NLP for Not Calling People Stupid

Filed Under (Life Coaching & NLP) on 29-03-2010

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If you implement this simple NLP approach in your life, it’ll dramatically help you solve problems.

separate behavior from identity.

What does this mean in plain English?  Here’s an example:

When you were a child, did anyone ever call you stupid for something you did wrong?  If yes, how did it affect you?  Some better than others.  Children whom it affects badly take it to heart and then believe ‘I’m stupid’.  and am are identity statements.  A child doesn’t have reasoning developed as well as you do.  So a child can easily take this to heart without question, especially if s/he heard this comment from his/her parents, teachers [if you’re old enough to remember the times when teachers called children stupid], or other significant people in the child’s life.   And of course, repetition is great for instilling stuff in us, right?

So as a result we have loads of folks out there now who didn’t develop their potentials to the full and settled for less in life in the shadows of their potentials.  Have you ever heard someone say ‘if I were 18 again I’d do many things differently?’  Exactly the point!  The insidious thing here is that some of those people never realized that this decision to stay in the shadow of their full potentials may have been a direct result of the ‘you’re stupid’ comment – and similar comments!

This can be prevented when you communicate with people.  Separate identity from behavior.  If the child from our example does something wrong, that’s an issue of behavior.  But it doesn’t mean the child is a stupid person.  The behavior is easy to correct, but a damage to the identity can take a long time to correct.  So if you say “you’ve done this wrong” or “I don’t like what you’re doing” or “this behavior is unacceptable”, the child will take this much better and correct his/her behavior with a much better attitude.

Separating identity from behavior is equally applicable to the professional setting.  How will you phrase your reprimand the next time an employee or colleague screws up and whose mistake has by now cost the company irretrievable money?  Mistakes are expensive.  But losing it with the guilty person in the heat of your frustration could prove even more expensive in the long term!

Great point! it’s exactly the heat of the moment of our frustration that leads us to saying things like “you’re this” and “you’re that” and “he’s such a lazy/arrogant/ignorant ******”, and we all know how easy that can be, right?   Control your tongue – even while emotions are running high!   And then you’ll be able to separate identity from behavior – and make the world around you a better place!

Contact me for more help with how you / parents / employers can use NLP to their benefit.

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