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Use These 3 Hypnotic Words To Get What You Want

Updated on April 9, 2019
Astrid McClymont profile image

Astrid graduated with a Bsc Hons in Criminology and Psychological Studies in 2017 and currently works as a professional ghostwriter.

We're often told that words are magic, but do we really believe it? It seems like a bit of a woo woo concept, but believe it or not, there is some science behind the power of words. They're not just random noises because they do actually have an influence on us.

So what exactly is a hypnotic word? Firstly, it's not something that can turn you into a chicken. It's simply a word that triggers something in our brain. What's fascinating about them is that they don't have to be spoken out loud, they can be written as well. And many advertisers use powerful hypnotic words to make you buy things.

But what is hypnosis? In essence, hypnosis is the psychological technique used to relax yourself to such an extent that your subconscious mind is more active than your conscious mind.

Yet despite the simplicity of it, and the effectiveness of the technique, some people are convinced it is either not real, or that they can't be hypnotized because they are consciously resistant to the idea.

Whether you believe it or not, you will find that you become hypnotized on a daily basis without realizing. Ever been driving to work and have no memory of how you got there? Ever been so engrossed in a piece of music or a book that you enter a mild trance?

1. You

In the world of advertising, 'you' is just about the most powerful word there is (along with 'free' and 'guaranteed'). And that's because it's universal to anyone you are talking to, and makes you think of your own name. That sounds a little obvious, but bear with me.

Your own name is like music to your (subconscious) ears. It's just about the most powerful word there is. In fact, your name is so powerful that you even build a rapport with people who don't just have the same name as you, but people who have a name that just sounds a little bit like yours. You even feel a connection with people who just have a name beginning with the same letter as your name.

Don't believe me? The Journal of Consumer Research discovered that customers are more likely to buy a product from a sales representative who has the same initials as you. Taking this even further, it was also revealed that we're more likely to marry someone who has the same first initial as us. That's just how powerful our own name is.

Generally speaking, people feel as though they have to like someone who has a similar or identical name to themselves because they want to like themselves. To hate or distrust someone with the same name as them means they distrust and dislike themselves.

So how do you use this hypnotic word? Let's take a look at telemarketers. One of the first things you'll notice about them is that as soon as you answer the phone, they'll respond by saying your name, and they'll often repeat it throughout the conversation. They're not naïve. They know you subconsciously love the sound of your own name so they have to drop it in as much as possible to build a stronger rapport.

But you may find that saying someone's name all the time might come across as odd, even a little creepy. Or maybe you might not even know their name. Or, if you're writing online, you'll be speaking to hundreds if not thousand of people, so using the word 'you' is far more practical, and almost just as effective. So let's take a look at a quick example.

If you like this article you can share it on your social media account so all your friends can see it.

It's a pretty boring sentence, but it has the magic word included a total of 4 times. ('Your' also works because it still alludes to yourself).

2. Because

This is one of my favorites because it is super-effective, and super-easy to incorporate into a piece of text. The word 'because' is so hypnotic to us because, as humans, we crave meaning. We need to know what happens when something occurs and we are hardwired to evaluate consequences to every action. Think of it as a throwback to our cave men years when we needed to ascertain if things were safe. We are always returning to the cause and effect relationship to think critically about what we expect to happen.

Therefore, when we hear the word 'because' we automatically think 'Awesome, I know what the reason for this is. I'm happy now.”

But what research has shown is that most of the time, we don't even listen to what is said after the word 'because'. We just simply need to hear it to know that it is a precursor to something that will give us an explanation.

A Harvard study decided to put this to the test by asking a participant to try and cut in line at a Xerox machine. At first, they were told to ask people if they could cut the queue by saying this phrase:

Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”

This resulted in 60% of people agreeing to their request. However, when they were told to say this phrase something pretty magical happened.

Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”

This resulted in 94% of people complying! Surprisingly, this also worked when the participant didn't even give a proper reason for needing to use the Xerox machine. For example, this phrase resulted in 93% of people saying yes.

Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?”

Pretty crazy, right? Imagine having that much power over somebody's answer, and therefore behaviour because you added one simple word to your request. And that brings me to the last hypnotic word.

3. Imagine

Ask a random person to do something for you and they'll ask you why, especially if they're a total stranger. Instantly, their critical, self-preserving mind leaps into action. Humans are suspicious creatures, so when strange people approach us and ask us to do something, we're obviously hesitant.

However, ask someone to imagine something, and it's a whole different story. Mainly that's because when we're asked to imagine something, we know it's not a 'real' request, we're just bringing images to mind.

Yet what is so interesting about asking someone to imagine something is that when they do so, their subconscious mind is immediately activated. Furthermore, your brain and body don't know the difference between imagining something and actually doing it. Don't believe me? Think about this. You ever seen food on TV and got hungry? It wasn't even real food, but you were imagining smelling and eating it, right?

Marketers use this technique all the time by asking you to imagine using a product. Once you've done this, your dumb caveman brain has the overwhelming urge to preserve this dream, so you're more likely to buy the product.

So if you want someone to say yes to your request, whether it be giving you a cookie or buying a car, drop 'because' into the conversation and there's a 93% chance they'll say yes without needing much of a reason.

© 2019 Astrid McClymont


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