Introduction   This guide will teach you a full range of skills to defend yourself from verbal attacks. Even those statements that seem to be polite on the surface but leave a bad taste in your brain. Some insults are blatant and overt. Others a very, very subtle. So subtle than even the insulter doesn’t really know they are insulting you. Many people move through the world without concern for others. They bump into us, step on our toes, and make us smell their horrible breath. You may know some of these people. There may be something about them that bothers you, but you just can’t quite put your finger on it. The way they compliment you, it feels as though they are also insulting you at the same time. This guide will take you through a wide range of exercises, designed to strengthen your inner game as well as your surface level communication. Very much like physical self-defense, you may never need to use the verbal skills in this guide. Simply by understanding the structure of language, you will be able to see who is really insulting you, and who is just exposing their inner fears and weaknesses. With practice, the skills in this guide can turn you into a verbal assassin. Or if you are feeling generous, you will learn some very simple questions to ask that will send your attacker fleeing. Much like martial arts, there is a whole range of techniques. On one side of the spectrum, you can be as vicious as you want, and make your attacker terrified of even thinking of you again. Or you can use their energy against them, without needing to even lift a finger. Just simply take their covert insult and carefully fling it back at them so they feel its full force on their mental state. Or you can simply stand there and wonder what they mean, knowing full well they only have that one insult. By practicing the exercises in this guide, you will gain an enormous amount of confidence. This is very much like martial arts. Most people practice self-defense not because they envision getting into a fight. Rather, they know it is good exercise. They know it is good for their self-confidence. They know that simply by knowing how to defend themselves, they will project a completely different energy that will significantly reduce the chances of getting attacked. The techniques you learn in this guide will work the same way, only much better. Consider this simple example. Suppose you were a high-level black belt in any martial art. And you were by yourself in a bar, in the bad part of town. And some hoodlums decided to mess with you. Just like in the movies, you easily took care of them, leaving them in a heap on the floor. This would send a very clear and specific message to the rest of the patrons. Don’t mess with you! Anybody who was thinking of giving you any trouble would know be much less likely to. This is the same thing that will happen once you learn these skills. Only you will be able to demonstrate your verbal prowess much more covertly. You won’t ever… (Location 53)

As mentioned before, most communication is non-verbal. We can approach this idea from two sides, empirical and theoretical. Plenty of studies have indicated that less than ten percent of communication is verbal. We can easily imagine this with a simple mental experiment. Think of your favorite actor. One that makes you want to see a movie simply because this actor is in it. Now imagine how believable they are when they play their part. Chances are the words they say are not that complicated. Simple ideas, simple sentences. Yet when they say them, we truly believe that are who they are pretending to be. Now imagine a particularly terrible movie you’ve seen recently. Perhaps one you started watching on a streaming service but turned off because it was so terrible. Now imagine a movie that was terrible simply because of the acting. The actors were saying the lines, but they simply weren’t believable. Now try to imagine the difference between a good actor and a terrible actor. An A-lister who makes millions per film, and an unknown who can only be found in straight to DVD movies that are never rented. If the only aspect of communication were the words themselves, then anybody could be an actor. So long as you could memorize the lines, you’d get a job. But millions of young men and women dream of becoming actors, but few ever do. Consider the craft of being an actor largely due to their skill in non-verbal communication. At this point, we don’t have any idea exactly what that is, but there is something much more to human communication than just the words. A famous movie that has been made several times and under several different names is the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Aliens, or pod people, who come to Earth and replace humans with creatures that feel no emotion. These pod people speak and talk without human emotion. In the early stage of these movies, the same scene is played. Somebody knows that something is wrong with a close friend or family member. They can’t put their finger on it, but it’s not them. They look like them, talk like them, have the same memories of them, but it’s not them. There is something different. That something different is the deep emotions that we convey beyond our words. Our facial expressions. Our body language. Our voice tone. The pauses in between the words. The movements of our eyes, and where we point them when we are speaking.   Theoretical   Humans have been humans for 50,000 or 100,000 years. Before that we were proto-humans for about two million years. The changes have been slow. It’s not likely that you could find a mother and father who were proto-humans, devoid of language, who had a kid that was just like us. The changes were very slow and very gradual. Somewhere along the line, likely less than 100,000 years ago, humans started speaking to one another. Many animals communicate through sounds, but humans have a very complicated and very intricate language. This language is used to create beautiful works… (Location 108)

place in the pecking order, and whether or not we will put up a fight. Consider this idea. It won’t be a very comfortable idea, but it will be helpful if you can accept it. Any time anybody gives you any trouble, physically or verbally, consider that they only do so because on some level, conscious or unconsciously, they feel they can get away with it. Nobody starts a fight with somebody unless they think they can win. Once you accept this, the next step might even be harder to think about. But if you can, this will be the first step in never being manipulated or taken advantage of again. Next time you are around other people, start to judge others. See if you can separate the people around you in two groups. Don’t worry, this is only a mental exercise to build strength. The two groups are those whom you think you can insult, and get away with, and those whom you’d be too terrified to try. Practice this idea whenever you can. If you… (Location 164)

There is a fun card game that you may have played before. Everybody draws a card but doesn’t look at it. Instead, they hold they card up to their forehead, facing out. You can see everybody else’s card, but you cannot see your own. Then everybody tries to wager on whether they think their card is the highest. This is done by watching others faces when they look at their own card. You look at other cards, and your face will show a reflection of those card’s value. You can also see other’s faces as they see your card. With a little bit of thought, this is a useful game to calibrate the facial expressions of your friends. This is also a playful to purposely project false facial expressions. If your friend is showing a king, you might look at his card and purposely pretend, through your facial expressions, that it’s a two. This type of reading and measuring is happening all the time. This is easy to understand by imagining a time when proto-humans hadn’t yet learned to speak. Being efficient as a group was imperative. We’ll start with one animal and extrapolate. Every animal needs calories to survive. But it also needs to expend calories to acquire those calories. We can describe the efficiency that it does like a business. Businesses use a term, ROI, which means return on investment. If a company spends a million on the back end and gets back a million and a half on the front end, that is a positive ROI of 50%. On the other hand, if a business spends a million on the back end and gets back only seventy-five million on the front end that is a loss. A negative ROI of 25%. We can extrapolate this to animals and see how each individual animal must always have a positive ROI. If an animal expends 1000 calories in a given day but only acquires 800 calories, it can’t keep that up for long, or else it will starve. Many animals (like us humans) have developed the ability to keep plenty of calories in reserve. So, we can imagine that all animals must have a long-term average of a positive ROI. You can survive with a calorie deficit for a while, but once your reserves (fat stores) deplete, you’d better find some food. With large groups, this is the same. A group of a hundred proto-humans living together must work as an efficient team, otherwise there’s no point in being in a group. Since we humans are extremely social animals, we can imagine that we’ve developed a… (Location 173)

Your inner state will be a very important factor in how well you handle any slights or outright insults. When we think about being insulted, we can create two broad categories. One where you pre-frame situations to preclude insults from happening. This is when you purposely and consciously create and hold a frame of mind before entering any dangerous situation. This when any potential insulter will notice your state, likely unconsciously, and not make any overt attempts. If you are generally passive, or introverted, and not assertive, this will take a lot of conscious effort at first. It will take a lot of time and mental effort to create and hold any internal state. The good news is that by building and holding strong mental states, it becomes easier. Done with enough consistency it will soon become second nature. In this we mean second nature literally. Your natural state is your first or primary nature. The way you operate now. Another way to refer to this is your factory settings. We can look to martial arts as an example. Most people never learn how to fight. So, if they do ever happen to get into a fight, they will fight very haphazardly and not very efficiently. This is their first nature. But after many years of training, they will learn physical self-defense to the point of unconscious competence. Their second nature will be very strong and effective. Consider that building up a strong mental second nature will take some time. It won’t be nearly as easy and reading some advice and then going out and doing it. Building a strong positive inner state to the point where it is second nature will take time. When you are just beginning, you’ll need to learn how to create these strong inner states under two circumstances. The first we mentioned above. When you are going into a situation where you have a suspicion you will be treated with disrespect. The second is much more difficult. This is when you are treated with disrespect completely unexpectedly. With a strong enough second nature, these will become less and less of an issue. With a stronger and stronger mental state as your natural setpoint, unexpected attacks will come less and less. But until you get there, we will need a strategy for dealing unexpected verbal attacks.   Building Inner States   Your greatest resource will be your existing memories. Any memories where you felt calm and capable of… (Location 225)

terms of training “enough” until the results are “permanent.” Think of this exercise very much like physical exercise. It will take time to create, and you will need to do daily work to maintain your ability to fire up a strong feeling of confidence in any situation. For… (Location 285)

If you were independently wealthy, you might take a few months or even a year or so off while you built in the inner states from the last chapter. But since you are likely a normal human and must deal with other normal humans only a daily basis, you will need some other skills to deal with unexpected slights and outright insults. Recall the reason why insults and slights come in the first place. Their sole purpose is to establish that you are lower than them on the social status totem pole. Any time somebody insults you, the actual words are not that important. What is important is you are caught off guard and are visibly weakened by the attack. When you are pushed off balance and need a few moments to recover. Once you build up a strong enough mental state, this will happen less and less. But if you are like most people, and don’t walk around with a collection of strong memories of assertiveness in the forefront of your brain, we will need another strategy. A good response in any case is to not respond. Of course, sometimes you’ll choose to not just not get knocked off balance but knock them over in response. But we need to first worry about not getting knocked off balance before we come up with strategies of retaliation. A trick we’ll learn here is a self-imposed brain-fade. The idea is to get insulted, and then look at them as if you don’t understand what they just said. As if you honestly don’t know if they were insulting you, praising your or asking for directions. This will require a bit of practice, but it will easier than building up strong inner states based on real memories. What you will be practicing is shifting your focus. The way insults hurt is as follows. They come unexpected, so they knock us off balance. Our natural inclination is to fight fire with fire, so we tend to stop, and think about how to respond. But since most of us can’t come up with a comeback relatively quickly, after a few seconds the damage is done. Comebacks only work if they come quick. The main purpose of an insult is to knock us off balance long enough, so everybody can see that we can’t come up with a response. This is why sneak attack insults are so deadly. They are essentially the verbal equivalent of a sucker punch. Two boxers in a ring fully expect to be punching each other, so they have their defenses up. But only a trained martial artist can effectively… (Location 289)

