An Effective Way to Fizzle Away Feelings from a Verbal Attack

Jul 31, 06 An Effective Way to Fizzle Away Feelings from a Verbal Attack

Dr. Patricia Carrington is an innovator with EFT. She is the creator of the popular Choices Method. Recently she posted an article where she combined techniques from NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) with EFT for an effective way to handle situations where you might encounter a verbal attack. There are usually negative feelings and mental chatter replaying the words of the event. Dr. Carrington offers a superb way to defuse these verbal attacks and humorously diminish their effects. Here’s the article from her free newsletter.

The Remarkable “Opera” Technique for De-fusing Verbal Attacks

by Dr. Patricia Carrington

You probably haven’t heard of the “instant defusing” of the Opera technique, but that method is one of the most effective ways I know to take the charge off a verbal attack that has been made against you.

You may want to use this technique in retrospect to defuse an unpleasant incident, or you can employ it right on the spot by using mental EFT while the other person is busy hurling epithets at you. (NOTE: Mental EFT is done by imagining the tapping spots and repeating the reminder phrases to yourself in your mind).

To create this technique I adapted the NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) strategy of “pattern interrupt” to create an auditory “image” of singing that can be strikingly effective in taking the charge off of a disagreeable situation involving another person. Here’s how it works:

If there is someone in your life whose verbal attacks upset you or if you have had an exceptionally unpleasant encounter with an acquaintance or stranger that is rankling within you, take a piece of paper, sit down, and write down the exact words they used against you as accurately as you can remember them. Write everything that they said which you can recall, especially the worst things they said to you, those words that really hurt you or infuriated you and which you can’t get out of your mind.

Now, reading from this paper, begin singing (yes, SINGING!) the words they directed at you as though you were HEARING THEM SUNG AS THE LIBRETTO OF AN OPERA. Make this “libretto” as exaggerated and tragic and forceful as you possibly can. It should be a wild parody of an operatic scene.

Whenever I use this technique with a client, which is often, I myself sing the exaggerated libretto TO them. This is really something to hear because I can’t keep a tune very well, but actually my occasional out-of-tuneness only serves to make this technique more effective. The shrieks and gestures and the off-key notes make this such an effective parody of the attack that it becomes easy for the client to create a ridiculous mental image in their opponent’s words sung as though in an opera.

When they can “hear” that singing in their mind it is very difficult to keep from bursting into laughter. Even the most serious client of mine has at least smiled faintly when they imagined this because it is really comical to hear the words you took so seriously being played back to you in this fashion! It makes the attacker look ridiculous, and as soon as they do — presto! Their words don’t have the same power over you. The spell has been broken.

Here’s an example. Suppose someone important to you says to you: “You’re so selfish!”

SINGING this phrase in your mind (or if you are a therapist, to a client who will then imagine it in their own mind) it might come out something like, “You are sooooooooo (rising high note) self —ish!!! So selfish — so selfish — so selfish (series of descending notes). I can’t s-t-a-n-d (long drawn-out note) it! So selfish! So selfish! (A series of quick repeats) etc.”, When the person hears this in their mind what can they do but enjoy the ridiculous sounds of the person who is accusing (has accused) them. It’s fun. Try it!

But where does EFT come in? EFT can install this libretto as an auditory image that you can recall at any time your verbal attacker starts up!

The EFT choices statement I use to help my clients install the libretto goes something like this:

“Even though (name of person) yells at me (accuses me etc.), I choose to hear them SINGING their words in an opera whenever they start in.”

This EFT Choice works to make this technique a strong habit. It can be very useful.

© Copyright 2006 by Dr. Patricia Carrington. All Rights Reserved.

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