Each person is playing their own version of the Game. But despite all playing with the same board – our Homo Sapien body and brain – we all end up with slightly different versions of it.
What if, by spending some time understanding the board itself, we could begin to understand our fellow man better. What if we could relieve some stress, anger and sadness almost immediately simply by taking some time to learn what makes people tick?
Below are the Pre-Suppositions of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP coaches use this theory as a starting point to understanding and changing thought patterns. They are the assumptions that we make about why somebody chooses to demonstrate a behaviour.
Learning them and adopting them as if they were the absolute truth about people has transformed my entire life. I am calmer, more patient, have fewer arguments and better relationships just because I have accepted these pre-suppositions.
1. Everyone thinks that their version of the world is how the world actually is: Most people assume that how they experience the world is the same as how everyone else experiences it. This is not true. We filter the world through our own beliefs and rules to create our own versions of reality. What we think we experience is heavily biased to our own Game. Essentially, we always see what we want to and expect to see.
2. People are always doing the best that they can: Even though it doesn’t always seem like it, everyone is always making the best choice that they can at the time. In one person a set of circumstances may result in them choosing to go to therapy, whilst someone else going through the same thing may end up a drug addict. Our choices depend on what mental tools and environmental tools we have at the time. Never judge someone for their behaviours, because if you were them you would do exactly the same.
3. People work perfectly: Every behaviour that is demonstrated perfectly matches the intention that we have for it. The choice to either go to therapy or take heroine both would fix a problem of a traumatic experience – one way deals with the trauma, the other blocks the ability to feel the emotion attached to it. If we think that the behaviour is imperfect, it is OUR perception which needs altering. We don’t have to agree with the behaviour to admit that it works.
4. Every behaviour has a positive intention: A brick thrown through a window gives the perpetrator the attention she desires, therefore it is positive. People do not exhibit behaviours ‘just because’. It is important to remember that people are not their behaviours, they simply display them depending on the environment.
5. Both the conscious and the unconscious mind are working towards keeping you safe. Neither has bad intentions.
6. The meaning of the communication is the response that you will get: If you say x and you partner hears y, then you need to work on you saying x better. It is up to you to change how you speak rather than instead of expect the other person to change how they hear. It is your job to communicate clearly and check that they have understood your intention.
7. We already have everything we need to change, or at least the ability to create them: We are all capable of learning everything we need to succeed. No one is incapable of success. We all have memories, or imaginations that can help us create the behaviours that we want.
8. The mind and body is one.
9. All information is processed through our five senses: After that our brain attaches a story to explain what we have experienced and to help commit it to our memory.
10. If you want to understand something you have to do it: If you want to learn how to act in new way, then act like it. If you want to understand someone else, live their life.
11. There are no disabilities in the ability to learn, only in the flexibility of the teaching: If someone isn’t ‘getting it’ change how you are teaching it. The most flexible person always wins.
How would your world change if you assumed these things about people to be true? Try some on for size and see how they fit in your new Game