Pre-Framing   You can combine the idea from the last chapter as a pre-framing exercise. If a particular person tends to bully you at work or at school, imagine them saying something, and then respond by brain fading and asking what they mean. Pre-framing is a very useful strategy and can be used in a variety of ways. Generally, it means preparing for all possible outcomes, and preparing and practicing for any of them. We’ll cover many detailed strategies in later chapters. In this chapter we’ll go over some general guidelines.   Plan for The Worst   This is old advice for a reason. Fate has a strange way of knowing exactly what we haven’t planned for and delivering that to us. If you are going into a certain situation and going to be talking to certain people, you might be able to imagine some of the things they might say. But even if you can’t, you can still practice asking what they mean. Always remember that most communication is subconscious. This means if you fear any outcome, even if you don’t know about it consciously, you will be projecting that fear. Anybody who is around you will pick up on that fear, at least subconsciously. If you expect people to be nice, or to not be mean, that’s when mean people suddenly show up. The best way to pre-frame any situation is to fully address all your fears. This can be very uncomfortable. We humans have many social fears and addressing them is not something we enjoy doing. You don’t have to dig deep and uncover all your inner demons, but it will help to think of some things that do have a chance of happening, that you might not be able to handle.   Worst Reasonable Fears   Imagine being insulted for your clothing, your hairstyle, your shoes, your speech patterns, anything. Close your eyes and imagine strangers tossing the worst possible insults at you. Then practice fading your brain, looking at them, and asking, “What do you mean?” This isn’t really designed to practice anything that might happen, this is to preclude it from happening altogether. Imagine that people have a kind of sixth sense about the insults you won’t be able to respond to. A way of picking up on your subconscious energy. When you actually imagine these insults coming, and practice asking what they mean, this will strengthen your frame, and this will keep you from radiating that frame weakness. This is the great paradox of our social… (Location 343)

One of the most powerful language patterns is also the simplest, and it’s also the one that is misused the most. It’s very simple to learn, which virtually guarantees it will be misused. First, we’ll cover the basics, and then we’ll go over several powerful ways to use this. Learning how to use it correctly will take the most practice.   Vague Language   We humans speak in very vague language. Most of the nouns and verb phrases we use are very much not defined. Especially when we are hanging out talking to friends. We use language to convey ideas in our mind. The ideas we have in mind are ill formed to begin with. For example, let’s imagine you get home from work after picking up some take out. When you were waiting your turn at the drive through, you probably glanced over the menu and made your choice. While you did, you likely had tons of other stuff on your mind. Then you get home, change clothes and fire up your favorite TV show. You watch TV while eating your take out. The whole process is done largely on auto pilot. Something you’ve done many times before. You had a specific experience. If we imagine some invisible aliens studying you, they would see and record everything. But the whole time, while you were watching and eating, your brain was drifting all over the place. Your boss, your bills, that hot neighbor that just moved in. The idiot upstairs who stomps around like an elephant. Let’s imagine the process of watching and eating took about an hour. So, there you are the next day, describing to your friend what you did the night before. What would you say?   What’d you do last night?   Nothing. Watched TV and ate something from Burrito Barn.   Yeah? Anything good?   Was all right. Show about these cops and this drug dealer guy.   Yeah? What’d you eat? Couple burritos, some chips.   Cool.   Now, the whole process took an hour. The episode of whatever TV show you watched took a long time to create. A long time to write. All the background objects had to be placed perfectly. The director probably took all day to get one shot perfectly, with the guy in the trench coat walking across the street in the background. This is what director’s do. They spend weeks on a single episode of a TV show. Yet we watch them and describe the process with a quick sentence that is essentially meaningless. Most of the time, this is fine. Most of the time we don’t expect a… (Location 399)

emotionally (like they are hoping) keep yourself in your conscious mind and attack the words they just said with some internal meta model questions. One quick way to defuse any insult or comment you don’t want to leave hanging there is to simply put yourself in a rain-fade mindset, repeat what they said, and then ask:   What do you mean, specifically?   If you’re clowning around with your friends, you can pretend to be one of those AI robot archetypes who doesn’t understand human emotions. With a little practice, you’ll find this simple phrase, so long as it is backed by emotional neutrality can be very effective in quickly defusing any negative comments or insults made by others. Very much like a physical martial art move where the bad guy comes running at you screaming, and you barely move and send him flying past you. You can practice this while watching TV as well. Turn off the sound, and flip around until you find two people in a heated argument. Then before you turn up the sound, choose which person you will be, and then turn up the sound. As soon as the other person says anything confrontational, hit the mute button and practice shifting into brain-fade mode and then… (Location 461)

There is a famous problem in psychology called the Wason Selection Task. We won’t go over the problem here, but we’ll explain the punch line. It’s given in two parts, usually to psychology students. The first part is in a very dry, purely logical situation. Cards and colors and numbers. The students are given a clear set of rules, and the setup of the cards. They are then asked what they are supposed to do with the cards based on the rules. Less than one out of four can figure out what to do. But then the exact problem is given again, but in a social setting. Instead of looking at cards, you are a bouncer looking at people drinking. And the rules are the drinking rules. Over twenty-one for alcohol. In this scenario, nearly everybody gets the answer correctly. But in reality, the problem is exactly the same. When presented in pure logic, few people get it. When it’s presented socially, everybody gets it. So, this is a clue that our brains are only logical within certain situations. We pretty much suck at pure logic in the abstract. There are all kinds of other psychological problems that indicate our human intentions have a much stronger bearing on our thinking than pure logic. There are plenty of examples from game theory where people choose not based on logic, but whether they can get one over on their opponent. For example, some problems indicate that we’d rather win and get less money than lose and get more money. For our purposes, it’s enough to understand that very few of our decisions are based on logic. Nearly all our decisions are based on our own subjective biases and preferences. This makes perfect sense. Essentially, we are biological organisms. We are programmed with tons of instincts that help us survive. To the extent our thinking helps us get our needs met, it is useful. So, we can imagine that if we have illogical thinking that helps us get our needs met, this will be more compelling to use than logical thinking that doesn’t get our needs met. And since this is a guide on linguistic defense tactics, we can assume that the primary objective of anybody when they come at you with any negative language is not to assert the superiority of their logical thinking. It is to demonstrate that they are higher than you on the social status hierarchy.   Common Illogical Patterns   This is why it is almost certain that any “argument” will use plenty of… (Location 475)

Huh. What is it about me being lame that makes you think my pants are lame?   You can do this forever, or until they give up. Always remember that the main purpose of any insult or slight is to knock you off balance so they can assert their social dominance. So long as you maintain your cool, keep flinging these simple questions back at them, they will get more and more confused. Just like our imaginary attacker who kept coming at you only to find himself in a limp puddle on the floor. And like the rest of these techniques, these are fantastic to… (Location 534)

Cause Effect   With what we’ve covered so far, with a little practice you will never fear getting insulted again. Even if some stranger approaches you on the street and flings a horrific insult your way, with practice, you’ll be able to simply ask what it is about you that makes him think that about you. We should warn you, that while this can be a lot of fun, it can be dangerous. If some stranger comes up with an insult and you deflect it, it can make them angry enough to cross the threshold into physical violence. It’s a critical idea to know your enemies. If that guy in the elevator who insulted your pants is your boss, it might not be such a good idea to make him look like an idiot. Whenever using defensive tactics of any kind, it’s best to use your best judgment and knowledge of the situation. That being said, sometimes you want to go a little further than just tossing your victims to the side. Sometimes you want to block their attack and then give them the verbal equivalent of a death punch to the throat. In order to do that, we’ll need to understand a bit more about the structure of human thought. When being purely defensive, it’s enough to ask the attacker to explain why they believe their attack is linguistically valid. But when you want to go on the offensive, it’s essential to understand the structure of human thought. Similarly, in martial arts, you need an understanding of your opponents’ soft spots. You’ll get a much better result by punching an attacker in the throat than you would by punching them in the forehead.   Cause Effect   Scientists believe that we have a cause-effect generator in our brains as a matter of survival. Much of our thinking is not based on mathematical accuracy. For example, let’s imagine we are an ancient caveman walking through the jungle. We smell something a bit strange, and then we hear a tiger growl. Luckily, we run away. But we’ve also created a cause-effect linkage in our brains. That smell to the presence of a tiger. That smell might be scientifically linked to the tiger, it might not. But from the standpoint of natural selection, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is by comparing two people. One that has the cause-effect link, and one that doesn’t. The only thing that matters is whether that cause-effect link will help the person who has it in their brain have more kids. Suppose that that… (Location 540)

