“Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a communication model, first and foremost a model of self-communication and second, inter-personal communication.”
“NLP is a cognitive behavioral model operating primarily as a set of patterns, focusing on human strengths, possibilities and potentials.”
“How we communicate with ourselves frames our experience; how we communicate with others frames our relationships.”
“The frame defines the experience for the individual; control of the frame implies control of the experience.”
- Jumping to conclusions; sweeping statements; platitudes
- Being narrow minded; unwilling to see things from a different perspective
- Playing the blame game; accusation; insult; ad-hominem attacks
- Personalizing; ego-centrism; over-identifying with the issue; defensiveness
- Making mountains out of molehills; inductive logic; catastrophizing
- Black-and-white thinking; absolutism
- Blocking out positive memories; assuming irreversibility of the past
- Confusion of words with reality
- Judging and exaggerating
- Appealing to emotion
- Appealing to authority
- Making assertions instead of asking questions
- Distracting; changing the conversation; losing focus
- Avoiding criticism, condemnation, complaining and giving advice
- Maintaining sensory awareness; observant state; focus on the resolution
- Facilitating objectivity; reducing the ego-factor
- Creating ‘frame resonance’ by relating to agreed common-ground
- Staying open and receptive to feedback; flexibility; real-time adjustment
- Thinking systematically; recognizing leverage points in the conversation
- Exploring curiously; probing with questions
- Seeking clarity in problem definition
- Empathizing without sympathizing
- Solution-focused, forward-moving thinking
- Distinguishing map from territory; meaning from response; person from behavior; frame from feeling; sensory from evaluative data
‘The map is not the territory’
The menu is not the food.
The idol is not the god.
The picture is not the thing photographed.
The symbol is not that which it represents.
A person is more than their behavior.
People operate from their own mental maps of reality, not reality itself.
Maps are subject to beliefs, values, prejudices, biases, feelings, emotions, taboos, history etc.
…thus fallible always and never matching reality nor the unique map of the next individual.
A map is a tool for navigation through experience, but it is not the experience itself.
Emotions and feelings are a result of the map, not the experience.
Emotions reflect differences between map and territory.
Emotions make life worth living… but they are by definition a product of cognitive distortions.
For example, you only get excited about things that promise to offer a greater emotional experience than exists in your current reality.
If you are broke, a $500k windfall will blow your emotional circuits to the moon.
If you are filthy rich, $500k is still well received… but it has lost its sparkle; the thrill is gone.
That is why many people who have it all get bored easily and constantly seek to push the limits of extravagance and depravity…. to create new distortions and jump-start their frozen feelings.
On the reverse: a cycle of stress, anger, sadness, envy, fear, suspicion, hate will create a toxic frame and enter us into miserable real-world experience.
The Brain Game
- Exploring with questions facilitates good communication, because even a good idea, when asserted plainly, loses its potency in the other person’s mind.
This is partially due to a an automatic ego-defense, deflecting by reflex as not to entertain competing thoughts.
When people arrive at a solution themselves from an idea you planted via questioning, they are far more likely to give it consideration.
- Your brain follows instructions. Feeding your brain toxic ideas manifests a toxic experience and enters you into a toxic world.
For example, a social justice warrior’s stubborn resolution to always find the world ugly, hateful and bad is making the world ugly, hateful and bad.
Our external world can only be as exciting, vibrant, dramatic and powerful as our internal frame of mind.
- Your brain runs on representations. The brain represents external sensed experiences with a symbolic language of thoughts and images. This language dictates your feelings
- The meaning of your communication is the response you get, regardless of intention.
Only in observing the other person’s response can we understand the meaning generated by our communication.
- Response is an external expression of internal meaning is always contextual.
- Sensory data enters the brain and is represented to us by our own internal frame. We frame objective representations and create subjective meanings through our own bias.
- When we confuse our own frames of representation with objective reality, we impose our frames on others.
This can be done maliciously with the intent to manipulate, or incidentally when we are not facilitating good communication.
A strong frame will always dominate other weak frames.
The most emotional, alpha or otherwise ‘loud’ person in the room with the biggest ‘presence’, always controls the master-frame to which everyone else subjects themselves.
- Your brain transitions in and out of the present moment.
Anytime we shift our awareness to something that is not part of our current awareness, we enter a trance state.
Trance-states are the norm for most people; not present-time sensory activity.
- Your brain induces states. We are put into a neurological state based on what we are thinking.
External representations of fear, anger, sex, sympathy etc. can put us into the corresponding state.
Our mind-body state of consciousness is determined by these states and these states are expressed outwardly, in the physiological dimension, by our body language, posture, breathing, vocal tone etc.
- Your brain goes in circles. Feed-forward and feed-back loops make deep thinking possible and yields an infinite inter-connectivity of thoughts.
As our thoughts loop, we layer new thoughts, feelings, judgments etc. to create complexity in our thinking. Our thinking is reflexive and reflective.
This is the greatest power of consciousness, especially as it pertains to imagination, and can lead to boundless success and excitement.
But if we hold onto a bad states, unfounded prejudices or ‘what if’ scenarios, anxiously pacing the future-past… we can just the same be driven to confusion, madness and depression.
- Reference experience is represented to us by the brain. The interconnected web of our reference experiences creates a master-state for the mind, which becomes our personality and orientation.
- Your brain frames things. Everything processed by the brain yields a contextual meaning.
Words are just representations; your brain develops it’s own meaning for them relative to your reference experience.
A word like ‘cake’ can mean pleasure, treat, celebration; a threat to a diet; junk food; fat or survival… all depending on the context.
Associative meaning is the only meaning; a thing is only defined in how it relates to another thing and the context through which it is present.