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What are hypnotic language patterns?

Language is an interesting thing. The most amazing thing isn't that we get confused by it but that we're able to use it so well without confusion. Language is such a powerful tool that, in skilled hands, it can be used to persuade, motivate, seduce and even harm. That's right, in skilled hands (or mouths?) language can even create addictions and depression. This power comes from learning what are called hypnotic language patterns. Hypnotic language patterns came out of the studies of hypnosis, psychology and sales.

When language patterns were first discovered the psychotherapy community realized that they could be used inappropriately. They then made a sincere effort to limit instruction of language patterns only to psychiatrists willing to pay $2000 for the weekend training. These language patterns entered the popular culture with weekend long “seduction seminars” that began to spring up to teach lonely and clueless men how talk women into an uncontrollable state of arousal. Now before you start to roll your eyes in disbelief let me tell you that these language patterns did just that! There are scores of now satisfied men who will attest to their power. An example of these seduction patterns is one in which the man simple begins talking to a woman about emotions and feelings that precede arousal.

There is nothing lurid or suggestive about this because it's not about arousal or sex itself. At an unconscious level it sets the stage for warm tingly feelings that might elicit a tilt of the head, a smile and a flirtatious glance. Seduction is only one side of how language patterns are being used. They are of course very useful in sales and influence and many a politician have hired speech writers who training in these powerful tools. Ronald Reagan wasn't known as “The Teflon President” without reason. He could woo and amuse the most uninterested audience by using language. Likewise in spite of the scandals around him Bill Clinton always was able to be liked as a person. In recent years there have even been language pattern trainings that emphasize how to use language to induce guilt, depression and suicide. While these trainers have been condemned for “turning to the dark side” there is no limit of people wanting to learn. These language patterns often begin by painting the dark picture of the future and describe feelings of hopelessness and despair.

But the genie is out of the bottle now and people who want power, whether it's to help or to harm, are attending seminars and trainings as well as reading the many books on the subject. To conclude, never underestimate the power of words. They are used on you in ways that you might never imagine.


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