So the weekend just gone saw a plethora of horror films on our screens to mark the scary Halloween time of year… The priginal psycho film was on, Hitchcocks’s The Birds, as well as Sky TV premiering Saw IV and various other modern horror movies…

It is not about just horror though is it? Last week saw the hugely popular Most Haunted TV team spend the entire week in the VIllage of the Damned and conducted seances, communicated with the dead in all manner of ways and charted the increased activity there with bangs in the distance, Ouija boards, wobbling tables and heightened electrical energy buzzing in their own erected gadgets…

Following such, I get asked a great deal about this stuff… For some bizarre reason many people equate this to hypnosis? It is as if we get lumped into a paranormal group together, yet there really is no connection at all.

Derren Brown makes a connection between the fields because he uses aspects of each in his shows and TV programmes… He puts most divination type psychic activity into a classification that is know as cold reading’ and I thought I’d share with you some cold reading notions today and tomorrow…

Many individuals in my field do mention a form of ‘mind reading’ that is great for developing rapport with anyone and it is ‘cold reading.’

As I said, it is claimed that many psychics use cold reading and that it is used by fortune tellers of all kinds — however, if used properly, it enhances communication and allows a very fast developing sense of rapport that is useful in all communication and every situation you find yourself in… So I am writing about it today…

Cold reading gives the impression that you are making observations and being specific about an individual when actually you are making  statement that could be applied to anyone and mean something to them. I find there to be something very hypnotic about that…

There are many ways you can use cold reading and many books have been written on the subject, so it could not possibly be comprehensively covered and crammed in to a couple of blog posts…

I am going to mention some ways you can use cold reading to comment on people’s character with the aim of developing rapport much quicker than usual. As I said, cold reading is really something credited with psychics, so most of the examples I give are in that context, as if you were wanting to be intuitive, insightful and even psychic — giving a mind-reading edge to any communication.

3 Ways To Use Cold Reading… 3 More Tomorrow…

1. Subtle Flattery:

Good hypnotherapists, myself included tend to tell certain resistant clients that they are actually very adept and good at going in to the state of hypnosis. This is a kind of subtle flattery that helps the person to get better rapport with the therapist and helps their resistance to lower.

I often even say things to my clients that inoculate them analysing the process too much “Oh, well everyone tends to wonder to themselves if they are actually in hypnosis or not… It is human nature, I bet you do the same when you are in deep hypnosis…

You see what I mean. This way, when that client does wonder if they are in hypnosis once the formalised therapy has begin, they know that  told them this might happen and so they think it is ok and they can drift into hypnosis without worrying.

This subtle kind of flattery is very useful in many ways.

Subtle Flattery statements are designed to flatter the client in a subtle way likely to win agreement. Usually, the formula involves the client being compared to “people in general” or “most of those around you”, and being declared a slight but significant improvement over them.

For example, consider this poor statement, poor in terms of cold reading:
You are wonderfully honest!”

This is certainly flattering, and it may well be the truth. However, it is not a good example of cold reading. This is just pure flattery, nothing more. Many people tend to be suspicious of this kind of blatant flattery and may well simply reject it. It also omits the reference to other people. It is just too dull to sound as if it carries any great insight on your part.

The same statement can easily be turned into a successful piece of Subtle Flattery. Suppose upon meeting someone, noting how they held their body, or how they spoke or communicated, you could say something like this:

What I sense with you is that you are someone who can generally be trusted. When people stand in this way when speaking those kinds of words, it says to me that perhaps this person is that little bit more honest and conscientious than many people tend to be. Not a saint, not perfect, but let’s just say that when it really matters, this is someone who does understand the importance of being trustworthy.”

For people that are  a bit more spiritual, you might even say something like “I feel an energy suggesting this person has good values which they try to live up to, although it has to be said they perhaps don’t always succeed.”

