Hypnosis, psychology and social networking continued…
If you read my previous post on this subject I said the hypnotherapist needed to be honest. That isn’t quite true. He or she needs to be benevolent rather than malevolent. Lies are usually malevolent but not always. The child who tells his parent about his invisible friend isn’t being honest but isn’t lying either and so when he says he has been playing with his secret friend Charlie; he is being imaginative. Children believe what they say when they are playing and so can sound very honest. The same is true of adults but honesty is still the best policy unless honesty would be malevolent. If someone is over-weight for example it is impolite and malevolent to point it out.
When you are communicating you need to relax and if you are being nasty and malevolent this will be harder to achieve and probably impossible. I have said in previous posts that we can say to ourselves a 1,000 times, “I am more confident,” or “I look good,” and not believe it; but if someone else says “You look good today,” it immediately enhances our self esteem and we feel better and more confident. The hypnotherapist does the same thing but much more effectively when he is trying to rebuild someone’s self esteem. If you don’t believe you can lose weight, the hypnotherapist can help you believe in yourself and it will be easier to stick to a diet and exercise program. The same applies to conquering addictions like drugs and smoking. The hypnotherapist does need knowledge of addiction though; especially with drugs when he will advise clients to reduce the drug slowly. The typical reduction accepted, is a 10% cut in the dosage every two weeks. This reduction works for most drugs but can be difficult when you get down to the last pill in the case of benzodiazepines like Valium, for example. Many people take 30 mg of Valium a day and a 3mg cut is easy but when you get down to below 10 mg a day cutting less than 1 mg isn’t easy and clients often cut more than 10% and this will result in withdrawal symptoms. The hypnotherapist can help negate the withdrawal by giving the client something else to think about other than the withdrawal symptoms which may seem overwhelming. Even on the last 2 mg of Valium a day clients can have problems cutting down and then many file 10% off a pill, take that and keep cutting slowly even though cutting the last 2 mg to nothing may take as long as 6 months.
Hypnotherapists can use the power of suggestion to help with many other problems and need to understand the way the mind works and also the other systems in the body. Suggestion can have a direct affect on the nervous system and reduce pain; it can have an indirect affect on the endocrine system and change the hormone levels. When we are relaxed we produce more oxytocin which is often called the ‘love hormone.’ We produce this when we are relaxed and when we are touched or cuddled. The opposite is the hormone cortisol and high levels of this are implicated in many problems. High cortisol levels also make us feel unwell and anxious and of course anxiety produces high cortisol levels and so it’s a vicious circle. In many people who suffer from anxiety this results in the system going out of control and they experience ‘anxiety attacks’ or ‘panic attacks’ this is a serious and distressing problem that can be helped by hypnotherapy.
You can help stop people becoming anxious using both traditional face to face networking skills and online social networking skills. The main skill to remember is to be nice, be diplomatic and be honest although not malevolently honest as in ‘that’s a fat butt, you must have eaten a few fries to get that.’
Everything we say is suggestion, particularly in person; but also we suggest things with what we write. Just being repetitive makes the suggestion more effective; repetition is both a rhetorical device and a psychological device and used by preachers on a Sunday to instil beliefs and advertisers every day of the week to convince you that their bread is tastier and softer than the other guys. Remember that and be careful of what you say and write and put more thought in to it. Thinking can be a great exercise to improve yourself! Try it while eating your next meal and imagine your next conservation; practice being honest but diplomatic. Consider how to address people, what is proper but friendly. At one time in England nearly everyone was addressed formally as mister, miss or missus but that has made way for more informal communication and first names are used far more often. When you end a letter, end it with your first and possibly you last name too and sign it with your first and last name. It is more informal and informal is seen as friendly. It can be a little confusing if you only use your first name. I have two entries in the guest book of my website and they both have a first name only; I have no idea who they are. I have a lot of friends online and offline and connections on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks; so just a first name doesn’t identify who left the message. I must admit I am guilty of leaving messages on answer phones that start with ‘it’s me.’ Just the way you address someone is important to establishing contact and the appropriate form of address is needed. My doctor addresses me informally and if I address him as ‘doctor’ it is more formal but informal would be inappropriate. Informal isn’t always a two way street. There is etiquette offline and there is also etiquette online, never SHOUT! Use a relaxed style of writing and even if you only write one line try to stay in touch with people who are important to you. I send virals out, jokes, pictures or videos to inform, entertain and amuse. I forwarded videos on a couple of days ago and many people enjoyed them; it gave me a reason to contact people and they were reminded I am still here if they need me.
