Want to know how to effortlessly hypnotize people with a sequence of text messages?
Hypnotize someone in text? Sounds crazy, right? Once you know the secret, it’s remarkably straightforward. All that is required is knowing what kinds of things consume someone’s attention, and then directing their attention to those things enough.
Why Hypnotize Someone in Text?
So you’ve decided that you want to learn to hypnotize people. Most of the time, the very best thing you can do is go along to a hypnosis training. Naturally, these tend to be expensive, so even though they tend to be the best way to learn a skill like hypnosis, they are far from the cheapest.
To give you an idea, unless you score a promotional deal of some kind, good trainings are typically priced at more than $1000, and then you usually have to pay for flights, accommodation, taxis from and to the airport, eating out in restaurants… it all adds up. Last time I went on such a training, the total cost of everything other than the training itself came to $3000.
And what do you do when an in-person training is not an option? What do you do if you’re really interested, but don’t really like groups of people? How about if you’re an introvert, like me?
Almost all hypnotists perform most of their hypnosis in person. More and more are doing hypnosis via video calls, using platforms such as Skype and Zoom. Some will hypnotize you over the phone if it’s the only option.
And a tiny handful of us will happily hypnotize people via text message. Yes, you read that right. It is not only possible, but easy, to hypnotize someone in text.
It is not only possible, but easy, to hypnotize someone in text.
Now, when you go to a traditional hypnosis training, you are typically taught things like the progressive relaxation induction as a method of getting someone into hypnosis. This is where you have them systematically relax every muscle in their body and eventually close their eyes. Or maybe you’ll do the Elman induction where they close their eyes and pretend that they can’t open them until they really can’t. You might even have them focus on their breathing, until their eyes close and they go into hypnosis.
It’s possible that you’re spotting a central theme here…
So how exactly do we hypnotize someone with their eyes open?
As it turns out, hypnosis itself does not require the eyes to be closed at all.
And the key to making it work is understanding how hypnosis works in the first place. For a lot of people, it’s this mysterious thing that no-one understands. I’ve even had people tell me that they think hypnosis is a superpower that only a lucky few are born with, while others tell me that they think hypnosis is fake.
Which is an interesting perspective for them to take.
You see, hypnosis is a natural process of the brain. It’s well known that our mind can only focus on a tiny handful of things at once. Since everything else that we experience goes into our mind as well, hypnotists exploit this gap in our awareness to help our hypnosis subjects to create changes they’d like to have happen. Or just for fun and amusement.
Hypnosis is a natural process of the brain.
So the question arises: If we can only focus on a tiny handful of things at once, just how many is that?
Way back in the 1970s a couple of scientists were interested in that very question. They ran an experiment that these days is popularly known as the Invisible Gorilla test. You’ve probably heard of this, but the essential idea is that they had a group of subjects focus on some task that consumed their mental resources, and then had someone run past them in a gorilla suit. To everyone’s surprise, very few noticed the gorilla.
Naturally this experiment has been rerun multiple times in all manner of circumstances. It turns out that most people can only track between 5 and 9 things at once before stuff starts to fall out of their vision. And by that, I mean they literally do not see the gorilla right in front of them.
This is also the same effect that you may have experienced, where you’re reading a really good book, or watching a captivating movie, and you get so caught up in the story that reality fades away and the book or movie seems real for a while.
Now, we hypnotists love to exploit anything we can when it comes to helping people, and it turns out that this particular facet, known as inattentional blindness, is particularly useful.
Especially when we want to quickly and easily guide people into a deep hypnotic trance.
We can exploit the processing limits of the human brain to cause hypnosis to happen.
It’s not only our vision that we can mess with, but literally everything we can pay attention to. And those no-more-than-nine things are spread across all of them. There’s our traditional five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell, along with a whole host of other senses that are seldom talked about outside of those who research them, including multiple types of pain, positional awareness, tension, temperature, and more.
