Welcome to Influence, Psychology and Persuasion

This is session number 018 of Influence Psychology and Persuasion. In this show, I’ll be sharing some information on Metaphors and Influence, explaining how they are being used to influence you and what you need to be aware of. Also, how to use your metaphors more efficiently.

I have been away from the podcast for a while, as I have been chasing my tail with a new full-time role and kids school holidays and all that Jazz.

Metaphors and Influence

I was out walking the dog this morning in the woods, and I came across a large flat area right in the depths of the woods. Standing there I was faced with six different paths, all of which were brand-new to me and I didn’t know which one I wanted to take. What I did know though, however, is that whatever path I decided, that it would have its own twists and turns and new things for me to discover.

The last paragraph in itself was a metaphor, a metaphor about me deciding today what the podcast should be about. I was, in fact, walking the dog earlier in the woods, and I was contemplating what to do today’s podcast about, I did know that it would involve some research and some more discovery to fill in all the pieces. I decided on this, Metaphors and Influence.

You may be surprised to know that people use metaphors regularly throughout their lives. We use it to bridge the knowledge gap, and it also helps people understand our thoughts, feelings and predicaments more easily.

2 Ways Metaphors Influence Us.

I’m going to go over two ways in which metaphors can be very persuasive and influential.

The first part is all about our internal metaphors and how they influence our actions and behaviours.

Think about this comment for a moment: “It feels as if the burden on my shoulders just keeps getting heavier and heavier, dragging me down making it impossible for me to succeed.”

Yes, that is just someone’s internal dialogue. And yes it is only words. But words that are metaphors really do attach ourselves to our psychology and neurology and make us act and behave in specific ways. An unhelpful internal dialogue that creates a metaphor that makes a person feel restricted will, in fact, makes them limited. We all understand that someone else’s words can directly affect a person’s life, mainly because of the way the person who received a comment has reconstructed in their minds, generally, metaphorically. This is sometimes for good and sometimes not so good.

We use our language openly without usually given it much thought to the consequence that will follow. However, many studies show that metaphors which are mini-stories are very easy to remember and very easy for our subconscious to store and act on. Remember, you are the master of your own body, and whether you feed your subconscious mind with, will direct your life.

So be kind to yourself, you are the chief, you are the commander. You are the one driving the ship and you are the one dictating the direction, therefore make sure all of your internal commands are clear, positive and in line with what you want to achieve.

If you do have a number of these detrimental internal metaphors, I suggest you metaphorically pick them apart to allow you not to be burdened as you once were.

Taking the above example, the burden on the shoulder the just keeps getting heavier and heavier dragging you down making it impossible to succeed. This could be embellished to become something like finally. “Until I understood this, I felt as if this burden upon my shoulders that was weighing me down would be with me forever. But now I understand just by shaking my shoulders I begin to break down that weight and as I walk. As I take each step, it falls away from me allowing me to feel lighter but ultimately allowing me to succeed in whatever I want to do”.

Metaphors, as I’ve said, are like stories, and we rarely disagree with stories we just take them at face value and allow those to be absorbed. Stories sure can be influential. They have been, can be and will continue to be. Just make sure you have metaphors on your side, working for you going forward from now on.

Other Peoples Metaphors

The next section about metaphors is regarding other people and being more persuasive and influential.

To practice this section, I’d advise you start actively listening to TV, watching the news and debates etc. You want to be able to quickly recognise a person’s metaphor and the wavelength they are on. If you can carry on a conversation with a person using their metaphors, but differently, you’ll find it far easier to get your point across.

When a person is using metaphors that are of the natural environment and natural world, they will use terms such as evolve, grow, adapt and survive. Use some of the same languages in dialogue with them, so you stay connected so that your metaphors lineup.

In a business conversation: “John, a business like this needs to learn to adapt, we’ve been able to grow to where we are now but a business this size needs to evolve to keep growing”.

“Dave you are right, we’ve had our roots firmly planted since the company started which have allowed us to get to where we have, now each small department can now act as individual seeds which will allow us to spread our branches, even more, going forward”.

If somebody is talking about a new project “kicking off,” then it would be great if you went back to say “we need to have a timeout halfway through to make sure we can keep our eye on the ball.” Check out the matching and mirroring page for more on this.

The first step to implementing metaphors correctly both internally and in communication will be to begin actively listening to where you hear metaphors and what your responses would be. 

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