Esther Inglis-Arkell – … The Ever-Shifting Game of Cold Reading
There are a lot of important techniques in cold reading, and they each have their own names.
Shotgun statements are things like, “A female relative of yours has had a brush with breast cancer; it could be an aunt, a mother, a sister, or a grandmother.” These statements are made while watching the person for any visible reaction, taking wider and wider shots until they sit up.
Surefire Tips and Tricks to Convince People You Have Psychic PowersRainbow statements carry the entire range of the behavior spectrum: “You try to be a hard worker, but if you admit it to yourself, you often delay work longer than you should, and sometimes you can even be very lazy.” By the end of the statement. anyone in the world could identify with it.
Trivia statistics use the common ground that everyone shares, to come up with things that feel personal to the onlooker. “You have an item of clothing at home. It was expensive, but you’ve never worn it once. Why is that?” Another example is to ask people if they’ve played a musical instrument when they were younger, if they ever tried to go vegetarian, and so on.
Vanishing negatives are an ever-popular technique. “You don’t happen to work with computers, do you?” This phrasing can allow a psychic to nod their head and either say, “I thought not,” or “I thought so,” no matter what a person answers.
The reason vanishing negative statements are so important is, they mimic the style of the entire exchange. They give the psychic the ability to shift from subject to subject, building the momentum of the conversation.
“Do you know an Emily? A mother, a sister, a friend.”
“No, I don’t.”
“You will. When you meet her, you’ll probably need to set aside the fact that you usually tend to be stand-offish to people you meet. At times, I think, you can be very outgoing, but most of the time you hold back more than you should, am I right?”
“Yes, that’s me.”
“When you meet Emily, I think you should mention that box of old clothes that you haven’t gotten a chance to give to Goodwill yet. I’m sensing that you have one of those. Or maybe it’s old electronics equipment. You don’t happen to have a lot of that, do you?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“I thought so. You’ll meet an Emily before you donate that stuff, and you will want to mention it to her. She’ll probably know a place.”
Cold reading is about shifting and shifting until there is some common ground to get to. From there it’s easy to spin out a narrative that feels specific to the person, especially if they’re cooperating. …
What you get with these techniques are occasional amazing hits that validate the entire experience. Even if there were zero psychic powers, Psychics, like astrologers, psychologists, priests, counselors, coaches and anyone else who listens to and talks to a large number of people can be worth your time. If you pay for the advice, you just might listen when they tell you that you must change your lifestyle or you will die.
Or try this: be your own psychic. Use tea leaves, draw cards, open a book at random, or free associate. Give yourself some valuable psychic advice, and then follow through and make positive life changes.