Miming, Mocking, and Manipulation, A look At NLP >>

EPISODE #5

AIRED: 01-03-2016

alright, I’m going to talk about an aspect of neural linguistic programming, called miming, or mimicking.
So, NLP is a mixed bag, some of it is based on human nature, but some of it is based on manipulating and controlling. I don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, and in this episode, I’ll explain one aspect, why it is good, and how it can be abused.

Miming is when you intentionally mime or mimic another in order to put them at ease with you. The idea is that you move when they move, or you adopt an aspect of them in order to make yourself less threatening or more relatable.

This goes back to tribal state, where outsiders where a threat, and you judged threat levels on similarity. Different could be deadly, but same could be trusted. Miming takes that and makes it a conscious action.

Preface, not all miming is bad, in fact, some of it is incredibly helpful. First of all, it’s the basis of how we learn. Almost everything we learn is by watching and mimicking. It’s also a form of how we connect. Look at cliques of kids, how they dress, hold themselves, the slang they use, it’s all a subconscious form of miming. Even accents are a form of miming.

Here is one way that this knowledge applies to the real world. There have been studies that show, when a waiter or waitress paraphrases the order back to the customer, tips are lower than when they repeat the order back word for word. Another example is when in a job interview, if you make your posture match the posture of the potential employer, your chances of getting the job are increased.

Miming sends subtle clues that we are paying attention. You’ve all heard that a yawn can be contagious? Sometimes a teacher will yawn in class, just to see who else yawns, that lets him know who was paying attention.

Same thing goes for smiling. Smile at people, and often times they will smile back, without even thinking about it. When somebody breaks the smile mime, subconsciously, your brain registers a warning. Think about the wheels that start turning in your brain when you smile at somebody and your met with a scowl.

Now, think about the faq page of a product website. When the questions are in the language of the customer, you read them and feel a more real connection, trust is raised. But, when the questions seem robotic or contrived, you know, and trust goes down. For the most part, miming is natural, and very beneficial, but it can be abused, and here is how.

I see politicians abuse this knowledge, all the time. Hillary clinton often plays up her southern draw when trying to be more relatable, her new York elitist accent disappears and is re[laced with her Arkansas accent, on the drop of a dime. same thing with barak obama. Depending on who he’s talking with, he’ll slip in and out of ebonics and a ghetto accent. He’ll drop the g’s off the end of his words, he’ll say “gonna” rather than “going to” He’ll say “boye” rather than “boy”. He’ll get lazy with his annunciation. He’ll pretend to be street when he’s talking to people who he thinks will like it better. It’s highly manipulative, and politicians use it all the time. It’s a way to get the audience to lower their defenses, and see a politician as a man of the people rather than as a power hungry control freak elitist.

The most recent example of this was when Hillary closed out the latest dem debate by appealing to the popularity of the star wars movies by ending with “and may the force be with you”. A blatant appeal to mimic the audience in order to be perceived as more relatable.

Is miming good? Is it bad? I’m going to say that it’s neither. Just like all forms of communication, it can be used for either. But, be conscious of it, know how it’s used, and know when it’s being used against you.

Until next time, free market squad, faith in each other, not in authority.

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