Have you ever been lost in your thoughts to the extent that reality briefly fades away? This is essentially what happens when we dream. And it happens because even our own thoughts can consume some or all of those no-more-than-nine things.
While some people find this to be scary, in reality it is extremely useful. It’s pretty easy to show mathematically that our brains simply couldn’t function usefully much above this level. So if we didn’t have inattentional blindness, we’d lose a lot more.
And besides, in reality, a lot of the time our alert systems will tell us if something bad is about to happen so that we can quickly shift our focus to that.
So how do we use this to hypnotize someone in text?
It turns out that it’s way simpler than most people might think. Literally all you have to do is know what kinds of things consume someone’s attention, then direct their attention to them enough.
To hypnotize someone in text, all we have to do is consume enough of their attention.
In this article, I’m going to cover moving their awareness to different sensations. We’ll cover the other stuff later on.
But first, the setup.
Step one: Make sure the environment they are in is suitable, and that you have an idea of the sorts of things that are in that environment.
If you want to hypnotize someone in text, generally speaking it is easiest if it is a chat conversation of some kind. I’ve done this on Skype and various other chat programs, in IRC chat rooms, and even in the chat rooms and communication systems inside games. Incidentally, it is possible to hypnotize someone with just written text and no feedback from them, but it is less reliable. This is effectively done with the arts of copywriting and storytelling, which I may cover at a later date if there is interest.
Make sure you can get feedback from your hypnosis subject
In any case, the key feature is that we want there to be feedback from the person we are hypnotizing. This means that they have to keep their eyes open and they have to be able to move their fingers to type, at least unconsciously.
Text hypnosis relies on us having adequate feedback from the person we’re hypnotizing.
Also, it’s quite important to make sure that they are somewhere safe where they won’t hurt themselves if they fall asleep. And if they wear contacts, have them take them out in case their eyes roll back.
So you’ve got them there and you want to hypnotize them.
Build Rapport With Your Subject
As with all hypnosis, the very first thing to do is build rapport. When doing hypnosis in-person or on a video call, this is most easily accomplished by simply going into hypnosis yourself. In chat, you have to do a little more.
I typically just ask them a few questions. I’ll get compliance by having them do things they have to do anyway, such as asking them to tell me about their environment, checking that they’re not wearing contact lenses, and making sure that any pets are out of the room.
Have Your Subject Remove Any Distractions
If you’re a beginner it tends to be a good idea to have them remove other distractions by shutting down other applications on their computer, turning off the ringer and notifications on their phone, and making sure that other sources of noise are eliminated as much as possible.
The secret here is that they don’t know you’ve already started. Every stage hypnosis show I’ve ever seen works this way. The hypnotist gets on stage, hypnotizes the entire audience, and then asks for volunteers to be hypnotized.
You can build rapport with your subject by asking them questions about their environment and having them do necessary things like put any pets out of the room.
Once you’ve got them doing a few things, they will be much more likely to agree to anything else you might suggest, and when these things are things that you can legitimately and truthfully claim are necessary, it’s even more effective.
I find that sometimes it’s useful to also ask them about things like how comfortable they are, exactly how they are sitting, and whether they are missing any body parts.
That last one came about when I was hypnotizing someone and it turned out she was missing a leg. You’ll see why this is important to know shortly.
What do they think hypnosis is
Step two: Figure out what they think hypnosis is, then overwrite it with your own definition, making sure that it includes them giving you feedback.
As I mentioned earlier, by the time you’ve done this, there is a good chance that they will already be most of the way into hypnosis if not all the way there already.
So next, you ask them if they’re ready to begin. Regardless of whether they say yes or no, ask them if they have any experience of hypnosis and what that was like. The most common answer I get here is usually along the lines of “I listened to a file and it didn’t work”. Whatever happens, your job at this point is to convince them that hypnosis is real. You will find that there is a very small set of answers that they give.