What do you mean?   I’ve got other things to do.   (The implied cause-effect is they shouldn’t be at this meeting because they have more important things to do)   So why does having other things to do make this meeting a waste of time?   Instead of trying to understand and address their intentions, you just stay on the surface and address the things they’ve said. You’ve essentially flipped it back and put the onus on them to explain why what they have to do is more important than the subject of the meeting. When it is first stated, this meeting being a waste of time sounds like it’s related to having other things to do. But in reality, the two really have no logical connection. The meeting could be critically important, or it could be absolutely meaningless. However, without giving any attention to the assumed casual links we all carry around in our heads (most of which are really illogical and not causally linked), we tend to take them at face value. Most of the time, you’ll find that simply asking why something is casually linked to something else will be enough to vaporize any negative energy.     Post Journaling Practice   Training yourself to respond from a curiosity standpoint is fairly simple. You only need a couple of the questions we’ve gone over. It may, however, take longer to train yourself to ask what they mean, and see the cause effect connections in their response. While we operate from a cause-effect standpoint, we rarely speak in clear cause-effect terms. In the last chapter, for example, we looked at a complaint that the meeting was a waste of time. After asking why we imagined the responder said they’d had other things to do. It’s not altogether obvious that they think that one is the cause and one if the effect. You will not likely ever hear of a response like this:   This meeting is a waste of time.   Why do you think that?   I think that this meeting is a waste of time because I’ve got more important things to do. And when I think about doing those other things, compared to the value I’m likely to get out of this meeting, I can only conclude that the best choice of my time is doing those other things rather than sitting in this meeting. That is why I think this meeting is a waste of time.   You are more likely to hear responses like this:   This meeting is a waste of time.   Why do you think that?   Our boss is an idiot.   or  … (Location 599)

you take the time to post-game-journal as many insults as possible. Ones you hear, either directed at you or directed at others, ones on TV, and most importantly, the ones you fear the most. The point of this guide is not to give you a list of ready-made comebacks. That would be as useless as trying to prepare for a boxing match against an unknown opponent by reading a book on boxing strategies. The best defensive linguistic moves will come from your own brain. And you must put them there yourself by taking the time to write out as many cause-effect linkages you can. Building up your own robust set of comebacks, as well as the calm demeanor to deliver them with deadly effect will take time. What follows is an example of how one might respond or journal to the above statements.   Your pants are lame because look at them.   What do you mean? Are my pants lame because you can see them?   What do you mean? Are my pants lame because you are looking at them?   What do you mean? Are my pants lame because they are visible?   What do you mean? Are my pants lame because they are not invisible?   Practice with Friends   As with many of these techniques, what can be used as a quick and deadly defense against genuine insults can be used playfully and positively with friends. With friends, you’ll most likely be more relaxed, so you can playfully expand the implied cause-effect, take them to extreme and hysterical levels. That same insult (your pants are lame) can be devastating when coming from the office bully in front of some strangers in an elevator. But that exact same insult, when coming from a friend, can be a seed for a long, friendly, and enjoyable competition. All these linguistic patterns can and should be practiced as much as possible with friends. Even if you receive an insult from an enemy, a great way to practice would be to later imagine that the same insult came from a friend. This will put in you in a more resourceful state of mind. In that state of mind, you might extend the cause-effect assumptions as follows:   Your pants are lame!   Because, dude, look at them!   What do you mean? Are my pants lame because you can see them? If I poked your eyes out would they stop being lame?   What do you mean? Are my pants lame because you are looking at them? Were they not lame until you showed up and could see them? Why would you make my pants turn lame like… (Location 658)

Fighting Fire with Fire   Last chapter we tiptoed into taking any assumed cause-effect statement and playfully flipping it around. Essentially, we took one side of their cause-effect statement (your pants are lame because look at them) and took it at face value. Look at them means they can see them. So, we played around with goofy ideas that connect a subjective label of your pants (lame) and a descriptive physical fact, namely that they are looking at them. We saw how taking a simple assumption to a silly extension is easy, even though it will take practice to be able to deliver these in real time. But sometimes they will deliver some cause-effect statements without our needing to ask. And if this happens, you can train yourself to deliver and equal and opposite cause-effect statement that essentially obliterates theirs. This is dangerous, because it’s shifting directly into confrontation. When you ask for more information, and then playfully reframe their cause-effect statement, this is a party skill just as much as it is a defensive technique. But sometimes you’re in no mood for playful reframes. Sometimes you want to send the insulter a message, as well as anybody else who is listening. Sometimes and insult is a playful ribbing. But sometimes it really is a pecking order contest. The person giving the insult is purposely trying to knock you down on the social status ladder. If they are doing so because they are unsure of their own status, a playful reframe may make them even more worried, and more vicious over time. Sometimes you need to fight fire with fire. We can use a prison movie metaphor to illustrate this. If you are the new guy, trying to be everybody’s friend is the last thing you want. Since your personal safety is at stake, and if keeping to yourself is not an option, you must establish yourself as high up on the social status ladder as you can. If you feel this way when getting hit with any unexpected insults, fast and vicious is often a much better option than playful and interactive. In that case, the same insult can be met, using the same logic, but with completely different energy.   Dude, those pants are lame!   Because you’re standing there wishing I was naked.   If you said this with neutral energy, but zero playfulness, the insulter would get the message. Especially if the response came quickly and with deadpan seriousness. Other… (Location 697)

Turn these into a simple question to your attacker.   Do you want to see me naked?   Do you want to see me out of these pants?   Step Five   Practice delivering these questions with deadpan delivery.   Step Six   Imagine they respond to your deadpan delivery with the worst possible reply imaginable. Then go through the same process.   Practice with Friends   As always, practice these techniques playfully with friends. This will allow you to practice in real time to several layers deep. They’ll insult you, you will reframe them, they’ll reframe that reframe, and so on. Recognize that one of the ways we humans (and other primates) practice these fighting techniques with friends is the same reason we are recommending it here. The more you… (Location 757)

Cause Effect Killers   As luck would have it, there is a systematic way to carefully go through and reframe any cause effect statement. Language is not quite like math in that we can start with an equation and solve for X. But so long as the cause-effect statements are simple enough, we can systematically go through and take them apart. Understand these are starting points to help you build a huge collection of potential responses in your brain, and more importantly the congruence and emotional fortitude to deliver them. These are very much like specific blocks against specific punches. Learning and practicing them a couple of times won’t do much good. The real results will come from daily practice on the actual cause-effect based statements and insults in the real world. Also, understand these reframes are best used as intermediary tools to help come up with a final statement that you feel comfortable using. Your friends and enemies will only hear that final statement. Think of these reframes of intermediary starting points to help you get to that final statement. That being said, what follows are some of the most powerful linguistic reframes. We will apply them to the statement about a meeting being stupid because they have something better to do.   This meeting is stupid because I have something better to do.   Understand all the examples are only starting points. These are to help you start the process of brainstorming different ways to reply to insults. These are not designed to be fully prepared comeback statements any more than reading about a defensive physical move will give you anything other than a starting point from which to practice. Also understand that not all of these reframes will work in all situations. You will likely have your own go-to favorites, and those will be the ones you can build your linguistic defensive skills on.   Pattern One – Meta Frame   This is when you look at a very big picture and see the argument from a different perspective.   This meeting is stupid because I have something better to do.   In the big scheme of things, the company’s bottom line is the most important thing.   Pattern Two – Change Frame Size   This is you look at a different perspective, but not as big as before.   This meeting is stupid because I have something better to do.   Yeah, but we all got to be here till five no matter what.   Pattern… (Location 769)

What exactly do you think is stupid about this meeting?   Why exactly do you think what you have planned is so important?   Thirteen – Metaphor   Take any reframe and put it into a metaphor or anecdote.   This meeting is stupid because I have something better to do.   I’ll bet unemployed people wish they had unimportant meetings to attend.   Fourteen – Another Outcome   Take the cause-effect statement and make it irrelevant by placing it within a larger context.   This meeting is stupid because I have something better to do.   Probably, but either way we need to discuss some things.   Fifteen – Consequences   Explain what will happen if their belief is taken to its logical conclusion.   This meeting is stupid because I have something better to do.   Keep skipping meetings and you’ll never get that promotion.   Sixteen – Hierarchy of Criteria   Use an example of something more important that makes the statement irrelevant.   This meeting is stupid because I have something better to do.   That’s how a job works. They pay you to do things you wouldn’t do otherwise.   Seventeen – Take It to The Threshold   Take it to an extreme extension. To silly levels.   This meeting is stupid because I have something better to do.   Maybe you should never go to another meeting again. Ever. For any reason. Even something like a court date or your daughter’s wedding. Since you’ve got so much important stuff to do.   Eighteen – Reverse Presuppositions   Flip the belief around and see if it sounds better.   This meeting is stupid because I have something better to do.   How can what you have to do be much less important than this meeting?   How can this meeting turn out to be way more important than that other stuff?   Build to Level of Unconscious Competence   Most are tempted to take a few of their most feared instincts, and glance at lists like these and come up with a couple of ready responses. That can work. But the real power of these comes in training your mind to think in these terms to the point of unconscious competence. Where you can hear any statement that sounds like a cause-effect statement and think of several ways to destroy it with any of these patterns and the ideas they will lead to. Getting to this level will take time. In fact, we strongly suggest… (Location 836)

How to Practice   We’ll repeat the same idea several times, so it will eventually sink in. The magic from these patterns doesn’t come from their linguistic structures. The magic will come from how you take these linguistic structures and use them as a starting point to create your own custom-built responses to the types of ideas and statements you hear. Think of these as linguistic versions of most basic martial arts movements. Direct hits, roundhouse kicks, jabs, forearm blocks, feints, etc. It’s up to you as the martial artist to practice those using your own mind body system until they are programmed deeply into your muscle memory at the level of unconscious competence. How you respond to attacks after that will be based on the context; the size and movement and skill level of your attacker, your own state of mind (angry, happy, busy, eagerly looking for action, etc.), and plenty of other variables. When thinking in terms of physical defense, it goes without saying that it will take plenty of time. We urge you to consider taking just as much time (which for serious enthusiasts of martial arts is a daily and permanent habit) as the physical arts. The way you use these is basic is structure, but in real life and real time will have endless permutations.   Basic Structure   Let’s say you hear an insult, that is not in cause-effect form. This is the common case. People will look at you and say, “Wow, those pants are lame,” which is really a label of an object. But we can treat it directly. The patterns from the last chapter were all assumed to be A causes B. But we can use those lame patterns to treat A is B. Since the above statement, (your pants are lame) is in that structure, you can either use it as is, your pants = lame, or you can outframe and assume another part that isn’t there. Because I can see your pants, I have determined that they are lame.   Schoolyard Tactics   You can apply any of the patterns directly. My pants aren’t lame, you are lame. This is what school kids and politicians do. It’s easy, but it’s also very easy to attack. Suppose this was somebody that you didn’t want to have a back and forth with. And let’s suppose this was somebody that you dealt with regularly, and didn’t see as a potential enemy, so you weren’t worried about them secretly planning to ruin your career. So, you decided to fling back a comeback that would keep them… (Location 875)

it as many ways as you can. Reframe it into a vicious comeback. Reframe it into a playfully sexy comeback. Reframe it into a mind freezing deadpan comeback. Come with a bunch of different reframes, and practice saying them. If you do this around friends and office workers, you’ll find that people tend to have a few “go-to” insults and put downs. They might not be linguistically identical, but you’ll find their structure is very common. Once you identify their particular structure, coming up with reframes will get easier and easier. And eventually you’ll be in a position to let loose a zinger. Whether you choose to or not is… (Location 934)

