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Hypnosis for Improving Relationships to Friends and Co-workers

This is the third in a series on how hypnotherapy can improve relationships.

Hypnotherapy can improve your relationships with your friends and co-workers

"I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” - Winnie the Pooh.

Every relationship is an adventure and requires a bit of embracing the unknown. But where marriages keep the unknown contained in a commitment expressed in a vow, and family do it with commitment written in blood, friends and co-workers - especially co-workers - have no reason to commit. Friendships and working relationships do require a leap of faith. And so these successful relationships are truly something to treasure.

What is friendship based on?

According to a 2018 New York Times opinion piece, friendship is based on “homophily” - the tendency for people to seek out or be attracted to those who are similar to themselves. Part of this philosophy includes the idea that because we’re attracted to similar types, we must therefore dislike, or even hate, opposite types.

I’m not a fan of this belief. Given enough time, a common language, and the magical element of compassion, one can find common ground with almost anyone. Why? Because what really cements friendships is a common cause. Mothers raising their children volunteer at school and compare notes. Men on the same neighborhood basketball team bond while competing with a team from the next neighborhood. The easiest way to make friends is through a church, school or volunteer situation simply because everyone shares a similar goal. If people don’t share common ground in these situations, what they don’t have in common actually makes the bond stronger because each person brings their own strengths to accomplishing the goal.

At work, friendship becomes complicated because loyalty to a company, a boss or supervisor outweighs bonds between co-workers. People who would otherwise work together for a common goal may need to maintain a personal distance simply because the stakes in the relationship are so high. The bonds are further complicated by personal ambition. When everyone is there to make money for themselves or advance a personal career, personal bonds are weak.

So why do some people have trouble making friends? And why do some have trouble in their work environment?

A very common reason people have trouble making friends is that many experience some degree of anxiety when meeting new people. This anxiety stems from a fear of being rejected or judged by others. Sometimes a previous trauma sets the stage for such anxiety. For example, over-protective parents may warn a child too strongly about the dangers of interacting with others. Sometimes individuals are born highly sensitive and perceptive - like those with a high IQs, special talents, or with a condition such as Asperger’s syndrome. For these people, interactions that others may perceive as normal may be experienced as difficult or even traumatic. For example, a high IQ child may overthink interactions and may believe some accidentally hurtful situation was intentional. Such children are often bullied for being different, and so learn to expect bullying in the adult world. In the working world, where power, competition and personal ambition take the joy out of what might otherwise be a group with a shared goal, anxiety comes from having something at stake.

So, how can hypnotherapy help bring back the joyful adventure of creating relationships outside of a family or romance?

Of course, hypnotherapy is known for reversing a client’s relationship to previous trauma.

(To learn how hypnotherapy works, watch this video.) A hypnotherapist does this by helping the client identify and neutralize negative emotions that the brain habitually connects with previous trauma or from behavior learned from authority figures or peer groups. Once a client has worked somewhat on cleaning up the past, it’s important to create a new belief system that supports the future. By helping the client implant this belief system in the client’s subconscious, the therapist paves the way for natural, effortless change.

Neutralize negative emotions with the help of Hypnosis

What are the Laws of Correspondence?

Perhaps you’ve heard of the three Laws of Correspondence: 1) the Law of Projection, 2) the Law of Attraction, and 3) the Law of Transfiguration. These laws describe how the subconscious mind influences our interactions. The Law of Projection states that we see what we project. Someone who was bullied as a child may stay on the lookout for bullies as an adult, and so defensively “see” them in social situations. The Law of Attraction says that as we project, so we attract. If we fear bullies, bullies are likely to be drawn to us, giving us one self-fulfilling prophecy after another in terms of how we see the world. Lastly, the Law of Transfiguration says that even if we dress up and try to pretend we’re not projecting, others will sense it. So if we go for a job interview and think we don’t deserve the job, we won’t get the job - no matter how qualified we appear or how dressed for success.

When it comes to friendships, we’re likely projecting what we learned about relationships as children from our siblings and classmates. If our parents meddled with our friendships, we may be projecting negative beliefs we acquired from them. In the workplace, we can add to the above whatever belief system we acquired about money, status and/or success.

With hypnotherapy – and a daily practice of it over many months - it's possible to change the same programming that changes our perception and really alter our personalities. When I say personality, I'm referring to how other people interpret our behavior. For example, when I was nine, we moved to a new town and I went to a new school. My mother had made me frightened of meeting new people, so I was shy and kept to myself on the playground. It turned out the other kids thought I was a snob. They didn’t think that someone as smart and tall as I was could be so desperately afraid. I was suppressing my friendliness and, as I learned many months later, they thought I was a jerk. If I had been friendlier - even if I just stood near them and not spoken - they would’ve perceived me differently.

Why does focusing on others improve relationships?

If a fairy godmother could’ve popped into my room some night when I was crying over my 4th grade loneliness, the best trait she could’ve given me with her magic wand would have been to focus on others’ needs rather than my own fears. By this, I don’t mean people-pleasing. People-pleasing is indirectly self-serving. And, I don’t mean losing one’s sense of self for the sake of others. I mean that by truly focusing on others, our self-esteem emerges. Focusing on others, I would see to whom I felt naturally drawn, and I would have empathy for the other kids dealing with a new kid in class - a girl who was smarter and taller than all the guys. Sure, kids can be deliberately cruel about things like that, but focusing on others would’ve taken my focus off of me, my awkwardness, and my fear.

This trait of compassion is fairly easy to plant in the subconscious, and it acts like a force field that attracts good relationships and repels negative one. For when we focus on others, our energy goes out from us, making us seem bigger and stronger than we might by focusing on ourselves. By focusing on others, we appear less needy and more confident. By focusing on others, we in fact become the center of others’ attention. This strategy works in the workplace because focusing on others does not require us to drop our own needs and ambitions. In fact, doing so helps protect them.

Coupling this focus with hypnotherapy we can enjoy the adventure of work and friendship. We can embrace the unknown in relationships outside of more secure bonds. We can accept ourselves as we are and acquire traits that help us be more the way we’d like. We can develop the courage and the skill to accept others as they are, too, and so interact with them in more satisfying and productive ways.

Focusing on others is a powerful way to improve relationships

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