A ‘weasel phrase’ is a predicate that sets up the material that immediately follows it as a powerful suggestion. When a particular type of sentence is constructed one of these such phrases, a sentence which refers to the immediate environment of the listener (especially to the physical being or ongoing activities of the listener), it can offer communication on more than one level since there is:
a) an apparently ‘normal’ abstract word string that requires decoding and interpreting in the ordinary manner of everyday oral communication
b) a non-ordinary content of the word string referring to immediate, ongoing events that demands attention and verification in modalities other than the auditory (Ai)
Accordingly, an astute operator can use such a sentence to pace – by use of content that refers to the obvious BUT AN ‘OBVIOUS” THAT THE LISTENER IS DIRECTED INTO VERIFYING BY NON-VERBAL MEANS – or to lead, by directing by means of subtle suggestion the non-verbal attention in a given direction of the operator’s choice – and subtle suggestions are all that is needed in order to get the thought train rolling.
If you think of an embedded command as a “virus of the mind”, then the weasel phrase is the invisible hypodermic needle used to inject that “mental virus” into the mind of your target.
Weasel phrases are used to set up an embedded command. See Embedded commands. Now, jump up a level in power. Combine the Weasel Phrase with a command verb, like “get”, “become”, “experience”, “remember”, etc. Tack on the state, process or experience you want the other person to have. Bingo! You’ve got your embedded command.
Here are the most important and useful Weasel Phrases. We will use each one to embed the command “feel it deep inside.”
When you… “When you” presupposes that the person is going to do the thing or experience the state you describe, so it’s no longer open to debate or doubt. “Ever met that one person with whom you just feel this incredible connection, and the more you talk together the more the conversation becomes interesting, and you can just “feel it deep inside” ?” What would it be like if… This weasel phrase is, in effect, a command for the person to imagine the condition or occurrence named or described after it. “What would it be like if you were connect on such a deep level that you can feel it deep inside?”
A person can… Here we are using the third person, thus, it deflects any resistance on the part of the person you’re talking to, since you really aren’t talking about him or her. “A person can feel a special bond with someone, and they can know this because the can feel it deep inside, and thats how they know its someone they really, really like!”
If you were to… This is one of my favorite Weasel Phrases! By saying “if,” it deflects resistance while directing the person to imagine the experience, condition, feeling or situation you are describing. “If you were to feel it deep inside, do you think you might feel compelled to act on it?” (There’s a second command hidden in that last sentence. Can you spot what it is?)
As you… This phrase assumes the person will do the behavior or undergo the condition you describe. “As you feel feel it deep inside, can you feel how excitement building up more and more?”
It’s ok not to… An example of one of our super-weasel patterns, negation. By saying its ok NOT TO, it eliminates any resistance, since you’re saying they don’t really have to do it (even though they will!) “It’s ok not to feel it deep inside, as you listen and carefully reflect on how good it feels and how incredibly relaxed and open you’re beginning to feel.”
You really shouldn’t… Another negation pattern. Since you’re saying they “shouldn’t”, it’s not like you’re trying to get them to do anything, aren’t you? “You really shouldn’t…feel it deep inside!”.
You might find… Useful as the start of an intensifying chain of phrases. It implies that they are going to experience what you describe as something that just happens, so it’s not like you’re commanding them to do it! “You might find as you begin to feel it deep inside, that you have this incredible urge to act on it!”
To the point where… This phrase connects one thing your victim is experiencing with the next thing you want them to experience, so it’s useful both as a connector and an amplifier. “You might find those pictures start to get bigger and brighter to the point where you begin to feel it deep inside!” Invite you to notice… This has the same effect as “you might find” because it implies that what you describe is going to happen. Plus, “invite” has pleasant connotations of it being voluntary and polite! Hmmm 🙂 (Talk about Super-manipulation.) “And I invite you to notice how the warmth of my voice can allow you to feel incredibly comfortable relaxed and open and you might just begin to feel it deep inside!”
I don’t know if you’re going feel just good or incredibly excited… This implies that the event you describe is certainly going to happen, and the only question is how good they’ll feel! One of my absolute favorite weasel phrases. An example is: “I know that when we meet together, I don’t know if you’re going feel just good or incredibly excited but i know were just goint to laugh and have fun and have a great time!”