You should remember that everyone needs everyone else and so don’t ask what they can do for you; ask what you can do for them. In this blog, I am trying to inform based on my experience in psychology and to a certain extent hypnosis. Thinking changes a lot about psychology and hypnosis in particular. In recent years CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) has become popular and some hypnotherapists have used that in conjunction with hypnotherapy or used it to alter the suggestions they give. I haven’t discussed hypnotherapy for a long time and so missed most of these suggestions. I am familiar with CBT generally and not a fan, I have my own thoughts about hypnotherapy and haven’t been affected by collective and trendy thinking. Always beware of trends. I remember a movie that was about a girl with multiple personalities and psychiatrists who watched it were influenced by the collective suggestions in the movie. They started seeing the symptoms of multiple personas in all their patients and the diagnosis of the problem in the USA soared in the months after the movie was released. You can be the subject of suggestion and although we don’t like to think we are easily led; we often are.
Check back for more interesting blogs. I intend to do a few every week and more comedy. 🙂
Hypnosis, collective psychology and social networking
It is difficult to explain how hypnosis works in a blog but I can at least explain the basics and how it can be useful to understand it in the context of collective psychology and social networking. You may already know that blind people have more sensitive hearing as a result; because their other senses become more sensitive to compensate for their loss of sight. People close their eyes when they kiss to block out the sense of sight and make the sense of touch more sensual! People are more sensitive in a darkened room only lit by candle light or the flames of a log fire and that is considered romantic. People make love in a dark room for the same reason. You can of course try putting a brown paper bag over your lovers head to enhance this effect. Please don’t use plastic; the heavy breathing is quite sexy but it can be dangerous. I also had problems with a brown paper bag; I could still remember what she looked like! 🙂 Anyway, to do hypnotherapy a darkened room and a comfortable chair or couch is a good idea. If the subject is still and can’t see or feel very much then their hearing will be much more sensitive. They will hear the slightest change in the therapist’s voice and so it’s important for the therapist to be relaxed and in giving the suggestions must be very honest. The subject will detect lies very easily as the vocal chords tense up with the anxiety. The therapist has to be careful what he or she says. If you have watched the Mentalist on television, they say he hypnotises people when he is just talking to them. Is this possible? In a way it is because what the therapist does is not tell the subject what to do or believe; they suggest things. It is the difference between a boss giving orders or suggesting to employees what they should do; the latter is done in a relaxed way and is more acceptable. The suggestions have to be acceptable and better still desirable. This can lead to problems. It is fine to help someone believe that they can be more confident if they lack confidence; but what is they have homicidal tendencies? You don’t have to hypnotise to suggest that they can be more confident and in turn make them more confident. If you suggest it in an honest way and you believe what you are saying then the suggestion is more likely to work.
Now how do you suggest things online? How do you suggest things to a large number of people? Let us look at the car salesman who shouts at us from the television. “Come on down,” he shouts, “and I’ll do you a great deal; I’m honest Fred!” We tend to think we have heard it all before. The psychological device of repetition may work, particularly on people who are as honest as ‘honest Fred’ who would take you to the cleaners for a quid. So influencing people means relaxing and being honest, certainly don’t shout like those awful salesmen. It means gentle suggestions and they should be an after thought sometimes. ‘You may like this car, isn’t it a nice colour?’ There are two suggestions in that sentence and the second one is the effective suggestion. They tend to think, ‘yes, it is a nice colour’ then they think ‘yes, I do like that.’
To use a cliché, ‘honesty is the best policy’. If you say ‘can I help you,’ have the intention of helping them and not yourself. This is of course offline suggestion and they can’t hear you online if you are blogging or tweeting. Then it gets harder and you have to be repetitive without being boring. You have to be consistent and a good liar needs a good memory and so it’s better to be honest. Never use upper case it’s considered SHOUTING! The car salesman shouts to cover his dishonesty. If you are writing a blog then it should be clear and it should flow with a natural flow. It should read like a relaxed conversation. You shouldn’t attempt to tell the reader anything but suggest things; perhaps changes in what they believe. They may have fixed views about social networking and you want to sell them on the idea of a fan page on Facebook. Don’t try to sell the idea, suggest it is worth considering and then try to add weight to your idea. You may be able to add weight to you idea by giving an example. Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth started a Fan Page last week; is that weighty enough? The same applies of course to LinkedIn profiles with one of the most visited profiles being the very weighty one of the President of the United States. I read the other day that you should keep a blog concise and use bullets and numbering – that will kill the flow dead. That is also a mistake in a resume or CV which also needs honesty, integrity and a nice flow to the writing. I start CV’s with a short story, very short less than 100 words. I do the education, past experience and end with a short story. The ending is usually about interests that invariably include caring for the community and the environment. Being socially responsible is not only a good thing, it’s quite fashionable and if there is a band wagon going your way; why not hitch a ride?
Remember not to try too hard, you will get tense and it will show when you speak and it may show in your writing. We tend to be less afraid when we are relaxed or relaxed when we are less afraid! We joke more when we are less afraid because it takes courage to joke about things. All jokes are at someone’s expense and can offend and so they are risky. Tweets will be more effective if they are funny and people will be more likely to click a short URL to your blog. This is a good way to get people to read your blogs!
Thanks for reading, please leave a comment. I am thinking of serialising a novel in a blog and I will answer questions and blog about things I am asked about.