Style (That’s Different From / That’s Similar to)

I prefer to sort the differences, when I attempt to understand something new. “I love change, variety and newness.” Not: “Likes regularity, conservatism, and security”

Ask: “Tell me what you think about these two things?”

Representational System Style (Auditory / Visual / Kinesthetic)

I believe I’m strongly Auditory, when I am in the moment, but Visual when remembering past events and Kinesthetic, when I explain what will occur.

Ask: “What lets you know that you can believe a product feels right for you?” “Do you buy something because it sounds right, makes sense, looks right, or feels right?” “When do you know someone made the right decision when it sounds like they did, when it looks like they did, when it makes sense, or when it feels like they did?” “What type of advertising do you find most convincing: ones with diagrams and charts, ones with an announcer with a good voice quality, ones with a lot of data and figures, or ones that provide a level of hands on experience?”

The Introductory NLP article covers the Representational Systems in more detail.

Information Gathering Style (Uptime / Downtime)

I operate in an uptime state when talking with people in that I analyze everything they are saying verbally and nonverbally. A person who operates in downtime would seem unfocused because they are constantly going inside of themselves to deduct how the information they are hearing effects their thoughts and feelings.

Ask: “Do people say you are a good listener, or do you find yourself day dreaming a lot?” “Do you sometimes get lost in your own thoughts during conversations?”

Information Gathering Style II (Fact Gatherer / Intuition)

I operate as a fact gatherer when gathering information. I spend more time working with facts, rather than trusting my intuition.

Ask: “When evaluating something, do you want proof and evidence, or would you prefer to take a small amount of information and think through the applications on your own?” “Do you make decisions based off of practical facts, or abstract possibilities?”

Perceptual Categories Style (Definite Right & Wrong / Multitude of Gray Answers)

When making decisions I operate more as a Black-or-white thinker. I believe that most questions have a definite right or wrong answer. Gray thinkers believe that their can be many possible right answers and that one should think very carefully before making a decision.

Ask: “Do you find it easy to make quick decisions, or do you prefer to take your time making the best decision possible?” “Do you think of the world as black and white, or a multitude of grays?”

Attribution Style (Optimists / Pessimists)

I operate as an optimist in that I am lead most by my focus on visions and dreams. When approaching a potential problem I think about solutions, ideas, and suggestions. A pessimist would focus more on dangers, threats or potential difficulties.

Ask: “When you are presented with a problem do first consider worst case scenario’s or best?” “Do you spend more time thinking about problems, or opportunities?”

Perceptual Durability Style (Prefer New Options / Prefer Old Solutions)

I operate with a Permeable attitude, in that I’m open to new ideas. I don’t believe that just because something works you shouldn’t be open to an idea that might work better. People who are impermeable, process ideas and beliefs and stick with them in a way that they don’t welcome new information.

Ask: “Are you more attracted to new ideas, or ideas that have stood the test of time?” “Do you change your opinion on something easily?” “Do you prefer the old way of doing things, or the new ways?”

Focus Style ( Focused / Unfocused )

I am an unfocused person, in that I find it difficult to read or screen out my surrounding environment. People that are naturally focused find no problem screening out most any environment when concentrating. I believe that this backs up my belief that I am more attuned with my auditory mode, over the others.

Ask: “Do you find it easy to concentrate in most any environment, or do you get distracted while reading in some environments?” “Do you find some places are to noisy to concentrate in?” “Does noise ever hamper your ability to think?”

Philosophical Direction ( Why did it happen / How did it happen )

I am more interested in what I can do about a problem (How), than I am about Why it happened.

Ask: “When approaching a problem will you first ask why it occurred, or jump in and respond to it?” “Do you prefer to think about why things happen, or focus on solving issues?” “Do second guess your decisions, or pay them little thought?”

Reality Structure Style ( Constant Earth / Constantly Changing Earth )

I see the world as pretty constant (Aristotelian). Things change, but in the grand sceam of things, everything is pretty much the same. Non-aristotelian people see the world as not being full of people and things, but instead see the world as actions ( Weather, Activities, etc. )

Ask: “Do you think the world is pretty much the same, or changing dramatically day to day?”

Communication Channel Preference ( Verbal / Non-Verbal )

I lay more importance in how a person says something than what they say. This is mainly because I have spent a great deal of time studying body language and the such. People that focus on the verbal channel trust more what people say. They believe body language is not important.

