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Subliminal Priming: Seed your ideas into people in 5 steps

Subliminal Priming: Seed your ideas into people in 5 steps

Subliminal priming, also known as seeding, is a very useful psychological tool for influencing. With this technique you basically create the context to get someone to do something. In this article you will learn exactly how to use this psychological technique!

For example, with subliminal priming, you can convey to your sick uncle who refuses to take drugs the idea that drugs are necessary and temporary. In some cases, this method even makes the person’s original beliefs disappear.

Let’s start with an experiment on subliminal priming: ‘Pots’

Ask the following question to a practice partner.

Say the word pots with me. I say it first and then you saw it.
Say it after me, okay? Pots. Tell the
Game Now: Pots
Now say it again. Repeat after me: pots Now
play it again.
Now answer the following question aloud: What’s the first thing you do when you get to a green light?

Did you say stop instead of go?

Ork, orc, orc … You eat soup with a …?

Why does subliminal priming work? With priming you fill someone’s frame of reference

When you hear something for the first time, you will not find anything about it in your frame of reference. It is strange to you and therefore you probably will not accept it immediately. That’s why it’s so important to artificially install information in the client’s frame of reference. That is the essence of subliminal priming!

There is tremendous power in repeated exposure to certain ideas and messages. This is all the more subtle if you can achieve this without the other being aware of it.

By priming you are indirectly involved. You steer the subconscious mind in the right direction first. Only later do you present the desired result directly to the person. At that point, the ground has been prepared and the idea will be effortlessly accepted.

This method allows you to present information in small pieces and through this it is absorbed and accepted. You also use fractionation : due to the dynamics, much more time seems to have passed than is actually the case, so that the idea seems to have existed in a person for a longer period of time.

The roadmap for subliminal priming

Before we start with the steps, it is important to know that there is actually a step 0 as well:  Report , Pacing, and Empathy . This step should become automatic in everything you do, especially when you encounter resistance or objection. You can reverse resistance with subliminal priming, but then you start to agree on the objection of the other person. Explain that position better than anyone else ever could. Then you can easily reverse that to your desired result.

Step 1: Plant the first seed

You can prime by using memories, states, implications, presuppositions or by simply saying the message directly. For example, if you want to get someone to go to a soccer game, you can use these seeds for a few days before making the final proposal:

  • We haven’t done anything together for a long time.
  • Do you remember when we had such a good time during that match against FC Twente?
  • It has been a long time since we have been to a football game.

Preferably divert attention immediately. See step 2 …

Step 2: Directly divert attention to the conscious brain

Before the person gets a chance to analyze it and thus criticize it, you immediately divert attention. Because of this, there is amnesia that you said that (the seed). To do this, use the techniques for amnesia . Preferably let the derivation be to a positive state. You do this, for example, by distracting with a joke, asking when the person was very happy, or citing the person’s favorite hobby as another topic of conversation. Also switch with your voice when you make a switch, so set up a different voice.

Step 3: Plant several seeds in the near future

Repeat the previous two steps several times. Spread the seeds over a session or over several days, weeks or months before presenting the final idea, words of encouragement, or conclusion. Always divert attention.

Step 4: Just before you start presenting your idea, put the other person in a positive state

When you ultimately present your idea immediately, the person must be in a positive state because then the chance of acceptance is much higher.

Step 5: present your idea to the conscious brain of the other

Now you can present the complete plan directly, using an encouragement or a persuasion technique, and it will be accepted effortlessly! After you repeat seeding a number of times, the other person may even automatically choose the right one or give you opportunities to finish it.

You can also do it less subtle: it still works!

‘It looks so summery here! That is appropriate when we talk about summer camp later. ‘

Getting started with subliminal priming (psychology)

Sprinkle your stories, metaphors and quotes with words that have associations and symbolic connections to your intended outcome.

Or simply use the word in some way in your sentences prior to the activity. Suppose you are a teacher, and later in the day you want to do crafts with your class. Then you simply sprinkle the word ‘crafting’ several times in the morning. For example: ‘For the smart crafters among us: you can also start doing math 4.’

Of course, just one priming technique is not enough. Drizzle your entire interaction with multiple subliminal seeds for success! Finally, priming is part of NLP training. How do you use subliminal priming?

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!