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How to influence someone at the subconscious level

Influence at subconscious level

Have you been trying to influence someone? Influencing someone means getting that person to believing in what you want him or her to believe, and act accordingly. Do you want your boss to give you a promotion? Do you want to convert your leads into customers and clients? Do you want to convert your casual date into a full-fledged romance? Do you want your girlfriend or boyfriend to marry you? In whichever way you want to influence someone, this Forbes article suggests that it is better to do it at the subconscious level, and there are four ways of doing it.

An ability to influence people can be beneficial in every stream, especially in the times of the Internet where you really come across people you do business with face-to-face. It is the influence that enables you to do business with a particular individual.

The importance of influencing people at the subconscious level

The best way to influence people is to step into their shoes, to enter their world, and to let them know that you understand their point of view. You share their agonies and enthusiasm. And not just entering their world, but also providing workable solutions. It is a mix of empathizing with them and solving their problems. Then they begin to trust you.

The above link from the Forbes magazine talks about implementing meta programs to influence people subconsciously. This is basically an NLP (neurolinguistic programming) concept that focuses on various directions of conversational tactics to achieve a particular goal. There are four types of subconscious conversations you can have with your prospect or with your lead and they fall in the range of

  • Toward-Away
  • Options-Procedures
  • General-Specific
  • Active-Reflective

Let’s quickly go through these four types of subconscious conversations that you may use to influence someone.


Under this category, you either want something or you want to avoid something. If you lean towards “Toward” you use words like attain, get, achieve, arrive, obtain and such words. For “Away” you use expressions like avoid, prevent, consider, evaluate and such words.

The basic idea is, you understand the person, and then use these words accordingly. The person you want to influence either wants to get something, he or she wants to move toward something, or he or she wants to avoid something, or wants to get away from something. You have to use your language accordingly.


In these types of conversations you talk in terms of “choice”, “variety” and such for the former and “series of steps”, “processes” and such for the latter. An options person purchases a product or a service for the features and attributes it has. The procedures person talks about how something happened and how it led to something else, and then how he finally purchased something, not bothered much about the features and characteristics.


A person who has a general conversation talks about the overview, the larger goal, the vagaries and details. The person interested in the specific on the other hand talks about exactly what he or she is going to get or achieve.


An active person wants the results now. He or she is not interested in waiting and open to further exploration. He or she is not interested in ifs and buts. Either you can deliver, or you cannot deliver. The reflective persona wants to, as the term suggests, reflect before taking an action. He or she will think about it. He or she may also like to consider other options before taking the final decision.

Do these meta programs actually help you influence people at the subconscious level? It depends on how deeply you can understand these attributes and then use them while having conversations with people.