Deeper Than You Imagine   You may have purchased this guide to deal with one or two problematic people. Or perhaps you might have thought this would be a guide of patterns you could memorize and use as snappy comebacks, either at parties or against actual insults. Hopefully, by now, you are starting to think that maybe you’ve stumbled onto something that is much more powerful. If you are, you are absolutely correct. It turns out most, if not all, of our thoughts can be easily categorized into the two areas, A is B or A causes be. And with a little creativity, we can even use those same eighteen reframes on subject-predicate statements. For example, consider this simple sentence:   John likes Mary.   There’s no causal link, and it’s certainly not saying that John is Mary. But that same sentence can also be put through all those patterns.   Pattern One – Meta Frame   Everybody likes somebody.   Pattern Two – Change Frame Size   What specifically does he like about her?   Pattern Three – Apply to Self; A to A   John likes a lot of people.   Pattern Four – Apply to Self; B to B   Mary doesn’t like you telling me this.   Pattern Five – Reality Strategy   How do you know?   Pattern Six – Model of The World   Unrequited love is the oldest story in the book.   Pattern Seven – Intent   You’re only telling me that because you like idle gossip.   Pattern Eight – Redefine – A not equal to B   He doesn’t like Mary. He likes what he’s heard about Mary.   Pattern Nine – Redefine – B not equal to A   John doesn’t like Mary. I think you like Mary.   Pattern Ten – Counter Example   He didn’t seem to like her the other night when he was with Lisa.   Pattern Eleven – Chunk Up   For how long?   Pattern Twelve – Chunk Down   Is that who he likes this week?   Thirteen – Metaphor   Everybody likes somebody.   Fourteen – Another Outcome   Yeah, but he should focus on his homework or he’ll get kicked out of school and then nobody will like him.   Fifteen – Consequences   Yeah, I’ll bet Mary’s boyfriend won’t be happy to hear that.   Sixteen – Hierarchy of Criteria   Yeah, maybe now, but isn’t she shipping out overseas tomorrow?   Seventeen – Take It to The Threshold   So, they going to get married? Like tomorrow?   Eighteen – Reverse Presuppositions   How can the more he chases her the less he’ll like her?   Obviously, some of these fit better than others. But as you can see,… (Location 940)

Yes, that is a very long response. But it will do a lot more for your friend than any one of the most common statements we tend to use with good intentions but weak results. You’ll also notice that in that above on-the-spot monologue, you’ll find plenty of chains of these reframes. This is another skill that you’ll develop once you start writing these out every day. All it takes is one reframe of any kind to get started. Since you will have trained those eighteen reframe structures into your brain, you can easily go on and on from one reframe. This means with enough practice, you’ll only need to hear one comment, of any form (insult, complaint, idle wish, statement, etc.), and reply with an unstoppable flow of reframes. If you’re helping a buddy, it will cheer them up and motivate them. But if it’s a real enemy, and you really feel it? It will be a non-stop violent verbal attack that will send them running for cover.   Deep Thought Training   The language we use is a representation of our thoughts. You will find that any simple statement can be obliterated with these patterns, either over time on your own, or in the moment after enough training. This means that any vocalized thought you hear can be destroyed. This goes much further than what Socrates discovered. Socrates essentially teased out other people’s ideas and assumptions. Then through the careful art of asking the right questions in the right order, he essentially showed this would lead to a contradiction. He would ask simple questions about a logical idea. He would ask more questions surrounding that logical idea until he had enough information, all coming out of the other person’s brain, to contradict the original idea. Let’s never forget how dangerous this is, since this led directly to Socrates being forced to drink hemlock. The reason was he was corrupting the youth. But his whole game was based on his stated belief that he didn’t know anything, nor did anybody else. So, he wasn’t corrupting the youth with any specific ideas, since he believed there weren’t any ideas. He was corrupting the youth with strategies that would destroy the ideas of others. People that have any kind of power don’t really like that idea. If it is true, that nothing is really objectively true, then the only reason for anybody to have any power is because they have the wherewithal to enforce their power by violence if… (Location 1008)

Swiss Army Brain   Some people study martial arts because it’s a great way to get in shape. Some people study martial arts because of the increases in self-confidence. Some people enjoy competing in tournaments. Some people are stone cold psychopaths and want to become serial killers but don’t want to use tools or leave evidence. Some people study martial arts because the dojo is always filled with cute girls. And some study martial arts because they want to stop getting picked on. For the art of the verbal defense, there are many areas of application that you may not have considered.   Helping Friends   You can defend your friends against getting insulted just like you can defend yourself. Even somebody who’s not yet your friend. You may be hanging out in a social setting, see somebody receive an unanticipated verbal smack down, and feel like flexing your brain. This can be the equivalent of, “Hey, big man. Why not pick on somebody your own size?” How you deliver this is up to you. But so long as you have the mental skills built in, you can entertain the whole crowd with a stream insults, either playful, or vicious. You can even apologize for getting in the middle of something by making it clear to everybody that the original insultee was fine on their own and help them save face.   Sorry, I didn’t mean to butt in like that, but something about that guy got to me.   Deeper Friend Helping   It’s straightforward to see a stranger getting insulted, and then destroy the insulter. But it’s also possible to be much more covert. Somebody might be getting a put down, but instead of destroying the attacker, you can take whatever they are saying about the receiver and flip it around to make it a positive statement about the receiver. This may sound a little strange, but once you build in the ability to take any statement and flip it around to mean whatever you like, you can put that ultimate meaning on whomever you like. This will take plenty of practice, but it is truly wizard level, in the moment, meaning reframes. Once you really get it, that Socrates was indeed correct, that unless we are talking about physics, all our thoughts really are opinions, you’ll start to see them for how malleable they really are. The things we say represent thoughts we really haven’t, uh, thought about very much. So not only will people be unable to defend their thoughts (if you… (Location 1034)

points, wait until your victims are taking a sip from their drinks when you deliver the goods. Not only will they laugh, but they’ll spit their drinks all over the place. With a little… (Location 1091)

Negative Belief Destruction   As luck would have it (or perhaps the entity who designed the structure of our brains and our thoughts) these same patterns are not only helpful in being a party hero, destroying insults, and helping strangers and friends alike, they can demolish your own beliefs. Beliefs are of the same grammatical structure as insults and other ideas we’ve been obliterating. But we don’t want to destroy just any random belief, that would be dangerous. That would be like walking around your house and haphazardly swinging a sledgehammer at your walls. If you accidentally hit a load bearing beam you’d be in big trouble! We can think of beliefs metaphorically the same way. We have some central, main supporting beliefs that make up who we are. We have whole bunch of supporting beliefs that support our core beliefs. Knocking these out would be foolish. But we also have a ton of limiting beliefs. Beliefs that keep us from going after what we want. Unfortunately, these beliefs actually believe (yes, we’ve anthropomorphized our beliefs, so they can have beliefs of their own) they are protecting us. This is based on how we evolved. Essentially, way back in the day of early human evolution, our brains were getting really big, really quickly. So, to maintain our big brains, which are essential to our survival, we were born much less finished. Compared to other social mammas, even other primates, we spend way more time in adolescence than everybody else. Our brains are still growing for a long time before we are fully functioning adults. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of this is our brains wire in some things that are true, and are helpful when we are young, but they stay there and keep us from reaching our full potential as we get older. Unfortunately, there’s no quick way to get rid of all these limiting beliefs. Each one of us has a very different experience growing up, so each one of us has a completely unique set of limiting beliefs. There is no “one size fits all” belief killing technique. There is, however, a very flexible strategy that you can use to go through and obliterate these beliefs one at a time. And eventually, you’ll hit a big one and with that big one a whole bunch of little ones will collapse. How do you find these beliefs? You must go looking for them. How do you look for them? You must find evidence of their existence. One… (Location 1093)

more of your limiting beliefs you eliminate, the more you’ll really believe the things you need to in order to get… (Location 1155)

Worst Case Scenario Planning   The exercises from the previous chapter will take a long time. Ideally, you should build up a permanent seek and destroy strategy. Negative beliefs are kind of like whack-a-mole, or that snake headed monster from Greek mythology. Every time you kill one, there’s a bunch more. Eventually you will feel that you are making progress. But for most normal humans, when it comes to learning how to slowly go through and get rid of negative beliefs, a suitable metaphor would be somebody who never exercises, and is overweight by a few hundred pounds. For them, physical exercise would have to be a very gradual and consistent process. It may take them a few months before they started to feel the positive results. But they longer they kept at it, the more they would feel the results. In a year or two, they would start to actually feel athletic. This is about how long it will take with getting rid of negative beliefs. Unfortunately, one belief that has been purposely created by the self-help industry is that our lives can change quickly. On a big scale, our lives can only change as quickly as our beliefs will change. If you’ve struggled with money your entire life, you won’t do a few exercises in a weekend seminar and suddenly go out and start making stacks of cash. Making money consistently requires a lot of positive beliefs. Beliefs about your skills, beliefs about your value and worth, and these are unfortunately our beliefs that get monkey hammered when we are young. Overcoming years of negative (even if it was accidental and put there with a good intention) programming takes a while. There is, however, a way to rip out some negative ideas in a very specific way. Negative beliefs, when removed, will slowly improve your overall outlook on life in general. But we can target specific events, and specific people within those events for some laser targeted improvements. You can also use these techniques to slowly build up a much more powerful and dynamic social frame.   Prepare for The Worst   This is essentially a very solid and very old strategy. Of hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Hoping for the best is easy. We all do this all the time. Hoping for a positive is natural, so we don’t need any strategies. Preparing for the worst is something we can learn to do very effectively. And as it turns out, these same patterns will… (Location 1158)

you, it’s very easy to imagine they mean the worst-case insult. To get rid of this, simply run their worst-case insult through the ringer. So, when they do give you a normal, everyday insult, instead of immediately thinking of your worst-case insult, you will have built a solid inner response to the worst-case insult. So instead of looking at them with shock and horror and emotional anguish, (like they hope)… (Location 1217)

