HOW TO USE PERSUASION TECHNIQUES ON YOUR OWN BRAIN (with action steps)
If you have back pain or other chronic pain, borrow a few golden sales nuggets from the marketplace to get relief. These six persuasive strategies have brought fame and fortune to marketers for thousands of years. Use these same strategies to help you to lose your chronic pain.
Robert Cialdini, a psychology professor, recognized and tested these six universal strategies. Marketing professionals read his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and learn it well. Cialdini refers to these techniques as weapons of influence.
Weapons of Influence (WOI)
- Commitment and Consistency
- Social Proof
We all use these powerful techniques to get people to listen or to act. It’s a human instinct to use these weapons of influence because they are a natural part of our psychology. That’s why we sometimes agree to do something, or buy something that we wouldn’t ordinarily have wanted. As natural forces they are ethically neutral, good or evil depending on how you use them.
So how can the psychology of persuasion help with your chronic pain? Just like the ancient art of jujitsu, use the strength of your opponent to your own advantage.
Imagine your sub-conscious as part of your brain, a childlike part, in charge of the pain, desire, fear and the stuff you can’t control. The Weapons of Influence work their magic in this sub-conscious brain. The sub-conscious brain then says, “yes” to the sale.
The conscious brain is in charge of thinking and understanding. Think of the conscious brain as the salesman who uses the Weapons of Influence to persuade the childlike part of you to say, “yes” to losing the pain. In other words, you will talk to yourself using powerful persuasion techniques.
Use these strategies with the action steps to get pain relief. Persuade your childlike brain to let go of the negativity and start thinking differently. Learn the Weapons of Influence and make them a habit in your daily life. Start talking to yourself using the action steps.
Reciprocity – returning a favor. It is basic human nature to want to give back more than we got when somebody does a favor for us.
Companies offer free samples, complimentary gifts and introductory offers because they know it will influence the customer to buy something.
If you are upset with yourself, give yourself a break. You need to develop rapport with yourself and accept yourself the way you are now, before the healing process can begin. Just give yourself a break.
- Do something nice for yourself – a favor such as allowing yourself a guilt free treat, words of self-encouragement or kindness.
- Thank yourself for being who are you and for doing what you do.
- Appreciate yourself, even though you have pain.
Commitment and Consistency – sticking to what you say. Once you make a public statement or choice, you want to stick with it. Going back on something you have committed to takes you out of your comfort zone.
Consumers tend to stick with certain brands, even though they may cost more. People generally give to the same charities over and over again and dieters are more likely to lose weight with a paid program.
Unfortunately commitment and consistency can make problems worse. People in pain can have a hard time letting go because being in pain has become a sort of unconscious comfort zone. They are committed to being the center of attention, not being responsible, maybe even getting disability checks. This commitment is often outside the person’s awareness.
- Establish rapport with yourself. Show understanding to the part of you that wants to hold on to your pain. It’s a natural and strong feeling to want to stay the same. Do this even if it doesn’t feel true.
- Remind yourself that by staying in your comfort zone you are actually following painful patterns of behavior.
- Consider that there are easier and more effective ways of dealing with any issues you may be having.
Social Proof – following the crowd. Human beings will naturally imitate the behavior of the others who they like or who they can relate to.
This is why product manufacturers create advertisements showing people using their product. Another example is teenagers all dressing in a similar way.
We do what we feel is expected of us. Take whiplash for example. In most Western countries people expect to suffer whiplash after a car accident, and even buy insurance against it. However, in Greece or Lithuania whiplash is not something people expect to suffer, and therefore it rarely ever happens!
- Question yourself more. Are you doing something or behaving in a particular way because you think you should, or because people expect you to?
- Are you acting a certain way because everyone else acts that way?
- Think about your pain and analyze whether you want to act, think or talk in a different way.
- Try to let go of any anger, grief or frustration that you are feeling because your family or colleagues are feeling that way, not because you actually feel it.
Liking – accepting and following the advice or instructions of people you like and admire.
Humans are drawn to people similar to themselves, in background, in lifestyle and in personality traits and opinions. The more like you another person is, the more you will like them, and the more you feel uncomfortable saying no to them.
Marketers deliberately find ways to build a trust relationship with their prospects so they will come to like them, making it more likely they will say yes and buy their product.
- Take the first step to gaining a rapport with yourself by accepting yourself for who and what you are.
- Respect yourself and be honest with yourself in a non-confrontational way.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Instead try to be kind and compassionate always.
- Take time to feel yourself breath and enjoy each breath you take.
- Even when you have pain and negativity in your life, accept it for what it is and reconcile yourself with it.
- Accepting every part of yourself, positive and negative, can make a huge difference in how you feel.
Authority – People with titles or positions of importance, and people who dress a certain way, in the best clothes or in uniforms, are seen as being people in a position of authority.
Our natural reaction as humans is to trust and believe in them, or to fear them. For example, when we want to impress somebody we dress in our best clothes. Actors in white coats are used to promote headache tablets because advertisers want us to see them as believable authority figures.
- Start seeing yourself as an authority figure on yourself. You often know what is best for you and what you really need to do.
- Read some self help books as if you are the authority figure talking to yourself.
- Look after your appearance, stand tall and hold your head high.
- In other words, believe in yourself and your body will start believing in you as the authority.
Scarcity – People always want things they either can’t have or find hard to get. If something is limited in availability it seems more valuable.
It is a standard marketing ploy to use scarcity tactics to encourage people to buy now, buy sooner, before it’s too late. Fear of losing something or not being able to have something is a more powerful motivator than the prospect of gaining something.
- Think about everything you are losing if nothing changes.
- Remember that life is too short to spend it in pain.
- Use the scare in scarcity to really think about what is at risk if you do nothing.
Please note that the suggestions using your powers of influence do not take the place of medical care for chronic pain.