Painted Words in Hypnosis (And Why You Should Avoid Them)

Filed under: Hypnosis Training

Do you want to be more powerful? A more skilled conversationalist?

If you would like to up your conversational hypnosis skills - then this is the post (and accompanying video)  for you.

What Are Painted Words in Hypnosis?

Today we are looking at a category of words that always grabs attention and immediately generates negative emotional states - painted words. 

Painted words are words that cause a powerful emotional response in the amygdala, deep in the brain. These words are best to avoid, since they might result in a negative emotional backlash, in any hypnotic session.  

Imagine you are out at a party and it was your job to think of a word that would immediately and visibly upset some of the people around you.  We are all likely thinking of a similar list of obscenities and slurs, right?  

The truth is, you don’t need to go that far into the “gutter” to find a word that signals the alarm center of the brain. 

Consider a toddler headed to the doctors for multiple vaccinations. 

Both the caregiver and the health professional have a dictionary-worth of words to choose from to describe what is about to happen. A loving parent isn’t likely to say, “ You are going to get giant needles stabbed into you in a few minutes and it is going to hurt a lot!” 

It was hard to even type that sentence imagining the toddler hearing it!  

You can clearly see the point, right? The doctor and parents will do their best to choose words that keep the child most comfortable and attending to other sensations. They might say, “Just a quick pinch and then it is all over.” Are those the best words to choose? 

What might those first vaccinations have felt like if the doctor were able to convince you that it was an interesting sensation best appreciated in a relaxed state… Okay, that might be going too far, but the point is that changing the words does change the way a person might experience a sensation.

Would you rather go in for “surgery” or a “procedure”?  Would you rather talk about your “trauma” or “that past experience”?

Because trance is an amplifier of experience, we need to take extra care in our word selection. You may have heard hypnosis trainers say “I’m going to put you into a coma” or “I’m going to put you to sleep!” both of which sound like euthanasia, and are entirely inappropriate. 

It is our job as hypnotists to amplify positive states by choosing empowering, ego-strengthening words such as success, love, prestige. This may seem like old news or common sense but, it does take an extra effort to conscientiously choose kinder alternatives.

Some of the common painted words to avoid are:

  • Pain
  • Agony
  • Fear
  • Cancer
  • Terror
  • Death

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What About Word Painting?

Word painting is entirely different from painted words. If you have ever attended or performed in a Madrigal Dinner, you may recall that the musical notes and the written language reinforce each other. An example of this would be pairing the word “fall” with a descending scale.  

In Walt Disney’s first full-length animated feature, Snow White, he told the voice actress to paint the pictures with her voice (at that stage of animation, the sketches were not yet colored). He told her to breathe life/emotion into her character as if she were able to walk right off the page.

We all have an instinctive ability to convey meanings of words by adding vocal inflections. As an example, try saying the word “yes” as if you are unsure and then sure. In English, we tend to raise the pitch at the end of a word/sentence when we are communicating a question. In other languages such as Mandarin, two letters such as “ma” can have 5 different “tunes” and five different meanings (If you are curious, check out this blog to learn how to say all five and what they mean).

As hypnotists, we can and should use word painting to enhance positive states and outcomes.  If you want your client to relax, say it to them while thinking of an irresistible sleep calling to you.  

If you want your client to feel wonderful make sure you are smiling while you say it.  Try saying “wonderful” while frowning and then while smiling. We can (and do) detect a smile in a speaker's voice. 

So remember to add texture and tone to your empowering words by painting them with your voice and intention.As Clark Hull said, “anything that assumes trance, causes trance.”  All of us have more power than we realize. The power of our words, the ones we select and how we choose to say (paint) them. As hypnotists who are working with amplified states, it is critical that we take care to use words that create positive enjoyable states for our clients.  

If you enjoyed learning about painted words and word painting, you will love Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy. Have you had a chance to explore our free trial? Check it out now with this link and have a wonderful day.

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LEARN HYPNOSIS ONLINE

"I absolutely love the online course. It completely changed my life and consulting career. The information is the best I've ever seen. You guys are incredible at what you do. I love the course so much."

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