Your Words Influence Behavior

We often want to assist people by telling them what to avoid. Upon analysis, however, you will discover that so often when you tell a person what to avoid, the opposite results. The reason is that the brain does not envision “don’t” or any other negative-type word. The brain envisions pictures, illusions, visions, and images.

Here are some examples:

  • Don’t think of the color blue. What color did your brain envision?
  • Think of any house pet except a little white kitten with a bright red bow around its neck.
  • The park sign, “Don’t walk on the grass” is less effective than “Please use walkways.”
  • The teacher who tells the student not to look at his neighbor’s paper is having the student’s brain envision looking at the neighbor’s paper.

The brain is a marvelous instrument that is easily swayed by external factors, such as images presented to it.

The points here are two:

  • The brain conjures up pictures, not text. The words “Don’t” and “Avoid” simply do not register so much as what comes after these words.
  • When the EXPECTATION OF WHAT IS DESIRED is articulated, chances are greater that people will do what is suggested.

Simply stated, always conjure up what you do want, not what do not want.