Ask: “Do you lay more importance in what someone says, or how thy say it?” “Do you trust more what a person says, or their body language?” “Do you think it’s easier to learn about people by watching them, or talking to them?”

I wrote a whole article on Detecting Liars here.

How we Input, Process and Output Information Based on Emotions

Stress Coping Style (Assertive / Aggressive / Passive)

I prefer the assertive coping style in that when I’m put in a stressful situation I try to figure out how I can change myself to reduce the stress level. Other coping styles include the Fight (Aggressive) and Flight (Passive) styles.

An aggressive person will confront that which is causing stress, while a passive person will do whatever they can to get away from the stress. Nobody is purely aggressive or passive in all situations, but each person will show a preference over time.

Ask: “What do you do when you are put in a stressful situation by someone, confront them, avoid them, or think about how you could change to subdue the stress level?” ”If something is creating stress in your life do you, avoid it, confront it, or spend time figuring out how to subside the stress?”

The Authority Style (Act on your own/Act as society tells you)

I very strongly, make decisions based off of my own internal values (Self-Referent). Others rely heavily on the general values of society as a whole. They believe everyone should follow a very strict set of rules and live in a world of should’s and should nots.

Ask: “Are your values based off of your own rules, or those general rules be they societal or biblical?” “When making decisions do you trust your gut, or do you think about how people may judge your decisions?” “Would you say you model your life off of people you respect, or do things the way you know best?”

Emotional State Style (Thinking/Feeling)

I process data, by thinking my way through it (Dissociated). Other people process data by completely amercing themselves emotionally (Associated). They see the world as a whole, while ignoring the minute details. Dissociated people see the details, but miss the emotional impact of a situation.

Ask: “When making a decision do you rely on facts, or personal values?” “When deciding on something do you base decisions on facts presented, or on your gut?” “Are you more dominating or nurturing?”

Activity Level Response Style (Inactive/Reflective/Active)

I act quickly, when put in most situations. I try to solve problems, rather than reflect on the relevant and irrelevant information (Reflective). Others do not seem to engage in information processing, unless they are forced (Inactive).

Ask: “Do you tend to enjoy getting something done, spending time to get it done with the best result, or avoiding it if it isn’t worth your time?” “Do you study something for a long time before acting, get the general idea and then act, or do you just wait till it works itself out?”

Convincing or Believability Style (Difficult to Convince/Easily Convinced)

I require a large amount of convincing before I will believe something is true (Convincing). Other people are convinced normally based on just whether something is sold targeting their chosen representational system (Believability). This is what someone means when they say, that sounds believable (Auditory), that feels right (Kinesthetic), that looks right (Visual), or that makes sense (Internal Auditory).

People differ in regards to how many times something must jell with their representational system before they make decisions as well. For some people, something must feel right (Kinetic) in their chosen system just once, other people require it to sound right (Auditory)  many times before they make a decision. Most people make decisions because they look right (Visual Convincers: 50% – 75%), sound right (Auditory Convincers: 15% – 35%), Makes Sense (Self Talk Convincers: 3% – 15%), and Feels Right (Kinesthetic: 12% – 15%).

To find out how many times someone needs convinced, just ask them: “How many times does something have to prove itself before you are convinced?” “How many times do you need to see, hear, read or do something before you think you are competent in using it?” 8 – 10% of people assume something will be right for them, unless proven otherwise. 50% of people can be persuaded to believe anything if you just present believable information, in their chosen representational system enough times (Repetition Requirements).

Other people, 25% of society, makes decisions purely based on their own personal time requirements being met. Once they feel that they have thought about something long enough they will make a decision. If someone says they will get back to you in three months, they normally mean dramatically less time than that. If you contact them, in say three weeks and reference that it feels like three months sinse they have talked with you, they will probably agree that they are ready to make a decision now.

15% of people are almost never convinced of almost anything. These are the people that go threw life mistrusting most people. The only way to try and convince these people is to tell them that you are aware that they will never be convinced and that no time will feel like the right time to try something different, so why don’t they try it out today?

Emotional Direction Style (Pervasive Emotions / Non-Pervasive Emotions)

My emotions are definitely non-pervasive. I am happy about somethings and unhappy about others all at the same time. A person that has pervasive emotions will be either unhappy about everything, or on cloud nine about everything.

