By Dr. Patricia Carrington
You may never have heard of the instant defusing properties of the "Opera" technique, but this method is one of the most effective ways I know to take the charge off a verbal attack made against you.
You can use it to defuse an unpleasant memory – or, you can employ it right on the spot, by using mental tapping, while the other person is busy hurling epithets at you. (Note: Mental tapping is done by imagining the tapping spots and repeating the reminder phrases to yourself in your mind).
In devising the Opera technique, I adapted the NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) strategy of "pattern interruption" to create an auditory image of singing that can be strikingly effective in taking the charge off a disagreeable situation involving another person's verbal attack against you.
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 still rankling within you, get a piece of paper, sit down, and write down the exact words they hurled 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 and infuriated you and which you can't get out of your mind.
Now, reading from this paper, you are to sing (yes, sing!) 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!
Quite often, when I use this technique with a client, 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 being occasionally out of tune only serves to make the technique even 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 of their opponents words, sung as though in an opera.
When they can hear this singing in their mind it is very difficult for them to keep from bursting into laughter. Even the most serious client of mine has at least smiled faintly when they imagine this because it's really comical to hear the words you took so seriously being played back to you in this fashion! It makes the attacker looked ridiculous, and as soon as they do — presto! Their words just don't have the same power over you. The spell has been broken.
HOW THE LIBRETTO SOUNDS
Here is an example. Suppose someone important to you screams at you: "you're so selfish!".
Singing this phrase in your mind (or if you are a therapist, singing it to a client who then imagines it in their own mind) it might come out something like, "You are soooooooooo (rising high note) self —ish! So selfish, so selfish, so selfish (series of descending notes). I can't s-t-a-n-d (long drawnout note) it! So selfish! So selfish!” (As a series of quick repeats).
When the person listens to this in their mind, it is hard not to enjoy the ridiculous sounds of the person who was accusing (has accused) them. I have known it to actually be fun for many people to do.
EFT is extremely important here because it can install this libretto as an auditory image that you can recall any time that your verbal attacker starts up again.
The EFT statement I use to help my clients install the libretto as an auditory image goes something like this:
"Even though (name of person) yells at me (accuses me etc.) I choose to hear them singing their words as in an opera whenever they start up!”
This EFT statements can work wonders to create an automatic habit of turning your accuser’s voice into an "operatic joke” each time they commence their unpleasant attack. It can protect you from much distress and allow you to counter any accusations much more effectively because they will no longer be painful to you.
· ● When you have had an exceptionally unpleasant encounter with someone, write down the exact words they used in their verbal attack against you, as accurately as you can remember them.
● Sing these words out loud as though you were singing them in the libretto of an opera, i.e. sing them in as exaggerated and forceful a manner as possible.
● Install this "libretto" as an auditory image by tapping on the FFT Choice to hear them singing their words in your imagination.
● Run this auditory image in your mind whenever the person confronts you in the future.
I think you'll find this simple device often to be amazingly effective. Use it whenever you need it!.
With best wishes,