Resistance (is Futile)
Ericksonian Language Patterns
This installment features two different ways of dancing with resistance. In the pattern I call “The Resistance Dodge,” when your client exhibits resistance you offer a tag statement that is really a bind. Stops them in their proverbial tracks.
With the “Resistance Pace” you use their resistance the way an Aikido expert would use an opponent’s own weight.
The Resistance Dodge — After an Embedded Command add the tag, “or not.” This is particularly effective when you time your delivery to when you see the resistance begin to show in their physical affect. You’ll be pacing them and dispelling resistance at the same time.
“I’m wondering if you will accept this embedded command…or not.“
“And as you read these words you fully appreciate how you can use these…or not…yet… you can.”
The Resistance Pace
The word “try” has failure virtually presupposed. (“Gee Dad, I tried”) So telling a person to Try to resist your request implies that they may try but they will fail.
“Try to resist the deepening experience of comfort and relaxation as you listen to my voice.”
To your child:
“Try to keep your eyes open as you listen to this bedtime story.”
So, now, you might want to take a minute and write your own examples. I have often found that the best way to learn is by doing. Don’t you agree? Or Not.
Write at least ten examples you could actually use with a client or someone else.
Then practice using them in real life.
Use them on salesmen:
“How great that you will give me the lowest price ever… or not.”
Of course, you can and should combine them with the patterns we’ve already gone over. They work beautifully together:
“How great that you will give me the lowest price ever… or not. I wonder how soon you’ll know you can do that.”
Have fun. Be respectful.