I have been thinking a lot about how much my reactions have shifted since I have been involved in providing hypnosis, teaching hypnosis, and continuing my learning in hypnosis and other forms of behavior change work.
Here is a perfect example of my growth: I was in my local small grocery the other day. I was looking for a specific kind of bread, which I wasn’t sure my local store carried as the place isn’t big enough to carry a lot of brands. So I went in just in case they did. A young man approached me and asked if he could help me. He told me he was the new manager of the store. I told him I didn’t need help as the store didn’t carry the bread I was looking for. He then went into a harangue about the store being small and unable to carry a lot of brands and what did I expect. Then he walked away.
I was surprised by his outburst. It appeared to me that he had less experience with the store than I did. My usual way of dealing with this would be to walk out and not come back.
I didn’t do that on this day, instead I went and found him and told him how his comments made me feel and what I was actually thinking and I explained my familiarity with the store, as I am a regular shopper there. (The store is within walking distance from my house), so I was very aware of the limitations.
He immediately calmed down and apologized. I felt heard and was happy to forgive him and go on with my day. I was hopeful that my ability to confront him kindly, without hostility, worked to help him be less defensive with other customers that day and maybe into the future.
I felt like doing a jig! I didn’t get angry, hostile, or aggressive. Rather I took a deep breath and thought about what I wanted from this interaction that I didn’t get. I wanted acknowledgement that I hadn’t complained, (I mean, really, when there are times I am not complaining I want credit for it!). Also, I wanted to be asked how I felt or at least expect the best from me rather than react negatively because he made assumptions about my state of mind. It worked, I got what I wanted and it felt GOOD! I left the store having made a new friend. Now when I go into that store I go out of my way to say “hello”. And I get a big smile from him.
What is the correlation between my standing up for myself in a kind manner without anger and the work I do? I have been telling my clients to not let other people’s behaviors determine their state of mind. Just because he was acting in an aggressive, manner did not mean I had to do the same. Keeping my cool and noticing what I needed and going for that, helped me stay calm and collected.
It’s good to know that the benefits my clients develop from hypnosis also benefit me. So I am not only talking the talk but I am also walking the talk. Knowing this adds value to my sessions as I feel more in-tune with my clients. I feel more authentic when I am connected to my higher self.