Over the last three days we have discussed a situation where I was stopped by the police and was in danger of being given a ticket. In this final article we will discuss how I used pattern interrupts, embedded commands and post hypnotic suggestions to get him to let me go.
These Are Not the Responses You Were Looking For
A typical stalling tactic for police officer is to start asking questions about you, where you are going and what you are doing. Sometimes they are obviously interested for a specific reason and often, like in this case it gives him some breathing space to think about what to do next.
You can read the previous parts of this story here:
The reason this poor young officer went into asking these questions was because he could see his original objectives slipping away from him and he had nothing to replace them with. He had originally intended to speak to me about my driving and then issue me with a ticket.
Since I was not admitting guilt, in fact clearly stating the exact opposite and subtly asking for evidence either way the officer had a problem. The problem that I had was I didn’t have a way of getting him to a win / win situation. I had to find a way of guiding him to letting me go but feeling like he was in charge, it was his decision and he could justify it to his mentor who was still sat in the police car.
We were stalling and the officer started asking me general questions whilst we both tried to think of a way out of the situation. I normally refuse to answer anything unless it has direct relevance to whatever investigation the police are conducting. But in this case I didn’t really want the escalation or to annoy the officer unnecessarily. Staying in my one down position I started sharing information about my address, car, driving licence and insurance.
It was a cold night and I had got out of the car just wearing a tee shirt. The officer seeing me shivering was the one thing that allowed me to take complete control of the situation, talk the officer into great trance and load in a stack of post hypnotic suggestions.
Behavioural Flexibility, Being Able to Seize Golden Nuggets
Up to this point my plan was to keep stacking more and more implied work on the officer until he crumbled and decided that it was not worth the effort of saving face.
I had already subtly told him that he would have to take me to court because I was not admitting guilt. I had suggested he needs more than just his witness testimony and would have to apply for all the CCTV footage in the area. I was lining up to get him to call out the council to test the time differences between the various lights. And I was thinking of ways of getting him to check the car and breathalyse me, all of which would be fine but would just increase the paperwork, time and stress he would have to go through. All of this would work but it wasn’t going to get me to my poker game anytime soon.
But he then gave me a golden nugget that just allowed me to shortcut my plans and give him a way out straight away. The thing I was having difficulty with at this point I could not see how to let the officer to back away gracefully from the situation.
This is an important factor in persuasion. When you want someone to do something just giving them the motivation is sometimes not enough. You also need to remove obstacles and make the path obvious. Remember the propulsion systems we have discussed in the last article? I had put loads of pain in his way but I just hadn’t found a way for him to turn round and point him in the other direction yet. I was pretty sure the officer just wanted the situation to go away but just didn’t quite know how to make that happen. Nor did I until…
The officer saw me shiver and he said, “Why don’t you sit in your car and I will talk to you through the window?” As soon as he said it I was laughing on the inside. I knew I had won, I was getting away to play poker and everything was right with the world.
Interrupting the Click Whirr Response
An NLP Technique that has a lot of confusion associated with it is Pattern Interrupts. It is a really simple thing though. We do a lot of things unconsciously, on auto pilot if you will. Imagine the routine you go through from waking through to ending up at your workplace. How much of that do you do consciously?
In this particular case the officer probably had a clear idea of how the encounter was supposed to go, he may even have talked it through with his mentor. And all of a sudden I was not acting as planned. As a result he already had a level of confusion and uncertainty. He had now idea just how much I was about to deepen the confusion and completely interrupt his way of looking at the world.
Depending on the degree that it happens when people have their pattern interrupted they go into inside themselves to try and understand what is happening. From a persuasion perspective that going inside can be a great trance state to use.
Jedi Mind Tricks
As soon as he suggested that I should sit in the car I switched my social status from one down, to one up. I stood straighter, took on a more authoritative stance and I took a more commanding tone. Here is approximately what I said, “I’m sorry officer I cannot allow you to do that. I would not be able to live with you being run over standing in the middle of the road whilst talking to me. This is what we will do I will get my jacket from the car and then we can stand on the pavement and we can discuss the matter there. Just wait here”
You can see just in the words just how commanding I was and just how many instructions I issued out to him in just a few lines. The “just wait here” command was my test. If he complied I knew I would be able to give him post hypnotic suggestions.
I got my jacket from the car whilst carefully watching to see if the officer stayed in the middle of the road waiting for me. I needed to time this quite well, if I took too long the trance would break and he would be back to himself. But I also wanted to keep it going for as long as I could because it reinforces his compliance.
I got my jacket, put it on returned to the officer and led him to pavement whilst saying something like, “Come with me on to the pavement where you can be safe.” I don’t know if this actually happened this way but I seem to remember gently grabbing him by the elbow and actually leading him to the pavement.
Either way you can imagine how this young officer was struggling with the situation. In seconds he not only completely lost control of the situation but he is now following my commands.
Let’s make sure we are clear about the mechanics of this approach. Whilst I have taken charge I am also suggesting very reasonable commands. If I were making unreasonable demands I have no doubt that he would break out of the trance and come back at me. It is very difficult to not become compliant when the suggestions you are being given are things you would do anyway. This is the pacing part of pacing and leading. The next step was to lead the officer in to letting me go.
Process Driven Post Hypnotic Suggestions
Once on the pavement I said to the officer something like,
“Now we can safely discuss the issue I would suggest that you need to check out the details that I gave about me. So you could just go back to your car and check my details against PNC (Police National Computer). That way you can find out everything about me checks out and you can discuss with your colleague the best approach to letting me go on my way and we can get this over and done with quickly. That would be good wouldn’t it?”
The officer nodded and I sort of shooed him off in the direction of his car saying that I will wait for him on the pavement. It was really difficult not to laugh as I watched him shuffle off towards his car still in deep thought trying to work out where exactly the situation reversed on him and he found himself following my suggestions. The most difficult thing in Hypnotic Persuasion is not to laugh whilst doing it.
If you reread that paragraph again you will notice that I again am making suggestions that seem reasonable. I give him specific step by step instructions that are easy to follow.
I also gave him stuff that I know he would feel good about. It was obvious that he was starting to feel out of his depth and I was giving him the opportunity to take time out as well as consult with his mentor. This should be an emotional release for him. And in the middle of it I am suggesting all my details will check out and that they will be discussing how best to let me go.
I think it can come as no surprise that he let me go. After a brief discussion with his mentor he came back; because everything checked out and I was being so open and honest he thought he should just ask me to be careful when approaching traffic lights and let me get on my way.
Any other day of the week I might of asked him how he came to that decision but I was late for my poker game.
Let me cut to the chase. All the skills that you have seen me describe here I demonstrate on a live audience in the Lancaster University Hypnotic Persuasion Skills Lecture Deconstructed. I also explain how I am using them, how you can develop the skills for yourself and easy ways of being able to engrain them to become second nature. To get the course all you have to do is click through and read the FAQ page here. Then you can make an informed buying decision as to where it is the right course for you. But hurry as the special offer is soon closing. Click through and find out more now.