Johnny Dale on NLP

I’m a reasonably active member of the community discussion site MetaFilter, which is notable for its unusually high signal-to-noise ratio and level of intelligence. Usually.

Here’s a fantastic comment from member Ian A.T., aka New Orleans novelist, magician and taxi driver Johnny Dale,  on neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis and the power of influence.

Say to someone “You’re going to clear your mind, and I want you to think of a number between one and ten, just the first number that pops into your head. Don’t change your mind…quickly, do you have it?”

While you said all this, you’re doing a little bit of gesturing. Using your hand, make a mark in front of yourself when you say “one.” Move your hand over about a foot to the left and make another mark when you say “and ten.” Now, make it look like you’ve just casually dropped your hand, but actually slice it down and to your right: you’ve just drawn a 7 in the air right in front of them. (Obviously, from your angle it’s a backwards 7…I do this demonstration so often that, when writing a check, I have to pause and remember which way 7s are supposed to face.)

On the phrase “POPS into your mind” snap your fingers in the air. Snap them about nine inches to the left of your first mark. Remember, you marked a “one” and then a “ten”? Snap your fingers exactly where the 7 would be on that spectrum. All that’s left then is to caution against changing their mind or out-thinking themselves.

There’s much more in his post, which is very insightful and utterly fascinating. Dale is also the author of the young adult novel The Darling Budds, which he is syndicating online.

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