I’m sick of it. All the so-called communication
experts keep declaring that your mind cannot process
a negative command. They say “Don’t spill the milk”
means you’ll spill the milk. They say your mind doesn’t
respond to “don’t” and in fact skips over it. As a
result, you end up seeing the rest of the statement
as a command. You then spill the milk.
Bull. The very first words most people hear
growing up is “NO” and “Don’t”. We learn right away
not to poop in our pants, or eat the dirt, or swing the
cat by the tail, or spill our milk. The only reason we
might still spill our milk is sheer awkwardness or
clumsiness, not because of a communication issue.
This is one of the things wrong with NLP and other
communication modalities that claim to know how our
brains work. They make wild claims and act as if they
are universal truths. After all, no one really knows
how the brain works. We’re still learning. To say we
don’t process negative commands is an arrogant
statement. It assumes god-like powers. And it’s wrong.
Look at the title of this article. I inserted the
word “don’t.” Why? Because the word actually
helps make the title more interesting. It increases
persuasion. Had I said, “Read This Article,” you
might not read it simply because it seemed
un-interesting. But add the word “Don’t” and
suddenly you’re curious. ‘Why doesn’t Joe want
me to read this?,” you wonder. The word ‘Don’t’
is seen and registered by your mind. You didn’t
miss it, did you?
Again, communication is more than assumptions about
how our minds process information. You learned what
many negative words meant at three years old. Your
unconscious mind is well aware of what they mean today.
Don’t tell others about this article. Don’t pass
this article to friends and family. Don’t go buy all my
books and tapes. Don’t send me money.
You see the word ‘don’t’ and you’ll do what you
please. If you want to pass this article to friends,
you will. If you don’t, you won’t. My trying to trick
you with a negative command is ridiculous. You’re
smarter than that. Aren’t you?
Kevin Hogan, author of “The Psychology of
Persuasion,” says, “Negative command words in
general indicate the person will remember or code
in deeper whatever was discussed. This doesn’t
mean they will act one way or the other. It simply
makes the command/idea/request more likely to be
Exactly. My adding “Don’t” to the title of this
article simply made it more memorable. It didn’t
*make* you read this article at all.
The only time the ‘don’t trick’ works is to get
someone to *think* something. In order words,
if I say, “Don’t think of Sophia Loren,” you
can’t help but think of the famous actress. But
thinking is different than action.
Yes, thinking can lead to action. But what
we’re focusing on here is communication. If
I say, “Don’t think of buying my books,” you
*will* think of buying them, at least for a second.
But if I say, “Don’t buy my books,” it does not
mean you will run out and buy them. You are
not a robot.
Let’s wake up. Let’s realize that we are smarter
than generalized rules of language. Let’s stop
pretending we are all trained monkeys.
Don’t you agree?
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Cost is $5,000. To register, write firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dr. Joe Vitale is the world’s first Hypnotic Marketer.
He is President of Hypnotic Marketing, Inc., and
author of way too many books to list here, including
the #1 best-selling book Spiritual Marketing: A Proven 5-Step Formula for Easily Creating Wealth from the Inside Out, the
best-selling e-book Hypnotic Writing and the
best-selling Nightingale-Conant audioprogram, “The
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are the best-selling The Greatest Money-Making Secret in History! and Adventures Within: Confessions of an Inner World Journalist. He’s being called “The Buddha of the Internet.” His main
website is at http://www.MrFire.com