Reframe Your Subject’s Beliefs About Hypnosis
I suggest not worrying about your subject’s beliefs around hypnosis too much and if something trips you up, note it down and do a bit of research afterwards to come up with a good answer the next time. Remember: If you’re the one doing the hypnotizing, you’re the expert, so they will usually believe what you say.
Give them a definition of hypnosis that includes the hypnosis subject giving feedback to the hypnotist throughout the process.
As an example, when someone tells me about the audio file not working, I will tell them about how hypnosis relies on feedback from the subject and that because of this, audio and video files will usually only work by accident unless the subject does some of the hypnotist’s work. Then I ask them if they’re a hypnotist.
This is a useful explanation, because not only does it happen to be true, but it is also entirely plausible to most people.
It’s a good idea at this point to tell them that this means that if they want to be hypnotized, they have to tell you what happens each time you give them an instruction or ask them a question.
Once I’ve got an idea of what they think hypnosis is, and their past experience with it, I will usually tell them a story just like the one about the gorilla suit that I related above. When you do this, it adds credence to your claim that hypnosis is real because there are lots and lots of scientific studies.
Tell them the hypnosis is going to start now
Step three: Tell them that the hypnosis will start now.
By this point, they will usually be fairly far gone into trance. I know this because I’ve hypnotized a lot of people in text while simultaneously running a video call with them to gauge their reactions.
So naturally, now that they’re already there, it’s time to tell them that you’re about to begin!
When you tell them that the hypnosis is about to start now, it creates a demarcation point for them. They generally won’t attempt to dismantle any of the hypnosis that has already happened before this because they are unaware of it. And they also don’t know exactly when it begins after this.
Consume their attention
Step four: Move their attention around their own body so much that it consumes all of their attention.
Start By Moving Your Subject’s Attention Around Their Body
Now, for this particular method of hypnosis, what you want to do is move their attention around their body a bit. I will usually start off by having them move their toes. I’ll give them instructions like “Can I get you to wriggle the toes on your right foot a bit. Are those toes wriggling properly?”
It’s important to constantly ask questions so that you are prompting them to give you feedback on what’s happening. Conveniently it also consumes some of their attention.
Asking them questions provides you with constant feedback, and also drives them deeper into their internal state since they have to go inside in order to answer the questions.
Next, I’ll progressively have them move their toes less and less. Typically I’ll do this by saying something like “Ok great. Now move those toes half as much” followed by “and allow those toes to move half as much again” then “slowing right down now”. When you break up the messages across multiple lines like this, it has an effect very similar to the pauses that we use to guide people into trance with regular spoken hypnosis, in that it allows them a chance to become fully absorbed in each part of the experience.
Use Short sentences and Hit Enter After Each One
If you send everything in one big block of text, it is unlikely to work unless you are very skilled with language patterns and copywriting.
After three or four iterations, there are any number of ways you can proceed. When I have people on cam, they are almost universally totally zoned out by this point. But they don’t yet know that they are, so you have to do some stuff to convince them.
I find that a good way to proceed is to abruptly move their attention from the toes to the other sensations in that foot. I’ll talk about how they can pay attention to the temperatures and pressures in that right foot, and then ask if they can notice that now.
Then I’ll move their attention to their left hand by saying something like “and it’s really interesting that those sensations in those toes and that right foot are so similar to the all the sensations in that left hand, only different”. Each time you move their awareness from one part of their body to another, it will consume a little more of their attention.
Most non-hypnotists have no idea that hypnosis is driven by attention, so when we use a non-awareness induction like this, they cannot easily resist because they have no idea there is anything to resist. So long as they follow the instructions, they will almost always drop.
Demonstrate some hypnotic Phenomena
Now as I mentioned, you want them to be convinced that they were hypnotized, and there are a couple of ways to do this. I used to start off with installing a simple trigger word like “SLEEP” to bring them straight back to the same or an even deeper state of hypnosis.
These days, I usually just move straight on to asking how little they can move the toes on that right foot. I’ll work in the word stuck somehow. And I’ll suggest that the sensation is beginning to spread. And eventually, that they can’t move at all.
