Embedded Command (II), Advanced

“There are no two people alike…no two people who understand the same sentence the same way… So in dealing with people try not to fit them to your concept of what they should be.”

– Milton H. Erickson

This is a more advanced embedded command pattern that extends the previous Embedded Command (I) and Analogical Marking. This one involves embedding the command in sections, spaced over a larger communication. This technique depends more on analogical marking as a subliminal cue than the simpler form of embedded command.

The subconscious mind strings together the fragments of the embedded command and gets the message, especially when the person is in a suggestible state. Here is an example of this pattern: 

“You can ‘trust your subconscious mind’ to know that it will never have to ‘reveal to your conscious mind’ anything that you don’t want me to know, ‘right now’. This uncomfortable incident that you think is ruining your life is part of your past. You can ‘come back next week’ and ‘talk about anything you want, in a direct and comfortable way’.” 

Notice that you can string together the more impactful and state-related words to see what kind of priming is going on. As in the above example, you have trust, know, reveal, anything, right, now, past, anything, want, direct, and comfortable. 

Similarly, there is a focus on self in this string: you, can, you’re, know, your, you, want, know. In service of inducing a  downtime, there is a double negative plus an immediacy to parse: never have to reveal, don’t want to, right now. 

There is also manipulation of time and personal power through conjugation and implying an alternative to replace what is in the past, next week. It also casts doubt on their understanding of their problem: “…that you think is ruining your life…is…past…next week…anything…direct and comfortable way.”  

You can use meta-models as filters to help you brainstorm as you create the more subtle embedded commands such as the ones we just covered, as well as to analyze and learn from the work of masters such as Erickson. (You can, use, help you, you create, analyze, learn from, masters.) 

Except when you are purposely using negatives, just shifting language into an exclusively positive frame is an excellent way to get into the embedded message creation mindset, because of how it forces you to see components of your text that you took for granted. (Purposely, shifting, positive, excellent, creation, see.) 

The subtle embedding falls more into the area of priming than actual commands.

Select a situation for using embedded commands.

Choose what you will communicate with this approach.

Prepare the communications.

Practice the approach.

Apply the approach.

Assess the results.

Continue to refine and practice this method.

Select a situation for using embedded commands.

You can use the same material from the previous embedded command pattern to get through steps number one, two and even three quickly. 

Select a typical situation in which you want to communicate more effectively, and in which embedded messages could be helpful.

Choose what you will communicate with this approach.

Write down a number of things that you would like to communicate, but that might arouse inappropriate defenses. 

Continue accumulating these until you have a several that you feel can be converted into embedded messages. 

Make sure that your approach is ethical. 

You must not attempt to manipulate a person in a manner that is not in their best interest.

Prepare the communications.

Create sentences that could be normal-sounding parts of your communication with this person, and that include your embedded commands. 

Remember that you are to break up your command into fragments that you will place in several parts of the communication. You must include analogical marking, such as including changing your inflection, tempo, body language, and volume, to ensure that the subconscious mind strings them together.

Practice the approach.

Before using this approach, practice delivering this communication. 

Apply the approach.

Once you feel that you can do this smoothly, use this approach in the actual situation.

Assess the results.

Notice how the person responds. Were there any awkward moments or looks? 

Did the person respond in any way that suggests your approach was helpful?

Continue to refine and practice this method.

Continue to refine and practice your use of embedded commands until you are able to do it without preparing in advance. 

Many people discover that they do it without even realizing it.