Have you ever been listening to Donald Trump speaking, or reading one of his quotes, and found yourself laughing out loud?
Maybe you think he has a good sense of humor and he says funny stuff. Maybe you think he is so shocking that you laugh out of social horror. Maybe you love how he pokes your political enemies. If you are not a Trump fan, maybe you think you are laughing at him, or laughing out of disgust, or out of certainty he will be dooming himself this time for sure.
What did I teach you about events that have too many explanations?
It’s a tell for persuasion. You laugh at Trump because you feel the persuasion, on a subconscious level, and not because anything was especially funny.
When I learned hypnosis, the instructor taught us that subjects often laugh during an induction. When I asked my laughing subjects why, they would tell me it was because of the funny way I pronounced a word, or something they heard outside, or a funny thought that crossed their minds.
None of that is true.
Laughter is a tell for persuasion. A causeless laugh means you got persuaded to the point where it challenged some long-held truth in your mind. The laugh is an automatic reflex in that situation.
In my experience, about 80% of subjects I have hypnotized have laughed during the process. The skilled hypnotist tells them ahead of time to expect it, transforming it from a distraction to a source of credibility.
Now imagine my situation when I listen to Trump. I can see all the scaffolding of his technique and yet I still feel the persuasion working in real time, because I am monitoring myself for that. Result: On several occasions Trump has reduced me to a fetal position and uncontrolled laughter.
I tell myself he has a good sense of humor and great timing. But at the same time I know I could be experiencing an hallucination.
Start looking for causeless laughs that have too many explanations. When you see it, you’ll laugh, because it will violate your prior sense of reality. And you will also understand why the most persuasive person on the planet was originally labelled a clown. He made people laugh, and they didn’t know why.
Welcome to my world. You can’t leave.
I also wrote a book in the “success” category that contains almost no jokes and yet people keep telling me how hard it made them laugh. That’s because they are experiencing the Moist Robot Hypothesis for the first time and finding their notions of reality challenged. The book is engineered to have just enough “witty” lines throughout to give the reader a “reason” for laughing. People need the release.
That’s a variant on the film script idea of a “trap door.” In a tense movie, you often see small bits of humor that act as trap door to escape from the movie tension so it doesn’t overwhelm you. You wouldn’t like a tense movie with no trap doors. It would seem too intense.