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Word Count: 3,322. Average Read Time: 13 minutes
I understand that the title of this article “How To Manipulate People Like A Jedi” sounds a bit self centered and to say the least, shallow.
That is not my intention here. My intention is to help us all to understand how to use language patters to achieve success in our lives. That can be success in terms of earning more money, creating repoire with a child in order to connect with them better or even something as simple as being able to communicate on a deeper level with our husband or wife.
I don’t think there’ any way around the fact that when we communicate with people we want them to understand us better, do something or react in a certain way.
I’ve heard different people say that we can know how successful (and by successful they didn’t mean, how much money one earned) somebody is by listening to them speak for 1 minute. We can usually detect the self deprecating language pretty quick if we know what we’re looking for.
Many times in life we learn the most when we teach something. Oftentimes what we teach are the very things we need to learn.
Right now my wife and I are in the process of changing our language patterns.
I’ve noticed that when one gets into the field of alternative health, we begin to develop practices that lead to succes and it really starts affecting all areas of our life like health, success, business, investing etc.
Because words evoke emotions in people, they actually have a physiology. Many people would argue that words and thoughts are actually physiological vibrations that carry with them a representation of the changes that they can evoke on physical reality. Our thoughts become things. How do we think that people can build a bridge or a skyscraper? Lots of thought and planning.
When we frame questions to people in a negative way (by only allowing them to say the word “no” in response) it actually shuts down the synapses between neurons in our brain. It does not allow us to use the whole of our brain. When we frame language in a positive way, it gives people more resources, possibility and hope becuase it helps us use the fullness of our minds.
How many times have we heard people say “Oh we can’t afford that.” When those words are said, the mind shuts off and doesn’t open up in order to think creatively. If we said, “Hmmm, how can we afford that?” Then we start to think of creative ways to either earn more money to buy the item, or we think of creative ways to change spending habits to free up some extra funds over time to buy the item. Try using, “How can we?” instead of, “We can’t.”
Let’s say we’re having a disagreement with somebody in a public setting. By taking a strong position, their pride will be involved right? They don’t want to be made a fool of in front of people who respect them. When driving our winning point home, it’s best if we give them an “out” by not backing them into a corner by making them either flat out disagree with us (even though they know they’re “wrong”), or make them answer in the negative.
Give them some way out so that they can save face and still disagree with we.
Ask questions where people have to answer in a positive way instead of a negative way. We can use it like a Jedi mind trick like Obi Wan Kenobi did in Star Wars. 🙂
Here are a couple real life examples.
Question: Do you mind bringing the groceries into the house?
Answer: No I don’t mind.
Question: How would you like to bring the groceries inside?
Answer: I’d just love that.
Question: What it be a bother to pick up the clothes on the floor?
Answer: No it’s not a bother.
Question: Would you like to pick up the clothes on the floor?
Answer: Yes I would like to do that.
When we say we are going to try to do something, we subconsciously set ourself up for both success and failure. Subconsciously when we say we’re going to try, we know that we are not going to be successful in carrying out that the act that we’re “trying to do”. And we know it right when we said it.
On the other hand it also sets us up for success (successfully failing) because in the future when we try and then we fail, we can always come back and say that I “tried to do it”. Remember what master yoda said, “Do or do not, there is no try.”.
The quicker we can get rid of the word try from our vocabulary the better.
It’s better if we don’t say that we can’t do something. Even if we really believe that we can’t do it, don’t let werself utter those words. People who have low self esteem or low confidence levels are the ones who say they cannot do something. In the bible it says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
The first step to doing something that we don’t think we can do, is believing that we can. Don’t let other people tell you that you can’t do something. We can do anything we want to do, it’s time to start believing that.
People who believe that their power comes from other people or governments, tend to be the types of people that say they are unable to do something. They are unable to do something because they are waiting to get permission, authority or power from some outside situation.
A lot of times I hear people say the words “I hope” in front of something that has to do with fear.
This is a good example, “I hope my stomach isn’t hurting because I have stomach cancer, or something else wrong with me.” Can we see the embedded language at the end of the sentence? we’re saying the words “I have cancer”.
