October 11, 2018


The Power of the Double Bind

Double binds are a fascinating concept. As always let’s grab a quick definition from Wikkipedia and then break that down and talk about how we can use this in a social interaction. A double bind is a dilemma in communication in which a person receives two or more conflicting messages and one message denies the other; a no-win situation in which the person will be put in the wrong however they respond, and the person can't comment on the conflict or resolve it or opt out of the situation. A double bind can include different levels of abstraction in orders of messages and these messages can be stated or implicit according to the context of the situation. That is quite a mouth full and the last sentence is a super money one.

Double binds are basically way of forcing frames that we want to exist in the interaction. The old 2nd grade joke of “heads I win, tails you lose” is a classic double bind. Before we get into why they are so powerful I want to for a moment talk about frames. Ah frames, the buzzword of choice for intermediate and advanced people in the community. Frames are basically defining the immediate moment and the overall interaction (frame vs metaframe in NLP). Why are setting frames important? They are important because whoever is setting the frame is controlling the interaction by creating the context for everything that happens within it. Also if you don’t set the frame the other person will. 

In any social interaction whoever is reacting LESS has MORE power. We can think of it like this… reacting is a form of investment or compliance. We only invest or comply with things that have value to us. This is why when we do a cold approach we do attraction… we do it to build value so that we can then cash in on that value via qualification (that’s why if she approaches you you have implicit value and thus can start in qualification)

Double binds are very interesting because no matter how the bindee (is that a word?) reacts they are falling into your frame and thus you are controlling the interaction. A classic double bind is telling someone to relax. Growing up my parents use to tell me this all the time because I am very passionate (great reframe of hyper heh). I use to HATE THAT. If I was like I am relaxed well obviously I am not because if I was I wouldn’t be acting on the frame but if I accept the frame they still win because they control the interaction. What made me actually write this post is a girl I recently became friends with who runs the relax DB all the time. It reminded me of how much I hated it growing up so now with my new found social knowledge I decided to figure out what was happening.

Let’s try another one. If a guy is trying to amog you or a girl is acting feisty tell them… hey man you don’t have to try so hard I like you just the way you are. If they accept the frame (that is they are trying hard to impress you, you have socially dominated them and thus they are beta to you) if they push back and say hey I am not trying hard to impress you. They are trying hard not to try hard if that makes sense. Try hard squared for you geeks like me out there heh (does anyone laugh at my jokes?)

Recently what I have been doing is setting double binds by using a combination of cold reads and a concept from NLP called parts. I will say you know what; I have an instinct about you. A part of you is very sweet and innocent and a part of you is a real pain in the ass troublemaker. I bet I am going to bring out the devil in you. There is no way she can deny the statement thus the frame is set by me thus she is reacting to me thus I have more value thus I win. Fader 1 Double Binded Girl 0. You can do amazing things with double binds (hint go back and re-read the second sentence of the definition)

In all seriousness try playing around with this concept and if you have more double binds please feel free to post them. Btw this article is in place of the inner game article I was going to write.

Hope this helps and enjoy!

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