Human Soft Spots   If you only wanted to practice physical defense, you’d need to practice a lot. You’d have to imagine all the possible ways somebody could come at you. You’d have to practice all the possible ways to defend against all those possible ways. You’d have to train all these possible ways into your muscle memory. This, of course, would take a while. On the other hand, if all you wanted to do were to harm another human, it would be easy. Sneak up behind them with a hammer and bash them in the head. Hopefully, you will never do that, nor will you or anybody you know ever be bashed in the head. And even in the realm of self-defense, there is elegant, and there is not elegant. Elegant self-defense is staying on your toes and carefully using their energy against them. Slightly less than elegant is ramming your car keys into their eyes and kicking them in the nuts. (And then maybe once in the face for good measure once they hit the pavement). Similarly, there is elegant verbal defense. There is slightly less than elegant self-defense. And then there is the verbal equivalent of bashing in somebody’s head with a hammer.   Human Soft Spots   When learning self-defense, you learn about all the soft spots. The easy places to quickly discombobulate your enemy so you can run away. Eyeballs, throat, groin, side of the knee, etc. Luckily, we all have a common collection of emotional soft spots. Please be very careful with these. Most of us don’t like the idea of going to prison. But most of us also have a strong internal restriction to harming another human unless we absolutely must. (Even then a lot of us might not be able to.) Nobody would ever bash somebody’s head in with a hammer simply because they knew they could get away with it. It’s highly likely that this internal moral restriction is a very strong, evolutionarily powerful instinct. We can imagine a tribe of people who didn’t mind bashing each other’s heads in with rocks while they slept. Clearly a tribe with this behavior would last very long. But verbal attacks on these soft spots don’t have the same level of internal resistance. These are the things we can say in the heat of the moment, when we think we are fighting fire with fire, but these are the things that it’s very hard to take back. Learning these will not come without costs. Once you have them in your brain, the temptation to use them… (Location 1222)

and everybody is pointing at her. If you add on to this the disapproval of any authority figure, it’s a billion times worse. We can imagine our archetypical school girl running to the principal, her parents, even the pastor at her church. Imagine if all of them said:   Well, that’s what you get for being such a slut!   If this ever happened in real life, chances are, suicide would not be far behind. We point this out to illustrate the real and deep emotional pain that can be caused by both social disapproval and authority disapproval. One thing that makes this much worse is the third element. This is something that involves everybody knowing and planning how to deliver the social and authority disapproval. To make the nightmare even worse, imagine if our poor archetype had shown up to school only to find there was an assembly in the auditorium. Everybody knew about it except her. When she shows up, they deliver the boom. The show the video up on the screen, all the kids are laughing, and the principal says:   We’ve spoken to your parents and your pastor, and we’ve all decided it’s best you leave town!   This would slam all the most feared social instincts at once. Social approval, authority disapproval, and a kind of pre-determined conspiracy. They decided to ostracize her before they told her they were ostracizing her.   Now ask yourself this very difficult question. Which would you rather have happen to you? The most horrific scenario like the one described above, where all your peers, all the authority figures you recognize, conspire against you in the most public way possible? Or getting mistaken for a mugger and getting rammed in the eye with keys and then kicked in the nuts?   Over the next few… (Location 1265)

Deadly Language – Theory   Language can be very simple and up front. But it can also be very deadly and covert. In this chapter we’ll cover the basic theory of how and why this works. In the next chapter we’ll cover some very specific techniques. Then later we’ll match those techniques with some soft spot attacks.   Dale Carnegie   Carnegie started a public speaking program in the early twentieth century. His famous book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” came from his experiences in teaching self-development. In that book are ten basic principles for creating positive relationships. It stands to reason that if those ten principles will create positive relationships, we can use their opposite to create negative relationships, or at least deliver emotionally painful ideas. One of his principles is that you can convince anybody to do anything, so long as they believe it was their idea. This is a very broad principle, and it can be applied in many ways. This is essentially the idea behind some of the best sales pages of all time. These are usually told in story format. For example, we can imagine a sales page written to sell a certain kind of dog food. A blatant, non-covert method would be to simply list the price, the ingredients and the taste. A much more covert method would be to tell a long story about a guy and his dog. Maybe he and his dog went on a kind of adventure, and they tie in the type of adventure somehow to that brand of dog food. By the end of the sales letter, the reader feels as if they’ve made the decision on their own to buy that dog food. This is essentially the holy grail of all advertising and marketing. To create an ad campaign that lets the purchaser believe it was their decision to buy the product. We humans are much more likely to stick with our opinions. On other hand, if we feel we are buying a product because of a promise made by the advertiser, we will be very skeptical. But if we believe it is our decision, especially if that “realization” comes before we buy the product, we’ll have essentially convinced ourselves that we’ll like it no matter what. We humans, after all, tend to agree with our own opinion. This is one way to deliver these deadly attacks. If you just walk up to your enemy and say, “Hey, buddy, everybody hates you, they are all going to leave you behind,” they’ll look at you like you are crazy. But if… (Location 1285)

some Dale Carnegie “your idea” techniques. These will take some practice. But when using these defensively (and not in a sales or persuasion situation which is much more positive and mutually beneficial) you only need to memorize a few. Like remembering to ram your keys into their eyes. It is worth noting that these same patterns can be used to covertly make people feel fantastic around you. For example, we can use the same “jerk” pattern and flip it around to be used as quick ego boost to anybody you’d like.   Why are you being so positive adjective today? Did you get something special in your Cheerios or something?   Of course, you can substitute Cheerios for whatever you like.   Dude, why are all the girls checking you out? Are you wearing a different cologne?   Why are you being so productive today? Did you get an extra-large coffee this morning or something?   Why does this taste so good? Did you buy some secret seasoning or something?   Why are you being so funny today? Did something really… (Location 1331)

Deadly Language – Practice   We’ll cover the presuppositions first. These are patterns that are designed to hide ideas inside of a larger sentence. If you string a few of these together, they’ll be hard to unpack. The “why are you being suck a jerk today,” sentence is easy to take apart, because the hidden idea “you are a jerk” is not really hidden that well. When we combine multiple presuppositions, your target won’t know what hit them. We’ll give basic examples commonly used in advertising.   Pseudo Cleft Sentences   What is X about Y is….   This is when you create a label (X is Y) and put it inside another label. And Y can be an idea on its own, or a cause – effect statement.   What is fantastic about this toothpaste is it makes your teeth much whiter.   Questions   This is the form of the hidden jerk sentence. When asking a question, the listener is somewhat involuntarily tricked into trying to answer it.   Who is the first person you’d like to impress with your whiter teeth once you start using this toothpaste?   Ordinal Numbers   First, second, third, etc. Whenever we hear any ordinal number, even if we only hear one, we immediately start to assume there are whole bunch of other items on the list.   Even though this is primarily a whitening toothpaste, the second thing people realize about it is how effective it is at fighting tooth decay!   Rhetorical Questions   These are much like direct questions, but a little worse. Instead of tricking the listener into trying to come up with a specific answer, they trick the listener into simply pondering the meta answer.   How many people can benefit, and in how many ways from whiter teeth?   Change of State Verbs   Change, transform, turn into, etc.   These are verbs like, change, turn into, become, and they imply process. When we sense a process, it’s like a kind of idea movement, which makes it hard to take apart and examine parts of the process.   This whitening toothpaste will transform what you think is possible!   Relative Clauses   Noun + who, which, that   These is useful for implying social proof. It’s often used in advertising to imply a positive trait about a product along with social proof.   Many people who use this toothpaste have found their teeth two shades whiter, on average.   Change of Time Verbs and Adverbs   Begin, stop, continue, etc.   These are like the change of state verbs. Any… (Location 1346)

implant ideas in their minds. The following patterns are used to describe vague ideas. But since they are vague, the listener will have to come up with their own specific meaning. If used correctly, these can be put together to create the Carnegie effect.   Single Binds   The more you X the more you Y….   The more you use this toothpaste, the more you’ll find out how wonderful it is.   Tag Questions   Put a simple tag question at the end of the sentence. This will trick the listener into searching for an answer, rather than questioning what was just said.   You do realize how important it is to have whiter teeth, don’t you?   Mind Reading   This is when you purport to know what your target is thinking about. This isn’t really mind reading, but very accurate guessing. But when you accurately guess about common things, it can seem very accurate.   I know you have people in your life you’d like to use patterns on.   Unspecified Verbs   These are sentences where you allude that something is happening, but you don’t say exactly how.   You will learn to use these techniques with amazing results.   Pronouns   These are used to reference people without your target knowing who you are talking about. Normally a pronoun comes after a proper noun Consider:   John and I are going to lunch, and he said you might like to go.   That makes sense. But consider this:   We are going to lunch and she told me she doesn’t want you going, so please stay here.   General Use and Practice Tips   It’s best to practice these with positive ideas. If you spend too much time practicing these for negative defensive use, it can lead to lingering dark clouds in your mind. As mentioned in the last chapter, these are fantastic to use to make people feel fantastic, without really knowing why. The best way to figure out how is to just start writing these out. The more you do that, the more you’ll build in these structures into your brain. Consider the jerk question from the last chapter. That is how most of us use these. Very haphazardly and inefficiently. Kind of like how an untrained fighter would try to punch somebody. Haphazardly,… (Location 1400)

Deadly Language – Examples   The general idea is to take the worst feared instinctive feelings and wrap them up with as many of these as possible. This can be very vague, so nobody really needs to know what you mean. This will also give you plausible deniability. For example, if somebody insulted you and you replied with:   Oh yea? I heard you are getting divorced!   That is a common comeback. It is a vicious comeback. But it is also very, very specific. It leaves nothing to the imagination. It does the job, of getting the attention off you and back on them, but it also makes you look pretty bad. Everybody will remember exactly what you said, and they will have a good idea of how you know. In the very short term (a couple of seconds or minutes) it will do the trick. But the further out in time, the worse off you’ll be. On the other hand, consider saying something like this:   Yeah, maybe you’re right. But the things I’ve heard them talking about what you’ve done? What’s surprising is that nobody has told you about it. She said maybe later today. Was there anything else you needed to tell me or was that it?   This is much vaguer. And it’s much more complicated. And it is absolutely devoid of any actual content. It will make everybody wonder what you know and how you know, including the person who made the mistake of insulting you. In fact, after a couple of minutes, nobody will be sure what you said. If you said the one about the divorce, that word, “divorce,” will remain at the core of any gossip. But since the above vague paragraph has zero actual content, yet a lot of impending doom, people will fill in their own content. And once they find any content, they’ll change how they remember the event to match that content. Even better, if they insulted you in front of others, and you maintained you cool, walked up and whispered this to them, their facial expressions (horror, confusion, etc.) would do all the work for you. Everybody would be talking about what you might have said and the effect. All you would need to do is say, “No, no, I’ve already said too much.” Now, granted, sauntering up and whispering that into the ear of an insulter would take massive courage, but it would teach them to never insult you again. When reading through these examples, imagine delivering them as a whisper that only you and your target can hear. Or if you are feeling particularly vicious, imagine leaving these as anonymous notes on their desk. Even if they share the notes, that itself will be enough to start some juicy gossip.   Specific Examples   Generic Noun Phrase   People are already talking about you and not in a good way.   Subordinate Clause of Time   After you hear what people are saying about you, you might want to update your resume.   Once word gets around about what some people really think about you, you might want to start looking for a new set of friends.   Commentary Adjectives and Adverbs   Fortunately, they’ve already found a replacement for you.… (Location 1432)

