Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Am I being hypnotized against my will?!

Have you ever been afraid that someone was trying to hypnotize you without your knowing it?

When I go to parties, invariably someone will identify me as "the hypnotist." The response that gets from people is either curiosity or fear. Sure, there are a million ways of influencing a person covertly, better ways than classical hypnosis, but what the uninformed person wonders is whether their free will can be controlled by another person. After all, in the movies, we see a simple post-hypnotic suggestion turning Woody Allen into a zombie cat burglar (Curse of the Jade Scorpion). We see Dracula turning people into slaves with the power of his mind, Rasputin commanding the royal family of Russia with his evil stare alone. The information that most people have is that hypnosis can enslave and zombify, and no one is safe.

As hypnotists, when confronted by a fear of hypnosis, we jump to reassure the person, usually by saying something like:

"There's nothing to be afraid of...all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis...you're totally aware the entire time...your secrets are safe...it's just like reading a fascinating book/watching your favourite movie/daydreaming..."

And all of that is perfectly true. But it's as if we're jumping to defend ourselves, we're not quite addressing the question: "can I be hypnotized without knowing it?"

Well, I decided to take the bull by the horns and address the question directly. Can I be hypnotized without knowing it?
In the most recent PDF, I've put together the way I know of that can influence people hypnotically and how a person might know if such methods might be used on them.

How do I know if I’m being hypnotized against my will?

5 comments:

  1. You cannot be "hypnotized" against your will. You can be influenced by NLP. NLP used with different kinds of hypnosis techniques can coerce someone to do things they would not usually do, but hypnosis itself cannot. That being said, I have to say NLP is not evil, just very potent. I have known of some therapist friends using it to help patients with particularly difficult issues.

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  2. NLP doesn't use coercion, and you can't really use it to cause someone to act against their will any more than you could with hypnosis. NLP is a set of techniques that were taken from a wide variety of theraeutic. In both techniques, it's extremely unlikely, but as Estabrooks pointed out (quoted in the article), people can be persuaded via emotion.

    If you look at other posts on this blog, you'll find articles on NLP techniques that you can use. You'll see that it's not coercive, just a different approach.

    I use both NLP & hypnosis in my practice, and they're equally potent when applied correctly.

    NLP sometimes gets a bad rap as something advertising uses to influence people. It's not. I worked in advertising for many years, and neither hypnosis nor NLP was ever employed (if it were, you'd probably like commercials a whole lot better!).

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  3. All I can say is tell that to a friend of mine who drove 5 hours to be with the man who used NLP to make her feel like she was in love with him. It worked very well in combination with hypnosis until he tried to have her watch porn with his 11 year old daughter. She had a newborn nephew so it snapped her out of it. You said it yourself. They are potent when applied correctly. NLP is used in seduction techniques, so I will say it again. Hypnosis by itself, no. Hypnosis plus NLP can stretch that into grey areas.

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  4. Hypnosis describes a natural state that we all experience daily. This kind of everyday hypnosis can take the form of being absorbed in work, a book or movie or in activities such as driving, playing a game or daydreaming. The sense of being in the zone that many athletes and artists speak about, also comes under the umbrella of everyday hypnosis.

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  5. Hi My,
    I'm sorry to hear what happened to your friend. It sounds more like your friend was just caught by a persuasive sleazeball. The techniques that comprise NLP are taken from everyday life. There are no magic spells here, and you can't make people do things against their will, or feel things that aren't there. In fact, much of the Ericksonian language patterns found in NLP were taken from language that Erickson heard his sisters using on each other to get out of chores! Nevertheless, seductive men and women have been getting each other to do things against their will for centuries by playing on desire, self-image and loneliness. The fact that your friend "snapped out" goes counter to way NLP works. I'd expect she was simply swayed by his initial charm, until he went way over the line. Once we have a first impression of people, we tend to continue to believe it, even if it's not quite true, unless or until they do something WAY out of character. The "seduction community" uses NLP to create a greater sense of connection (rapport) with their dates.

    In matters of the heart, people can be very easily vulnerable. A villain doesn't have to study complicated mental techniques--often a sincere smile and a false promise are all it takes.

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