Top 3 Fears about Hypnosis
When I tell people I’m a hypnotist, there are always one of two reactions — Fascination or Fear. Fascination makes sense. Aren’t we all intrigued by the ways in which our minds function? The brain
is the most complex organ in our body, and it’s the root of our personality and behavior.
Fear as a response, however, has always baffled or amused me. Just about every fear of hypnosis I’ve encountered stems from a misunderstanding of what hypnosis is and how it works. When you look at how hypnosis is portrayed in mainstream media and popular culture, the misconceptions are rampant. In this piece, you will learn 3 of the most common fears others have about hypnosis. And I’m going to explain why you need not worry.
“It’s Mind Control. Don’t look into his eyes!”
Ever tell someone a fact about yourself, only to have them immediately cover their eyes and yell, “Don’t look at me!” I get that all the time. Once, while performing on the streets of Las Vegas, someone literally sprinted away from me, leaving behind his friends on the strip, because I introduced myself as a hypnotist. His fear is that hypnosis is a form of mind control, and that I have some supernatural ability to ensnare free will from you just by looking into your eyes.
First off, your mind is not so easily hijacked, and your eyes are not the Achilles Heel of your will. No hypnotist in the world can swoop in and shatter your mental barriers with a glance, as if they were Luke Skywalker launching a pair of proton torpedoes into the Thermal Exhaust Port of the death star.
It is virtually impossible to hypnotize someone without their consent. Look at me all you want, the worst that will happen is you may fall in love. (That has nothing to do with hypnosis.)
Second, even when you do allow yourself to be hypnotized, it is a far cry away from being under control. It’s easy to look at a hypnotized person, slumped over in her chair, as somehow passed out or vulnerable. However, this is simply not the case. While super relaxed, though hypnotized people usually don’t care what position they fall into, they are still very aware of their surroundings, and can actually reject suggestions they oppose.
Sure, you may behave in a bizarre fashion during one of my comedy hypnosis shows, but I cannot hypnotize you to do or say anything you would regret. Which leads to our 2nd fear:
“I’m afraid of what I’d say while hypnotized.”
Everyone has secrets, and some of them may cause us shame. Hypnosis may lower inhibitions and convince someone typically shy and reserved to start dancing in front of an audience like he’s just got the music in his soul. However, that’s not the same as blurting out that you murdered someone on a drunken bender while you were supposed to be babysitting your sister’s kids.
Unless you are actually dying to tell the world your darkest of secrets, it is extremely unlikely that you will say anything you do not want to share, especially with an audience of strangers.
It’s not like all of our secrets are dammed up, waiting for the opportunity to get out, and hypnosis is the dynamite necessary to blow up the dam. Unless prompted, you’re more likely not to say anything under hypnosis, and at no time during my show will I ever ask anyone about their secrets. Besides, I am not at all interested. If we are being honest, most of us probably do not have secrets as dark or interesting as the example I used above, and if you do, I don’t want to know about it.
“I don’t want to make an ass of myself.”
No one wants to be embarrassed, especially in front of their friends and coworkers. In my professional experience, however, the exact opposite is true — The audience envies those who are bold enough to go onstage. After the show, viewers always go up to the participants and congratulate them on a good job, and ask about their experience with fascination.
It’s never my goal to embarrass anyone. My show is a comedy show, and I have every intention of getting ridiculous on stage, but there is no ridicule involved. Not only have all of my shows been overwhelmingly positive, but every hypnosis show aims for fun and good vibes.
In fact, after taking part in my show, people are often the stars for the rest of the night, and all of their friends and coworkers tell them how funny they were. Think of it as a guaranteed method to become the head of your social circle for at least one night… assuming your friends have short memories. Most likely, they will say, “You were amazing up there,” and internally, they will be envious it wasn’t them.
At that point, you will simply have to come catch another show, and encourage them to volunteer!