Cold reading techniques refer to the procedures that so-called “mentalists” use to let their target think that they (the mentalists) know more about a subject than the target himself. It’s also very effective for getting information out of other people as well.
These cold reading techniques can be verbal or non-verbal. While the success of these methods relies on the mentalist’s experience, here are 3 easy ways you can “read” other people’s minds.
Cold Reading Technique # 1: Shotgunning
Shotgunning is one of the most popular cold reading techniques. It works pretty much the same way as a real shotgun does.
You fire off a number of questions or statements with the hope that one of them means something to the subject. You’ve seen a lot of people do this on television before.
The mentalist will usually start off with something like “I see a father figure… He was close to you…” Notice how his comments are vague and non-committal? Chances are, there is a father figure in the subject’s life that he was close to.
Cold Reading Technique # 2: The Barnum Statement
The Barnun statement has plenty of people fascinated. It involves saying something seemingly specific and personal about the subject that no stranger would probably ever know.
For example, the mentalist can say, “You have a problem relating with people of high rank or are in the military.” Now this might sound astounding to everyone (the subject included), but people can easily have a problem dealing with the military.
When the subject reacts, the mentalist can easily read just how much of a problem the subject has and will then pick up from there.
Cold Reading Technique # 3: The Rainbow Ruse
The Rainbow Ruse involves citing two opposite characteristics of the subject. “You are a natural introvert but you can also be the center of everyone’s attention when you want to.”
In this case, the mentalist guesses the subject to be an introvert, but then adds the center of attention part just in case he gets it wrong. Once again, the mentalist will pick up on the issue depending on how the subject reacts to the statement.
Cold reading techniques have grown steadily popular over the years. While there is nothing hocus pocus about it, they are uncannily effective. Why don’t you try some of these tricks on your family and close friends at first and see how they react to them? I’m confident that their reaction will be no less than awed.