Before we get into these mind reading tricks, I want to point out that they are only tricks (not any essential life skills you need to be a better man).
…However, they are an immensely cool and fascinating art form to learn/practice. Here are the top ten tricks to master:
Gray Elephants from Denmark No. 10
This is a basic trick that you can perform in front of any crowd, including a single friend.
Now, have the audience consider a number between 1 and 10, then multiply it by 9. Then have them sum the digits and subtract 5.
Now comes the weird bit, which only you are aware of:
Whatever their starting number was, their final answer will be 4. It’s just a mathematical oddity. Isn’t it cool?
Then, have the audience assign a number to each letter of the alphabet: A is 1, B is 2, C is 3, and so on. Tell them to come to a halt when they reach their number… which you are already aware is four (so the letter D).
Now ask them to come up with a country that starts with their letter (remember, everyone’s letter is D). Because there aren’t many countries that begin with the letter “D,” most people will pick Denmark.
…And then, when asked to identify an animal beginning with the next letter of the alphabet (which will be E for everyone), the majority will say “elephant.” Instruct them to consider the color of the animal.
Finally, guess aloud that they’re thinking of Danish gray elephants. Amazing… and straightforward, right?
But how exactly does it work?
This mind reading trick, on the other hand, is based on playing probability, or simply selecting the most likely answer. You can appear to be a mind reader because you know that most people would choose Denmark and elephant.
The Triangle Within The Circle
Request that someone ponder deeply about a shape in his or her mind. “Think of a shape like a square, but not a square,” you say… Similarly to Denmark and elephants, most people will think of a triangle.
Tell them to think of another shape that goes around the first one… They’ll probably think of a circle because there aren’t many shapes that fit symmetrically around a triangle.
Astound them by telling them the shapes you were thinking about….
Here’s a pro tip for this trick:
While asking the person to think of images, quietly trace the shapes in the air with your hands, subconsciously implanting the image in their minds.
Subliminal programming is a frequent (and really cool) mentalism technique.
It’s Always Five.
You can easily persuade others that you can read their minds by using basic math (again, just like that math quirk with the Gray Elephants from Denmark trick above).
Here’s another of those mathematical tricks:
Request that someone think of any number. Then instruct them to multiply the first number by the next greatest number (so if they chose 20, tell them to add 21). Then multiply by nine. Then divide the result by two. The original number is then subtracted.
And the final response will be 5, regardless of what their first number was.
You’ll astound everyone if you pretend your clairvoyant talents told you they were thinking of five.
Seven of Diamonds
The secret to the Three of Diamonds trick is subliminal perception… which means you won’t actually perform a trick, but rather influence how someone thinks.
And you’ll be surprised at how potent even a small amount of influence may be.
The trick is as follows:
Ask someone to envision any card from a deck, and tell them you’ll guess which one it is (spoiler alert: it’ll be the three of diamonds, because you’ll offer it without them knowing).
As you describe what you want them to do, move your hands in the shape of a diamond in front of you.
…Also, organize your gestures in groups of three (see video for a powerful way to do this).
Rep each gesture softly a few times, then guess they’re thinking of the three of diamonds.
The Red Hammer is number six.
This is a method that relies on the unique relationship between language and mind. Having said that, it’s actually quite straightforward.
It works by delivering a sequence of questions aimed at instilling a specific idea in their minds. You lead them to the answer you want by asking these questions, which subconsciously form an image in their mind.
Consider the following questions:
When is Christmas?
What exactly are hamburgers comprised of?
What kind of governance did the Soviet Union have?
In Europe, which side of the road do they drive on?
Can you come up with a color and a tool?
You can nearly always anticipate that they’re thinking of a red hammer.
How? Because you asked about the Soviet Union, which notably utilized a red flag with a sickle and hammer, that image is unconsciously in their minds. The other inquiries are only to conceal your tracks.
- Ruse of the Rainbow
The Rainbow Ruse is a famous mentalist trick that helps you appear to know a lot about someone.