Ask: “In general when you are happy about one thing does that naturally make you happy about everything in general?” “When in conversation is it natural for you to switch from things your happy about to others that you are unhappy about, or do you focus on just one main topic?”

Emotional Intensity Style (Timid / Bold)

In general, I am more bold than timid. I enjoy the limelight, attention, and will risk putting others off by giving my point of view. Others cling to that which is certain, avoid risks, and enjoy routinized lifestyles.

Ask: “Do you enjoy more routine, or change in life?” “Do you enjoy doing that which you know you can do, or trying different things that you may fail at?”

That’s All Folks

We’ll that’s all I’m going to cover on Meta-programming at this point. Stay tuned for upcoming articles in which I’ll cover everything I know about NLP and Indirect Hypnosis. Leave any questions below!

Till Next Time…

14 Responses to “Indirect Hypnosis: NLP Meta-Programs”

  1. Israel says:

    Hi Derek,

    Thanks for the information, I wonder if you have a video about accelerated learning, or any technique that might be used to accelerate learning.

    Thanks again

  2. Robert W says:

    Hi Derek,

    This is really useful – thanks.

    I work with business development, what can I do to return the favour?

    Best wishes

    • admin says:

      Hi Robert,

      I’m glad you liked the videos. The only thing I ever ask of people like yourself, is that if you like my site tell others about it. That’s it. Never feel obligated to do anymore. I just appreciate the fact that people find it useful

  3. Ayaz says:

    That’s a really good article but too much information to memorize. How can I make sure I remember all this while applying it in my communication?

    • admin says:

      Thank you 🙂 You should just aim to analyze yourself. Notice how you make decisions. Analyze why you make the decisions that you make. It may be hard because most people have no idea. It is like asking somebody “When did you first discover that fire is hot?” It may be better to focus on why you may think irrationally about certain things. Why does walking down a certain road make you feel a certain way? Why is your favorite shirt your favorite shirt?

      You may also learn a lot from analyzing what techniques marketing is using on you? I have articles on sales tricks people use. Look at that and you’ll see exactly why certain sales tricks work and others don’t. I hope that helps

      • Stefan T says:

        Hi Derek,

        That is an amazing mind-blowing series, it definitely prompts one to rethink things. It definitely works on me.

        I have a question though. Is it possible for one to abstract him-/herself from the above topics outlined.

        For example I used to be with very pervasive emotions, but at some point I was prompted to think about this and with time it sort of doesn’t disturb me anymore. Now when having a conversation I listen the information carefully and respond accordingly, sometimes I do get into how that affects me and my attitude towards life, but I am aware of this process and usually speak this out, and always use it for self-reflection. The point being is that this happened slowly over time and I as not even aiming at this. Now I can always tell in which category a person falls into by the very beginnig of the conversation

        It sort feels like there is a higher self. I am able to view and analyze myself in real time as a situation occurs and somehow all of the above points fade away, although they were indeed very relevant to me before.

        Am I getting something wrong? I appreciate your time and efforts, very few people are willing and able to undertake such a huge projet like this website.

        Best Regards,

        • Derek Banas says:

          Hi Stefan, Sorry it took so long to answer. Once someone learns about NLP it is both a curse as well as a blessing. If you came across this knowledge on your own without books that is very impressive!

          You can now communicate with people and understand them on a high level, but also it makes people less interesting. I like you, can normally completely understand how someone thinks in a very short period of time.

          I was hired in the past to apply NLP techniques in the world of sales. In doing that I couldn’t believe how easy it was to manipulate people. I’m not into that and in fact it kind of sickened me so I quit that job. When I see people in a position of power use these techniques it really bothers me.

          You seem to be a person on the quest for knowledge just like me and so I know you won’t abuse this information. Most people that would are normally not very intelligent. The only topic I haven’t covered so far is hypnotic storytelling. I found it was to dangerous to put out in the public for anyone to read.

          I’m happy you enjoy my site and please feel free to ask questions any time. – Derek

  4. Stefan T says:

    Thanks for the reply,
    no worries about the delay, there is no time ,according to Einstein, anyway 🙂 .

    Its not that I have come across of knowledge of NLP, but rather elaborating on myself. I was not aware of most of the points above and I am still working on them.

