Being Human

I’m (as I wrote this) in the middle of an NLP Practitioner course. It’s brilliant. I love it. I love that it is full of such effortlessly simple ways of thinking to improve your results.

One of the challenges that tends to come up on a course like this though, is how people (not necessarily those on the course) respond to the knowledge that someone has NLP in their system.

A delegate mentioned how she became frustrated with a family member, and the family member responded by saying “Aren’t you an NLPer now? You’re not supposed to get angry are you?!”

It made me laugh out loud when she told me this. As if suddenly learning these new skills meant she should become a robot and no longer feel!

I may have mentioned this story before, but my NLP trainer told me a story once about when his NLP trainer (sorry it is starting to sound like an extended quote!) was in a cafe before going to teach his NLP Practitioner training course, eating a bacon sandwich. One of the delegates came into the cafe and said “Oh my god you are eating bacon! I can’t believe you’re an NLP Trainer and you’re eating meat!”

I think it is so funny that people, even NLPers themselves have this expectation that when you start to learn how to manage your emotions (instead of having them manage you) that you therefore should stop experiencing them altogether or should only chose to have “positive” emotions.

Actually all emotions have their usage and are appropriate depending on the situation. Someone’s frustration may seem wholly appropriate to them in the given context they are experiencing in their own mind. They might seem crazy to the rest of the world, but for that person, at that time, as a valid human being, they have the right to react in the way they feel is right. Everyone’s logic is unique to them and as NLPers, it is our duty to respect that unique logic and whilst nurturing people’s more resourceful emotions, for the context they are experiencing.

Yes, even anger is good! Anger has energy and movement in it. Anger allows people to express thoughts and feeling they may have had hidden away for years maybe. Anger allows us to reach physical strength to allow us to protect ourselves and those that we love if we feel violated in some way. Anger is only bad, if it is used badly.

Well of course, there is a motivation for me highlighting all of this. I recently read a comment on the People Building podcast on itunes. It said “I was moved to write this review because Gemma spent quite a bit of the podcast slagging off some negative comments about her podcast (they seem to have disappeared) they complained too much about advertising. She then finished her slagging and went into another promotional bit about further products you can buy from her! Very Un-NLP like.”

I thought this comment was interesting and mildly amusing. Firstly because I did moan about the negative comments. I even warned I was going to before I started! It’s a disappointment when I spend my hard earned money to host and produce a show for free and people moan because I use it as a platform to promote other elements of my work. Especially since the ads are 2 minutes long and there was at that time 30-40 minutes of content. That aside (the comments are still on the American Itunes) I was really tickled by the fact that expressing my disappointment and frustration is “un-NLP like.” Or perhaps it’s the making money bit that is un-NLP like? Or the informing people of products that is un-NLP like. What?! NLP is about making choices. It’s not about cutting off your emotions or hiding them. It’s about knowing how to use them, rather than having them using you. It’s also about seeing the world from others perspectives.

My point is this, it’s ok to learn NLP and still be a human being. Richard Bandler gets pis**d off sometimes, I’m certain of it! It’s also ok to read the paragraph above and know that I am not offended or in anyway frustrated or upset any longer, it only lasted for the duration of the time I actually read the comment out on the show. Funnily I had a load of other comments where people said “Don’t worry about it!” and by that time I wasn’t, the feeling had passed already.

I always say being an NLPer isn’t about becoming numb. It’s just that you spend less time feeling bad, put less energy into it and do it less frequently. Simple. Please, if you are learning NLP or know someone who is, respect your own and others emotions. Learn how to manage your state but don’t hand it over with your cash when you sign up for master practitioner training!

3 Replies to “Being Human”

  1. Gemma, great post!

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the expectations that people have about the control they expect from an NLP Practitioner. Part of growing and developing as a human being is facing new challenges and finding new ways to face old challenges. We don’t become less human and ‘robot’ like. Instead we become more human and learn to meet our emotions head on.

    The beauty of NLP is that we can meet those emotions with a skill set that allows us to be in control of our state, as you stated it very correctly.

  2. Hi Gemma…. Great post this is so true; I have had patients, clients, family members, who all believe that because Iam a therapist. Iam imune to all hurtful remarks, that Iam also emotionaly so welll regulated I (should never get upset or hurt). The skills are great the language we use is well thought out; however we are human beings not human doings.

    I still can be upset by a hurtful statements by a loved one; or by a colleague; however I recover quickly and reframe the experience. I can choose to respond to all conflict; by reframing it as a means of healing, growth, and personal development. Which is as yet not been seen by others.

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