In one of my other posts I made a reference to a commenter about ‘Anchoring.’ Anchoring is a really cool Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique that is done by paring a stimulus with a constant response either in you or someone else.   You may have used anchoring before and have not even known it.

My experience with anchoring is using a rubber band to pull me back in from becoming anxious (over small things).  Each time that you are feeling that emotion or are experiencing a behavior that you no longer want to do you will snap that rubber hand that is sitting around your wrist.  The idea is that you associate the pain with the behavior, which makes you not want to behave in that manner.  Using this tool for swearing is also useful.  When you swear, snap the band and eventually you will stop swearing as your body knows what is coming (the painful snapping of the band) if you do.

Now, I certainly understand that this will not work all of the time.  Deeply engrained habits that are part of who we are, rather than just something that we do, will not really work with this exercise.  But trying anchoring for a while to see if it either works for you or not, is the fascinating part!

I am sure a lot of people feel that dealing with a difficult situation or a difficult person would be easier to deal with via email or text. You get to avoid the face-to-face interaction and the problematic person.  The problem with this, is that you are removing the tone of voice at the very least, and are inserting your own tone.  This could be problematic as it could be an (incorrect) assumption on your part. I think we have all had an experience where mere words were misinterpreted.

The best anchor for this would be to pick the phone right up, and call that person.  It eliminates the struggle of trying to meet for coffee or waiting for a spouse to get home as it is an instant resolve to a problem.  Almost like a 3 second rule where you hold your breath for 3 seconds at a social event, then forcing yourself over to talk to the person you know you should be speaking with in that moment. Band-aid ripped off, you are taking the plunge and performing that difficult task the very moment that it crops up.

Imagine what it would be like if you could, in a moment, go from feeling anxious to feeling absolutely capable right in the middle of a stressful situation when all eyes are on you, or you are dealing with an individual you are struggling to get along with.

Here is a video where a man using an anchoring technique (watch for the snapping of the fingers when he says “forget”) to get out of a speeding ticket.  I do not recommend doing this – this is for entertainment only.