When you’re starting out with any new endeavor, it’s important to get some early success. This helps to build your confidence and shows you that you’re on the right path. With hypnosis, the easiest way to do this is to follow a simple process leading to verifiable results.
So how do you hypnotize someone easily? All that’s needed is a bit of rapport, a way to get them into hypnosis, something to do in hypnosis, and a way to get them out again. In this article I’ll give a brief introduction to each.
The structure of hypnosis
As you might expect, hypnosis can be a very complex topic.
How complex? I’ve personally spent tens of thousands of hours experimenting with it on live subjects, and I still discover new things every time I hypnotize someone.
I doubt I will run out of things to discover any time soon.
So for the purposes of this article, I’m going to go over a very simple process that you can use to easily hypnotize someone.
We begin with the structure of a typical hypnosis session.
Because of the way that hypnosis works, there are countless ways to do each step, and when you get good they tend to merge into one another. When you’re starting out though, it’s helpful to make each of them into a distinct step.
Now there are lots of other steps that can be added in. In order to hypnotize someone easily, focus on just these 6 steps.
- Build rapport
- Induce hypnosis
- Deepen the hypnosis
- Do something in hypnosis such as setting up a post-hypnotic trigger
- Bring them out of hypnosis
Each of these steps depends on all of the previous ones. For example, you’re not going to be able to do something in hypnosis if you haven’t first guided someone into hypnosis.
So work through the steps in sequence, and practice each one until you can do it confidently and smoothly before moving on to the next step.
When you’re practicing the steps that involve inducing hypnosis, bring your subject out each time by telling them to open their eyes and come out of hypnosis. Or just follow the instructions in the bring them out step.
Let’s go over the steps one at a time.
How to build rapport
When you’re starting out, there’s a good chance that you’re doing hypnosis with someone you know, so you probably already have rapport.
If you don’t, this is just the start of any conversation when you meet someone.
You bump into some friends, say hi to them, and have a brief chat. Or a longer one.
Rather than building a new skill, it’s easiest to start out with what you already know.
Just smile and say hello, then ask them about their day and as they tell you about it, smile and nod your head. Ask them a few questions about it to delve deeper.
Be interested in them.
When you do this, it allows them to feel comfortable with you, and it also turns their attention inwards.
That’s really all that’s needed.
If you’re trying something new, tell them about it and have a chat about what you’d both like to have happen.
And if you need extra help, my article on using agreement to build rapport goes into how to do this in detail.
Practice doing this a few times with different people before moving on to the next step.
How to easily induce hypnosis
Once you’ve built some rapport, it’s time to induce hypnosis.
While it’s possible to guide someone into hypnosis without their knowledge, when you’re starting out it’s much more useful to do it with their knowledge. So in this article, we’re only going to cover overt hypnosis. That’s the kind of hypnosis where someone knows that you’re doing stuff to hypnotize them.
Ask them to make themselves comfortable, settling down into a chair or lying down somewhere.
As with all hypnosis, make sure they’re safe. If they wear contact lenses, ask them to remove them. If you’re talking to someone online rather than in person, tell them that they’ll come out of hypnosis immediately if there’s any kind of emergency.
Develop your trance voice
It’s a good idea to develop a trance voice. This is nothing more than a way of speaking that’s different to your regular speaking voice.
You want your trance voice to be congruent with concepts that are traditionally associated with hypnosis, such as relaxation and calm.
In my case, I make my voice deeper and softer.
It doesn’t matter too much how your trance voice is different to your regular speaking voice. Just that it is.
What is important is that the way you speak models how you want your hypnosis subject to feel.
If you’re helping them to relax, don’t yell at them or use sharp words. Instead, speak quietly and softly.
What to say to guide them into hypnosis
So what exactly do you say?
The truth is that it doesn’t matter very much. I’ve guided people into very deep hypnotic states using nothing more than a trance voice like the one I’ve described above.
Make sure that your voice tone and pace fits in with the experience you’d like them to have, and you’ll be fine.
You want to progressively move their attention further inside their mind.
Tell them to close their eyes.
Then have them focus their attention on their breathing.
Describe the process of breathing to them in such a way that you’re telling them to do it.
Usually three breaths is enough.
It looks something like this: Take a slow, deep breath, all the way in. Hold for a moment. And slowly breathe out.
Next, sequentially work through their body, telling them to allow each muscle group to relax.
This is known as a progressive relaxation induction, and when you’re starting out it’s one of the easiest ways to guide someone into hypnosis.
If you’d like some more help with exactly what to say, I’ve put together some scripts that you can find in the inductions section of this site.
You can find a progressive relaxation script here: Progressive Relaxation Hypnotic Induction Script
How to deepen hypnosis
After we’ve hypnotized someone, the next thing we want to do is guide them deeper down.
The way we do this is by simply inducing more hypnosis.
If you’re reading a script, you can read the same script again, or read a different one to them. I’ve put together a sequence of visualization hypnotic induction scripts that do this for you.
If you’d like a more formal deepener, you can take them on a journey of some kind.
Tell them that a doorway will form in front of them, with a staircase down.
Describe the stairs. Are they stone, wood, or something else? Is there a hand rail? Do the stairs feel cold or warm?
Go into detail.
And describe your hypnosis subject stepping down that staircase.
Count the steps as they go.
Usually 10 steps is enough.
And when they get to the bottom of the staircase, tell them there’s a room with a chair in the middle.
