What does suggestibility mean anyway? Is it a good or bad thing? These are questions I sometimes get asked, so I thought I would write a blog series on it.
Suggestibility is an openness and receptivity to suggestions, from yourself or others.
Everyone is suggestible, but each person is unique in what and who they are suggestible to and to what degree. Quite simply, it comes down to how you receive information. Some people take in information literally and others take it in inferentially.
For example, when a literal person hears “I’m cold,” she will know the speaker is cold.
When an inferential learner hears “I’m cold,” she will wonder what the speaker means by that. Could they want me to close the window. Are they suggesting that this was not the best place to have the meeting. Etc.
Everyone falls on some spectrum of literal and inferential suggestibility. Meaning that most of us have some degree of ability to infer and also be literal, but tend to be predominately one or the other. A small percentage of people are right in the middle and process everything both literally and inferentially, which tends to overload and hyper-suggestibility, which I’ll talk about on my blog this week.)
In the old days of hypnotherapy, it was believed that only a certain percent of the population was suggestible and could be hypnotized. However, about 40 years ago, Dr. John Kappas, founder of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, realized that inferential people just need to be hypnotized with more inferential language. Seems so simple, but many hypnotherapists in the world still don’t understand this principle.
What this means for you?
Understanding suggestibility is critical for effective communication. If you can understand how others share and receive information, you can avoid miscommunications.
The effectiveness of communication is measured by whether it is getting the desired outcome. With a greater understanding of suggestibility, you can do simple language adjustments and as you do, you might be surprised to how your outcome differs.
If you are not achieve your outcome and want to know more about suggestibility and communication, check back here this week and next for a 4-part blog series about understanding suggestibility.
I'm a hypnotherapist, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher, spiritual childbirth educator, writer, and human American. I'm also a mom.