Samantha told me that one night she woke up to find an armed man in her bedroom who intended to rape her. Samantha sat up, looked him coldly, and said, “Stop! You’re making a mistake. You don’t know me. I’m not the one you want.” The the rapist was startled and bewildered. He left without saying another word.
So how was that hypnosis?
The rapist was expecting some very different responses from Samantha. He expected her to be scared, scream or plead. When Samantha did something unexpectedly different by coolly looking him in the eye, and saying, “You’re making a mistake”, it derailed his train of thought. He was startled and in that moment what Samantha said next acted like a hypnotic suggestion.
Samantha said, “You don’t know me”. The rapist had to agree. He didn’t know her. Then when Samantha said, “I’m not the one you want ” the rapist accepted that idea as true too. And, since Samantha wasn’t “the one he wanted to rape”…he left.
When we startle someone, the regularly scheduled programming in their mind is disrupted. In that moment the person is open to hypnotic suggestion. Samantha did not intend to hypnotize the man, but what she said worked just like the best of hypnotic suggestions.
Technically, the hypnosis technique that Samantha used is called a “pattern interruption”. Hypnotherapists use pattern interruptions as a technique for hypnotizing clients. Pattern interruptions are also used to help them eliminate undesirable habits. The principle is, if a habit is interrupted enough times, or abruptly enough, that habit will be eliminated.
Samantha may not have stopped her assailant from raping women altogether. But, at least her unintentional hypnosis kept her safe that evening.