The entire communication amounts to “You are wonderfully honest”. However if it sounds as if it is intuitive and insightful in nature, verging on being psychic, and a perceptive statement about a specific individual, then it is far more likely to resonate with that individual.
Most people tend to think of themselves as honest and be perceived as such, so honesty is good to use. Several other personality traits can be used in the same way. Among the more reliable are:

– being hard-working and diligent
– conscientious
– fair-minded
– warm and loving
– independent

One characteristic that impresses many individuals is being told they are wise in the ways of the world, a wisdom gained through actual life experience rather than theory or reading books.  

I saw a well known TV medium use this example. The medium was apparently receiving messages from a deceased relative, and the Subtle Flattery was based on the idea that “you are wise”. They said something like this:
“I have your late mother with me now. She tells me she wants you to know that she always admired you, even if she didn’t always express it well. She tells me that you are.., wait, it’s coming through… yes, I see, she says you are in many ways more shrewd, or perceptive, than people might think. She says she always thought of you as quite a wise person, not necessarily to do with book-learning and examinations. She’s telling me she means wise in the ways of the world, and in ways that can’t be said of everyone. She’s laughing a little now, because she says this is wisdom that you have sometimes had to learn the hard way! She says you are intelligent enough to see that wisdom comes in many forms.”

You see how this can be used to give the impression that you are insightful? I am not suggesting that you get yourself a crystal ball and start asking people to cross your palm with silver, simply that you consider how you can use your language to create a belief to aid your communication and make it more effective. I want to think of these things being used in ways that help all parties in the communication.  

2. Opposites attract

These are statements which credit the individual with both a personality trait and its opposite. Here is an example:

You can be a very considerate person, very quick to provide for others, but there are times, if you are honest, when you recognise a selfish streak in yourself.”

In this case, the individual is being told that she is both selfless and selfish. There are countless variations along these lines — being both introvert and extrovert, shy and confident, responsible and irresponsible. It covers all the possibilities from one extreme to the other, it sounds good, seems perceptive, and wins a good response from most individuals when communicating.

These kinds of statements are really easy to create. You simply think of a common personality trait (ideally one pertinent to the individual you are communicating with). Then you describe the individual as both having, and lacking, this quality. Finally, you join the two halves in a single statement with some reference to time, context, mood or potential. The example given above uses the link “when the circumstances are right”. Other good links are “at other times” and “yet you also have the potential to be”.

You have to be careful not to be too obvious and not to use quantifiable statements that people might question here.

3. Sweeteners  

Sweetener statements offer the individual you are communicating with a pleasant emotional reward in return for believing in the information on offer. In general, the sweetener relates to the individuals willingness to embrace the ‘discipline’ involved in the communication. For example someone giving a tarot reading may say:

Your heart is good, and you relate to people in a very warm and loving way. The tarot often relates more to feelings and intuition than to cold facts, and your own very strong intuitive sense could be one reason why the tarot seems to work especially well for you. The impressions I get are much stronger with you than with many of my clients.

It is more or less mandatory to praise the client for being “receptive to many different kinds of wisdom” or being “a natural with this kind of thing”.

Sweeteners can also be used to weaken resistance to psychic phenomena, new phenomena or to soften sceptical attitudes (especially to you or your service or product). In these cases, the sweetener is modified to point out what a nice, loveable person the client could be, if only she would be less sceptical. It might go something like this:

I feel in some ways that you have become very defensive, almost as if you’re locked up in your own secure little castle. This is a shame, because you’re blocking yourself off from a lot of light, and love, that could be yours. There are indications here of a need to learn to take a broader look at life, and to be more open to new ideas — even if they may seem strange at first. You know, you won’t come to any harm if you lower your defences a little, and take a peek at the insights on offer. Who knows, you might find a few of the answers you’ve been looking for!

This is no more than an emotional slap on the head (albeit very sweetly delivered), exploiting the natural human desire to be accepted and loved. This important to look out for when others communicate with you. This is certainly NOT something to be used in a therapeutic environment. The example I have given can be re-worded to be more appropriate for the sales environment or if you are looking to appear more attractive etc.

Three more of these tomorrow….

Did you notice the way that I did not even mention the football, the rugby, the lousy cricket or the motor-racing today? … That was a tough urge to resist…