Metaphors are incredibly powerful persuasive tools.
If you’re telling somebody else what to do, or even suggesting a course of action, there’s usually going to be resistance.
But as soon as you fire up a metaphor, all conscious resistance goes out the window.
So, what is a metaphor?
It can be a story, it can be a one liner, it can be anything, so long as it’s not direct communication.
The bottom line is to get your listener thinking, on a conscious level, “Oh…he’s talking about somebody else…” so they can relax and go along for the ride.
Say you want to convince your partner to try that new broccoli pizza shop in town.
The direct method would be something like this:
“Hey, let’s go to that new broccoli pizza shop! Whatta ya think?”
But lets suppose that you kind of suspect your partner will balk, because they hate everything associated with broccoli.
But you want to convince them that it’s pretty good. So instead, you tell them a story. Choose two characters, one to represent you, and one to represent your partner. And make the “plot line,” so to speak, match what you’d like the outcome of your conversation to be. Namely, your partner decides to open their mind and try some broccoli.
The great thing about using metaphors is that when used correctly, the “decision” to “try out your idea” will seem like theirs. To them, it’s as if they’re listening to you tell some random story, and suddenly they get a hankering for some broccoli pizza.
Anyhow, you could try something like this:
“Hey, check this out, I was talking to this gal at work (this is the character similar to your partner) she was telling me about how her and her husband were out looking for a new place to eat dinner, they always do that, they’re not like boring couples who eat the same thing over and over, anyway, they saw this broccoli pizza place. Now, normally my friend would never eat broccoli pizza, but her husband started teasing her and saying how normal and boring she was. Anyway, they decided to try it, and she told me that it didn’t even taste like broccoli. I think they just give it that name as some kind of marketing gimmick or something. Anyway, she said it was really good, and even though she still hates broccoli, she’d like to go back and try them again. I really admire that couple, because they’re always trying new things. Anyhow, what do you want to do for dinner?”
See how that works?