After practicing hypnosis for so long, I have come to appreciate how even small shifts in the way something is said can make a big difference in its impact and meaning.
While reading an NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) newsletter recently, I came to appreciate just how much of a difference the sequence of the words in a sentence can make in its meaning and impact.
In an earlier post to this blog I told the story of a client who replied “Yes…but” to everything that I said. If I said, for example, “You know that smoking is bad for you, which is why you have decided to stop.” He might reply with something like, “Yes, I am aware of just how bad it is for me, but I am so addicted that I just can not stop”.
I was terribly frustrated, because nothing I said was getting through to him.
My solution was to simply use his sentence structure while reversing the sequence of the “yes” and the “but”. It was enough to eliminate his unconscious resistance, and open the door for him to make the changes he wanted.
So my reply to his “yes… but” was something like, “But, I think you must just know deep inside that somehow you want to stop bad enough to really make it happen now, yes?” He had no way of arguing with “But…yes?”, so by presenting positive ideas to him in that form I was able to help him stop.
For a wonderful example of how much difference word sequence can make, take a look at this video on YouTube. It is only 1 minute 44 seconds. Be sure you read as well as listen, both forward and backward. It is absolutely brilliant!