Browsing the web, I bumped into some “interesting” articles on the web about protecting yourself from NLP and how to do that. I said to myself – Cool! Let’s see!
For some self-professed anti-NLP sites the issue has moved into high-gear. So, I thought it was high time to debunk the debunkers. If you have recently run into one of the anti-NLP sheep saying, “NLP is BAAAD,” be careful, you may be on the verge of throwing out the good with the bad.
NLP has been used for good and for bad, as have all human institutions. I ask you if any of these has ever been used for bad: Law, Medicine, Education or Religion? In fact, anything you can name probably has a history of being used for bad reasons or intent as well as good. Well, NLP is no different.
The way we teach NLP at our trainings, is we build in a lot of good ecology-about how to use NLP for good.
Let’s get specific in our analysis:
- Body Language. Quite a few years ago, I was having breakfast at a Howard Johnsons Restaurant, sitting near the cashier, when I saw 3 boys (about 10 years old) come out from the back. I noticed that each boy had separate and distinct mannerisms from the other boys, and I wondered if they were related to each other. Then the dads came out and it became immediately obvious who each boy was related to. No, they were not brothers. But each boy was almost a mirror image copy of his dad. Each boy stood with the same posture and had the same gestures as his dad. I realized that Body Language or posture was how we know who is in our family or tribe. Kids do this all the time-they mimic their parents, and so they fit in and they are accepted as a part of the tribe. This is not new. This is not a “discovery” of NLP. It has been with us for a very long time. It is part of being at ease with another person. It’s called Rapport.
If we disallow the copying of our body language, we may be missing that this person has a great deal of Rapport with and Respect for us. In my 32 years of experience, I have only once had a client mention that he thought I was copying his body language. And, to be honest, I am always complimented by someone matching my physiology because I know that they were sincere in wanting to get to know me better. In all my time in NLP, I have discovered that Rapport is a 2-way street. When you get into Rapport with someone, never forget that you are en rapport with them and they are en rapport with you. The influence goes two ways. Each person is influenced by the other.
- Random Eye Movements. One of the articles says that to confuse an NLPer, move your eyes in random unpredictable patterns. OMG. Please don’t do that: (1) It’s crazy, (2) It looks bizarre, and (3) If you are talking to a doctor and you move your eyes in random unpredictable patterns he may just commit you, and that won’t be fun!
Now, listen. If you know NLP, you won’t be manipulated. Do you understand? If you know NLP, you won’t be manipulated.
- Do Not Let Anybody Touch You. This is probably the height of weirdness. “Don’t touch me!!!” Now there are certain groups where touching is disallowed, but if you grew up like I did in an area with lots of Italians (Syracuse, NY), everybody touched each other when talking. Normally. Abnormal would have been to not touch or to say, “Don’t touch me!!!” So, what are you going to do? , well, “when in Rome,.”
- Vague Language. Boy if I had a dollar for every time someone used vague language, I think I would be rich! You know what I mean? But what we don’t get is that some people’s use of vague language is because their thinking is vague. Right? My good friend Mark is like that. He starts with a concept like infinity and gets more vague, more abstract. Do you have any other friends like that? You gotta pin them down. You could ask them, “How specifically?” or “What specifically?” but don’t worry about vague language. To stop society’s use of vague language, we would have to do away with texting. Ha. lol imho B4 u do, idk if u can, wtf. ok? cu soon.
- Permissive Language. In my opinion, the issue is not the language, the issue is trust. Do you trust the person you’re dealing with? If not, don’t deal with them. Being permissive has a lot to do with what in NLP is called “Placator” which is a behavioral category spotted and named by Virginia Satir (her archetypal body physiology are part of our presentation skills in the NLP Trainer’s Training)
- The issue is the same here as the previous. If someone you’re dealing with starts talking gibberish, you can bet their thinking is gibberish. “Wow, that’s a bunch of gobbledygook,” comes to mind. You don’t have to be afraid of gibberish. Just turn on the TV and watch reality shows. There is nothing else but gibberish.
One more thought, and then I will let you go. Remember if someone uses NLP with you and you recognize it, it’s not bad on them. It is good on you, because they cannot play any “number” on you. You are protecting yourself by means of your knowledge. If somebody uses NLP on an untrained person, I do have some things to say about that person’s integrity, but also about their professional incompetence. NLP properly and ethically used will not be manifest in an obvious manner and it will not harm people. Its use will not infringe upon your consciousness neither will it step over your personal boundaries. If you cannot use NLP that way, get trained. Take an NLP Practitioner Training from a Certified NLP Trainer or a Certified NLP Master Trainer.