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The Magick of Rapport

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on November 21, 2009 | Comments (0)

When the second edition of Modern Magick came out, I added a FAQ section. Most of you know that “FAQ” means “Frequently Asked Questions.” Although I tried to be as thorough as possible, there were still questions I received that were common. I suppose that if a third edition of Modern Magick ever appears, I’ll have to add a few new entries to the FAQ, as the focus of common questions seems to evolve over time.

One of the frequent questions I get is from younger people, living with their parents, who want to practice magick even though their parents won’t allow it. I’m not going to tell people in such situations to go against their parents’ wishes and explain that they may have to wait a few years. However, there are things they can do to prepare to become a magician.

One of the things I point out is that contrary to the old image of the magician being a hermit and living alone, most of the really good magicians I know are popular people. Humans are social animals and need to communicate well with others and have good friends. Unfortunately, we’re just not taught how to do that. I don’t know of any public school that offers classes on friendship.

Learning to make friends isn’t difficult, but because we aren’t trained in how to do it, I get letters on this all the time. And this isn’t limited to minors living at home. I get many letters and emails from adults with this problem, too.

I give a few tips in the FAQ section of Modern Magick on what to do, such as ask questions of others, listen to what they have to say and ask more about it. People like it when you’re interested in what interests them.

The Inner Secret to Making Friends

But there’s a secret that I left out. In the technology known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), it is known as developing rapport. The primary technique for this is known as pacing, and involves matching and mirroring such things as physical movement, breathing patterns, posture, and voice tones and tempo.

Matching and mirroring are simply the craft of subtly imitating a person’s unconscious behaviors. You don’t have to do exactly the same thing. If they pick up a pencil and hold it in front of their face, you could, for example, just raise your hand in a similar way. That’s called matching. You might do something as a mirror image (when they breathe in, you breathe out) of what they’re doing. This, of course, is called mirroring. You can subtly use some of their own words and expressions. Please note that I’m emphasizing the word “subtly” because if you’re obvious about doing this people will think you’re making fun of them and not like it at all.

For many people, claiming that pacing is effective sounds absurd. But the fact is, it really does work. One psychologist refers to this as “The Chameleon Effect,” and shows that in a very limited test, and to a small degree, rapport-increasing behaviors increased a person’s likeability. Others would contend that it does so to a much higher level and pacing is one of the basic teachings in some of the so-called ultra-secret, black-ops, PUA (pick-up artist) community.

If you feel you need help in adding friends or finding a romance, learning rapport-building techniques is actually rather simple, doesn’t require over-priced PUA books or expensive trainings. There is a book I recommend, Instant Rapport by David Brooks, that can help you learn these techniques. With practice (i.e., turning it into a type of magickal ritual), it can be very powerful. It’s great for influencing teachers and making sales in business, too.

How to Tell If It Works

Obviously, if you make a new friend, influence a teacher, make a sale, or someone becomes your new “significant other,” your use of this ritual, the rapport-building techniques, has been successful. But how can you tell if what you’re doing is working while you’re doing it? Surprisingly, a famous story about Aleister Crowley illustrates how to do this and may show that he understood these techniques long ago.

One of the ways to check to see if someone is in a high level of rapport with you is for you to introduce a new behavior and see of the other person matches what you’re doing. In NLP this is called leading. In the story about Crowley, he followed behind another person without the other person realizing it. Crowley, walking closely behind the man, matched this person’s step and behaviors as the other person walked (matching). When they were in synch (had a high level of rapport) Crowley fell to the ground (leading). The other person, without knowing why, fell to the ground, too.

Perhaps Crowley was a master of NLP half a century before anybody called it NLP!

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