Embedded Commands

I am sure that you already understand why you would want to use hypnotic language patterns in the first place: to make your suggestions fly "under the radar" of the critical factor and make it more likely that your hypnotic suggestions will be accepted.

Now, while keeping in mind how important it is to bypass the critical factor, I am going to teach you subtle and effective ways of using your words to cause a person to have a hypnotic experience and accept your suggestions at a subconscious level. By now you should definitely know how vital it is to be able to influence a person's subconscious mind in the hypnotic process. In fact, you really cannot hypnotize another person without being able to do so. With that in mind, let us now take a look at the one language pattern that can help you begin influence people at a subconscious level effectively.

Direct Versus Indirect Suggestions

There has been a lot of debate among hypnotists through the years as to whether giving direct suggestions (commands) is just as effective as giving indirect suggestions (embedded commands). I do not want to debate the issue, and I am not going to downplay direct suggestions. I think they have their place. However, I do want to give you a general rule of thumb- you can verify it yourself - that causes me to lean toward indirect suggestions as being the most effective: People do not like to be told what to do! They like to feel they have a choice in the matter, and most of the time they do!

Be Permissive With Your Suggestions

Let me give you a good example of direct and indirect suggestions using a very clear analogy that most of us can relate to in one way or another.

Imagine that a parent wants his/her children to clean their rooms and the children have been reluctant to do so. Instead, the children are now currently watching a favorite cartoon on TV. Now the parent has a couple of ways to get the children to comply with his/her desire for them to get their rooms cleaned up.

Option #1: Give them a direct command.

Upon seeing the children watching TV instead of cleaning their rooms, the frustrated parent yells in a menacing voice, "Go, clean your room NOW or else!" Now this can be effective, but is that the way you really want to relate to your children, or anyone else for that matter? Chances are the children will resent the parent and eventually rebel as they grow older. When they are grown up, they may reject your suggestions altogether!

Option #2: Give them an indirect suggestion.

Now let us look at a different approach. This time, when the parent sees his/her children watching TV instead of cleaning the rooms, the parent calmly walks over to the TV and switches it off. Then he/she says in a calm but firm tone of voice, "When you go clean your rooms, then you can come back and enjoy watching TV." Should the children complain, the parent simply "sticks to his/her guns" and repeats the suggestion in the same manner mentioned above. The children now have a choice to make. Eventually, if the children wants to watch TV, they will go clean their rooms!

Let me point out a few things in the example above.

The italicized words are the embedded command.
Repetition of suggestions is a powerful tool for ensuring that the other person's subconscious mind accepts your suggestion.

The parent "presupposed" the outcome desired. Notice that the parent did not say, "If you go clean your room." Instead the parent said, "When you go clean your room." In other words, the way the parent stated that suggestion assumed that the children would, in fact, certainly go clean their rooms. This left no doubt in the children's subconscious minds that they would eventually get the rooms cleaned up. Do you see how powerful that is?

The parent gave the children a choice. True, the choices were limited, but they still had a choice. Having a choice is almost always better than having no choice at all.

The parent gave the children a compelling and positive reason to act on his/her suggestion. Notice how the parent said, "Then you can come back and enjoy watching TV."

That last point reminds me of another rule of thumb I would like to share with you: People (even children) like to have reasons for what you want them to do. If you want people to do what you want in hypnosis, then give them a good reason!

Now can you see why I feel that indirect suggestions are so much more effective? Delivering your suggestions (commands) in this way causes people to be much more likely to act on them because they are subtle, permissive, and not too direct.

How to Deliver Embedded Commands Effectively

Really you can use almost any sentence to deliver an embedded command. Just think about what you want the other person to do and then think of a sentence that has that hidden command buried in it. Once you have what you want to say in mind, you can use the following tips to deliver that embedded command in the most powerful way possible.

"Highlight" the Embedded Command

In order for the person's subconscious mind to really pick up on the command and act on it, make the embedded command stand out in a subtle way. There are several ways to do this.

When delivering the actual hidden command, quickly change your voice to take on a more commanding tone. Do this quickly, and do not be too obvious. After you have delivered the hidden command, immediately change the tone of your voice back to your conversational tone to finish the rest of the sentence.

Touch the person at the exact moment you are delivering the command. Be careful with this one and make sure the other person does not mind being touched. Also, ensure that you touch the person in a pleasant and non-threatening way. Only touch people in a respectful and friendly way. Last, but definitely not least, be careful of where you touch the person. I recommend the arm or shoulder.

"Mark out" the command with a gesture of some kind. You can raise your eyebrows slightly, shrug your shoulders, or make a hand gesture at the exact moment you are delivering the command. Really you can use just about anything. You can even tap your foot when delivering the command. Again, make sure you are being subtle and not too obvious about what you are doing.

When you do one or any of the things mentioned above correctly, you are highlighting the command and placing special emphasis on it for the other person's subconscious mind to notice. Also, because you are being subtle about it, the person is not even consciously aware of what you are doing! This is powerful stuff, right?
OK, I have just one more tip I want to point out to help you really master delivering embedded commands. (Did you catch the hidden command in that last sentence?)

Be a Little Vague With Your Suggestions

People can become a little defensive and even resistant to your suggestions when they think you are talking to them or about them directly. This is because they are insecure in some way or think that you are telling them what to do. As I stated above, this is not good.

Thankfully there is a way of delivering your suggestions that will bypass people's insecurities and defensiveness. All you have to do is be a little vague about whom or what you are talking. Let me give you an example. Imagine for a minute that you are hypnotizing someone and you want the person to relax because he/she seems very tense. There are a couple of ways you can word your suggestion for the person to relax.

Option #1: Be Specific

For example, you could say something like, "Now I want you to relax all the tension in your body." This might work, depending on the circumstances. Alternatively, the person might be thinking, "You want? It has been a rough day, I do not care what you want," or "If I could relax right now I would not be coming to you to hypnotize me!"

Option #2: Be Vague

Instead of being so direct and telling the person what to do as in the example above, you could say, "A person can begin to relax very deeply now and really start to enjoy certain pleasant feelings as you continue to go deeper into hypnosis."

All right, let me point out a few things in the example I just gave you:

There are actually three embedded commands in that sentence.

I am not stating to whom I am talking exactly, so there is nothing for the person to resist or get defensive about.

I am giving the person a good reason to start to relax, which is to enjoy certain pleasant feelings.
I did not state which pleasant feelings the person would experience. I left it up to the person to choose which pleasant feelings he/she wants to experience.

I am giving the person time to follow the suggestions so there is no pressure. Notice how I used the words "begin," "start," and "continue."

I presupposed that the person would go deeper into hypnosis by saying "as the person" instead of "if the person."

I have not told the person what to do. All I have done is state what a person can do. There is nothing to resist or get defensive about.

Wow, that was a lot to gather from just one little sentence!

Well, that is all for now. In order to really master this hypnotic language pattern, a person might go back and read this article several times. In my next article, I will be teaching you another very powerful language pattern. Stay tuned!

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