Updated: Nov 7
Disclaimer: Psychedelics are largely illegal substances across the world, and we do not encourage or condone their use where it is against the law. However, we accept that illicit drug use occurs and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this article is designed to enhance the safety of those who decide to use these substances. Psychedelics at the very least should be respected. For the best guidance, consider seeking out legal psychedelic therapy centres. Author: Resident Writer, Freya Astrella. I gob off to anyone and everyone within earshot about psychedelics, regardless of whether they wanna hear it or not. But I have learnt that this ain’t always the best strategy. If you’re super keen to share your experiences, here’s how to talk to normies about psychedelics better than me...
Messages from the universe
Picture the scene: it’s a beautiful sunny morning. Last night you imbibed a profound plant medicine tea. Or maybe you melted a microscopic droplet of LSD in your mouth or tanked up on the pungent fumes of DMT. Whatever your molecule of choice, you’re probably feeling pretty darn great!
God-like energy is coursing through your veins. Your brain has been well and truly reset and rewired. And you’re brimming with confidence and courage to seize the day – and your life.
For a few precious hours – or even minutes – you had a front-row seat to the most beautiful art ever created. You unlocked the doors to never-ending fractal dimensions. You met fully embodied entities, and they shared secret insights with you.
Surely this should be front-page news?!?
Yup. It should be. But the reason why psychedelics are not front-page news is because the experience for many is intuitively unsettling, deeply terrifying, and sometimes downright revolting. People would sooner cast you as a mental patient than genuinely believe you and follow in your footsteps.
Besides, how on Earth do you even put the experience into words for those who have never ventured into those cosmic landscapes? It’s hard enough sharing notes with fellow trippers!
Forget words – lead by example
Even if people could comprehend the descriptions of your trip, it would not mean anything. How could this bizarre dreamlike cacophony of patterns and visions create such a monumental shift in the way you see the world?
If you really want to hammer home the power of psychedelics, you’re better off letting your actions speak for themselves. You never know how many lights you could switch on in other people’s minds by demonstrating that you’re becoming increasingly compassionate, kind, honest, authentic, and curious.
If people ignorantly labelled you as a “lazy hippy” or a “dirty druggy” but now see that you’re living in alignment with people, nature, and yourself, they’ll soon change their tune. And if they don’t, well, that’s their journey and none of your business.
Have you ever noticed how people prefer to come to conclusions on their own? For example, you could tell everyone about your new favourite podcast, but rarely will anyone actually listen to it. However, if the same podcast pops up on their feed, they may end up raving to YOU about it!
This suggests that people value their own conclusions much more than other people’s suggestions. So, with this in mind, it’s far more powerful to drop a few subtle hints, walk away, and then allow people to enquire in their own time.
If they come to the realisation themselves, it’s much more ‘sticky’ and will hold much more meaning. Rather than just nodding and agreeing with some nutter like you.
Be a touchpoint
In advertising, there is a rule about ‘touchpoints’ where most people need to be exposed to your product/service a good seven times before they even think about purchasing. The same applies to ideas.
Sometimes, months after dropping hints, I’ve had the most normie of normies gently asking me to clarify stereotypes about psychedelics:
“Is it true that you have flashbacks?”
“Is it true that you jump out of windows?”
“Is it true that it makes holes in your brain?”
And rather than scoff at their ignorance, I have relished in the opportunity to educate them and bring them closer to the all-important final touchpoint where they are, maybe, just maybe, ready to drink the Kool-Aid.
Are you touchpoint number one or touchpoint number seven? You may never know. But keep the faith that you are quietly aiding their journey towards accepting the power of psychedelics.
Don’t go down the woo-woo rabbit hole
When fellow psychonauts get together, we can gleefully wax lyrical about multi-dimensions, shape-shifting entities, and psychic interactions with extra-terrestrials. But best keep that sort of stuff to yourself when Karen from finance is loitering around the coffee station at work, yeah?
Don't forget – normies have a penchant for familiarity, routine, and safety. And certainly not mind-expanding philosophical mysteries. Much like the ‘Bible-bashers’ of your childhood, the more you try and ram your ideas down someone’s throat, the more they will reject you – and rightly so.
If you go too hard too fast, you’ll ruin any chance of getting normies to listen to you. And once you’ve turned them off, they’ll probably stay that way for life. That’s pride for you.
Lean on scientific research
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard great things about psychedelic research – from MAPS and John Hopkins Centre for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research in the US to Imperial College London and Awakn Clinics in the UK.
So, when you’re confronted with a wall of cynicism and old-school propaganda, just causally drop in a few headline stats and statements. Once they hear that ‘men in white coats’ have discovered that psilocybin can stop people smoking, or that MDMA can alleviate PTSD, or that Ketamine can help treatment-resistant depression, or that DMT is currently being trialled to treat alcoholism, they might begin to listen.
Normies may begin the conversation by thinking that psychedelics are all about “turning on, tuning in and dropping out”. But after a friendly chat with you, they may realise that they’ve been fooled by decades of malevolent government campaigning and that the future of psychedelics is legitimately promising.
Some people will never be ready for psychedelics
Just because psychedelics have changed your life, they are not for everyone. Some people (at least in this incarnation) will never be ready to be so close to that sort of profundity. As Carl Jung said: “Beware of unearned wisdom.”
Plus, make sure you’re respectful of other people’s journeys. We’re all autonomous, sovereign beings, walking towards the light at our own pace. Besides, I fully believe that the plants and the mycelial network are reaching around the globe anyway.
So, there’s no need for us to shout from rooftops.