In one of Edgar Alan Poe's short stories, a stolen letter was hidden out in the open on the desk of one of the characters. Because it was in an envelope from another writer, the searchers looked at it, but never thought to check inside the envelope. In a similar way, it is possible to hide hypnotic commands and suggestions inside of normal conversation. These commands go unnoticed by the conscious minds of a listener, but they are understood and acted upon as hypnotic commands by the listener's unconscious mind.
The method of inserting hypnotic commands, also known as embedded commands, is very simple and easy to learn. It is something that you are already doing in everyday conversation without being aware of it. To put another message inside of a sentence, simply emphasize the words in your message by changing your voice tone, or volume of the words intended as commands. It is easy for many people not to notice that there is a second message inside the sentence, because consciously they are focused on the content of the overall sentence. You can begin to understand how this process works as you notice the emphasized words in this article.
How it works is simply that the unconscious mind recognizes the emphasized words as a second message. Just emphasizing a few words, however, is not enough. The emphasis needs to be repeated several times for the mind to recognize that there is a pattern inside the sentences. And, the emphasis needs to be consistent. It would be ineffective, for example, to say some words louder, other words softer, and speak yet other words much more slowly and expect all of them to be understood as part of a single message. Only the words that are emphasized in exactly the same way will be taken to be part of a single message inside the sentence as a whole.
So, will giving someone hidden hypnotic commands result in their instant obedience to your every whim? It depends on what you are asking them to do. If you ask them to do something as simple as stand up, or scratch their nose, you will get a lot of positive responses. Those are a good types of commands to give someone when you are just learning, because the responses are immediate and easily seen. You might get your spouse to volunteer to cook dinner for you, but you will not get strangers to empty their wallets, take up pole vaulting as a hobby, or buy your junk car for $30,000.
And, be aware that some people, for whatever reasons, will just not respond to the commands. This will be true particularly in the beginning as you are learning. Of course, with more practice and experience, your ability to use hidden hypnotic commands effectively and influence others will increase.
When first learning about hidden hypnotic commands, some people wonder if using them is ethical. One way of thinking about it is that only people are ethical. Tools are neither ethical nor unethical. A hammer can be used to smash a car headlight, or build a house. Another way of thinking about it is that we emphasize words in normal speech already. For example, a small child may say, "Buy me some ice cream!" or an adult might say, "I really want you to listen to this" unknowingly using hypnotic command tonality.
Learning about hidden hypnotic commands allows us to use them intentionally, and to choose to have greater influence in our own communications. And, of course, as we learn about hidden hypnotic commands, we become more aware of them, so we can consciously choose to reject commands from other people if we think the commands are not in our best interests. We may not, for example, want to let an unethical used car salesperson use hidden hypnotic commands to create an urgency to buy just any vehicle the management wants to get off the lot. On the other hand, we may wish to accept suggestions for learning a desirable new skill quickly and easily, or to find more joy in life.
It is fun way to learn by simply practicing using hidden hypnotic commands with the people who you know. In the beginning you can pick simple messages, such as "lift your arm", or "touch your face". As you become more comfortable using hidden hypnotic commands, you can begin putting in other types of messages. Perhaps you might begin giving people commands to get into a happy mood, or to choose your preferred restaurant for lunch. You will certainly enjoy noticing people's responses to hidden hypnotic commands when you practice using them.
You may be surprised to learn that even in the beginning when using hidden hypnotic commands seems awkward, very few, if any, will notice that you are doing anything out of the ordinary. That is simply because most people are unaware that hidden hypnotic commands even exist. Emphasizing certain words is normal in conversation anyway. So, feel free to playfully practice hidden hypnotic commands with anyone. Just remember the more you use them, the more powerful will be your influence, and the more comfortable you will become with your new skills.
By Wesley Anderson Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy
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