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How NLP & Time Line Therapy® Saved My Marriage – Part 1

What if you had tools that could allow you to have the relationship that you wanted? What if you could see eye to eye with your partner, mate or spouse? There’s so many cliché’s out there about what relationships are and what they are not. Many a romantic comedy has been made about the nuances of relationships and even books about men and women being from different planets. Sure they are entertaining and maybe even funny, but are these ˜stereo-types’ about relationships really true? Are men and women different, absolutely! Is there a way for two individuals who are significantly different to co-exist easily? Anything is possible.

Keys to a Successful Relationship Using NLP & Time Line Therapy®

As some of you may know, I work side-by-side with and teach NLP, Time Line Therapy® and Hypnotherapy trainings with my husband and co-trainer, Stephan Schafeitel. We work together, we live together, we train together, we work out together, we’re constantly together and we wouldn’t have it any other way. So many of our students after seeing us train together and work together for days on end during our trainings ask, “How do you do it?”

Using the tools we teach like NLP and Time Line Therapy® is how we do it.

  • Representational System Predicates: When I first learned of this information while listening to the NLP Practitioner audio by Dr. Tad James and reviewing it at my NLP Practitioner training years ago, a light bulb went off in my head instantly! I realized that I had been communicating to my mate in MY Primary Representational (Rep) System, not his. Learning this was like deciphering a code that I couldn’t crack for many years! This answered so many of my questions and gave me clarity to my own communication. I would ask him what I thought was a simple question like, “What do you feel like you want for dinner?” This produced no comment and no response from my mate. This is just one example of many times I would ask a question and get no response. I thought how bad our communication must be because I couldn’t even elicit a simple answer! Until I realized that one word, just one key word was the difference that made the difference in getting a response. After my NLP Practitioner I tested it out. I asked the simple question again and I changed just one word and I asked, “What do you think you want for dinner?” Instantly I received an answer.

The important thing I had learned was that I was speaking to my mate from my Primary Rep System of Kinesthetic by using words like feel, touch, handle, etc. Stephan’s Primary Rep System is Auditory Digital, which uses words like think, make sense and understand, just to name a few. By using the word ˜think’ instead of ˜feel’ it triggered his internal language and we were better able to communicate to each other. This was huge!

  • Meta Programs: The second key aspect to refining our communication was learning about our Meta Programs during our NLP Master Practitioner training. Meta Programs are our most unconscious filters and they determine how we think, and how we distort, delete and generalize the information that comes in through our five senses. They are one of the building blocks that make up our personality. There are many Meta Programs, all of which were beneficial in learning how to better communicate with the world around me, and especially my mate.

The main Meta Program I’ll discuss for now was the most impactful for us at the time: the Chunk Size Filter. Here’s an example of how a past conversation with Stephan and I would go. After he was away on a business trip for a week I would ask him, “How was your trip?” He would respond, “Great.” At that time hearing that response from him, I would think either he didn’t want to talk to me or there was something he was hiding, (both of which are silly to me now). Then in return he would ask me how my week was and in very explicit detail I would describe every single aspect of every single day including how many drops of stevia I put in my coffee every day. Ok, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration and you get the point. He would answer my question in a very big picture manner and by him answering, “Great,” that was saying a lot for him. For me at the time, I had this need to describe every single detail even if it wasn’t relevant to the conversation. Before I knew it his eyes would gloss over and I could tell I was losing him and then I would get upset that he didn’t want to listen to me. Does this sound familiar in your relationship? Undoubtedly there is one person in the relationship that is more of a global thinker and one that is more specific in a relationship (not always yet often). Make no correlation that men are global and big picture thinkers and women are specific and detailed. We’ve met just as many women that are big picture thinkers and just as many men that are detailed.

The most important thing I learned about the Chunk Size Filter is that if I needed more information from Stephan I would just ask more questions like, “How specifically,” or “What specifically” to get more details from him. When I would communicate to him I learned to give him the big picture first and then only give as many details as necessary. This one Meta Program helped our communication to become more efficient and productive. It saved us time and many arguments and allowed us to be on the same page when communicating. What a concept!

Practice makes the perfect practice in communication. It’s an ongoing feedback mechanism and constant feedback to yourself about yourself and how you’re getting through to the world around you (and how you’re not getting through).

Check back for Part 2 to discover two other tools that helped save my marriage.

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