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NLP 101 Language Patterns: “Because…”

By on September 25, 2014
Courtesy Salvatore Vuono and

In this series of blog posts we will be explaining an NLP language pattern of trance. We’ll be explaining how your hypnosis clients use the pattern to put themselves into trance, and how you can use the pattern to dehypnotize them, or at least give them a better trance.

The NLP Language Pattern

Once we have explained this pattern to you you will find it very useful because human beings respond automatically to it.

For example, in one study, researchers arranged to carry out a couple of experiments where a busy photocopier was located. In the first experiment, the researchers sent a confederate to jump the queue using the ruse of saying, “Do you mind if I go in front of you, because I’m really in a rush?” Very politely the majority of the people waiting in line allowed the confederate to go first, because after all the confederate had given good reason, right?

The researchers then got sneaky, they sent the confederate back once again to jump the queue, this time, “…because I have to make copies.” Obviously everyone was there to make copies, so the excuse, “…because I have to make copies” was totally meaningless. Surprisingly perhaps, the people waiting in line allowed the interloper to sneak in front of them with almost as much ease as in the first experiment. Why was this? Just ‘BECAUSE’.

In today’s post we will be considering the word ‘because’, because it is so powerful. Learn to use the word ‘because’ gracefully and elegantly because it will allow you to convince anyone of anything.

How your hypnosis client hypnotizes themselves with ‘because’

Anyone will believe anything as long as there is a good enough reason to do so. So all you have to do to be influential, is to understand when a reason is ‘good enough’. It turns out that a reason is ‘good enough’ to be convincing if it is true, or at least plausible. You also need the reason to lead to the conclusion, so if the confederate in the research study above had said, “Do you mind if I go in front of you, because the sky is blue?” the other people on line would probably have objected.

But that’s basically all you need: a reason that might plausibly be true, and might plausibly lead to the conclusion. What you absolutely do not need is for a the reason to logically lead to the conclusion, as long as the link is plausible.

Your hypnosis clients hypnotize themselves to have their problems or limitations, by creating a plausible reason for having them. For example a common one is, “I have this fear because of what happened to me as a child”

Your hypnosis client comes to see you…

Your hypnosis client comes to see you, “I’ve tried to stop smoking but I can’t, because I have no willpower”.

Their professed lack of willpower is not true; they must have enough willpower to have got up in the morning, because they are in your office, must they not? (Tag question their for the advanced students). Even if it was true it would have little to do with their smoking, otherwise they would be a heroin addict and a drunk as well, would they not?

How to respond to your hypnosis client

Because your hypnosis client has shown you they enjoy building ‘because’ links in their mind, you might as well use that.

First of all, you can negate the ‘because’ they gave you, “I’ve tried to stop smoking but I can’t, because I have no willpower”. For example you could say, “Great! Your lack of willpower is a huge plus in hypnosis, because your unconscious mind will not be able to resist the power of the hypnotic suggestions I give you and you will quit more easily!”

You can then layer up more ‘because’ arguments to help them to change, “Because research show that hypnosis is one of the most effective ways to stop smoking now, you will find this effective for you as well”.

Meaning and Root

It’s often interesting to consider the etymology of words because it often gives us insight into how the brain interprets the word.

The word ‘because’ simply means ‘by cause of’.

‘Cause’ originates in a Latin word implying an argument or the basis of a legal action. So ‘because’ basically takes sides in an argument. So it’s no wonder that ‘because’ has such power over our thoughts; it puts us on one side of the argument or the other, and once we have taken sides, it’s hard to reverse course (or cause).

Putting the word ‘because’ to use in your hypnosis work

You should always be on the listen-out for the word ‘because’, whether from your clients or in general conversation, because it shows which side of an argument the speaker is on. And believe me, he or she is taking sides.

But the word ‘because’ is subtle, because unless the listener is an attorney, a philosopher or a scientist, they will not be used to dissecting logical arguments. Instead the brain goes through a simple three step process when analyzing ‘because’ statements:

  1. Is the reason true? If I’m not sure is it at least plausible?
  2. If so, is the reasoning that goes from reason to conclusion true? If I’m not sure, is it at least plausible?
  3. If so, I accept the conclusion.

You can use ‘because’ to help your hypnosis clients, using the techniques explained above. But there are other, bigger uses as well. You will recognize them because they are used extensively by politicians of all stripes. The pattern is simple:

  1. Say, “Because…”
  2. Followed by something like, “…we all believe in equality…” [or ‘freedom’, or ‘helping those worse off’, or ‘independence’, or some other vague but undeniable value]
  3. Then, “…it’s important to…”
  4. And finish off with whatever you want the electorate to believe.

The reason (for example, ‘equality’) must contain the outcome you are seeking. Fortunately this is pretty easy to achieve, because as human beings we are happy to simultaneously embrace two values that are diametrically opposed to each other, as long as they are abstract enough (‘love and freedom’, ‘helping others and independence’, ‘sharing and opportunity’), because with high values we view the positive aspects.

So love is valued, while love of drugs or violence slips by unobserved.

The bigger picture

‘Because’ is a linkage word that connects two ideas. In this way it is similar to other linkage words such as ‘and’. The difference between ‘and’ and ‘because’ is that ‘because’ has a direction: argument->conclusion. In contrast ‘and’ simply puts the two ideas in a basket together.

So to effectively use the word ‘because’ there has to be a plausible path from argument (cause) to conclusion (effect) because of this directionality.

Alternatively, if you choose not to elegantly adopt the word ‘because’, perhaps because you are argumentative in nature, you can use the NLP ‘Meta Model’ challenges. So returning to our original example, if your client says:

“I’ve tried to stop smoking but I can’t, because I have no willpower”

  • You can challenge the reason by asking, “How do you know you have no will power?”
  • Or you could offer a counter example, “You got up this morning and came to see me, so you must have some willpower”,
  • Or provocatively, “If I said you had willpower, would you have the willpower to argue?”


Or challenge the cause and effect embedded in the ‘because’, “How does your apparent lack of willpower stop you…from continuing to smoke?”

Courtesy Salvatore Vuono and

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