The law of reverse effect is a stealth tactic and among the more advanced covert hypnosis techniques.
To put it simply, it states that the harder you try to do something, the more likely you will fail, and it’s a very powerful technique. Let’s see why this happens to be the case.
You have a conscious and an unconscious state of mind. Both have completely different functions. Your conscious mind is designed to make decisions and enjoy experiences, while your unconscious mind acts out on those decisions and makes the more complex calculations needed for day to day life.
For example, when you first learn how to ride a bike, it was difficult as you had to peddle, turn directions and maintain balance all at the same time. When you finally get the hang of it, it’s totally easy and comes natural because your mind has internalized a series of complex procedures.
How The Law Of Reverse Effect Works
The old fashioned hypnotists did something very smart. They came up with something called the hypnotic challenge, which is basically the hypnotist asking someone to try and resist their suggestions in some kind of way…and then they fail.
For example, the hypnotist may give you a suggestibility test such as the hand clasp test, where he asks you to lock your hands together tightly then he’ll say something like, “try your hardest to open your hands and you’ll find that you cannot. Try harder, and the harder you try, the tighten your hands will lock together”.
There’s a powerful physiological effect in this challenge. When people attempt the challenge and then they fail, they begin to create a belief within their mind that they’ve externalized their ability to resist. Now their power to resist is all dependent on the hypnotist and as long as they uphold that belief, it will continue to be true.
From that point on, all the suggestions made by the hypnotist will be activated by the subject’s unconscious mind because there’s nothing to resist. It’s a very clever method to show someone that their own ability to resist on conscious level will fail.
So if you want to create suggestions that involves the learn of reverse effect, you can use this linguistic trick. When someone says, “I’ve already tried that”, it means that they’ve failed to do what they set out to do. You must use words that imply failure. Words such as “try” and “attempt” imply failure and the implication is the most important part.
In a typical hypnosis session, you can say something like:
“Stare at this object and you’ll find your eyes become heavy. Now the more you stare at it, the heavier your eyes become and they will want to close. Now try to keep them open. The harder you try to keep your eyes open, the more tired they will become and you will just want to close them, but don’t close your eyes”.
What you will notice is that the challenge is being built in but the context is prepared so that the subject is likely to fail it anyway because the eyes will naturally become fatigued when focusing on an object.
So in short, the steps you need to take are:
- Ensure the subject tries to consciously interfere with some kind of unconscious process.
- Get the advantage by challenging them to fail at something in which failure will likely ensue anyway such as eye blinking or eye fatigue.
- Use linguistic subtle words such as “try” and “attempt” to imply that they’ll be failing at the task.
As a result, your subject will externalize their ability to resist your suggestions and as soon as their mind upholds that belief, resistance has been bypassed and control lies within your hands for the rest of the conversation.
Why The Law Of Reverse Effect Works
One of the reasons why the law of reverse effect works is because people try to do something consciously when that particular action is designed to be done unconsciously.
Your conscious mind can only process a certain amount of information at one time, so anything other than the most simple tasks has to be assigned to the unconscious mind in order for it to be properly and smoothly performed.
As soon as your conscious mind begins to interfere with that action, it can no longer be performed in a smooth and proper manner.
Another reason for the unconscious mind not working when the conscious mind interferes is because of something called the law of the imagination.
Take for example, someone wants to go on a diet. They know that they shouldn’t eat a lot of chocolate, but the more they try not to think about it, the more these images of chocolate enters their mind because they’re associated with a good emotional experience. Eventually, they end up treating themselves to chocolate again.
The law of reverse effect is a powerful stealth tactic used in hypnosis and it’s a technique that can be difficult to pull off, especially in conversational hypnosis, but when done successfully, gives you great power over someone.
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