Those are some really great weasel phrases. Are you starting to feel it deep inside yet 🙂 Whether you are presentl, or you’re begining to, remember that by using these basic building blocks, you’ll be able to create virtually any and all states you want to create, very rapidly, in every person you really want to seduce.
Here are some more that you might want to use:
When you… become loving
If you were to… think about seeing things my way
How does it feel when you… get a change of mind
What’s it like when you… remember a time of mental change
A person can… experience a deep intense feeling
As you… have a change of heart
It’s not necessary to… forget that you may be right
You really shouldn’t… fall away from your beliefs
You don’t have to… know that I am right
Here are some basic sentences to be explored:
Example 1: ‘Are you aware thatyour foot is resting on the floor?’ Breaking this down into the three constituent parts we have: ‘Are you aware that…’ (the suggestive predicate) ‘…your foot…’ (reference to a physical part) ‘…is resting on the floor?’ (query about what is obvious… to the operator)
This appears to be such a trivial question, but it really causes the listener to work hard and fully process it in order to understand what is going on. The processing might be viewed thus:
i) listener has to carry out normal linguistic processing on the sentence to determine the basic meaning. Words are checked for context, basic meaning, syntax, and what they might mean in the present setting.
ii) listener has to process the meaning in depth. Does he/she have a foot? Which foot is it (the original question was ambiguous in that it didn’t specify)? Where is that foot (feet)? Am I aware of what it is doing?
In order to actually process the meaning as in ii) above, the listener must become (kinesthetically) aware of the foot, that there is a foot, and determine what it is currently doing. Additionally, and since the foot is a priori resting on the floor as the operator knew, the implication by the operator that the foot is resting on the floor is a very subtle pace, ONE THAT IS VERIFIED KINESTHETICALLY AND IS THUS ACCOMPANIED BY LEADING ATTENTION INTO KINESTHETIC MODALITY It is no ordinary question that is being put in those eleven innocent sounding words, it is a powerful pacing question that simultaneously contains a covert kinesthetic lead: the listener has to ‘respond’ or work in Ai and K modes together in terms to make sense of what is going on.
Example 2: ‘Are you aware that/ you can become aware that/ you are blinking?’ ‘Are you aware that…’ (the suggestive predicate) ‘…you can become aware that…’ (convolute the predicate into an ongoing process) ‘…you are blinking?’ (statement of the physically obvious… to the operator)
The end result of this question is that the listener becomes aware of – has their attention directed towards – something that was ongoing yet previously outside their awareness… and they don’t have a lot of choice in the matter. Again there is a pace (the listener is blinking), and a lead (the listener was made aware of the fact by the question), In addition to the lead caused by the search for verification – this time in V and/or K modalities – the more complex question structure “how does one process if one is aware that one can become aware?” is immediately resolved in the performance of the act itself – another pace.
Example 3: ‘I want you to become aware of the process that takes place when you become aware of your left hand’ This puts the listener in an almost impossible position since the process – by being suggested – will occur in a trice as the operator enunciates the sentence and the listener will probably miss it. Once they are aware of the left hand they will find it impossible to become unaware of it and start again (any attempt to do so will have them trying to be aware of how a awareness arises of the left hand – which is awareness of the left hand. An astute listener could observe how awareness of some other body part comes into being of course). Once again the complex word form – becoming aware of becoming aware – is present along with the kinesthetic lead to the left hand and the pace indicating that a process of becoming takes place.
Example 4: ‘Has it ever occurred to you that…’ Whatever follows this phrase may or may not have occurred to the listener: one thing is for sure, it is going to occur to them now. The suggestion that follows the phrase will have to be processed by the listener in order to make sense out of it. In other words whatever is said, if it is said in terms of a certain physical sense or modality, will lead the listener in that modality whether they like it or not. If pacing statements are made, they will become immediate self-fulfilling prophecies insofar as the listener is concerned and, if they are made to refer to a particular mode, they will lead in that mode.
About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences. For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.