Hypnosis offers us many ways to approach personal change. Let’s elucidate this point a bit more in-depth. And to do this, we’re going to delve into an interesting hypnotic toolkit called NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming). When someone interested in NLP approaches a problem, the first thing we want to do is to explore it to make a model of how it functions on a subjective level.
In this specific use of NLP, we’re going to explore association trains (thoughts and feeling in succession) from memories and how to use the feelings that arise from deeply remembering to train a new association train. You can do the process without eliciting a trance state first, but you’ll be much more receptive to it if you do.
(A simple, light trance state can be elicited by breath counting, particularly rhythmically like breathe in for four, hold for four, out for four, hold for four repeatedly over a few minutes. You just need to stay out of your own way mentally, which hypnosis can help. Pretend it’s real and go with it is my best advice. You don’t question or critique a glass of water’s appearance when you see it: treat the things you imagine while doing hypnosis with the same respect, even if it’s a stick figure version of you or just a vague feeling. Just go with it.)
Understanding the process
In short, we’re paying attention to the “association train”, the series of thoughts, feelings, and subjective experiences that arise when you think about how this person makes you feel.
As a loose model, generally people associate good memories to people they cherish and bad memories to people they don’t like, and of course eh/hardly remembered memories to people they don’t care that much about. Take a moment and think about someone you love, remember how they make you feel, and just experience what memories pop up and how. How they make you FEEL is the key part of this. Experience how you feel about them.
Now, think about someone you hate or at least strongly dislike. Remember how they make you feel… pay attention to your train of thoughts. What do you think about?
Now someone you feel indifferent toward…
How you remembered these is important for you, and is really too varied to discuss in specifics, but pay attention to what you noticed… What’s different between each of them? What’s the same? Which sense or sensory experience seems to influence you the most?
Many people see pictures, quick flashes of events. Some just hear conversations or loops of phrases. Some will have feelings only. Most will have a mix, but favor pictures. And this may be a bit far out at first. If so, just give it a go and move onto the next step.
Doing the process to change how you feel about them
Now, we’re going to purposely make an association train using what we learned about ourselves, or at least the idea of the general model. This part is pretty simple, but has a few quirks I want to make clear.
First, this should be intensely emotional. If it’s not, you’re not getting into the emotions of the memories enough. You can start slowly and review each memory, then speed it up on each loop…
To build it, deliberately choose 3-8 memories embodying how you’d like to feel about this person and then run them in a loop. If you want to hate them, think of memories in which they hurt you or made you mad. If you want to love them, find memories where you love them. It’s important to be deliberate about the things you choose: choose the same emotion or at least related (frustration, anger, want to leave is a good combo. Adding fear, inadequacy, etc. or love, feeling sorry for them, etc. will muddle and confuse the association chain. Go in one emotional direction) AND choose memories/emotions that will increase your power. Avoid times they made you feel weak like fearful, instead think about how much that made you angry or wanting to never talk to them again later.
Memories of being completely in love, sharing amazing adventures, passionate embraces, etc. will usually endear you. A great train for deepening/rekindling romantic love is first date + time you knew you loved them + a trip/beautiful experience + a kiss + a thing you share.
Memories of how much they upset you, how they hurt you and in a way it made you never want to see them again, etc. will drive them away. A good train here could be a memory of how they let you down + mean things they said/say + time they cheated/violated you/relationship + how many times you’ve thought about leaving them. Or remind yourself how they’re never there for you like you are for them: you helped them move + got them a job + lent them cash + they didn’t help you move + they refused to help you get a job + they wouldn’t lend you money.
Choose 3-8 memories that embody this. Think about what you think about when you think about them (usually a mental picture of them or feeling). Run the memories in a loop. Repeat it: think them, run loop, think them, run loop…
Circle of Excellence
This part just offers you more variety in the situation. Not surprisingly, when we go into a situation we’re familiar with, we generally do what we’re familiar with. We usually fall back on habits out of just not realizing a better answer. To be honest, this is a huge pitfall of personal change in general: making up your mind and even changing your mind is not that difficult, doing it is the place of true challenge for most. And without having a few alternative behavioral options, this is much harder.
To overcome this, we want to do some mental rehearsal of new ways to behave with this person. This process trains your mind other ways to act, but hopefully gives it a clearly better way to act. And while some of us will always “walk around the block to get next door”, many people will naturally gravitate toward a better solution. For instance, if you’re struggling to quickly carry four glasses at once as a waiter, you’re blocked. If I teach you how to hold three in one hand, you’re left with an option: stay the same or change in the way you now know.
The more we can leverage ourselves this way, the simpler making personal changes becomes. This doesn’t mean it’s always effortless, but it has far less impediments that way, which gives you the best chance of success.
How to Change How You Feel About People With NLP
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