Can Bright People Be Hypnotized?

When I get this question, it is usually because the person asking hasn’t understood what hypnosis is really about. When you ask this kind of question, you implicitly suggest that stupid people (whatever that is) can be hypnotized. The underlying assumption is that it is terrible to be hypnotizeable because it’s a form of mind-control or manipulation. Since hypnosis is neither mind-control nor manipulation, bright people can easily be hypnotized. Some hypnotists say that optimistic people are the best hypnotic subjects. This is the case because the hypnotic state of mind is utilized in learning, and since a “bright person” must be an excellent learner, it’s more likely that such a person is a worthy hypnotic subject.

It’s important to understand that every person with a normal functioning brain can be hypnotized and that it’s not a matter of being bright or stupid. Often when someone claims that they cannot be hypnotized, it is simply because they don’t know what hypnosis is. The exciting thing is that if you claim you cannot be hypnotized and believe it, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Hypnosis is a natural state that you enter many times each day, so you can be hypnotized using formal inductions, but if you decide that you don’t want to be hypnotized, the hypnotist will not succeed.

While this is a magnificent and healthy view of hypnosis, you should be aware of this when you go to a hypnotist. There is no point in wasting time or money on hypnosis if you believe that you cannot be hypnotized. So I suggest that the first thing you do if you have this kind of belief is to confront your hypnotist. The hypnotist will then be able to help you rid your mind of any misconceptions about hypnosis and possibly enjoy significant benefits from hypnosis. Being bright about hypnotism will therefore help you to enter the hypnotic state.