It’s OK to say things like, “I hope that Bobby gets his life back together.” because the hope isn’t connected to something that is fearful. We’re simply expressing hope that somebody creates a better life for themselves. It would be better for us to use hope in situations like that, than to use hope when it’s connected to something fearful.
By saying we “hope for something” we’re giving up all of the control for us to change the outcome of a situation. Don’t give away our power by saying I hope. Make things happen in your life, don’t hope for them to happen.
By saying I wish, we’re subconsciously saying that we are unhappy with the present situation. If we wish for something to be different we are saying that we dodn’t have any power to change the situation we are in presently and we are unhappy being in it. I wish I had $1,000,000. That’s like saying, “My life is horrible right now and something ‘out there’ (like a million bucks) will make me happy.”
Again don’t wish for things to happen make them happen.
A lot of people use the word but and they don’t even know that it is really what’s called an eraser word.
I like the work you did today, but if you had done it this way it would have been much more useful to me.
Sometimes instead of using the word but in that situation we can use the word and. You see the word, “but” erases anything good or positive that we said before it. Instead we might say something like…
“The work you did today was excellent and if we could just focus on xyZ it would help me out tremendously. Thanks for being such a great worker, you’re help has been tremendous around here.”
By thinking this way, everything can be labeled as greater or lesser degrees of being optimal. By changing our language we retrain our mind to think more positive thoughts. It takes time to do this because many things we see on tv or the radio can be, “less than great.” Our culture has trained us to think negatively and live in fear.
Let’s look at an example.
Instead of saying something like,
“That was a horrible choice you made. How could you have been so stupid to make that decision like that?” Do we see some opportunities to reframe this question to get better results?
“That choice you made tonight, could have been WAY better man. What could you have done tonight that would have caused you to make a better decision?”
We could have also said that instead of the choice being “horrible”, we could have said it was “less than ideal” or “less than excellent” or “less than optimal”. This way we’re not accidentally embedding negative commands in our question.
The second question in the first example was an insult that when heard, could result in a couple of options:
The second question in the second example actually allows the person hearing it to think about what they could have done better. They would still know we are very unhappy with their decisions and are going to punish them (if they’re your child for example). And it actually opens their mind up to think of ways that they could have been more conscious during the evening to make better decisions. They start thinking, “What if I had called instead of leaving my phone in the car” or, “I could have done XYZ and this whole night could have been different.”
Now that they know that we’re really upset with them, and how they can prevent it next time, I’ll bet we’ll get different results. Add to this the idea that when we start asking open ended questions like this, it gets the other person thinking about solutions. This way, they feel subconsciously better about coming up with the solution themselves. We let them think they they came up with the idea.
Like a Jedi in training…
When we know better, we do better.
The next time we’re speaking with somebody, look for embedded commands in their language patterns. We can learn to use them to our advantage. Just about every time we instruct people, we’re using embedded commands whether we know it or not.
Examples of negative embedded commands to avoid:
I’ve found it helpful when speaking with (not to) people to develop a repoire with them in our conversations. Many times I’ll do this using a few different strategies like the ones listed below. I’ve also found that not talking over them helps. I’ll always wait until they’re finished with their statement or question before I speak. And many times I’ll let there be a gap of about 2 to 3 seconds of pause time, so that the conversation doesn’t turn into something that actually robs me of energy. I’ve found high paced and frantic conversations really make me tired.
If we’re looking out for pacing, we can usually tell how conscious somebody is in terms of conversational awareness. If they’re not pacing us, usually they’re not aware of what’s going on during the conversation. Or it’s possible they don’t respect us enough to pace.
Here are some things that have helped me develop repoire
The next time you find yourself in a conversation with someone, you can start to develop repoire with the person you’re speaking with by using the same auditory ranges they do. If they’re really excited and speaking loudly, you can do the same. If they are speaking quietly, you can speak that way also.
Doing so will create an instant connection and the person will not even know why they’re feeling a connection to you.
If they’re closed off to you, you can usually read that by whether or not their arms are crossed, if they’re looking down and do not make eye contact. By reading their body language you can make the necessary adjustments so that they do not feel threatened by your presence.