…But the trick is that you’re employing simple psychology to make people believe they’re one-of-a-kind.
Here’s one simple method (the movie below illustrates a more complicated (but still incredibly impressive) ruse):
Tell someone you can’read’ their personality and mention one of their characteristics… while also possessing the inverse quality As an example:
“You frequently try to improvise in circumstances, but you also like to create precise plans,” say you.
Now, one of those two ambiguous statements (opposites) must be true for almost everyone living, right? However, because everyone believes they are unique, they will interpret your statement as a vivid’reading’ of their personality.
…And, while basic rainbow ruses are easier to spot, the more complicated you may build them as your cold reading skills improve. You can also use the information revealed by the rainbow ruse to make more educated guesses.
Derren Brown performs a sequence of Rainbow Ruses all around the country in this video:
- Perform a Cold Read on Your Subject
Searching for environmental cues to guess personal details is one of the most fundamental mind reading tactics. It’s simple, but it can have big results.
Cold-reading is merely observing minor things and reaching the most obvious conclusion about them.
Consider someone who has a visible scar on their hairline. Now… they’re probably so used to it that they don’t think about it, but if you make a statement like “You hit your head when you were younger”, it can easily seem you know something about them psychically.
…But really, the information you observe told you everything.
So start to notice and observe little things in the environment, and you can become powerfully good at coming to the right conclusions about them.
3….And Watch Their Reactions Using the aforementioned trick:
‘Reading’ the physical things you observe can make you seem like a powerful mentalist… but reading people’s facial reactions takes it to the next level:
Just use human micro expressions, or a momentary loss of control over emotions.
…And you’ve seen them before, right? It’s the momentary flicker of disgust on a girl’s face as she gets hit on by a creepy guy… or the flicker of joy on a man’s face when he gets a really good job offer.
So… learn these micro expressions in people, and you can read their real emotions (now, this guide explains them all, but here are a few most popular ones):
Surprise: brows arch, forehead wrinkles, eyelids open, jaw drops
Fear: forehead wrinkles in center, mouth tenses, upper eyelid raises, lower doesn’t
Anger: brows lower, nostrils dilate, lips together
Happiness: cheeks raise, crow’s feet near eyes, lips drawn up and back
But remember, all these reactions will be extremely subtle, so look closely.
Now… after you feel comfortable identifying those micro expressions in people, begin silently making predictions based on those micro expressions as practice for your mentalist readings. (for example… that girl is about to make an excuse to leave that conversation… or that man is about to grin and fist pump after he shakes hands with that interviewer).
- Read Your Friend’s Mind With Your Fingers
Some mentalism tricks rely on reading others, or subtly suggesting choices for them… but some (like this one) require the clever use of a partner. Here’s how it works (and it’s incredibly easy):
Pull a friend aside and ask them to play along. Tell them that you’re going to ‘psychically guess’ a number they have in mind, but explain that when you place your hands on their temples, they should clench their teeth the same number of times as the secret number.
Make sense? Now:
In front of a group, have someone whisper a number between 1 and 20 to your friend, and claim you can ‘read’ it. Gently put your hands on their temples, and count the number of times you feel the muscles in their temples tighten (which happens naturally ass you clench your teeth).
Your friend in this trick is called a ‘plant’, and mentalists have used plants for years as a way to seem psychic.
- Shotgun Statements
Shotgun statements are another classic mentalist trick: They allow you to seem psychic by making incredibly accurate statements about a person… but if those statements are broad enough, it’s highly likely that some of them will be correct.
To use this technique, just guess about traits/events in a person’s life, but be very broad in your guesses. So don’t say ‘You have an aunt who died recently’… that’s too specific.
…But if you guess ‘you or someone close to you has an elderly relative who died’, you’re very likely to be correct, right?
And people almost always assume that you have a mental gift, instead of assuming that your statements are flawed. Cool, right?
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