    Yes, when you get to know what affects somebody else, it is so easy to manipulate him/her. It makes me sick too. Although I don’t think that it is boring since I am still tackling with myself, I suppose.

    I’ve seen a show on youtube on hypnotic story-telling, it is just scary. It works only on extroverts though, at least I’ve got such memories on hypnosis in general.

    I haven’t got the motivation, nor the will, nor any rational reason. I’d rather work in a peer-to-peer environment, but I haven’t seen one yet. I suppose that I shall just have to endure the given environment and thats that.


    • Derek Banas says:

      Yes, hypnotic storytelling is a bit to powerful for me to cover. I worked with a beverage company that was dabbling with the idea. They did some really tricky stuff. They started sending free concert tickets, gift certificates, etc. to popular kids in high schools. They then were trying to create all of these scenarios organically that revolved around the beverage. They were using these kids to influence the whole school. I was only an observer on the project, but it was extremely effective. I personally thought it crossed the line of good taste though. I don’t think marketing should ever be aimed at kids, or even teenagers

      • Stefan T says:

        I also think that NLP techniques should not be used on children, in fact I think that they should not be used on anybody at all.
        But that will continue to happen until people start educating themselves and start taking control of themselves, not basing their decision-making process on their passions/desires/emotions.
        The ultimate goal for anyone is to earn money, but what does money mean – absolutely nothing when there is nothing (products) or nobody (services) to back it / exchange it in return. The value that money has is increased when eveyone is willing to get it. It only is a communication channel that was serving its purpose for developing the civilization. It is the goods and services that people, knowledge and technology bring together that are actually the value that backs money.

        For some reason this is being ignored these days and the majority of the people are chasing money thinking that those are important.

        Those emotions (greed, hate, envy) are way too powerful for some people and when combined with materializm (elevating the possession of items as very important), we can observe the results these days in the political and socio-economical aspects of the various societies.

        Those articles that you posted on “how to control my emotions” and the related series to it is somewhat the key to solving this problem. The other major issue that I see is people understanding what is important and what not.

        To me, having a roof, proper food and clothes are important matters that we as people have left money to take care of this alongside everything else. I suppose that when we learn how to communicate with each other and form some sort of a society, which is NOT based around money, but on understanding and leave money to take care of the details (such as candies, cosmetics, tourism,games, entertainment, etc…) then we might see less and less people in power(be it politicians/salesmen/businesmen) abuse NLP.

        Until then there is no stopping.

        • Stefan T says:


          To me defining oneself with money and possessions is the core of the problem. It is like a masive NLP that starts when we are kids and continues throughout our lives – that if we have more money and more things we are more successful, more respected and we get fame and recognition.

          I don’t think so. That would mean that people who steal, lie, abuse and manipulate others are more successful than those who can be honest, not abuse the rest, but help them, those who know how to be forgiving, work hard and use their minds and energy to to help develop this place. This is obviously nonsense.

          It however reminds of the situation that you have described with the NLP techniques over the children at the high school.

          • Derek Banas says:

            I remember the days quite clearly in which I turned down a ton of money for moral reasons. I was called an idiot and many other nasty words were used. I think some people just convince themselves that it is ok to hurt other people? I really don’t know how you get like that? Maybe I’m just weak because I can’t imagine killing a person under most any circumstance either. I wouldn’t do to well in a war situation.

            Maybe they just block out the fact that their is a person at the other end much like I heard snipers often do?

            I’m just happy that there are many nice people in the world 🙂 I think that they dramatically out number the bad people. I guess it is our job to protect each other

        • Derek Banas says:

          You and I sir agree 🙂 At some point I lost my ability to understand the majority of people.

          I also agree that NLP shouldn’t be used on people, but it does seem to lose its power if one knows about the techniques. Basically if someone starts hitting you with a yes set technique you should be put on high alert and as soon as you do that they lose their power over you. I don’t think my former employer wanted this information out in the public and so that is why it is here.

          I also have no idea why people seem to never get enough stuff. I think I was blessed to grow up with nothing on a farm, but my family now seems to be very materialistic now. It is all very odd to me. I only own 2 things worth more then $1,000 and I doubt my car is even worth that much at this point. Believe me I could afford to buy amazing toys, but I just don’t have any interest.

          Some day I hope people snap out of this hypnotic trance they all seem to be under. I wish you the best!


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