What is amazing to me is that you still have friends after all the things I’ve heard from them.   Single Binds   The more I hear about you the more I realize those original rumors are true.   Tag Questions   You do realize that most of the people that are friendly to your face say vicious things behind your back, don’t you?   Mind Reading   I know what you are so worried about, especially in light of the recent news about that negative thing that happened.   Unspecified Verbs   Those things that people are saying about you are going to originally spiral out of control. Maybe you should do something about it before it’s too late? Or maybe it already is too late.   Pronouns   She told me that they were discussing what to do about your, uh, issue, and she said it wasn’t a very pleasant discussion. I’m sure glad I’m not you, and both he and she feel the same way.   How to Practice   These are best practiced first in the abstract, using an imaginary enemy. If you like, find some gossip worthy situations on any TV show you enjoy, and pretend to be one of the characters. Then go through this list and augment these to use in those TV situations. In general, the best way to deal with unexpected insults from unexpected people is the simple, brain-fade, “What…” type. These are very vicious and need a bit of planning to use properly. Also, you can use these playfully with your friends, just be very careful and make sure everybody knows you’re kidding. Even then be careful, because even a slight insinuation of any negative social instincts can be very mentally painful. The combination of presuppositions, vague patterns, and negative social instincts is best used only in dire situations, where your actual reputation is at stake. Much like physical arts, you’ll find the more you practice these and imagine using them, the less likely you’ll actually need to use them. We’ll go through some specific strategies in the next couple chapters to do just that. (Location 1485)

Book of The Dead   An old adage recommends that we keep our friends close, but we keep our enemies closer. This is a good idea. If you have people in your life that you don’t particularly like to be around, for fear of verbal attacks, the next few chapters will outline a strategy that will help you to become much more confident around them. Eventually, you will no longer fear them. They may even fear you. All without ever needing to say anything to them. This will be a paradox much like in physical martial arts. The more you train, the less you’ll actually need to use the skill. Your non-verbal communication will project such a strong and confident frame nobody would dare attack you. To get to that level, you’ll need to train as if you were preparing an assault.   Identify Enemies   The more enemies you identify, the better. Always keep in mind that the goal is to not actually attack them. The goal is to mentally rehearse attacking them or defending yourself from their attacks. The more you prepare yourself mentally, the stronger your non-verbal energy will be around them and the less likely they are to attack. Recall that our worst fears come true only if we ignore those worst fears. The more we prepare for their inevitability, the less likely they are to transpire. The first step in that regard is to make a kill list of sorts. The people that you would feel least confident getting into a drawn-out shouting match with in front of others. Targets that, if they came up and started flinging insults at you, would make you cower in fear, unable to even face them. This even can be people from TV, such as talk show hosts and politicians whom you dislike, but don’t think you would be able to withstand a verbal onslaught. Take your time and build up as big a list as you can. Create a special notebook for this purpose, your own personal kill list. Obviously, you want to keep this private!   Find Weak Points   For each of your sworn enemies, start to develop a list of their soft spots. Start off by listing all the authority figures they respect and admire. The authority figures they seem to follow the most. These can be people they don’t know personally but admire and respect. These can be their bosses at work. These can be coaches or teachers at your school. Any list of people they would consider to be authority figures. Next is to find people that they would… (Location 1508)

ground… (Location 1551)

Come Up with Five Distinct Scenarios   Write five separate situations where they do something horrible, everybody slowly knows about it, and they eventually get ostracized in a public and painful way, losing everything. Be as creative and vindictive as you can. Be vague about the thing they do which causes the damage. Be clear that it is something they’ve done, and it… (Location 1552)

Enemies Closer   Now you can take the five scenarios you’ve written out, and carefully run them through the patterns from before. The vague patterns and the linguistic presuppositions. Take all the people in the scenarios and replace them with vague pronouns. They, people who’ve talked about this, people in charge, any kind of generic noun phrase you can come up with. Then take the things these generic noun phrases are doing and talking about and come up with as many extremely vague statements as you can. The original five imaginary descriptions from last chapter can be as specific as you want. The task now is to make them very vague yet ominous sounding. Create statements that allude that those generic noun phrases are having discussions about them and the hammer is about to drop. Make sure when you say these statements, it gives you complete plausible deniability. No names, no specific times, no specific actions, only something you’ve heard. Make them sound both complex and vague. Look over some of the examples given previously and modify them. The reason for coming up with very specific scenarios first, instead of just using the vague statements is as follows. If you were to just use the vague statements, without having any mental idea of what they mean, they wouldn’t be very congruent from a non-verbal communication standpoint. For example, suppose you had a boss that you didn’t like. And suppose you said the following:   I heard he did something that might make us need a new boss soon.   This sounds pretty bad, but if you didn’t have any specific idea in mind of what he did, or what you thought he did, it wouldn’t be that congruent, and therefore not believable. On the other hand, if when you said, “he did something,” you actually imagined something very specific and very horrific (like murdered and ate his neighbor) your non-verbal communication would be much more congruent. The purpose of going through the trouble to conjure realistic scenarios is to give you something to imagine mentally, which will give your non-verbal energy much more believability. So, when they ask for more information, when you shake your head, yet give a slightly evil twinkle to your eye, it will seem much more ominous.   Practice Saying Them   Once you’ve got several statements, practice saying them out loud. Say them several times until you feel comfortable and normal saying them. It may feel like you are breaking a universal human law, that you are saying something that isn’t true. What you are really doing is saying something that is very vague but thinking something that isn’t true. Your only purpose of doing this is ultimately defensive. To develop the energy to prevent an attack. Remember, you aren’t likely to ever say these things out loud to anybody. So far, this is like practicing in the dojo of your mind. Keep saying these phrases out loud until you can close your eyes and say them, and imagine you are saying them directly to your enemy.   Practice… (Location 1556)

you’ll be able to practice these same things on many different enemies, and many different insults per enemy. Imagine hearing the insult, imagine your response, and imagine your exit statement. The statement of both plausible deniability and the cutting off of further communication. Imagine people asking and you only smiling and shaking your head. So long as the vague statement is actually vague, and doesn’t contain any specific people or specific verbs, you’ll having nothing to worry about.   Create Five Power Statements   Last chapter you developed five specific and horrific scenarios involving the social downfall of your enemy. Now we recommend five statements that are vague and deadly. They can be any five statements. Each should have an exit statement. It can be the same for each or can be different based on the statements and the scenarios. Once you’ve got five ready statements and their accompany exit strategies, you’re ready for the next step. (Location 1602)

Stare of Death   Way back in the beginning we recommended purposely building a state of confidence. Where you purposely recalled early memories and made them real and powerful. This will be similar, but it will be a lot easier. Once you’ve gotten to the point where you have five statements and their exit strategies, it’s time to build your stare of death.   Step One   Practice at home, when nobody can overhear you. Imagine hearing an insult, or just imagine your enemy. Imagine saying or whispering the statement to your enemy. Imagine their look of horror and confusion. Imagine the look of confusion of all the onlookers. Imagine giving your exit statement and removing yourself from the situation. When rehearsing this, make it as powerful and as deadly as possible. Attach each of these statements of doom to one finger on your dominant hand. Practice holding or flexing that finger as you practice that particular statement. Keep practicing until you can develop your own force field based on firing your trigger, which is attached to one of the fingers on your dominant hand. Practice often until you feel real inner strength and power. Continue to practice firing your trigger finger of death until you can call up feelings of confidence and power relatively quickly.   Step Two   Practice firing your trigger finger in social situations where you might see or encounter your enemy. This may take a while, so take your time. Don’t rush yourself. Get to the point where you feel just as confident outside the safety of your home as you while in your home.   Step Three   Practice in the vicinity of others. First when people are not talking. In elevators, at crosswalks, when waiting in line at the supermarket or the post office. Fire your triggers while you are slowly walking around semi crowded areas, like bookstores or malls. See if you can notice people treating you with a little bit more respect. Walk down the center of a supermarket aisle while firing your trigger and see if you can subconsciously persuade people to get out of your way without having to make eye contact. Try this same experiment in as many social places as possible. Don’t be rude but get to the point where you don’t need to ask people to get out of your way. Walk slowly and calmly, fire your triggers of death and radiate powerful defensive subconscious energy. Conjure up any imagination about yourself… (Location 1610)

evil and horrible thing to do, but the alternative is to leave yourself mentally and psychically open to any random attacks. Consider this to be purely a mental exercise. You’ll never need to say or make happen any of the things you are imagining. But practicing thinking about them, and saying them, is just as important as practicing a spin-kick hundreds and hundreds of times. The more you practice it, the less likely you’ll actually need it. Unexpected Benefits   Anxiety is a killer in many ways. In a very real and literal way, anxiety and the stress it causes is responsible for a host of medical issues, including high blood pressure and lowered immune resistance and efficiency. Just doing these exercises will lower your social anxiety and stress, and thereby increase your health. On a deeper level, when your brain is experiencing any anxiety, even if it’s in your subconscious, that is burning up a lot of your processor power. Anxiety is a low level of fight or flight energy. When your body is getting ready to fight or fun away, it is impossible to think creatively and productively. When you practice destroying your enemies, you will worry less about them. The amount of thinking capacity and creativity you will unlock will be enormous. The amount of positive social signals you will begin to notice will be enormous. In reality, the… (Location 1656)

