When I say that every terrible act that a person commits, be it murder, rape, theft, or whatever else demonstrates the basic [NLP] principle that every – even the most terrible criminal – behaviours has a positive intention, many people don’t understand and look at me like I’m crazy when I say it to them.
The explanation is simple: negative intention doesn’t exist. Our brain cannot process negatives. Don’t think of your neighbor! OK. So what did you do? You thought of the neighbor in order not to think of him/her! That’s how our brain cannot process negatives. Cannot process negatives. Doesn’t that mean can process positives?
So how is this connected with criminals? Many a person who commits evil acts has financial and personal issues which he feels compressed or cornered by, or has mental issues, or has personal history of coming from a background where committing evil acts was the norm, thus he knows no other way to be and live. So by doing what he does he satisfies some positive intentions for himself – intentions which only he knows what they are. A person who commits suicide has the intention simply to end his trouble. That’s a positive intention. Revenge is another. If you enact revenge, you’re satisfying a positive intention within yourself. Yes, everyone else around you will see you as a nasty piece of work, but that won’t change the fact that you’re satisfying a positive intention for yourself. In this vein every crime, murder, rape, captivation, torture, theft, or whatever nastiness a human being is capable of is a behavior which satisfies some positive intention for the individual doing the behavior.
Many rapists’ positive intention is power and control. Many thieves’ positive intention is abundance, getting something they want while saving the effort of working for it, many torturers and captivators’ positive intention is also power, control, and respect, and many murderers’ positive intention is escape from reality, life, pain, misery, etc.
So now you may find it easier to view the next stupid thing your [or your neighbor’s?] child may do with some compassion. Once you know that kids don’t play truant, smoke, and abuse alcohol, sex, or drugs for nothing, you will be much more effective by going straight to finding out what the positive intentions are behind those behaviors that everybody else doesn’t understand.
Many reporters and journalists still haven’t got a clue about gearing their questions and articles towards acknowledging and finding out these positive intentions. Their job is to sell bad news [because bad news sells better than good news] and sell it fast! Plus the pressure of moralistic stances of the older generations such as that the young generation must not be led to believe that doing acts of crime and nastiness is okay because it satisfies the perpetrators’ positive intentions presents another barrier to people’s understanding of why acts of crime happen. Harsh as it may sound, at times the older generations would be better to give way, because what used to be valid in their time may not be valid in today’s society. And if we communicate the principle of positive intentions behind every human behavior to the youth clearly, we will be able to have it both ways!
Contact me for more on NLP and positive intentions.