Don’t always go with the flow!
Some jokes make kids laugh while adults merely smile. Some jokes make adults laugh and kids don’t get it. I’m going to teach you a joke that works for ALL ages.
Then I’ll tell you why I taught it to you.
Go up to someone and say “Knock Knock!” If they know the game, and most do, they’ll say, “Who’s there?” You say, “Interrupting cow.” As they start to say, “Interrupting cow who?” you interrupt them, LOUDLY, by saying, or if you can get away with it, yelling “MOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Startle them. Interrupt them. Make them flinch, just a tiny bit.
They’ll laugh, and usually pretty hard, adult and child alike. That startled response makes the absurd humor in the joke hit harder, and you’ll get better results with that than any normal joke of that level.
There is power in being able to interrupt something, and a greater power in knowing when to do so. If you have a good point to make to someone and you want their unconscious mind to process more than their conscious mind, distract them. Interrupt their conscious thought process, then change the subject. Their conscious mind will be distracted, but if you did a good job with holding the person’s unconscious attention, a part of them, deep down, will continue to work on what you suggested. A classic thing Milton Erickson would do was that he would make a potent suggestion to someone, then ask if the temperature was comfortable for them. When they answered that it was fine, he would carry on with a new topic as if he’d been talking about it all along. He would also begin to lead someone into trance, interrupt it, then resume, interrupt, and resume. Those interruptions made it easier to help the person achieve a deeper, more focused state, surprisingly enough, BECAUSE of the interruptions, not despite them.
I saw my father do this to a waiter, once. Way back before low carb diets were well known, my father ordered a “hamburger, but without the bun.” The poor waiter literally froze, staring at him for several seconds, not knowing how to react to what he’d just heard. That was a type of a hypnotic induction called a pattern interrupt. The most famous version of it I’m not going to discuss here today, but a lesser known one is the smoker’s induction. Some smokers tap their cigarette on the pack several times before putting it into their mouth. While they are mid tap, reach out and gently catch their hand, stopping them in mid motion. Done smoothly and quickly, what you say next will go in just like a hypnotic suggestion.
All parents have seen their infant crying fiercely, then something distracts them! Where do the tears go? Learning to get comfortable recognizing patterns and learning ways to interrupt the patterns that aren’t useful can be a potent tool for anyone–parent, manager, or even a salesman.
Remarkably enough, there is evidence that you can forget memories by interrupting the process of the memory, over and over. We know some techniques that are more efficient than the method they talk about in this, but their work shows that a simple interrupt, applied steadily, can have a noticeable effect. Ask us about some of those techniques sometime, if you’re curious.
So go out there and practice the “cowitus interruptus” joke with people. Try it in different contexts. Or spend a day looking for patterns that SHOULD be interrupted and explore the effectiveness of that.
And if you have a pattern or two you’d like disrupted, contact us here at Bright Mind. Maybe all you need is a good laugh!
- Interrupting Cow Shows Up at Soccer Game in Poland, Only One Person Finds It Funny (Video) (nesn.com)
- What are some cognitive hacks to interrupt yourself when you can tell you’re falling into a borderline obsessive behavior? (ask.metafilter.com)
- The Russian Scam (whatjustpoppedintomyhead.wordpress.com)
- Top 10 Best Knock Knock Jokes (toplisteverything.com)
- What you allow to interrupt you defines your priorities (thoughtmanagement.org)