- Chris Harrison
- 10th January 2008 - Updated 1st August 2012
I used to think it was only me. Was I really the only person who was uncomfortable around a certain segment of the NLP 'community'? And then I read the article Sex, Stalking and NLP by Andrew Austin and it all fell into place.
On every course I've ever taken, its always happened. There is always at least one person who cannot consider a break, to be a break. If they're not trying to analyze everything another delegate says, they're messing with the venue staff.
These NLP people all have two things in common: When you speak, they don't look at you, they look through you. You can't engage in a normal conversation; its therapy whether you want it or not. And secondly, they won't let you say anything that isn't 110% wonderful - EVER.
It's as if every sentence has some meta-physical power.
When I say 'Hey, this is something you don't want to do' in the lead up to an amusing story that had an unfortunate and somewhat amusing result, they have to cover their ears before I spout forth a invocation that will cause both of us to either copy exactly the unfortunate event I was going to explain or to drop into the pit of negativity for ever.
And even if you manage to hold a normal conversation, you are not allowed an energy level any lower than theirs or any negative thoughts at all:
'So was that exercise awesome or what?'
'Yeah, it was interesting. Not sure if I did it quite right'
'Ah doubt. Remember, there was no right way.'
'Well, there was really. I mean if the instruction was to spin around in my chair twice and I only spun around once, then I didn't do it right.'
'Ah, but maybe that was what you were expected to do. Did you think about that?'
At this point, I'm usually looking over their shoulder hoping to see someone who I have to speak to before the next session and wondering if they’d cancel the course if one of the delegates was found at the bottom of the canal.
I've always wondered what makes there people like this?
I've looked through the NLP practitioner course requirements, there isn't a module on 'how to get someones back up', and I don’t remember being told that once I’d learnt the meta-model (see below), I had to use it all the time, but for some reason this seems to be what these people have learnt.
I also don’t like people just deciding that it’s their job to change my state from whatever it is to one of their choosing. Especially when this always ends up being a state somewhere between mild irritation and shear annoyance!
So what is the problem with the meta-model?
The meta-model was designed to allow a practitioner to talk through a problem with a client and fill in the missing information until the problem is resolved.
It was not developed to be used during small-talk.
The following is not pure meta-model, but shows some of the elements that may go into a meta-modeling conversation:
'So what exactly is it that is bothering you?'
'They hate me.'
'Who hates you.'
'Bob hates me.'
'How do you know?'
'He looks at me funny?'
'Why do you think looking at you in that way means he hates you?'
'Well he looks like he wants to hit me.'
'Did you know that bob forgot his glasses today?'
The most important point to remember with the meta-model, and one which the NLP bore seems to forget is that if you use it without elegance, and in the wrong context, you will lose all your friends - very quickly.
110% is another of my hates. You can't 'give 110%'. As soon as anyone mentions giving 110%, my opinion of them drops by around 110%.