Bangkok Hypnosis

CURIOUS BY MILTON ERICKSON

Posted by Sun on September 16, 2011

A woman came to college always holding her left hand over her mouth. She recited in class holding her left hand under her nose, concealing her mouth. She walked out on the street with her left hand covering her mouth. She ate in restaurants concealing her mouth behind her left hand. When she was reciting in class, walking down the street, eating in restaurants, always the left hand was over her mouth.

Now that interested me. I made it a point to get acquainted with her. She told me, after much prodding, about a horrible experience she had when she was ten years old. In a car accident, she had been thrown through a windshield. A frightening experience for a ten-year-old girl. Her mouth was cut by the windshield glass and there was a lot of blood on the hood of the car. A lot of blood that was frightening to a ten-year-old could be a very small amount of blood, but, to her, it was an enormous quantity.

She grew up with the idea that her rnouth was terribly scarred and that’s why she kept her mouth covered, because she did not want anybody to see that horrible scar.

I got her to read a history of cosmetology and she came across beauty spots—spots that were crescent shaped, circles, stars, and so on. She read about how a woman would place a beauty spot near the feature she considered attractive. I induced her to draw me some beauty spots. Then I induced her, in the privacy of herroom, to make a life-size copy of her scar—it turned out to be a five-pointed star, the size of a beauty spot. Yet she still saw it as larger than her whole face.

So I persuaded her to go on a date with one of the students. She was to carry two heavy handbags in order to keep her hands down, from the face. On this date, and on subsequent ones, she discovered that if she allowed a good-night kiss, the man would invariably kiss her on the scarred side of her mouth. Even though she had two sides to her mouth the man would always, invariably, kiss her on the scarred side.

She dated one man but didn’t have the nerve to let him have a good-night kiss. The second man kissed her on the right side of her mouth. So did the next, the third, the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth. What she didn’t know was that she was curious and when she was curious she always tipped her head to the left, so that a man had to kiss her on the right side of her mouth!

Every time I tell that case history, I look around. You all know about subliminal speech, but you don’t know about subliminal hearing. When I tell that case history, every woman puckers her lips—and I know what she is thinking of. You watch the neighbor come in to see the new baby. You watch the lips. You know just when that neighbor is going to kiss the baby,

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