Defense Against the Dark Arts Understanding all these deep structures of language can be a bit disheartening. Most people have feelings, and these feelings get translated into words. Then those words are usually translated into similar feelings in the receiver. When two friends or colleagues are talking, and they both have positive intentions, this is fine. When you are talking to a stranger to pass the time, and you both have positive intentions, this is fine. Only when people try and subtly say things to get under our skin does this become troublesome. Before you started reading this guide, there were plenty of things that you heard from others, that bothered you in some way, most likely partially subconsciously, but you didn’t quite know why. Sometimes these “insults” are so weak that you may have shrugged them off to a misunderstanding. But once you understand the hidden ideas inside our language (wrapped up by these linguistic presuppositions), it’s very hard to shrug them off again. They say that ignorance is bliss, and you are about to learn one reason why. If you do take the time to drill these linguistic presuppositions into your brain (and you should, as the benefits far outweigh the negatives) you may find some uncomfortable things. There was a science fiction movie that came out during the 80’s called, “They Live.” The idea was that half the people living among us were actually aliens. And you could see them if you wore special glasses. Without the glasses everything looked normal. But once you put the glasses on, you could see the horror. The aliens were ugly, they were in charge, and they were running a secret campaign to drive humans to mindlessly consume as much as possible. Of course, you won’t find out that people are aliens. But you what you begin to see, you won’t be able to un-see. Your friends, your colleagues and even family members are actually letting on a lot more than they and you think. Once you train your brain to see these linguistic presuppositions everywhere, you’ll notice the hidden fears and ideas people want to “put out there” but don’t want to defend. They don’t want you to notice. In this chapter, we’ll cover a few of the most common techniques people use and some easy strategies to defend. Next chapter we’ll cover all the presuppositions and give you a training recommendation to train your brain to see them.   General… (Location 1669)

explaining why they said they said. They may even say something like, “You’re right, I shouldn’t have said that,” to which you can do a couple of things. One is to let it slide and accept their apology. Or you could go even deeper, and say: I don’t understand. Why are you apologizing? I’m still not sure what you meant when you said that.   So long as you keep your cool, and even smile and joke around, they will start to feel really under pressure, especially if there are other people watching. This is definitely something you can enjoy practicing with your friends. See how long you can go before they beg for mercy. Just stay as neutral as possible. Pretend you are Spock or an AI robot. And just keep asking what they meant when they said that, or what any statement means.   Beware of Wh- Setups   The most famous of these questions is, “When did you stop beating your wife.” The presupposition that there was a point in time when you did beat your wife. The reason this works is our brains are trained to shift into “question-answer” mode as soon as we hear a Wh- word. Why, when, which, what, etc. So, when the presupposition hits, we are thrown off guard. We were expecting a simple question, but they snuck in a presupposition that is not true. This is very much a verbal sucker punch, especially if it is done in front of others. Simply by pausing before responding, it looks as if you are “caught.” If you wait too long before you reply, it looks if you are trying to evade admitting your wife-beating habits. So, whenever you suspect somebody is setting you up, consider training yourself to immediately shift into brain-fade-curiosity mode whenever you hear a question word. Allow your brain to digest the entire question, and its implications before you allow yourself to respond. Imagine a kind of mental space in front of you, like the foyer of a large building that serves as a temperature barrier. Imagine the question is leaving their mouth, and you won’t consider it until the entire question is out in the open. This will take time, because we don’t like social attention, especially if we are sitting there trying to answer a question when everybody is looking. So, we subconsciously shift into “I’d better hurry up and answer this, so I don’t… (Location 1714)

Training for Presuppositions   In this chapter we’ll go over the entire list of presuppositions. If anybody is going to slide an idea into a sentence (consciously or unconsciously) they’ll use one or more of these patterns. At the end we’ll go over some easy ways to train them into your brain. Consider these your secret weapon in any form of communication; hearing speaking, writing or reading.   Comparative As   as….as….   Nothing is as powerful as presuppositions.   Comparative   er, more, less…   Understanding presuppositions is much better.   Selection Restriction   Doing X precludes Y   When you start practicing these, your life will never be the same.   Proper Names Using any name presupposes that it exists.   King Phillip II of Macedonia knew important secrets we should learn.   Definite Description   Any description presupposes it is true.   This pattern will increase your communication skills by 15.45%.   Stressed Sentences   Whenever any word is stressed, spoken or written.   These patterns are very important.   Cleft Sentences   It is… It was….   It is your dreams of a better future that will make learning these so easy.   Counterfactual Conditional Clauses   Talking about something that didn’t happen before as if it did.   If you had learned these five years ago, you’d already be a millionaire by now.   Change of Place Verbs   Come, go, arrive, depart   When you start practicing these every day, you’ll leave behind all social anxiety.   Quantifiers   only, even, just   These aren’t just for defending against insults, these are for making money.   Negative Questions   Are these patterns not the best ones in the world?   Repetitive Verbs and Adverbs   Repeatedly, return, replace, etc.   You’ll repeatedly be glad you learned these when you see how much money and sex they get you.   Spurious Not I wonder if you are not already wondering how much sex and money you’ll get with these patterns?   Some Quantifiers   some, each, every, few,   Some people who learn these use a few of them to create financial empires.   Repetitive Cue Words   Too, also, either, again, back   You’ll come back again and again to the power of these, every time you practice them.   Complex Adjectives   New, old, former, present   Any new insults you get after you start practicing these will be a source of endless laughter.   Contrary to Expectation   Should you not… (Location 1738)

Factive Verbs and Adjectives   Odd, aware, know, realize   Once you truly realize the power of these, you’ll never want to leave home without them.   Change of Time Adverbs   Begin, stop, start, etc.   When you start practicing these every day, every aspect of your life will change.   Relative Clauses   Noun + Who, which, that   People that study these are much smarter than those who know nothing about them.   Rhetorical Questions   Who cares how long it takes to practice these? You’ll enjoy it when your income doubles.   Ordinal Numbers   First, second, third, etc.   The second thing you’ll be able to do with these is secretly implant thoughts into people’s brains.   Questions   Who do you think will be the first person whose insults you obliterate with these tools?   Pseudo Cleft Sentences   What is X about Y is…   What is fantastic about these patterns is you’ll see them everywhere once you practice them.   Pronouns   He, she, they   He uses these patterns to make money and she uses them to brainwash people into singing about bananas.   How to Practice   Many of these are kind of confusing. These are not the kind of things you read about in a book and then understand. These patterns already exist in your brain, since they are part of language. The best way to train these is to start writing them out. To start, copy the patterns as they are above. Then start to alter them however you like. Presuppose positive things about you, about your future, or about any of the goals you have regarding these techniques. It will take a while. But we strongly recommend doing these exercises for at least a couple weeks. Once through every day. We all use these patterns without thinking, subconsciously. So, we aren’t really aware of the relationship between our thoughts and our words. But once you start to see how these can be very accurate representations of our deeper and unconscious thoughts, you’ll notice two things. One is you’ll start to feel a sense of real control over the ideas you can slip into other people’s minds. Being able to sneak in positive ideas will make them feel good, but they won’t know why. They’ll just know they feel good whenever you are around. The other thing you’ll be able to do is notice all the ideas that are hiding. This will be the disheartening part. Most of us speak a lot of negativity without really knowing it. We can sense of from others, but only when it is very strong. But after you practice writing these out, you’ll start to see every single idea that people are putting in between their words. Even the ideas they aren’t quite saying out loud. You’ll start to get a real idea of how people think. Some people now you might not want to be around anymore. And some people whom you think are average and unremarkable will surprise you at their lack of inner negativity. The more you practice these patterns, the less you’ll need to guess about the quality of other people’s inner state. Many people have a very strong intuition… (Location 1799)

Gray Area Transitions   As you begin to practice the linguistic presuppositions, you’ll begin to notice them in the speech of others. Spoken language is an “in-the-moment” expression of the deep and complex thoughts of the speaker. When we use linguistic presuppositions, we rarely do so consciously or deliberately. Most of us would be surprised at our own linguistic presuppositions. Our language isn’t something we think about, but it can be a powerful window into our thinking, how we view ourselves and how we view the world. As you increase your ability to notice the real time use of linguistic presuppositions by others, we recommend you keep a journal of these events. As you continue to practice the patterns and increase your ability to notice them, you can practice how you might ask them about these presupposed ideas.   Presuppositions Reveal Inner Truth   The linguistic presuppositions others use will reveal their true inner beliefs, many of which are unknown even to them. Skilled therapists, counselors, and even interrogators have trained themselves to listen carefully to the specific language patterns used to see what’s really going on beneath the surface. If you practice consistently enough, you will soon see things others believe with more clarity than they see themselves. You will begin to see through the cracks of their own self-deception.   Meta Model to Peel Back the Layers   With a thorough understanding of the meta model, you can, if you like, carefully ask questions that will either help them to see their own beliefs, or to obliterate their beliefs they are intending to do you harm. This is very difficult to do in real time. Before we talked about Sun Tzu’s strategy of being the pig to eat the tiger. This is easy enough when done with friends, or when building up your target for the knockout punch. But if you deliver too much of a punch too soon, your target will clam up and never speak to you again. If this is your intention, that’s a perfect strategy. But soon you’ll find many more opportunities to carefully reveal the self-deceptions of your friends and colleagues. The meta model is a very useful tool to help get more information on their inner truths you can learn to spot through their linguistic presuppositions. But be very, very careful. Nobody likes having their inner fears tossed into their face. Nobody enjoys being told about their weaknesses, especially if we claim it so obvious. When applying meta model questions to revealed weaknesses by their presuppositions, be as delicate as you can. It’s much better to practice beforehand. The combination of the meta model and your observation of their use of linguistic presuppositions can allow you to create extremely deep connections with people. You can help them peel back the onion layers until they feel comfortable revealing things to you they may not even know about themselves. With enough patience and skill, you can understand the deep truth about nearly anybody you have a… (Location 1842)