If your leg accidentally touches theirs for example and they don’t move it, then you know there is some kind of repoire going on from their end.
Pacing behaviors is when people follow physical bodily actions that you instigate. If you’re in a group talking with people and it’s clear that it’s late and the conversation is over and you start walking away and people follow you. That’s an example of pacing behavior. If you put out your hand to shake somebody’s hand and they reciprocate that’s also a pacing behavior. Or let’s say you lean in to kiss somebody and they pace you by also leaning in and kissing.
When people pace you, you can know that they have developed a level of trust and repoire with you. It’s always better to develop that repoire before trying to get them to say, do or feel anything.
Developing repoire with people is easy if you know what you’re looking for. First start pacing them and then they’ll pace you.
When we move towards situations and have things within us, we’re developing whole brain functioning. It’s better to focus on the present and moving towards things rather than having things be outside of us and moving away from them. When you talk with somebody who is addicted to smoking, they’ll usually focus on how it’s difficult to stop because they get offered cigerattes all the time (outside) and when asked why they’re quitting they’ll say they don’t want lung cancer (moving away from something).
When using whole brain functioning, they might say that they are quitting smoking because they’re moving towards health (towards) and that they’re finished with addiction (within). If you’ve developed an inner maturity, you’ve developed a situation inside of yourself similar to a calm coral reef in the ocean during a violent storm right above the water. The fish have no idea how dangerous the weather is only a few feet above them. That’s because their inner envoirnment has been cultivated over time to remain completely calm all during this voilent storm.
Here are some examples:
So it’s important to move towards situations rather than away from them. It’s also important to focus on the present moment and the good feelings developed right here and now verses, being happy that your’e not somewhere where you don’t want to be.
When we pace and reframe our minds, we have things within us and move towards things vs moving away from things and reacting to things outside of us.
If people are upset or in a rage they don’t typically act in the frontal cortex of their brain and they use short sentences and negative words.
If we develop our emotional state and use it as an anchor point, we can then listen to somebody emotionally throw up all over us, and we can anchor ourselves to our state so we can more effectively help them rather than taking on their negative emotion.
It’s very important to understand that when interacting with people in very emotional situations that if you’ve developed an inner calmness and maturity, you can help them without having their emotions effect your emotional state.
Maturity can be when someone has emotional mastery or they simply have a strategy for managing their emotional state. This is why when kids cry at the drop of a hat. They just do not have a strategy for how to deal with emotions.
Think of circular language patterns like throwing a boomerang. If you want a response you have to use the right language to get it to come back to you. How many times have you seen a parent ask their teenager yes or no questions and they can’t get anywhere with their kids? It happens all the time. The parent first needs to develop a level of repoire and respect from their kid, then they need to speak with their kid in a way that elicits a desired response.
Simply asking questions in a yes or no format isn’t going to work.
As an example, let’s imagine your kid went to a football game this evening and they really did not want to go. When they get home they’re a little upset about the fact that they had to “waste” their whole night at some stupid football game.
Instead of telling them that it’s the right thing to do to keep their promise of going and asking them if they liked the game, you might want to consider a different approach.
Try stating your opinion that you know they’ll agree with (or perhaps disagree with) and then ask a related question about your situation.
You might say something like, “I hate football. I always have. There’s not a sport I could hate more, I’m sorry you had to endure that crap tonight. But I’m proud of you for keeping your word, that takes a lot of maturity. I blew off my dad right before he died, I feel guilty about that, do you think I should?”
You kid has so much to respond to that way. They can start talking about how stupid they think football is. They feel good about how you respect them and they can comfort you about not feeling guilty about your own relationship with your father.
Talk about developing repoire.
It’s a lot better than saying, “Did you like the game tonight son?” and he responds “No, I’m going to my room” while walking up the stairs.
Learning how to manipulate people like a Jedi definitely takes practice, awareness, patience and whole brain patterning. And remember, learning how to communicate more effectively is not about how to manipulate people it’s more about developing repoire so that we can all communicate more effectively.
If you would love to write some comments below to tell me how you communicate effectively, I’d love to hear what you have to say.
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