“How possibly could he know that?”
Every time you watch a mentalist performing on TV, whenever you watch The Mentalist, or if you get to watch a mentalist performing on the street in real life, it’s quite likely that you’ve asked yourself the question above.
Well, that is the question behind everyone who watches illusionists and magicians.
While mentalists make it look as if they can read minds, the truth is that they can’t really read minds. Instead, the mentalists create specific and deceiving illusions which leave you thinking that the men and women who practice mentalism have the capacity to read minds.
But don’t assume that this illusion thing is simple or easy because it isn’t.
The truth is that mentalism involves a deep understanding of human psychology and human behavior, hence the perceived feeling of someone having the ability to read minds.
Mentalists make you feel that they can read your mind by reading your body language and also your subconscious communication.
Like the saying, your eyes are the mirrors to the soul, to mentalists, body language and micro-expressions are mirrors to your feelings and thoughts.
The human mind has a conscious and a subconscious side. While the conscious mind is all about logic and rationality, the subconscious mind is all about you; the subconscious holds your habits, inherent behaviors, beliefs, and perceptions.
Your subconscious mind is who you are.
Mentalists know this, which is why they’ve taken time and the efforts to understand human behavior and the function of the mind, to make it look at is they can actually read people’s thoughts.
Mentalism Mind Reading Techniques
How do mentalists create the mind reading illusions? Well, there are numerous techniques and tricks which employ the power of suggestion and misdirection.
1. Body Language
The mind reading techniques employed by mentalists are not related to telepathy, in the actual sense of the word. Telepathy, a word derived from ‘tele’ meaning distant and ‘pathy’ meaning feeling/ experience, and perception.
Taking this into account, telepathy is more about how mentalists get to read people’s body language. By using your body language, you get to read feelings and emotions at a distance. It also allows you to perceive and understand the experiences of your subjects.
Mentalists understand and analyze the signals given off by the people and seen on their body through muscle movements or micro-expressions.
While we don’t all carry our hearts on our sleeves, and even though we don’t often think that our feelings are seen, they do how you hold your head, present ourselves, and stand to tell more about what you think and feel than we ever wish to admit.
80% of human communication is relayed through body language. Subconscious communication of the feeling through body language is how you can tell that your best friend is not at their best.
It, therefore, means that mentalists have a higher level of perception when it comes to reading body language. While we can tell when someone is happy or sad, mentalists tend to be extra sensitive when it comes to reading emotions and body language.
A good mentalist will take into consideration the subtle face twitches, body posture, hand gesture, as well as eye movements.
To be as good as they are, mentalists are able to tune into their subject’s mind, specifically, the subconscious mind. The
The subconscious mind is the largest part of your mind, and it protects your identity. This part of the brain is further protected by the conscious mind of the faculty factor.
Through imagination and suggestion (via senses like sights, smells, tastes, etc.), the conscious mind’s protective barrier to the subconscious can be bypassed easily, leaving the subconscious quite vulnerable and open to suggestions.
Since the subconscious holds your deepest secrets and permanent memories, the suggestive state created means that you will reveal more than you would, albeit unconsciously, allowing a mentalist to read you better, and allude to their ability to read minds.
Tips to becoming an excellent mind reader
Learn to remove all forms of prejudice preconceived in your mind – preconceptions about people could affect your ability to connect to them, and actually read their mind or their actual situations.
Therefore, you should let of any prejudice and preconceptions you may have.
- Be sensitive to all unconscious behavior – first, you need to find the right subjects, and you also need to be sensitive to all your unconscious behaviors. With the right subject, you can pay attention to what they do or don’t do, therefore, gaining a better perspective of who they are.
- Identify your subject’s constant – before you rush into deciphering what someone’s body language is telling you, you must establish a foundation first. You can’t assume that someone loves red just because they are wearing red. You must dig deeper.
- Understand the basics of conscious communication – unconscious communication takes place through the head and also the face, and it’s not easy. To be able to catch the slightest flicker, you must be aware of such movements and be observant enough to catch the slightest facial movements. This is also called the art of face reading. Mentalists are, therefore, known to be extremely attentive to details. Other movements to watch include blinking, hand movements, shoulder movement, and posture.
- Be a good listener – mentalists know that you can tell a lot about someone, how they talk, the words they use, and how their facial expressions and body language change when you talk to them. So, if you want to be a good mind reader, you should listen more.
- Understand the metaphorical language – everyone has a unique metaphorical language, and this often hides or gives away their underlying feelings or thoughts. For example, some people are visual, while others are more tactile since they feel things more.
Discovered in the 1800s by J. Randall Brown, muscle reading is another great mind-reading technique that involves the study and the keen understanding of human micro-expressions and subtle muscle movements, especially around the face.
You have to be very sensitive to be good at muscle reading. So, if you have been fascinated by the idea of mentalism and mind reading, this article should have all the answers you need.