If you don’t want them to stop responding, it’s a good idea to say something like “And regardless of what happens in this session, you will find that your hands automatically type your thoughts for you no matter how stuck you are now. That feels right, doesn’t it?”
All you really have to do at this point is make observations about the situation. You can say things like “I wonder how quickly that stuck will spread all the way up those legs” and “I’m curious to discover what happens when that sensation reaches your head”.
Make sure they know they’ve been hypnotized
Step five: Make sure they have evidence that they’ve been hypnotized and that they accept that evidence.
Eventually, you want to get them to admit that they are completely hypnotized. If I really want to prove it, I’ll delete a small number like 7 from their memory, and tell them what that means, then have them count their fingers after they come back out again. There are countless things you can do at this point that I’ve covered elsewhere. It tends to be a good idea to choose something that will persist after they wake up from hypnosis.
Give them something interesting to have happen that you can make persist for a short time after the hypnosis ends. It doesn’t matter very much what it is, so long as it is outside of their normal experience.
Bring them out
Step six: Bring them out of hypnosis.
Next, it’s time to bring them out of hypnosis and wake them up. In a lot of ways, this is the easiest part, because if you do nothing, they will eventually come out all by themselves.
To bring them out, all you have to do is tell them that it’s time for them to wake up now, with their body and movements fully returning to normal in every way. Then check in with them to make sure that they know they have been hypnotized. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. If you ask them something like “Do you remember any of that?” at this point, it creates a little seed of doubt in their mind which is often enough to fully obscure their memory of the hypnosis.
Prove that it worked
Step seven: Give them a conscious experience of the thing you set up while they were in hypnosis.
Either way, once they know they’re awake, get them to do whatever it was that you’ve set up while they were hypnotized. If I’ve deleted a small number, I’ll get them to count the fingers on one hand then the other. Then both hands. This tends to confuse a lot of people because they know the answer isn’t right, but they can’t see what’s happened.
As a rule, you can blame pretty much anything that doesn’t normally happen to them on the hypnosis.
Undo anything they don’t want
Step eight: Clear out any changes that they don’t want.
Finally, we want to clear everything other than beneficial changes we might have made. We do this by simply suggesting it by saying something like “Ok great. You can have the number seven back now, and allow everything to return to normal. Can I get you to count your fingers again? How many are there? And you’re able to move all your toes and legs and other parts normally now, aren’t you?”
Dealing with trolls
What about the trolls?
Whenever we hypnotize random people in text (as opposed to people we know), the only way we can know their reaction is by what they tell us, and their response times. Which means that there’s always the potential that we are talking to a troll. After working with a few people, you’ll find that the trolls are extremely easy to spot. When you do come across them, you’ve got a few options.
What I like to do now is just mess with them. Quite a lot. Usually they have no idea that I know they’re a troll, which means that I can get away with things that would normally be totally outrageous.
When you’re starting out, there are a couple of things you can do if you don’t feel you’re up to messing with them yet, or have some moral objection to trolling trolls. First, you can view trolls as an opportunity to practice your hypnotic language patterns, or whatever other technology you’re working on. In a very real sense, it doesn’t matter much how they react because it’s only words on the screen, and you still get the practice that embeds the language patterns into your mind.
Or second, you can call them out on it.
Whatever you do, don’t let the trolls bother you. They are a part of the ecosystem on the internet, so it’s best to simply exploit them for your own purposes.
So as I mentioned right at the start, it’s easy to hypnotize people in text. You just have to remember the secret.
In this article we’ve covered how you can hypnotize someone with their eyes open by moving their attention around enough that they can’t track what you’re doing.
So far we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible.
To go deeper, it’s important to have an understanding of exactly what makes hypnosis work. This is especially true when you want to hypnotize people that you can’t even see or hear.
If that sounds like something you’d like to have happen, check out my article on How Hypnosis Works right now!