NLP Memory Manipulation - Change the Content of your Memories
- Chris Harrison
- 16th July 2007 - Updated 15th October 2013
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Imagine someone who makes you feel uncomfortable; Someone who makes you feel small and insignificant; Someone who you have trouble dealing with; Someone who you find difficult to communicate with, or someone who always seems to hold the upper hand, and restricts the ways in which you can respond.
I think you get the idea.
Now think about dealing with them at some point in the future.
Right, now in your mind you’re probably making a picture of that person.
If not, or if you have trouble creating an image in your mind, then just imagine a picture of them instead.
So what kind of image do you make?
Think for a moment, if this image was real what element of it would make you feel uncomfortable?
If the person in the image is much larger than you, then that would be scary for instance.
If they are very loud, that would also be scary.
If they have a nasty facial expression then that would be scary too.
Imagine if a boxer, prior to a fight, imagined himself fighting his opponent, but imagined his opponent as being twelve feet tall.
I guess his confidence wouldn't be very strong and his chance of winning the fight quite slim.
Usually there is something unrealistic in the image you make - something that in real life would be scary.
There are a number of ways to change the way this representation makes us feel, and we will be coming to many of them later on in the lesson NLP Submodalities - Change your Reality, but for now we’re going to concentrate on the 'content' of the memory.
So as a first step, think about some time you are going to be dealing with that person who bothers you, and notice what is unrealistic about the picture and make it realistic.
For example, if you imagine them as being unreasonably tall, shrink them down.
One by one, change all the unrealistic elements in the image to make the picture more normal.
And for step two, we’re going to take it a little further, and make some things unrealistic.
Concentrate on their face for a moment, and give them a big red clown's nose.
How does that make the person seem?
How about adding a clowns suit and hat?
How about giving them really big flat shoes?
Do they seem quite so difficult now?
So what is happening?
It's simple really.
If you see someone with a clown’s nose, you tend to not take them very seriously, and this is exactly what you did in your head.
This is a perfect example of a generalization.
We generalize that a clown's nose always imply's someone not to be taken seriously.
For anyone who's parents were killed in a freak accident crushed by a crowd of clowns, then please accept my condolences, and find another character you can chose to not take seriously; Cartoon characters, minor celebrities, and WWE Wrestlers are good examples.
Now many readers may have come across similar ideas before such as the exercise nervous speakers use where they imagine the audience naked to make it easier to give a presentation.
Changing the content, especially in humorous ways, can make a massive difference to the state of mind a memory creates.
This technique also works in all other modalities - auditory (hearing), Kinesthetic (feeling), Gustatory (taste), olfactory(smell) - though I'm struggling to come up with an example based around the sense of taste.
So lets try the same exercise using the auditory modality.