Hint: It’s about as easy as hypnotizing a willing volunteer!
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The first thing that needs to be understood is the “WHY”. Why is the person skeptical of hypnosis and their ability to get hypnotized?
Often times it’s because:
- They think it’s a mind game (like magic tricks)
- They are under the impression people they’ve seen are faking it
- They simply don’t understand the psychology of hypnosis
- They believe it’s mind control that only works on the weak-minded
Obviously to understand each skeptic’s reasoning personally, it’s best to ask the person why they specifically are skeptical
Once we have their answer, it becomes worlds easier to see the situation from their perspective and move onto a demonstration that positively alters it.
There are a number of responses I often give skeptics to help achieve this newly altered perspecctive before hypnotizing them, ensuring the demonstration runs more smoothly.
I may say:
- Hypnosis isn’t magic, it’s a category of psychology because it deals with the conscious and unconscious mind.
- People you’ve seen hypnotized are in a same state of mind as people who get drunk, they know exactly what’s going on but their inhibitions are lowered making them feel good, so they just do things because it’s fun and feels good. (Maybe adding: By your logic, that means there’s no such thing as being drunk).
- Hypnosis is what society calls relaxation. It’s just relaxing the conscious mind, to access the subconscious mind.
- Mind control deals with the conscious, as where hypnosis deals with the subconscious, thus, it’s not mind control. Plus, you have to have to be intelligent and creative-minded to successfully experience what hypnosis has to offer. So, if you’re stupid, experiencing hypnosis is extremely difficult.
After I’ve managed to better inform the skeptic on the truth behind hypnosis versus their initial thoughts on it, I get right into a quick demonstration.
Because hand shaking is so common when meeting someone, I shake my skeptic’s hand proceed to perform a handshake interruption induction.
While I could just as easily perform a variety of other inductions, my purpose behind this one is to act like I’m thanking them for their time before moving into a personal demonstration that will prove my points.
Up to this point, I’ve heard their skeptic views, I’ve begun positively altering their views and have made them comfortable enough with me that they will naturally abide the instructions I provide them as I perform the hand shake interruption induction.
I generally perform a quick relaxation demonstration so they can:
- Understand how quickly the process can occur
- Experience the rapid effects of hypnosis
- Decide if they want to travel further down the rabbit hole with me
After pretty much every initial induction and relaxation demonstration, skeptics feel better, less tired/stressed and more alert (if not also surprised).
At this point I’ll ask if they want to experience something cool, such as spontaneous laughter, feet stuck to the floor, etc. Offering simple demonstration ideas after having performed a quick basic relaxation demo helps ensure they don’t feel overwhelmed. I always want to make sure my soon-to-be enthusiastic volunteers are enjoying themselves throughout our encounter, with little to no hesitation.
This week’s video demonstration shows how I quickly “convert” a nonbeliever…
Skeptics are, based on my experience, simply those who misunderstand hypnosis. Once people are better educated, they often open themselves up more to the topic and even the opportunity to experience it.
While I’m always a bit cheeky and remind them that they’ve already experienced hypnosis (seeing as it’s just mental/physical relaxation), I inform them they’re skepticism is in regards to Hypnotic Phenomena.
Regardless, while I do my best to provide a quick on-the-spot educational moment, I often inform people that they best way to understand hypnosis (as with many things in life) is to personally experience it. Sometimes this statement will be enough to make them request a demonstration, other times you may have to reassure them it will be ok, not embarrassing and talk them into it a little.
If you’re curious how to do this, ask yourself, what would make you comfortable enough to try it?
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