Describe them walking over to the chair, and sitting down in it.
The more detail you give as they travel down the stairs, across the room, and sit in the chair, the deeper they’ll go.
When you’re starting out, aim to spend a good 15 minutes on the induction and deepener, and most of the time your hypnosis subject will be in a reasonably deep hypnotic trance by the end of it.
How to set up a post-hypnotic trigger
Now that they’re in hypnosis, it’s time to do something with it.
The scope here is enormous.
I find that it’s always a good idea to tell them something positive about themselves. This can be anything at all that takes your fancy in the moment. Maybe you’ll tell them that they’ll find it easier to focus. Maybe you’ll tell them that they’ll feel good. It can be anything at all.
The idea here is that you want them to volunteer again. If they thoroughly enjoy the experience, it’s highly likely that they will.
But we also need to be able to tell that something happened.
So set up a simple post-hypnotic trigger. This is just something that you can do that will cause them to respond in some way after you’ve brought them out of hypnosis.
As an example, you might say something like: Every time you hear me say the word SLEEP and it’s safe and appropriate to do so, you’ll immediately return to a wonderful, blissful state of hypnosis, at least twice as deep as this one you’re in right now.
Repeat at least three times in several different ways. Then after you’ve brought them out of hypnosis, say the word SLEEP and watch them drop instantly back down.
If you’d like more examples of this, I’ve put together an eBook that gives you some simple things you can do with people in hypnosis.
You can find it here: 10 More Fun Things to do With Hypnosis
How to bring them out of hypnosis
Bringing hypnosis subjects out of hypnosis is incredibly easy.
People have all sorts of worries about things like getting stuck in hypnosis. But the truth is that it’s impossible to get stuck in hypnosis. The worst that can ever happen is that they fall asleep.
Depending on the kinds of people that you ask, you may find that you get a lot of objections when you ask them if you can hypnotize them. The easy way to work around this is to have an understanding of the kinds of objections people have, and why those objections are not founded in reality. When you have this knowledge, you can raise their objections before they do.
For example, if you know that some people think you can get stuck in hypnosis, it’s easy to just casually mention some reasons why that’s not true before they bring it up.
You can find out more about that in my article on some of the weird beliefs people have about hypnosis.
If you do nothing at all after you’ve hypnotized someone, usually they will come out of hypnosis within 2-3 minutes after you stop speaking.
And it’s helpful to have a process to bring them out.
The rule of thumb here is that you do whatever you did to lead them into hypnosis, only in reverse.
If you described them going down a staircase, crossing a room, and sitting in a chair, tell them to stand up from that chair, cross the room to the staircase, and describe them climbing it.
You can look at the visualization scripts for examples of this in action.
Then when you’ve worked through the process in reverse, simply tell them that they will open their eyes on the count of 3. Count from 1 to 3. Then tell them to open their eyes.
It looks something like this: Now you’ve done an amazing job and it’s time to come all the way up feeling good in every way. 1. Your breathing is starting to move back to its regular rhythm. 2. All those sensations are starting to return to your body. 3. Stretching arms and legs. Body and mind back to normal, open your eyes, wide awake and alert.
If they seem like they’re still in hypnosis, tell them to close their eyes again, and repeat. You may find that a count of 5 works better. Or you may find that you don’t have to count them up at all.
You’ll quickly discover what works for you with experience.
That’s really all there is to it.
As I mentioned, if you do nothing, they will tend to either come out all by themselves in a few minutes, or drift off to sleep. So bringing them out is really only there so that they have a point of demarcation where they can believe the hypnosis ended.
How to test the hypnosis
So you’ve got them out!
Now it’s time to test.
How do you do that?
Their experience of hypnosis is important
It’s easy! First, I find that it’s almost always a good idea to ask them about their experience. When you do this, you get direct feedback from them.
Find out what they liked and what they didn’t like.
Ask them about how much they remember. Ask them how long it felt like they were under.
You want to gather as much information about their experience of your hypnosis as you can.
Then the next time you hypnotize someone, use that information to change just one thing for the better.
Testing post-hypnotic triggers
If you’ve set up a post-hypnotic trigger, test it out.
For example, suppose you’ve set up the SLEEP trigger. Ask them if it would be ok if you run a quick check, make sure they’re still somewhere comfortable and safe, then abruptly say SLEEP. The abruptness sends a mini-shock into their system. Coupled with the post-hypnotic trigger that you set up, this is often enough to drop them all the way back down into hypnosis.
When I do this, I’ll usually say the word at least three times to make sure it takes.
Then when they’re in hypnosis, continue on as if you’d hypnotized them the long way. Set something else up. And repeat.
Usually a good second trigger to set up is one to bring them all the way out of hypnosis.
This puts you in the position where you can drop them with a single word, do a bunch of stuff, then bring them out again with a single word. As you might imagine, this saves vast amounts of time.
What to do once you can easily hypnotize someone
Once you can easily and reliably hypnotize someone on demand, it’s time to increase your skill level.
Work with as many subjects as you can. This gives you a broad base, and if you check in with each hypnosis subject every time you bring them out and make tiny changes, you’ll quickly discover what works and what doesn’t.
In this article we’ve talked about what to do to easily hypnotize someone.
If you’d like to get good at hypnosis, at some point it’s important to acquire an appreciation of how hypnosis works.
And of course, as with all things: practice, practice, practice. Make tiny course corrections every time, and you’ll find that you quickly become able to easily hypnotize someone on demand.