Can You Influence Another Person To Use EFT If They Are Reluctant To Do So?

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Hi Everyone,

Pat Carrington addresses a common problem with some common sense.

Hugs, Gary

By Patricia Carrington Ph.D

An all too frequent question I am asked goes along these lines.  Person “A” wants to have Person “B,” usually someone close to them, use EFT for a specific problem they have and are convinced it will help them.  Or, they want them to use EFT when they are distraught so that they will calm down and be easier to deal with.  Usually “A” can list a host of reasons why EFT can be helpful for “B” and is convinced they are pursuing a worthy cause by trying in every way they know to get them to use it.

Often, however, “A” finds that the recommendation to use EFT is falling on deaf ears.  “B” is apparently not interested in learning it or (if they already know it) in using EFT to help themselves at all.

Beyond the futility of pushing any technique or intervention when a person is resistant to it, a fundamental question is raised by this dilemma.  It has to do with whether we can, in a sense, be "our brother’s keeper” (as the old saying goes), or our parent’s, our children's, our lover’s or our friend's “keepers”.

This involves the uncomfortable truth that, whether we like it or not, each person has a fundamental right to live their lives as THEY feel they must.  Right or wrong, practical or impractical, whatever way it may turn out, THEY are the ones who are going to have to decide to change themselves in a particular way, if change is to come about at all.  As the old adage goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” Similarly, you can suggest EFT repeatedly and in the most persuasive way, for another person, but you can never make him or her use it because that is their choice, not yours to make.

The chances are great, in fact, that if you are attempting to change another person in any way by having them use EFT, that this person will sense that there is some subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) manipulation involved here, a wish to change them, and they are likely to resist EFT all the harder because you so clearly want them to do it.  In such cases, trying to convince someone that they should use EFT will work against you and may even spoil the chances that they will ever use EFT.

Another way that people try to make others use EFT is when they attempt to force a partner or someone else close to them to use EFT right then and there during a heated argument or some other form of disagreement.  I am reminded of the many times I have seen family members or others who both knew EFT (and even used it well at other times) get into a fierce battle when one person said to the other “I think you should use EFT on this”, in the middle of an argument –– usually when Person “B” is acting in a way that Person “A” doesn't like.  Such attempts inevitably backfire because no one wants to be told to "do EFT, it will help" when they are angry at someone else.  They want their upsetting feelings to be honored and attended to, not to be "gotten rid of".  It's hard enough to make one's own decision to quiet oneself down under such circumstances, but to have someone else tell you to do this makes of EFT something it is not -- an enforced activity.

The wisest thing to do when another person refuses to do EFT when you think they should is to totally drop the subject and start using EFT for yourself to help you handle the upsetting situation more productively.  Some EFT statements that you might use for this purpose are:

"Even though (name of person) won't listen to me, I choose to feel calm and confident and allow her/him their freedom."

"Even though (name of person) refuses to get better, I choose to let him/her follow his own path."

"Even though I am sure EFT would help (name of person), I realize that EFT can only be effective if it comes from the heart."

“Even though I want desperately for (name of person) to change, I choose to accept the way he/she is, and select my own path accordingly."

You may want to look upon this as an important opportunity to use EFT on some of the anxiety which you may feel about not being able to make inroads into the other person's problems –– or for whatever else this situation brings up for you.  Doing this can turn out to be a real plus for you, and may even benefit the other person indirectly as a result.  For one thing, you will be setting an excellent example.

Pat Carrington PhD




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