QUOTE from Milton Erickson:
Use Boredom or Surprise:
..."anyone who has surveyed the faces of an audience forced to listen
to an incredibly boring speech has seen the blank stare characteristic of hypnotic inner absorption"The Wisdom of Milton H. Erickson: Hypnosis and hypnotherapy
By Milton H. Erickson, Ronald A. Havens
(Bold and italic fonts added by Corboy for emphasis)
Readers, let us look at the words 'forced to listen to an incredibly boring speech' and put your mental emphasis on 'forced'.
Now, it is commonplace for human potential leaders and recruiters and apologists to say, 'No one is forced to go. No one is forced to listen. No one is forced to remain there'.
Now, Dr Erickson was speaking of people feeling forced to listen to incredibly boring speeches. How many of us can remember at least one situation where we found ourselves under duress and forced to listen to something or someone that bored the shit out of us?
Here are ways to force people--by tweaking human psychology in ways that have been described in the social psych textbooks - and SALES MANUALS!!!!---for years.
*You have been socialized to be polite. (Especially if you are in your 40s on up). You were trained by your parents and in school (remember mandatory schooling??) to sit still and be polite, no matter what. This prepares you for a lifetime of listening quietly and politely to boring people. Women are especially vulnerable to this social conditioning to 'be polite'. Its something that most women's self defense classes have to address, BTW--the hazards of being too nice, too polite.
**BIG ONE You make a sacrifice to attend. You may be persuaded to fast. Or suppose you have to take time off, budget in your kids babysitter, or hire your dog walker or catsitter, gas up the car and take time--valuable time, to go on a trusted friends recommendation to listen to someone who bores the shit out of you. You hate to tell yourself that you went through all this just to walk out. So--you stay, hoping to get something out of it. Its called cognitive dissonance.
***REALLY BIG ONE This person is famous. Mega famous. Mega Mega Mega Famous.
So you pay big bucks (very important!) garage your car, take time out of your evening, wait in line, and this person turns out to be boring.
Now, how can you tell your friends that you went to see a mega maxi bronto famous spiritual leader and you were bored fucking shitless and left early?
People are gonna look at you funny. Worse, you are going to think that you yourself are the one who is nuts.
So... this combination of contextual/socialf factors FORCES YOU TO STAY.
Now, this isnt Guantanamo. This isnt the police pulling you over for a ticket.
But..its soft force, soft power. Soft bondage, the kind that doesnt need ropes or handcuffs because the ropes and cuffs are in your head and being manipulated by people who have been in sales and know how to do this
Lets look at other ingredients that can be used to create an invisible system of coercion right between you, the subject's ears, that FORCES YOU TO LISTEN TO SOMEONE BORING
* A trusted and loved friend urges you to attend. You love her, so you trust her, and go. You sense she is getting really huffy if you show skepticism or reluctants. Bang built in duress via a friendship through which one friend is recruited and then in a pyramid scheme pressurizes other friends to get involved
* You feel you have to go and listen for fear a spouse who is besotted with this material will sue for divorce and take the kids and property away.
* Arrange for a boss to get fired up about a program and push all his or her employess to participate in that same program or risk being terminated or at least never making it to promotion track. Think this doesnt happen? Read this. Talk about being forced to listen. And in this economy the structures of duress are built in.