Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) is a subset of rhetorical communication specifically designed to target the subconscious. Properly employed, NLP allows you to bypass critical thought to implant ideas, emotions, or lines of thought into the subject.
Common NLP Phrases and Patterns
Some common phrases and patterns of communication associated with NLP follow:
"_______, because ______".
This exploits the subconscious tendency to trust anything which has a reason to be true. The statement following "because" can be directly related to the first statement, or it can not - it makes surprisingly little difference.
"_______, which means ______".
This is basically "because" in reverse.
"______, and _______, and _____".
The human brain can only store between 5 and 9 unique thoughts at a time. Connecting thoughts together bombards the critical factor of the mind and allows some of those thoughts to enter the subconscious without criticism.
"You don't have to _______ right now".
This phrasing turns a command into a suggestion, which is less heavily scrutinized. The phrase "right now" directs the subconscious to consider doing that action immediately, but also grants permission to wait for a time. It's a common sales tactic - "You don't have to decide to buy this car right now."
"Now, you can choose whether or not to _______."
This is a sort of false choice - you are implanting the command without providing a real alternative. The mind is bombarded with the course of action, and the fact that it is not a direct command allows the subject to internalize it without heavy scrutiny.
"Many experts agree that ______."
This is an appeal to unspecified authority that causes the subject to weight the statement more heavily than they naturally would. We see it all the time in media.
"Albert Einstein/A friend of mine/My father once said something like ______".
This shifts the communication from the actual communicator (you) to a non-present entity (Albert Einstein). While you can be questioned and grilled, the non-present entity cannot, so the statement is often received more readily.
"I can see you doing ____."
This prompts the subject to do some imagining, whether or not they realize it. Because an imagined scenario is somewhat real to the imaginer, this influences them toward that action in the near future (until the image is forgotten).
"I cannot imagine that you would ______."
The negatives are often ignored in rhetorical communication. While you say you cannot, they are prompted to imagine that they can.
"[bad option], or [good option]"
We tend to heavily weight the last option presented in a list. By placing the good option last and playing up the badness of the bad option(s), you increase the odds that the subject will pick the option you want.