The Law of Reversed Effect in Hypnosis: How to Use the Hypnotic Challenge

As you dive into the deep art of conversational hypnosis you will find that there are a set of Stealth Tactics that can be used in order to bypass the critical factor in people’s minds.  Stealth Tactics are used in a way that either will be unnoticed by your subject or will be too complicated for them to really grasp the objective you have in mind.

The main point in Stealth Tactics is that this is a way of disguising what you are doing in order to defeat the critical factor and get your message through a person’s resistance.  Because these tactics are a little on the sneaky side you will want to be sure to exercise the best judgment in using them.  If you do not it is likely that your listener’s unconscious will start to distrust or dislike you in the actions you are taking.

The first Stealth Tactic we will discuss is the Law of Reversed Effect; it will explain how we should be using something called the Hypnotic Challenge.  The Law of Reversed Effect is simply that the harder you try to do something the more likely it is that you will fail.  This is not to be confused with persistence.  It is not the more your try to do a thing it is the harder you try to do a thing that will result in failure. 

There is a reason this failure will take place and that is that our conscious minds work in a way that it executes doing things.  Our unconscious mind acts on the things we decide to do and works out the navigation of how to actually do them.  For instance you decide to read a book, you read the words consciously but your unconscious deciphers them and adds the emotions and feelings that accompany the words.

This is important to understand as it is the basis of why the Law of Reversed Effect works.  The Law of Reversed Effect works because our conscious mind is trying to do something that we would normally use our unconscious mind for.  The conscious mind works on the simple things, things that only require 5 – 9 steps to accomplish.  The unconscious mind makes the more complicated functions of life run more smoothly as it can handle much more complicated procedures.

It is only when the conscious mind starts to get into the unconscious mind’s territory that failure begins to take place.  When the conscious mind starts to interfere with the fluid motions of the unconscious the result is failure. 

Now this brings us to the Law of Imagination, which is yet another reason for failure.  The best way to describe this law is to give you an example.  We are all humans and in that we want things.  If you think of something you want but should not have you start to set yourself up for the failure in this law. 

The way this works is when you state that you do not want something or you shouldn’t do something, you are reminded of it often as you think about how you shouldn’t have it.  Usually if you want something the thought of it will bring a mirage of good experiences to mind.  If you like cake the taste, if you like cars the excitement of owning a new car. 

These are good feelings and experiences that you relate to the thing you are trying to avoid.  The more you think about preventing yourself from getting the thing you shouldn’t have the more positive associations are ignited in your head.  Eventually you will be overloaded by the positive images of the thing you shouldn’t have and your unconscious will give in and get the thing you shouldn’t have. 

Now in this comes the Hypnotic Challenge.  In the Hypnotic Challenge you are going to be setting your listener up for failure by using the Law of Imagination and the Law of Reversed Effect.  The Hypnotic Challenge is a way that you will ask someone to try to fulfill a suggestions and you watch to see how they fail. 

A classic hypnotist would do this through suggestibility tests.  The test is not within the suggestions themselves it lies within the challenge and failure to complete that challenge attached to the end of the test.  When a person try’s and fails a challenge you have set before them they will unconsciously start to believe that resistance is not within their means.

As long as the listener believes that resistance is not within them to control, that control will be given over to the hypnotist.  As long as they continue to believe this one thing it will continue to ring true for them.  Now all the suggestions you make will easily flow to the unconscious because there is no resistance in place to stop and examine the suggestions.

This is where the reversed effect comes in; by showing a person that they have no resistance and that they will fail you have actually, in a very sneaky way, passed up the barrier that causes failure.  They have no resistance; they failed because you set it up that way, now they will believe they have no control over failure.  Because they believe this you now have the power to avoid all failure in your objective as you have bypassed all their resistance.

The best way to use this law in conversational hypnosis is to use a linguistic trick by using words that imply “try”.  “Try” itself implies failure and to imply the failure is to stack the odds in your favor that they will actually fail at a preconceived task. 

Now let’s review this as there is a lot of action going on in this Stealth Tactic.  The Law of Reversed Effect says that the harder you try to do a thing the more likely it is you will fail. 

To put this law in action you need to require that the subject make a conscious interference with a normally unconscious process.  You will add to this basing the odds in your favor by asking them to complete a task it is likely they will fail at.  As you do this you will use subtle hints to imply they will fail, such as the word try or something with a like meaning. 

All of these steps will cause a conflict in their resistance to your suggestion.  The critical factor and resistance will be completely bypassed in the process.

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