How Not To Be Easily Influenced - Confusion Pattern
Ever been influenced to do something you didn't want to do?
It's happened to us all and it will continue to happen unless you know what to look for.
I'm not suggesting you suspect every person who might try to influence you of doing something evil.
Some people are honest and upfront about their intentions even if it is to influence people and they're not necessarily looking to take advantage of you. Let's not put every sales person and marketer into the "bad" person box in other words.
When are you most vulnerable to being influenced?
When you're confused.
Watch this video for more elaboration.
We're hardwired to avoid confusion and chaos even at our own expense.
When we encounter someone who appears to know the way, we follow. However, a crafty and manipulative person who wants to take advantage of you will often appear when you get confused, ready to offer his or her help.
Interesting how that happens, isn't it?
Actually that's not usually an accident. They're often the ones inducing the confusion in the first place.
Sales people can do this by overwhelming you with information while at the same time establishing themselves as your trusted authority. To be relieved of the overwhelm, you buy the solution they recommend.
I first recognized this pattern in a man who had manipulated and controlled my father for years, and not just my father. He had a flock of followers.
He had these riddles he had created that would put a person in a state of confusion if the person was willing to engage in trying to find the answer. Conveniently, and not surprisingly, this manipulative influencer also had the keys to all of his own riddles he had created.
Once the person was thoroughly confused he would then present the answer and relieve his prey of their discomfort. The typical effect this had on the target was gratitude and a feeling of being enlightened by this wonderful man who had tied their brain in a knot and was kind enough to untie it for them.
The hint of sarcasm is intentional.
From that point on I recognized this tactic in cult leaders, religious leaders, politicians... you name'em.
When I mentioned this pattern to Steve Andreas, he said that Milton Erickson used to use the same tactic to induce trance. I trust that Erickson used this pattern for good and that it can be used for good if you're intent is positive and ecological.
Here's what to look for if someone is using this pattern on you.
They will say things you agree with and that align with you. If they don't know you well they will pace you by saying things that almost anyone would agree with like "Helping people is good." "The weather is nice."
Suddenly they will start saying things you don't understand especially jarring and perhaps even contradictory statements. You listen harder and engage more in order to understand.
What's really happening though is you're trying to return to that state of comfort and rapport with this person, but the more you try to do that by understanding what he or she is saying, the more confused you become.
A really crafty manipulator will be calibrating your physiology to know exactly when you're so confused that you're about to disengage. Just then they will offer the solution, the key, the answer, whatever restores clarity to your mind.
This is also known as drama. It's the reason we watch movies.
In the beginning of a movie the filmmaker has to create a world you can believe in even if it's fantasy. Once you buy in and start to root for the hero, the hero is thrown curveballs and ultimately encounters a great conflict.
We want nothing more than for there to be some satisfactory resolution at the end of the story just when it seems our hero is in a situation that is impossible to resolve.
Without this payoff for suffering through the climax of the story, we would hate dramatic movies. Instead we love them because they drag us through this ritual and we get to feel relieved at the end of them.
When a crafty manipulator does this to you, the result is often that you project positivity on them like they're smart, enlightened, and kind, and worst of all, an authority.
How do you avoid this?
First, of all be very clear about what you want. Be especially clear about what you want in a given context. If you're unsure and you're walking onto a car lot for example, the sharks are going to descend on you.
Second, if you're confused, learn to be okay with confusion and chaos. Take a deep breath and get grounded.
Third, understand where the confusion is coming from and disengage from it. You don't have to answer the riddle especially if your life and safety aren't at stake. An existential question that you can't answer is not going to harm you.
Fourth, never give anyone authority over you. Never give anyone authority over your thoughts, feelings, and decisions. Another way of saying this is don't let anyone tell you what meanings you should make about what's yours.
There are people who are authorities on certain subjects, but the only authority on you is you.
If you don't quite believe that, act as if you do.
NLP Coach and Trainer
NLP Gym P.S. If you know a friend who would benefit from this please pass it on! No such thing as failure, only feedback. Your feedback is welcome. Send an email to [email protected], message me on Facebook, or comment on Youtube. NLP-Gym.com
Santa Cruz, California
Damon Cart is considered to be a natural talent by some of the best NLP trainers in the world. His approach to guiding and teaching students brings to their awareness that they've been doing NLP all of their lives without realizing it and he empowers them with skills and resources to thrive and reach their full potential. With the understanding of how Neuro Linguistic Programs create one’s experience a person can then take charge of those programs and create the experience and the life they want. By taking this approach into his own rigorous, daily NLP practice Damon has been able to rapidly accelerate his progress in learning, coaching clients and teaching workshops.