Covert Hypnosis

Because the word hypnosis exists here, this doesn't mean people are going to start falling down left, right and center. Basically put, covert hypnosis is a form of influence, in which the subjects have no idea they are being deliberately influenced to accept the idea of the hypnotist (could be the sales person, a charismatic leader, etc.)

Subtle examples of covert hypnosis are T.V. ads, especially the really good ones, where you find yourself watching it like a funny movie clip and enjoying the ad, only for the message to go deep into your unconscious and for you to find yourself following the instruction while thinking it is your own idea.

Other examples of covert hypnosis occur through storytelling, in this case, the subjects are drawn to the story as they become excited about the outcomes and captivated by curiosity, after which the unconscious mind is open and the storyteller slips in their suggestions between the lines of the story, leaving the subjects with no idea and no awareness of what they have been influenced with, not even knowing when it takes effect, basically they'll believe whatever they are doing is their idea to start with.

It seems concerning, and in many ways it can be if you find your life not flowing in the way you want it. The worse forms of covert hypnosis in my opinion are T.V. ads. Reality is, if you really needed something, you would go out and get it, but with T.V. you find yourself buying many things that you don't even need (but you thought you did at the time, proof is after 6 months).

Another way to implant covert hypnotic suggestions is through the use of metaphors, such as that of the fish being lured into taking the bait and helplessly reeled in, as a metaphor for losing one's self to temptation even if it leads to one's self destruction (a rather extreme example, though).

Covert hypnosis is used by sales personnel, presenters, orators, parents, many others including of course hypnotists. Hypnotists usually use them if the clients are very resistant to new ideas and identify these suggestions very quickly (rendering them useless).

In therapy, the use of stories and metaphors acts as a covert way to implant a seed for positive change, which also applies to conversational hypnosis, as the line is not finely drawn into sand between all the different types.

A famous example of the use of stories to implant seeds for positive change is how Milton Erickson, a very famous American hypnotist, used the story of 'the tomato plant' with a dying cancer patient, and he basically told the story of how the tomato plant grows with the necessary care, and nourishment and protection, but was implanting messages of hope, growth and prosperity, which helped the patient significantly, and they had no idea how.

It is hoped that this article has somehow changed your understanding of covert hypnosis, and hopefully with this knowledge you can use it for better good, while being more aware of when covert hypnosis might be used on you.

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