So, now you know a little bit more information. From their perspective, being loud is bad, so becoming louder is worse. Now you know, there are plenty of paths to take from here. If they are a close friend, and you want to be very careful and not put them on the spot, one technique is to fully embrace their statement.   Yeah, I guess they are getting louder.   And then instead of asking them what that means, simply wonder out loud yourself, and offer them the opportunity to offer more information.   Yeah, I guess they are getting louder, I wonder why?   And based on if or how they answer, you can continue further. As you can likely guess, the application of meta model questions to linguistic presuppositions is very much an art form. It takes quite a bit of practice. The general principle is to make your question just strong enough for them to answer. Asking “What do you mean?” as neutrally as possible is a good start. Ask for further information about a phrase within their statement is a good next step. But how they respond to that will tell you how to proceed. They may be silent while shaking their head and turning their attention elsewhere. This will tell you to drop the subject. They may shake their head but continue to display signs of thinking about it. This will tell you they are open for more questions. They make shake their head slowly, and look like they are about to answer, but they aren’t quite sure how. This indicates they sort of know the answer, at least emotionally, but they aren’t quite sure how to word it. If you feel they are open to more discussion, but you aren’t quite sure how, give them a couple of options.   Either Or   A positive way to help lead deeper discussion without asking outright or direct questions is to give them two choices. Two choices where one of them has a good chance of being right. Most people don’t have a lot of answers beyond the words they put up on the surface. So, asking direct questions, even to friends, may create feelings of anxiety. But when you can do their thinking for them, and come up with options they can choose from, this will help further the discussion, and deepen the connection. For example, in the above example, if you asked:   What do you mean by worse?   And they look like they want to answer, but they aren’t sure, how, you can help by offering them binary categories. For example:   Like… (Location 1888)

Deadly Metaphors   So far, we’ve developed plenty of techniques that can be considered the verbal equivalent of hand-to-hand combat. You hear an insult, and you flip it around and back at them, leaving them stammering, unable to respond. But sometimes somebody just gets under your skin. They are saying things that aren’t quite an insult, so you can’t quite call them on it. Especially once you start writing out the presuppositions from last chapter, you’ll start to notice some people you interact with are just downright creepy, or mean, but not in a way that you can easily call them on it. And some of these people are intuitively and naturally skilled with the Tommy DeVito technique (What, am I a f….. clown?). This means tossing out some re-frames or honest questions may backfire. Many people are very skilled at insulting others, and then covering their tracks with ninja-level gaslighting. If you start a verbal confrontation with one of these horror shows, you might forever regret it. For that, we’ll learn a new technique. A metaphorical death ray to melt their brain. This will take some preparation. This will be like the book of the dead, where you start to develop some recon on your enemies. ‘   Step One   Collect a list of your enemies, like before. This can be the same list. All you really need for this is a list of your enemies, and a situation in which you’d like to give them the what-for but want to do so in a way that they don’t really know what’s happening. For example, you might see a guy in the lunch room who is a loud mouth, or who always talks down to other people behind their back. This technique requires that you be in a conversation with them.   Step Two   Find some obscure horror movies. The slasher types. The most horrific and gruesome horror movies you can find. You don’t need to watch them. Find any website that has a collection of horror movie descriptions. Read through a few of these descriptions until you find an evil character that reminds you of your target. Collect as many of these descriptions possible, that have the villain a close resemblance to your target.   Step Three Practice reciting the plot, from the description, but make it sound as if you watched it. Just to make sure nobody else recognized the movie, choose a very obscure one. You don’t need to remember the title, in fact remembering the title is prohibited. All… (Location 1922)

Always Remember the Intention   Unless somebody is dictating surgery or explaining a technical process over the phone, nearly all human communication is related to the ancient struggle of social status. When people talk behind people’s back, or gaslight, or use any other covertly underhanded language, they are doing it from a point of weakness. People that generally feel a strong sense of social status don’t need to belittle others. If they do, then that only means they are worried about their social status. So, in a sense, whenever somebody is going on and on in a negative way, even covertly, they are essentially subconsciously saying:   I’m important because others are dumb or weak or not worthy.   This is the ancient bully tactic. To make themselves feel good by putting each other down. So, when you reply with the following: Yeah? That reminds me of this horror story I heard about where this guy fed his neighbors to his pet alligator and masturbated while he watched them get eaten. Pretty creepy, right?   In a very covert and subconscious way, you are equating the bully with the creepy villain in the horror movie. And so long as you can play it off as some story told to you by some other guy, it will remain a subconscious to subconscious message:   Dude, shut up, all right?   There is absolutely zero chance he (or she) is going to say:   Wait a minute! I think you’re trying some subconscious trick to somehow equate me with that horror villain because you think I’m somehow being covertly mean to others. Yeah, I’m on to you!   All you’d have to say in this situation is:   Dude, what? I just thought of a story some weird guy told… (Location 1968)

Metaphorical Pacing   Using the horror story technique is a very powerful, very subtle and very subconscious way to tell your enemies to take a hike. It comes with complete plausible deniability. As such, however, it is a very blunt force weapon. Like a gigantic invisible club, you can whack them upside the head. It is so blunt, they will only get the vague message of not being around you. With some practice, you can use this technique to more delicately shape their behavior. This is a very powerful technique, but in order to use it effectively you’ll need a lot of practice. Consider this chapter more of an overview of what is possible, rather than a step by step explanation.   Metaphors   Human speak largely in metaphors. George Lakoff, a student of Noam Chomsky, described how we used intangible nouns as if they were real objects. For example, if you said you were “in a meeting,” the word, “meeting,” is an intangible noun. The chairs, the people, the coffee machine, the projector, the table, those are all tangible nouns. But the meeting is only an idea. A temporary shared hallucination. A label of an imaginary “thing” you are sharing in that room. If the scheduled meeting is from 3 to 4, where is the meeting at 2:59? Where is the meeting at 4:01? Before the meeting, it, as a noun, is a plan in the minds of the attendees. After the meeting, it only exists as memory in the minds of the attendees. According to Lakoff, whenever we use these intangible nouns, we must use them as if they are real things. His theory is that we can tell what kind of things they are by the prepositions (not presupposition). The words we use before (pre-position) the noun. We say we are in a meeting. This is a clue that we think of a meeting as a thing we are inside of, or a container. Another example is we are on the train, or on the plane, or on the bus. Why would we say on, when we are clearly inside of these things? Perhaps because we think of all vehicles as things we ride on. Perhaps the ancient linguistic programming in our brain hasn’t caught up to modern transportation. Perhaps our ancient brains feel like we are still riding around on horses. But why do we say we are in our cars? Perhaps because our car is like a home away from home. A very personal space. Maybe even more personal than our homes, when there is always somebody listening to what we are doing. Several… (Location 1990)

You’ll find carefully constructed metaphors a fantastic way to deliver messages to people when conscious messages aren’t the best choice. Advice to friends, warnings to enemies and everything in between.   Keep A Metaphor Journal   Once you start to calibrate your brain to think in metaphors, you’ll find them everywhere. Any time you have something you’d like to say to somebody, get it down into the simplest form possible. In the above example, that would be:   If you keep bothering me something bad is going to happen.   Then write down any examples you can think of or examples that you see in fiction where that actually happens. Pretty soon you’ll have some very common things on both ends. You’ll start to notice some common things you’ll want to say to people, common pieces of advice or warnings, and for each of these, you’ll have a lot of… (Location 2040)

Final Words   Language can be your greatest tool if you want it to be. It can be a source of consistent improvement and growth. A process of deep connection with others. A weapon to be wielded with deadly force. A window into the soul of all those close to you. A delicate technique to help those closest to you. A careful process to help people find and share their deepest secrets. Or it can be nothing but mumbled sounds to express half-finished thoughts. Most people have ill-conceived thoughts they express with poorly chosen words. Most people think the same thoughts over and over, and they use the same phrases and sentences to describe these same thoughts. Most of our ideas and speaking styles we pick up from fictional characters or talking heads on TV. To study the words you use is to examine the structure of your thoughts. To study the words used by others is to see their thoughts more clearly than they can themselves. To create a daily practice to enhance and improve the words you use is to enhance and improve the thoughts you think every day.   Everything Is Opinion   Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor. He also wrote “Meditations,” a collection of essays. In it, he echoed the thoughts of Socrates, in that everything is opinion. Everything you hear anybody else say, unless they are a professor giving a lecture in the sciences, or stating a previously agreed upon definition, is an opinion. It is not fact. It is an opinion about what somebody thinks is true about something. An opinion about what somebody wants to be true about something, or what they want you to think is true about something. Read this next sentence very carefully: With the tools in this guide, and consistent practice, you can develop the verbal skills to absolutely obliterate any opinion you hear from any person you hear it from. It doesn’t matter if that opinion comes from your idiot neighbor, your boss, or the Pope himself. With enough patience and delicate questioning, you can prove false anything anybody ever says to you. Now, be very careful with this power. Remember that Socrates was put to death because those in power didn’t like the idea of him teaching these skills to his students. They very much wanted to keep alive the idea that they had power because of logical and just reasons. By taking the time to develop these skills, you can make great friends,… (Location 2051)

Once it sprouts in your brain, you’ll never look back.   Search and Destroy   Eventually you’ll get to a place where you are actively looking for statements to disprove. When you know that you can shut down any insults or comments. Be careful! Practice them in mind first, before you say anything. But give yourself a treat now and then. Wait until some goof in line behind you says something, and then turn around and let him have it. Remember Sun Tzu’s advice and start softly. Act meek, ask for enough information and then shut them down. Enjoy shutting them down. Shut them down with a gleam in your eye and a smile on your face.   Uplift and Empower   Similarly, find opportunities to drop in presuppositions that imply people are much stronger than they think they are. That their future is much brighter than they think they are. That the world is much friendlier than it appears to be. Carefully peel back the onion layers of those close to you and validate their deep and true selves. Linguistic Super Hero   With practice, you’ll have a powerful set of skills that few people know exist. With a word you can uplift or destroy. Take time to develop these skills and take… (Location 2096)

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Further Study   Mind Persuasion has many full courses designed to help you get much more out of life with less effort. Please visit the link below ( for more information:   Mind Persuasion Courses   To get a free introductory set of powerful subliminal programming sessions to build general… (Location 2119)

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