NLP Presupposition #32: Negative Declarations

by Lou

After you read this article in its entirety, you’ll have another incredibly useful pattern to influence and sell.

We talked about the importance of using presuppostions for implanting ideas into people’s minds without them being aware of it.

And we also talked about the original 29 presuppositions discovered by Bandler and Grinder when they were modelling hypnotherapist Milton Erickson. And how over the years quite a few more presuppositions were developed.

In the previous post I told you about PRESUPPOSITION #31 (Adverbs of Certainty), today I’d like to explain the next presuppostion on the list:

PRESUPPOSITION #32: Negative Declarations.

This is where we tell someone something by “not” telling them. The frame starts off with a negation, usually one of telling or showing, and then continues on with an example. The example is important as it couches the presupposition (what you want the person to believe) within it.

Here’s the frame:

(I/we/they don’t) + (have to/need to) + (tell you/show you/explain to you) + (REAL LIFE EXAMPLE CONTAINING THE PRESUPPOSITION)

And here are some examples. The sentence in the parentheses are what I want to presuppose and are not part of the spoken or written language pattern …

A. I don’t have to tell you about how well you’ve learned over the years, do I? (You have learned.)

B. The media don’t have to convince you of all the positive, life-changing results people get from NLP. (People get results from NLP.)

C. I shouldn’t have to convince you of how confident you’ll feel when you need it. (You’ll feel confident.)

As you can see in EXAMPLE A, the use of a tag question (do I?) can add a bit more potency to this language pattern because it forces the statement to be interactive. Makes sense, doesn’t it?


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